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Wrist fracture - Carers UK Forum

Wrist fracture

For issues related to specific conditions and disabilities.
My grandmother fell while in hospital about 7 weeks ago and fractured her wrist. She had the cast on for 6 weeks in total but it had to be replaced a couple of times because she pulled it off (they put her on medication which in that caused violent outbursts). She went back a week ago and they removed the cast. The orthopaedic consultant examined her. He felt around her wrist and told her she was fine. He said it would be stiff and sore for a while and give her some exercises to do to help strengthen it up.

During the past week, the swelling has gone done a bit but she's still in a lot of pain. She can barely move her wrist without crying out even though she's taking regular painkillers. I was quite surprised that they didn't do another X-ray when the cast came off. She hasn't had one since she originally broken it. Can they really tell if it's healed up without an X-ray? I know she had it on for 6 weeks and that's the normal amount of time for a break but I'm concerned it's not completely healed up. I've never broken a bone so I'm not sure if this continued pain means it's not finished healing or if it's normal and will wear off.
Hi Theresa,
Stiff and sore is one thing, enough pain to make her cry is another. I would try to get another X-ray. Old bones don't mend as easily as young ones and there may be a complication as yet undiscovered. If it is fully healed then you know that exercise isn't doing any damage. At the very least some sort of support bandage might be in order. You can buy those from a chemist shop. Why not go speak to your local pharmacist and buy something to give her wrist a bit of support, or even one of those wrist straps to keep it still for a while longer? GP for an opinion? Unless there's a recognisable improvement, don't leave it, your Gran is in pain for a reason.
My mum had "phlebitis" for 2 weeks, whilst I was in hospital having life saving surgery. When I was discharged, I was dismayed to find that the locum GP expected ME to look after her! I had a new scar right across my stomach. When I refused, she sent mum to hospital. No wonder she was in pain, she had broken her leg!!! No one should be crying with pain. First, you need to find out why, and then take pain killers until the pain subsides. No point in being "brave", there is no need in this day and age.
That's ridiculous! I'm sort of in the same position. The fact that I'm with her all the time has meant some care, etc isn't offered to me. When she was released from hospital the ICES and OT wouldn't come home with her because she had me living with her.

She has dementia so I don't know if that's affecting her perception of the pain or not. I know you have to accept a certain amount of stiffness after being in a cast for 6 weeks but I'm not sure if the pain she has is normal or if she just doesn't understand that it'll take some time to heal fully.

I'll give the doctor a call in the morning but waiting for an appointment can be brutal. I had to wait 3 weeks for my last appointment!
I've had all sorts of medical problems (7 operations) but stiffness etc. should not be so bad that she cries. At very least she deserves much better pain relief. My son has severe learning difficulties, lacks mental capacity for lots of things. One of the golden rules is that he sees a medical professional if there is any doubt about his health. Several agencies won't even give him cough medicine without a doctor's visit so his chest can be checked, although he is generally very fit and well. The same should apply to someone with dementia.

She's not actually crying with pain but she's flinching and yelping a lot. She's just taking paracetamol right now because anything stronger a) makes her really sleepy (which can lead to her night wandering) and b) messes up her stomach.

Hopefully if I phone tomorrow at 8:30 I can get an appointment. If not I'll just see about getting an emergency one for the afternoon. It's been a week now so I think it should be feeling at least a little better.

To be honest I don't have much hope when it comes to asking the doctors for help with pain. I have hyper mobility syndrome myself so I'm in constant pain in many of my joints. Whenever I go to the doctor they just tell me to take more painkillers :( I find it's very easy for them to dismiss pain.
Have you tried Voltarol gel or something similar. I believe it's active ingredient is Ibuprofen, but as it's just rubbed on the skin, rather than taken via the stomach, it's better for the body. I was using it last week on my jaw after a tooth extraction, really helps.
She can't use anti-inflammatory gels because she's already at risk for strokes because of a heart flutter and she can't have anti-inflammatory tablets because of her pacemaker :(
That's really limiting. Can't think of anything else useful I'm afraid.
I ended up taking her into a&e this afternoon because her doctor wouldn't give me an emergency appointment. She saw a physio in there who said her wrist is healing okay and it's unfortunately going to hurt for a few more weeks as it heals. They gave her some more exercises to do and I think it's just a matter of persevering I'm afraid.

Thanks for all your help!