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Undisplaced distal radius fracture

Patient information A-Z

What is an undisplaced distal radius fracture?

With this fracture, you have broken the bone on the thumb side of your wrist. The wrist is made up of two long bones, and several smaller bones in the hand.

The usual cause of a wrist fracture is a fall. The person falling tries to break their fall by putting their hand out to save themselves and in doing so, the wrist is forced backwards.

An X-ray scan showing an undisplaced distal radius fracture on wrist
Undisplaced distal radius fracture

To enable the injury to heal, your wrist will be placed in a removable splint or a temporary cast. This will need to be kept in place for six weeks.

Swelling and bruising at the fracture site is normal. Simple, over the counter pain killers and applying ice to the area will help to reduce swelling and pain. Ice should be applied, wrapped in a tea towel, for 20 minutes three to four times a day.

You should:

You should:

  • keep the splint on at all times (if this has been applied), even at night. It can be removed for hygiene reasons.
  • if you have been given a temporary cast you must not get this wet.
  • keep your fingers moving while wearing the splint / cast to prevent your fingers becoming stiff.
  • elevate your hand in the days following your injury to help reduce the swelling.

You should not:

  • drive whilst wearing the splint / cast.
  • take part in any physical contact sports (your consultant will advise you at your clinic appointment).
  • miss your clinic appointment if this has been requested.

Please remember:

Please contact your GP if your condition is not improving, or if your pain relief is not adequate. If your condition is worsening please contact the Multi professional fracture clinic, call 01223 348299 or call 01223 257095.

For more information please visit the Fracture Info website (opens in a new tab).

For any concerns on wounds, email CUH fracture info.
Please include your hospital number and any photos of your wounds that you would like to be reviewed.

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Cambridge University Hospitals
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