Colles’ Fracture - Pictures, Treatment, Healing Time, Surgery, Symptoms
Immediately after the injury, you should immobilize the wrist by either splinting or wrapping it until you can get to the emergency room to have it taken care of. You should also make sure to keep the joint elevated. To help ease the swelling and pain, keep an ice pack on it.
When you get to the emergency room, the physician on duty will give you some medication to help with the pain, and then they will examine your wrist. The physician will probably take x-rays so they can view the exact location of the fracture and the extent of the break. The physician will also check to see if there are any signs of ligament tears or nerve compression.
Depending on how severe the break is, the physician may decide to put your hand in either a hard plaster cast or in a soft splint to keep the wrist immobilized. If the bone has to be set it can be quite painful, so it is usually done by using anesthesia so you will not feel anything. If the area is swollen you may have to wear a splint for a few days, up to seven days, while you are waiting for the swelling to go down. Once the swelling has gone down the orthopedic physician will put on a hard cast.
For the first few days after your Colles’ fracture you should keep it elevated above the level of your heart to help ease the pain and swelling. You should also apply an ice pack for the first couple of days every 3-4 hours for 20-30 minutes. You should wrap the ice pack so your splint or cast does not get wet. For the pain the physician may give you a prescription for pain medication, or you can take over-the-counter pain-relief medication like Tylenol.