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Hand & Upper Extremity

Fractures

Although our bones are stiff, they are resilient enough to withstand a bit of outside force. However, when the bone receives enough force that it breaks, this is called a fracture. Fractures and broken bones are extremely common in the upper extremities. Some occur only in the shaft of the bone, while other fractures may break the joint surface or even shatter the bone into more than two pieces (called comminuted fractures.)

Fractures are painful and usually need immediate attention. You may be unable to move the area and feel swelling and bruising at the site. At Ogden Clinic, our most common way to evaluate fractures or broken bones is with an x-ray. Occasionally, other scans such as a CT or MRI can give a more detailed evaluation of the damage.

Treatment and Recovery for Fractures

The goal of fracture treatment is to control the pain and promote healing without complications. The affected bone needs to be realigned properly and then immobilized so that the body can begin to restore function.

Depending on the severity of the fracture, you may require splint/ cast immobilization or fixation: surgically-implanted metal pins that help the bone align properly.

Fracture recovery takes time. Broken bones may need weeks to several months for a full recovery. Your Ogden Clinic Orthopedic Specialist will monitor the process and gradually introduce other treatment such as strengthening exercises and rehabilitation.

Pediatric Fractures

If one thing is true about kids, it’s that they’re always on the move. Their developing bones are much softer than an adult’s which means children are more prone to fractures. Any time a child sustains an injury, an adult should inspect the damage. If the area does not appear aligned, or there is a painful wound on the skin, the child should be brought in for evaluation promptly. Applying an ice pack to the site may reduce swelling in the meantime.

The good news is that kids tend to heal from broken bones quickly. Have peace of mind knowing that our Ogden Clinic skilled Orthopedic Specialists have treated hundreds of children with bone injuries. Hairline and partial fractures can often be treated with cast immobilization or splinting. In more severe cases, metal plates, screws, or pins must be surgically implanted to assist in healing. Fortunately, young children have a very good ‘remodeling’ capacity—the ability to re-form and re-absorb bone. With proper alignment and fracture treatment from an Ogden Clinic Orthopedic Specialist, a child’s body will quickly start to remodel growth on its own.

Ogden Clinic is now offering Telemedicine

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Select providers are now using Telemedicine; Visit Telemedicine to see if your next visit can take place over video chat.