Smith's fracture is a type of bone fracture that occurs at the distal end (closest to the hand) of the radius bone in the forearm, which is one of the two bones in the lower arm. It is also sometimes referred to as a "reverse Colles' fracture" because the direction of the displacement of the bone is opposite to that of a Colles' fracture.
A Smith's fracture typically occurs as a result of a fall onto the back of the hand or wrist, causing the wrist to forcefully flex. This type of injury causes the distal end of the radius bone to break and shift towards the palm side of the wrist, instead of the back of the hand like in a Colles' fracture.
This can occur in a variety of situations, such as:
Sports injuries: Contact sports or high-impact activities can increase the risk of a Smith's fracture if the wrist is forcefully flexed during a fall or collision.
Accidents: Falls or other accidents that cause the hand or wrist to be forcefully bent backward can result in a Smith's fracture.
Osteoporosis: Weakened bones due to os
Symptoms of a Smith's fracture may include pain, swelling, tenderness, and difficulty moving the wrist and hand. Treatment for a Smith's fracture typically involves immobilization of the wrist with a cast or brace, and sometimes surgery may be necessary to realign and stabilize the bone. Rehabilitation exercises may be recommended after the bone has healed to help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the wrist and hand. Without proper treatment, a Smith's fracture can lead to complications such as arthritis, decreased range of motion, and chronic pain.
The treatment for a Smith's fracture depends on the severity of the fracture and the individual's overall health. In general, treatment options for a Smith's fracture may include:
Immobilization: If the fracture is not displaced or is only mildly displaced, immobilization of the wrist with a cast or brace may be recommended. This helps to stabilize the bone and allow it to heal properly. The cast or brace may need to be worn for several weeks.
Reduction: If the fracture is more severely displaced, a doctor may need to manipulate the bone back into place, which is known as a reduction. This can be done using various techniques, such as closed reduction (manipulation without surgery) or open reduction (surgical realignment of the bone). After the reduction, the wrist is typically immobilized with a cast or brace to allow the bone to heal.
Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to realign and stabilize the bone. Surgery may involve the use of pins, screws, or plates to hold the bone in place. Surgery may be recommended if the fracture is displaced or if the bone has shattered into multiple pieces.
Pain management: Pain medication, such as over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, may be recommended to help manage pain and discomfort during the healing process.