The human wrist fractures relatively easily when too much stress is applied to one or more of its small, delicate bones. The Mayo Clinic reports that one of the most common situations in which a wrist fracture occurs is when a person falls and tries to soften the impact by bracing one hand against the ground. The sudden application of force results in one of the bones developing a crack.
Risk factors for incurring a broken wrist can be environmental, as with skiers, snowboarders and people who play contact sports such as football. The condition can also be caused by certain medical issues, such as osteoporosis, which is the thinning and weakening of bone tissue that the Mayo Clinic describes as being more common with advancing age. Early treatment for a suspected wrist fracture is important as a misaligned bone in the wrist is unlikely to heal properly and can negatively impact your range of motion.
Wrist fractures are extremely common. According to About.com, wrist fractures make up approximately one out of every six broken bones that have to be treated in emergency rooms, and they are the most common breaks to be found among people under age 65. At 65, hip fractures become more common.