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What are some typical steps for rehabilitating a broken wrist?

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Quick Answer

Steps to rehabilitate a broken wrist include using a splint for several days until the swelling diminishes, using a cast for six to eight weeks, elevating the wrist and applying ice, according to WebMD. It also helps to perform exercises that stretch and strengthen the affected fingers, elbow and shoulder.

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Full Answer

Doctors typically reset a broken wrist if it is not in the proper healing position, notes WebMD. The process is often painful, requiring anesthesia during the procedure and painkillers afterward. If the doctor recommends wearing a splint, it is essential to wear a cast to promote continued healing. In some cases, a second cast is necessary when the original cast becomes loose.

Raising the wrist above the heart level during the first few days helps reduce pain and swelling, explains WebMD. Doctors also advise putting ice on the wrist for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours for up to three days while keeping the splint or cast dry.

To alleviate pain and swelling, it helps to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, according to a doctor's instructions, WebMD advises. Children must not take aspirin. It usually takes eight weeks for a broken wrist to heal, although severe breaks may take up to six months to heal fully.

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