Denver Orthopedics: John Wall’s Case and the Facts on Wrist Fracture

The possibility for the Washington Wizards to advance to the NBA Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 36 years was dampened when the team placed star point guard John Wall on the inactive list, nearly an hour before tip-off in Game 2. Wall was said to have sustained a wrist injury during the series’ Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks. Complaining of a ‘really bad’ wrist sprain, Wall’s injury was much worse than initially thought—multiple physicians and specialists discovered the baller had five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand.

Wrist Fracture

How do wrist fractures occur?

The wrist is made up of ten bones—two forearm bones (radius and ulna), and eight small bones. These bones make up multiple large and small joints, where each bone end is lined by cartilage and held together by ligaments. The shape and design of these joints allow a person to perform multiple motions with his wrist including rotations, side-to-side, and up-and-down movements.

Wrist fractures occur when these bones take too much force than they can handle, such as when Wall fell awkwardly after driving to the rim. Severe fractures may occur from more forceful injury, such as falling from a roof or a serious car accident. Osteoporosis, a condition that makes the bones weak and fragile, can render one more susceptible to this type of injury.

Diagnosis

X-ray and physical examinations are necessary for a Denver sports medicine physician to confirm wrist fracture in their patients. In rare occasions, a CT scan may be required to help the medical professional see fracture fragments more clearly. In addition to the wrist bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles may also be injured, and will need to be treated along with the fracture.

Treatment

Wrist fracture treatment is dependent on many factors including patient age, activity, occupation, hand dominance, medical history, and level of injury. For wrist injuries wherein bones have fragmented into several pieces and become badly displaced, surgery may be necessary to properly set the bones and stabilize them. For injuries like Wall’s, where the fracture is classified as non-displaced, a splint or cast coupled with four to six weeks of complete rest or immobilization are often all that’s required for proper healing.

If you suspect a wrist fracture, consult a Denver orthopedics professional like the ones at Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver to have your injury diagnosed and treated.

Sources:

John Wall has fractures in his wrist and hand, USA Today, May 7, 2015

Wizards’ John Wall has 5 fractures in left wrist and hand, no timetable for return, theScore, May 9, 2015

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