Broken Wrist and Pain

Updated on July 14, 2010
M.S. asks from Lincolnshire, IL
7 answers

My nine year old broke her wrist two weeks ago and is still having a lot of pain. I have never broken any bones. Our doctor said that this is normal since kids are so active, which causes pain. My question is for those who have broken bones. Is the pain more like an aching or do you think it is a throbbing painful type of pain. I feel so bad for her! We do give her Advil for the pain, any other suggestions?? Thanks!

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answers from Chicago on

I fractured my scaphoid waist in April. I also had some ligament damage as well. My cast was removed a couple weeks ago and I am in a brace for another 4 weeks (not sure what part of your wrist your daughter broke????).
I am 38 years old and and I consider myself to have a fairly high pain tolerance..... and there were moment when I was REALLY overwhelmed to the point of wanting to just sit down and cry my wrist hurt so bad and I was SOOOOO frustrated by all the things I couldn't do. Oh, and the itching of the cast - nightmare!!!!!!!
I will say that at first the pain was a throbbing pain, which lasted at least a couple weeks. There were moments when I would have a reflex and move my wrist inside the cast and it felt like someone had stabbed me with a knife.
Then it does settle into a dull ache for a couple weeks. It felt really better about a week before I got my cast off, but then I had had some dull-y ache-y type stuff as my hand had more freedom to move around inside the brace. Pretty much at this point that is gone and I would like to rip off the brace and throw it to the moon!!!!!

A couple suggestions:
*As the swelling goes down and as your daughter moves her hand around in the cast the padding will get smashed down, so once she has a good deal of ability to move (ie if you can get a couple fingers down inside the cast) you should go back and have them replace the cast (I never got a waterproof one cuz of my insurance, but if you can get them to do waterproof I definitely would).
*The more she sweats the more it itches and the padding will start to smell. I used (just a bit, cuz if you get it too wet it will be icky) a couple light sprays of febreeze.
*My ortho said if it itched to use a blow dryer for a couple seconds right on the spot, but I found sticking my hand in the freezer gave me more relief. I also have one of those bean things that you can put in the microwave or freezer and then you are supposed to use it on your neck (way 80's.... if you remember them!!!!) But I would put it in the freezer and then wrap it around the cast..... HEAVEN!
*I probably should have gotten a sling because I used my hand WAY more than I should have and the sling will at least make it more difficult so it would cut back on the involuntary usage - stuff she does just cuz she's used to it (like blowing your nose.... I use 2 hands for this, but if the cast includes her thumb she can't really do that without poking herself in the eye :-)!!!!).
*Sleeping was really uncomfortable at first - my hand kept falling asleep so then I would wake up. I finally found that if I slept on my back with my arm curved above my head it was the most comfortable position.
Not sure if she is wearing a bra (my 9 year old does) but fastening my bra still hurts a bit. I would suggest some sports bras where you don't have to bend your wrist around the back in order to fasten!
*I rubbed olive oil into my hand and arm every couple hours for a couple days after I got my cast off. it helped WAY more than just lotion. She should also GENTLY exfoliate to get rid of the dead skin. Light massage of the olive oil feels FANTASTIC.

good luck - I feel for your daughter!!!!!!!



answers from Dallas on

talk to her dr, but if she's complaining that much about, i'd look into combining tylenol with the advil. that is usually quite effective for pain. hope she is feeling better really soon!



answers from Charlotte on

I'm so sorry about your daughter's broken wrist. My son broke his (green stick fracture) when he was not too much older than your dd, and it hurt him for about that long. We used Tylenol, but I'm sure Advil is fine too.

I asume she is in a cast. Make sure she's not moving it much, trying to do too much. A sling used PART of the time might help if she forgets to give her hand some rest. Too much sling use can cause problems with her shoulder and elbow (unless the cast is above the elbow, and then she's not supposed to use it.)

I would take her back to the doctor and ask for another xray to be done if the pain doesn't abate within the next week. Sometimes the bone doesn't quite knit together right, and you need to know that. We insisted on another xray when they took his cast off, to make sure that it was healed enough for that cast to not be there. I will tell you that his arm hurt for a week after getting the cast off, so be prepared for that.

Good luck, D.



answers from Denver on

sorry to hear about your daughter - I broke my arm as a kid around 9 or 10 and was in a cast for about 8 weeks. I remember feeling that kind of throbbing pain and it was lousy for the first week. I dont remember it hurting too much after that except for when I banged it or tried to pull anything with my fingers - then it would ache afterward. Tell her to baby it and to not use it or swing it around a lot. Continue checking with your doctor because if her pain doesnt subside, he may check to make sure it was set properly and healing well.



answers from Indianapolis on

Pain is usually the result of healing and inflammation.

I've had both of my feet broken (surgically), and it's really painful. The healing process takes many weeks. In my case, I was given a Cryo Cuff, basically an ice pack designed for that part of the body attached to a cooler that recycles the cold water and keeps inflammation minimal.

I only had to use pain medications for a few days in both cases. But, the scar tissue that built and the broken bones themselves were quite painful for weeks.

Don't be afraid to contact the doctor who set the wrist and mention it to them. Infections are possible (which would add pain). They may be able to make adjustments to help alleviate the discomfort she's experiencing.



answers from Johnstown on

I have broken several bones in my lifetime...and each one hurt differently. It all depends on the severity of the break. Usually, it's more of a constant, dull ache that just won't go away. Check with your dr. before doing so, but I had much better luck with relieving the pain with Aleve than with Advil. Praying for a speedy recovery for her!


answers from Norfolk on

I had hair line fractures as a kid in both wrists (not at the same time), and it can ache for a few weeks - the worst was the first few days. After that it felt fine, but then the skin starts itching under the cast. Once the cast is loose enough (muscles atrophy a little bit while the arm is kept immobile), you can use a thin plastic ruler (I used a bent coat hanger) to scratch with. Once the cast comes off, the skin and muscles are fine in almost no time.

Next question: Care After Arm Cast Removal - Is a Sling Necessary.