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Hairline Wrist Fracture Symptoms

author image Jacques Courseault
As a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician I have extensive experience in musculoskeletal/neurological medicine that will benefit the network.
Hairline Wrist Fracture Symptoms
A woman is getting a splint on her wrist. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images


A hairline, or stress fracture can affect any of the bones in the forearm or wrist. Common causes of this injury include falls, contact in an athletic sport, car accidents and repetitive force without rest. Athletes and people with osteoporosis or other bone conditions are at the highest risk of developing a hairline wrist fracture. See your doctor if you experience symptoms of this injury.


Hairline wrist fracture typically causes sudden pain. This pain may be sharp at first, but often progresses to a dull, achy pain. It typically worsens with wrist movement, lifting or holding objects in the hand. Ice application and over-the-counter medications may used to reduce pain.


Bruising may also occur with a hairline wrist fracture as blood vessels in the bone or surrounding tissue are damaged, leaking fluid into surrounding tissues. A bruise is typically black or blue in color and spreads over the first few days. Over time, the body will reabsorb this blood and the bruise will shrink and disappear. See your doctor if a bruise continues to worsen or does not improve over time.


Hairline wrist fracture usually causes swelling, soon after the injury. Inflammation causes fluid to build up around the injury site. Elevating your wrist above the level of your heart for the first 48 hours after the injury -- gravity helps prevent further leakage of fluid into the wrist. If cleared by your doctor, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) may be taken to help reduce wrist swelling.

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