Recovering from wrist fracture: six months on

Six months have passed since I broke my wrist. Having heard from various sources that recovery from this type of fracture should be largely complete by six months, I decided to write what will probably be my last update on the subject, and hope it may be useful for other people dealing with this common injury.

Six months is of course a ballpark figure based on an average of many cases. Healing is a gradual process and its rate varies greatly between individuals. My own recovery is not complete, but there has been a lot of progress. As well as all personal care and household tasks, I can now easily manage the main activities that are important to me: typing on the computer, driving the car and walking the dog. The exception is playing the piano, which continues to hurt. My wrist still looks misshapen and probably always will, but I hope the residual swelling will eventually subside.

At my recent outpatient review with Xray, the consultant orthopaedic surgeon said that the bones were “solidly healed” but that the alignment between radius and ulna was not quite right and therefore certain wrist movements are restricted. He offered an operation to correct the displacement but, considering that this would require another six weeks in plaster with consequent limitation of activity and loss of fitness, I decided not to accept it at present. Surgery can be reconsidered at a later stage, but I hope that my condition will continue to improve on its own.

Finding “silver linings” in an illness is not always easy. I hope this experience has made me more patient, more tolerant of others’ limitations and not in so much of a hurry myself. It has led indirectly to several positive changes: a new choir, a new GP, and attending Pilates and “Silver Swans” ballet classes each week to improve my strength and balance.

***

Jennifer Barraclough, originally from England and now living in New Zealand, is a retired doctor and a writer of medical and fiction books. A list can be found on her author pages: https://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Barraclough/e/B001HPXGZI (US) and https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jennifer-Barraclough/e/B001HPXGZI (UK).

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