A fracture is a broken bone. Fractures can occur in different ways and with differing degrees of severity. A stress fracture, for example, looks like a crack in the bone and is normally due to overuse (making a repetitive movement that places the bones under stress). At the other end of the scale, a comminuted fracture is where the bone completely shatters. Your wrist consists of eight small bones which join the radius and the ulna in the forearm. If you break your wrist, you normally fracture your radius. A fractured hand either affects the long bones of the palm, called the metacarpals, or the small bones of the fingers, called the phalanges.

Causes of Fractures

A hand or wrist fracture is normally due to some sort of traumatic injury such as a trip or fall, a forceful impact such as a vehicle collision or a sports-related injury. Falling onto an outstretched hand with the wrist twisted at an awkward angle is a common cause of fractures. Overuse or stress fractures result from making repeated movements with the hand, arm or wrist, causing hairline cracks in the bone. Stress fractures can become more complicated fractures if left untreated.

Symptoms of Fractures

The symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include pain in the shoulder which feels like a dull ache deep inside the joint. It can be hard to reach behind your back or above your head and your arm may feel weak. The pain of this type of injury can make it difficult to sleep.

Diagnosis of Fractures

Your doctor will carry out a physical examination and will assess the strength and mobility of your shoulder and arms. You may be referred for diagnostic testing, such as an X-ray or ultrasound which can help to rule out conditions like arthritis and can also assess the way your shoulder moves and the extent of any tearing.

Treatment of Fractures

If the injury is minor, we normally recommend conservative treatment for a rotator cuff tears – resting your shoulder, using ice and painkillers to reduce pain and inflammation and performing regular exercises to improve strength and flexibility in the shoulder joint. For more serious rotator cuff tears, you may be offered a steroid injection into the joint to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. There are different surgical procedures depending on the extent of the damage to the rotator cuff. These include repairing the damaged tendon, reattaching it to the bone or replacing it with a tendon taken from another part of your body. In the most serious rotator cuff injuries, a shoulder replacement may be the best option. Your surgeon will discuss the procedure that is most suitable for your particular injury.


We are an experienced and highly qualified team of orthopaedic surgeons using the latest surgical and non-surgical techniques to eliminate or reduce pain so our patients can experience the best possible quality of life.


Whether you have an existing diagnosis or you are keen to discover what is causing your symptoms, contact us to arrange a consultation. We can organise any tests you require and discuss your treatment options.

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