Treatment and Prognosis
Management of Colle’s fracture depends on the degree of its severity.
- A simple cast or a protective splint may be sufficient to support the fracture if there is no displacement of the bone or if the fracture is incomplete. In case of gross swelling a splint is used untill the swelling goes down.
- Fracture deformity is usually corrected under a brief spell of general or regional anesthesia and the wrist is usually immobilised in a dorsiflexion position. This type of immobilisation causes least deformity and has the best early functional results.
- Special exercises under the guidance of a therapist need to be performed to improve strength and movement
- In a badly displaced fracture , a surgery may have to be carried out.
- Regular X-rays need to be taken to make sure that the wrists are healing normally.
During the first few days after the fracture you are generally advised the following –
- Keep your wrist in a slightly elevated position to prevent swelling of the fingers.
- If there is swelling, an ice pack for about half an hour helps to ease the swelling and pain.
- Take Pain-killers – Many pain killers are available over the counter and any of these should suffice to ease the pain. Ask for a Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin.
- Gentle finger movements is usually allowed.
- If there is diminished sensation in your hands or if there is numbness and you have had a cast applied – report immediately to the nearest casualty department or your doctor. Sometimes the swelling under the cast can increase and this can result in the blood supply to the fingers being compromised. In such instances a change of the cast is often required.
Pain, fatigue and loss of grip are some of the associated complaints from the injury. It takes about 6 months to one year for the patient to completely recover. Nevertheless 75% of people who have undergone surgery for this fracture can boast of a good prognosis.