Diagnosis

The diagnosis of a broken wrist or hand generally includes a physical exam of the affected hand and X-rays.

Other imaging tests

Sometimes, other imaging tests can give your doctor more detail. They are:

  • CT scan. CT scans can uncover wrist or hand fractures that X-rays miss. Injuries to soft tissues and blood vessels can be seen on CT scans. This technology takes X-rays from a variety of angles and combines them to depict cross-sectional slices of your body's internal structures.
  • MRI. Using radio waves and a powerful magnet to produce detailed images of bone and soft tissues, MRIs are much more sensitive than X-rays and can identify very small fractures and ligament injuries.
July 12, 2017
References
  1. Wrist fractures. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. http://www.assh.org/handcare/hand-arm-injuries/wrist-fractures. Accessed April 20, 2017
  2. Sebastin S, et al. Overview of finger, hand, and wrist fractures. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2017.
  3. Scaphoid fracture of the wrist. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00012. Accessed April 20, 2017.
  4. Williams AA, et al. Pediatric hand and wrist injuries. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 2013;6:18.
  5. Petron DJ. Distal radius fractures in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2017.
  6. Bone health. National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone_Health/default.asp. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  7. Pountos I, et al. Do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs affect bone healing? A critical analysis. The Scientific World Journal. 2012;2012:606404. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2012/606404/. Accessed May 22, 2017.