A broken wrist or broken hand is a break or crack in one of the many bones within your wrist and hand. The most common of these injuries occurs in the wrist when people try to catch themselves during a fall and land hard on an outstretched hand.

Risk factors for a broken wrist or broken hand range from participation in certain sports — such as American football, soccer, skiing or snowboarding — to having osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become thinner and more fragile.

It's important to treat a broken wrist or broken hand as soon as possible. Otherwise, the bones may not heal in proper alignment, which can affect your ability to perform everyday activities, such as grasping a pen or buttoning a shirt. Early treatment will also help minimize pain and stiffness.

Jul. 07, 2011