Return to work after broken wrist?

  1. 0
    I was in a car accident and broke my wrist, Trapeziod to be specific. I get my cast off on Tuesday. I'm just wondering if anyone has any idea how long I can expect to be out of work after the cast is removed? I have to be able to return with no restrictions, as I am an RN in the ICU. I know he will tell me more on Tuesday, but just wondering if anyone has an idea?

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  3. 18 Comments...

  4. 0
    Did you have surgery? Were pins or screws involved, or will you be waiting for time to heal the fracture?
  5. 0
    Quote from roser13
    Did you have surgery? Were pins or screws involved, or will you be waiting for time to heal the fracture?
    Should have been more specific, lol. No, no surgery required. Just a cast. So just however long it takes to heal I guess. Not sure if he will require me to do physical therapy or not. I'm just wondering if I'm looking at a couple weeks usually, or is it more like a month?
  6. 0
    It's not my area of expertise. So, I can't tell you what is typical. However, I can tell you my story.

    I broke my wrist in a fall. No bones actually "broke" as it was an evulsion fracture -- more like a very bad sprain that moved a few of the bones out of place. It was not considered serious and I just wore a splint for a few weeks, not even a plaster cast.

    After about 6 weeks, the orthopedist said I could stop wearing the splint and that I did not need OT. Well ... within a couple of days, I was slicing a tomato (yes, simply slicing a tomato) and the whole wrist collapsed again. It hurt just as much as the original injury and all the ligaments were stretched again and the bones out of place again. I had to wear the splint for another 6 weeks and then go to OT to strengthen the joint.

    So ... don't rush it. Though, if it is just a cracked bone ...maybe the risk of re-injury is less.
  7. 0
    I wonder what your new x-rays will show...this will determine how well you healed. Typically, when the cast comes off, you will have to wear a splint for about 6 weeks. Then more x-rays.

    I hope this helps you get an idea of what to expect at your follow up.
  8. 0
    Forgot to ask-was it your dominant hand?
  9. 1
    Thanks everybody. I'm right handed, and it was my left hand. But I do a lot of things with my left. I'm not ambidextrous or anything, but I do use my left quite a bit.

    I'm not sure how it will affect it, but when I first broke it, the ER did the x-rays, said they thought it was a scaphoid fracture and splinted me. Following week the ortho said he didn't actually think it was broke, and just had me wear an OTC brace for part of each day, "when I felt like it" Which I wore quite a bit since it hurt so much. Sent me for a bone scan the following week, which actually showed a fracture, in a different spot than they even thought. So it was already 3 weeks when I was casted, and have had it for 3 1/2 weeks.

    So I can probably expect to be out for a bit longer. We usually don't have aids, so I have to be fully capable of turning large patients and doing peri care and all myself.
    coherrman likes this.
  10. 0
    Your employee health will have to sign off, what do they say?
  11. 0
    I broke my thumb years ago - actually, an avulsion fx where I had a thumb spica splint for a few days and then ortho casted me. I still worked my scheduled shifts, even with my cast on (non-dominant hand). It never really occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to work (I was an ED nurse at the time). I also underwent PT afterward and still worked. I'm not telling you that you should or shouldn't be able to work - of course only your doc can determine that - but I find it interesting how some places won't let you work while others will.
  12. 0
    Quote from nurse2033
    Your employee health will have to sign off, what do they say?
    Why would they need to sign off if this didn't occur at work? I would think it would have to be her/his ortho doc who would need to make that determination. Are you currently on short-term disability? If so, what does the case manager say?

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