Wrist pain

Wrist fracture/Hand fracture

How do I know if I fractured my wrist?

The top five physical findings which are most useful in screening for wrist fracture.

  • Localized tenderness (Sensitivity [Sn] 94%)
  • Pain on active motion (Sn 97%)
  • Pain on passive motion (Sn 94%)
  • Pain on grip (Sn 71%)
  • Pain on supination (Sn 68%) Supination is turning the palm up
  • Bottom line: Any one of the above findings associated with a history of trauma should be sent for radiographs at the Doctor office or ER
  • Sensitivity of a test means if the test is negative then how likely you can rule out a diagnosis http://www.physio-pedia.com Cevik AA, Gunal I, Manisali M, et al. Evaluation of physical findings in acute wrist trauma in the emergency department. Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2003;9(4):257-261.

Another major factor that one could help determine if there was a wrist fracture if there was a fall on a wrist (distal radial fracture common with this type of injury), car wreck, high impact collision with the hand or wrist like a punch to a jaw or wall (4th or 5th metacarpal fractures)

So to explain in more simple terms if suspect you have a fracture in your wrist AND you don’t have localized tenderness ,  don’t have pain with moving it on your own, don’t have pain with passively moving it with your other hand, no pain on gripping, no pain with turning your palm up you almost certainly DO NOT have a fracture.

If you don’t have pain with actively moving your hand there is a 97% chance you likely don’t have a hand fracture, if you don’t have local tenderness there is a 94% chance you likely don’t have a fracture and so forth according to the statistics above.



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