Rehabilitation after broken wrist
You should take into account that you will need more than six weeks before you can use your wrist reasonably well again. You will usually only be able to use your wrist normally and pain-free after three months. After the plaster treatment the help of a physiotherapist may be necessary.
When the plaster cast has just been removed, your treating physician has explained that you can start moving your hand and wrist again. Then you can start doing rehabilitation exercises. Below you will find a number of exercises in a row. It is important that you do the exercises as described, so that you do not overburden your hand.
There are a few points of attention when doing the exercises:
o After surgery or the removal of a plaster cast your hand and wrist may look different (swelling, different colour) and feel stiff and painful.
o Exercise helps to reduce the stiffness and pain. So it is important to exercise.
o After exercising, the pain (and swelling) may get worse, but it should be back to normal after an hour. In case of pain you may use paracetamol.
After removal of the plaster cast
In the first two weeks after the removal of the plaster cast try to use your hand again in daily activities. Start with washing, dressing, eating, folding laundry, washing up or emptying the dishwasher (light objects and one plate at a time). Try to spread these activities throughout the day and listen to your wrist pain symptoms. An increase in pain during or for a long time after the activity is a sign to take it easy. After 4 weeks, try to slowly increase the intensity and the number of activities. The expectation is that after 6 weeks you will be able to move and use your hand and wrist normally again.
Exercises for rehabilitation of a broken wrist
Try to exercise often, preferably 4-6 times a day and repeat each exercise 10 times. Move slowly and do not force.
3.1 Bending and stretching the wrist Bend and extend the wrist with the forearm lying on the table and the hand over the edge of the table. If this is easy, after 2 weeks you can increase the intensity of the exercise by doing it while holding a half-litre bottle filled with water.
3.2 Swinging motion: Make a swinging motion with your hand.
3.3 Rotation of the forearm/wrist. Alternate between the palm of your hand and the back of your hand by rotating the forearm and hand.
3.4 Make a fist. Make the following fists with your fingers
3.5 Thumb: With your thumb, first touch your index finger, then your middle finger, then your ring finger, then your little finger.
3.6 Shoulder/elbow Make rotating movements in the shoulder. Bend and stretch your elbow. Questions Feel free to ask your attending physician, plaster technician or your general practitioner.