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Wrist fracture pain in cast

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Hi I may have a fracture on my scaphoid but am waiting for MRI to see if there is I am in cast at the moment please could you tell me what the pain difference is between nerve damage sprain and a fracture and will I be able to pick things up with no pain . My fingers are always could and I have a numb tingling sensation in them to but the wrist only hurts sometimes
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replied March 1st, 2013
Especially eHealthy
Calla3,

You should be in a thumb spica cast, which is a short arm cast which goes up around the thumb. The fingers are left free.

With a suspected thumb fracture and scaphoid fracutre, that it the cast you should be in.

If you are only in a short arm cast, which leaves the thumb and fingers free, you are probably going to have pain around the fracture sites, as they will be able to move.


If you are having numbness/tingling in the fingers or tip of the thumb, then you might have too much swelling. You need to elevate the cast above the head (yes, the head). This elevation will help tremendously with any swelling. Once the swelling is down, the cast won't be too tight and the tingling will go away.

If the strict elevation does not work, and you continue to have the numbness/tingling, then you need to contact your surgeon for a cast evaluation. Casts that are too tight can cause pressure problems with the skin.

But, the first thing the surgeon is going to ask, is if you have been very strict about keeping the hand elevated way up in the air, above the head. So, you really need to do that first.

If the cast is too tight, it may need to be bivalved.

Good luck.
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replied March 1st, 2013
Hi my thumb is in cast about 1 quarter of the way and it ends just below my elbow and what the difference between nerve damage pain and a broken scaphoid pain thanks I will change my pic to my cast so u can see it thanks
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replied March 1st, 2013
Especially eHealthy
Calla3,

Unfortunately, a nerve injury can present in several ways. If the nerve is a sensory nerve, then the patient may have numbness and tingling in a specific area (the area innervated by the nerve). If the nerve is a motor nerve, then the patient would have weakness in the muscles supplied by that particular nerve.


Fracture pain can also vary. If pressed on or moved, the pain can be very sharp and intense. But, if the fracture is immobilized, then there is usually very little pain at all, maybe just some mild dull aching.


Unfortunately, if a cast is too tight or molded in such a way that it is pressing on a nerve, the patient can develop numbness and tingling. So, if you are having some numbness and tingling, you might need to have your cast evaluated. If it is too tight or molded is such a way as to press on a nerve, it might need to be modified.

If it is modified, the numbness and tingling should go away pretty quickly.


If is uncommon to injury a nerve in a fall. It can happen, but it is just uncommon. Usually, if it does occur, it is due to a bruising or stretching of the nerve, and the symptoms will go away on their own in a short while.

But, if the symptoms are due to the cast, then the cast has to be modified so that the nerve is not being pressed upon any more.


Hope that helps to tell the difference between nerve symptoms and fracture symptoms.


Hope that the MRI does not show that you have a scaphoid fracture. They can be very troublesome.

Good luck.
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replied March 1st, 2013
Thank u so much u have been so helpful x
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