During his team’s January 10 win over the Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks’ defenseman Dylan DeMelo suffered a broken wrist. DeMelo underwent surgery to repair his broken wrist and is expected to be unable to return to play for eight weeks.
DeMelo entered the Sharks’ injured reserve about the same time as fellow Sharks’ defenseman, David Shlemko, returned to play after being out for several games with an upper body injury. Unfortunately for DeMelo, he was just starting to see significant playing time when he injured his wrist. After not dressing for the first 19 games of the season, DeMelo had played in his first game of the 2016-2017 season on November 23. Since then he had played in 13 of the team’s 21 games, including five straight games before suffering a broken wrist.
Because the wrist is composed of eight carpal bones, a wrist fracture can happen in several places. Scaphoid fractures are the most common carpal bone-specific wrist fracture. The scaphoid is located on the thumb side of the wrist. While the radius is technically part of the forearm, fractures of the radius are also often considered wrist fractures. Fractures of the distal radius account for three-fourths of arm fractures.
While most wrist fractures are the result of either a fall on an outstretched hand or a direct blow to the wrist, no two broken wrists are going to be exactly the same. Therefore, the treatment and the healing time will likely be different for different people. A few possible symptoms of a broken wrist include swelling or bruising around the affected area, decreased range-of-motion, and weakness or severe pain in the affected area.
If you think you might have a broken wrist, visit a doctor right away. The doctor will need to perform either an x-ray or a CT scan of the injured area to determine if there is a break as well as the severity of the break. If no surgery is required, the injured area will be immobilized in either a splint or cast. Recovery times will typically range from 3-6 weeks, depending upon the location and extent of the injury.
More severe breaks will require surgery and immobilization. They will take a couple extra weeks to heal. Only a qualified doctor can determine what treatment is best for you and how long you can expect it to take to heal.