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What’s a Wrist Dinner Fork Deformity?

Posted on: September 24th, 2018 by Zackary Yaremko

Zackary received a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology with distinction from the University of Alberta in 2015. Upon completion, he immediately pursued a Master of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of Alberta.

Zack has been skating since he was 3 and downhill skiing since he was 5. Sports have been a huge part of his entire life and continues to shape who he is as a person. He’s been involved competitively in hockey, basketball, rugby, volleyball, soccer, track & field and cross country running.

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Skiing and snowboarding can be great past times.  You get to enjoy the powder and the view of the mountains.  It doubles as great exercise and physical activity.

Challenging runs and terrain aren’t without risk however.  Injuries occur all the time on the mountainside.  Most of the demand is on the musculature of the lower extremity.  Although knee, hip and ankle injuries are common, wrist injuries are often overlooked.

During a fall it is usually a reactive instinct to reach out with a hand in order to brace your body for impact.  This often results in an injury to the arm.  More than likely a wrist sprain or strain.  In the worst case a wrist fracture.

My Experience

I’ve had the pleasure of breaking my wrist while snowboarding in the terrain park.  I had what was called a dinner fork deformity or a colles fracture, which is a fracture of the radius bone.  I was re-casted 3 times because the doctors were not happy with how the union of bones was going. Finally, the cast came off and the rehab began.

What can be done?

Sure the bones have healed from being positioned in the cast.  The problem is the muscles are weak and the joints are stiff.  Just trying to move your wrist or make a fist can be quite painful.

Physiotherapy is the best treatment option to regain wrist strength, motion and function.  Physiotherapists use Manual therapy, exercises and stretches that are critical components of any successful rehab program.  Remember, your wrist is an important part of what you need to perform day to day tasks.  Without proper wrist function simple, easy, everyday things become difficult and a chore.

Make sure you take care of your injuries. And do a little education to learn the proper prevention techniques too.

Your partner in health,

Zack

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