Sudden fracture in my wrist: Well the strangest thing... - NRAS


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Sudden fracture in my wrist

Izzyowl profile image

Well the strangest thing happened last night when what started as a little discomfort in my left wrist, turned into the most excruciating pain. I had an X ray this morning and there is a small fracture. What a year it's been, from diagnosis in March, getting a lot of relief from Methotrexate/Hydroxychloroquine combination, then having to stop meds 6 weeks ago because of infections. So now a fracture has come to join the party ! I did trip over a fortnight ago ( never wearing heels again !) so maybe it is from that fall, or else my wrist is just in such a mess that it has fractured spontaneously. Has this happened to anybody else ?

24 Replies

Oh my darling thats no fun for you. You are in a plaster cast i imagine,i feel your frustration as nearly three years ago i broke my ankle going down into the garden with some plants,something i have done so many times before. I ended up in hospital for eight days after having to have surgery on it. I was non weight bearing for six weeks and we went on two weeks holiday to Somerset and it was hilarious i can tell you. Yes i can laugh now,but it was so funny at the time. So my darling i feel your pain and understand what your going through. Hugs.xxxx

Izzyowl profile image
Izzyowl in reply to sylvi

Ouch that must have been so painful sylvi and so annoying that it happened before your holiday. Always the way isn't it. Even spraining an ankle can be excruciatingly painful !

sylvi profile image
sylvi in reply to Izzyowl

Well it was really funny on holiday i can tell you. We had a lot of help from the holiday park we stayed in.xxxxx

I've never read that RD can cause spontaneous fractures. But it predisposes to osteoporosis - and if there are joint erosions that also weakens the bone, so that bones may break more easily.

I've been lucky so far....

Izzyowl profile image
Izzyowl in reply to janmary

Hi Jan, well I've had a call from the virtual fracture clinic today who have reassessed the Xray and they now think it is soft tissue on top of RA damage. My Xray must look very peculiar !

janmary profile image
janmary in reply to Izzyowl

At least you have provided an interesting X-ray for the radiologists, who will be able to use it for teaching purposes!

Hopefully the pain and inflammation will resolve quicker than a fracture would have.

Izzyowl profile image
Izzyowl in reply to janmary

Oh I hope so Jan. Well the DMARDS must have worked well for those months that I was taking them as I never had a flare like this ! Only 10 days to go before I start back on them and it can't come soon enough !

Well you certainly can't be bored, Izzyowl! What an eventful year you've had so far. I've not broken any bones so can only guess how you must be feeling and what your level of frustration must be. I do hope you heal quickly. Big gentle hugs


Izzyowl profile image
Izzyowl in reply to Gnarli

Hi Gnarli, well the fracture clinic now think it isn't a fracture. I'm not sure whether I'm relieved or kind of scared that my wrist would swell like this without a fracture !

Gnarli profile image
Gnarli in reply to Izzyowl

I reckon I'd go for "relieved". Its easier.This weird disease can do some strange things to you and swelling, painful joints seem to be top of the list for freaky stuff. Wishing you all the very best


Do you take alendronic acid - that can cause spontaneous breaks? It’s given for osteoporosis, but I take it because I’m on steroids.

Izzyowl profile image
Izzyowl in reply to helenlw7

Hi Helen, I asked about that as I've also had back to back slow release steroids and a five day hefty course of steroids for my chest. I'm going to have a bone density scan first.

You might need an assessment for osteopenia/osteoporosis and then, if confirmed, an exploration as to why that's developed (depending on your age, medical history etc.).

Izzyowl profile image
Izzyowl in reply to ITYFIALMCTT

Hiya, yes I am glad they are sending me for a bone density scan. It would be just my luck to have Osteoporosis !

Hopefully it’s from the fall but it might be worth asking for a Dexa scan to check bone mineral density if you’ve not had one in the past couple of years.

I hope it mend soon.


Izzyowl profile image
Izzyowl in reply to Ali_H

Hi ali, yes I'm having a bone density scan if thats the same thing. Gosh there is so much learning we have to do about the complexities of RA isn't there.

Hi there I fractured my hand in Two. Places approx 10 Months ago, I did have a bad fall in my garden early evening never went to Hospital till next morning by Taxi I was told I should have called a ambulance, they was shocked at how bad it was! The reason for my saying this is lf your Hand is fractured it needs to be looked at, I was told by the orthopedic consultant that it would probably never be the same how right he was and he is the lead for that clinic, I am under the care of a rheumatologist at same Hospital again Lead because of my R A, Osteoporosis, and other health issues so I probably don't heal well, and most certainly the delay in getting my hand looked at probably didn't help, my little finger is bent over my Hand is still very swollen and the slightest knock dearly hurts, so be careful so if Fractured you can at least hope for a better recovery then I have!! Good Luck.

Izzyowl profile image
Izzyowl in reply to Janicej

Hi Janice, sorry to hear about your fractures. My delay in getting an Xray was 10 days because I felt absolutely fine all that time. Maybe the steroids I was on though were supressing any inflammation. They phoned me today to say it wasnt a fracture but RA and soft tissue damage. Horrid to think that RA can cause this damage on its own. I'm currently with an ice pack wrapped around my wrist !

I was taken to hospital at the end of March with some kind of blood poisoning. They did a scan of my stomach which showed up a fractured vertebrae which I hadn't known about. I do have a lot of back pain due to degenerative scoliosis so I hadn't thought too much about it. To be honest I was so ill (unconscious and blue lighted to AandE) that back pain was not my major concern. I don't know for sure how I did it but had slipped trying to get out of a particularly deep bath whilst on holiday a few days earlier.

I have now been referred to the rheumatology fracture prevention clinic who have prescribed Adcal (calcium and vit D) and alendronic acid. They also gave me an infusion of a drug for osteoporosis which has helped quite a lot. They have also booked me in for a bone density scan.

Sorry this is a bit long winded but the fact that my rheumatology department has a fracture prevention clinic would indicate that RD does often lead to fractures.

I do hope you get some relief soon.


Izzyowl profile image
Izzyowl in reply to thelmar

Hi Thelma, sorry to hear about your fractured vertebra and the blood poisoning both of which must have been pretty alarming. They have revised their assessment of my Xray to soft tissue and RA damage. So scary how RA advances without treatment. I'm starting back on treatment a week on Thursday. It can't come soon enough.

As you say Izzy, this RA is so complex. I still get surprised after 37 years. I have just returned to Enbrel because Benepali wasn't effective so that might explain this, but my ankle swelled up so badly recently I was sent to a fracture clinic too only to be told there wasn't a fracture but 'significant RA'. What I've realised is that some HPs misread RA on x rays and think they're seeing fractures.

I know my new orthotics are bound to be putting strain on my ankles but the swelling started before I started using them, so at least that much is clear.

Reminds me that after both my hips were resurfaced my knees started killing me. One thing seems to lead to another when you've sustained a lot of bone damage as I have. Hopefully you youngsters with RA won't reach this stage! I'd feel absolutely fine nowadays if I didn't have the bone damage. It's why I get so concerned about the evangelists for diets without drugs or monitoring - so risky.

It is interesting what you said about Xrays being misread. I can understand how that might have happened with me, as my arm looked such a peculiar shape the other day. The flare is on its way out now. Its a bit like talking about a storm having passed through ! Well I'm certainly accepting any meds that are on offer and taking their advice and expertise. Its awful to think of this disease being untreated as in days gone by.

Hi Izzy, I sympathise completely.

I slightly twisted my wrist about 4 weeks ago and it was a bit sore for 2 weeks. Then I did the most mundane thing, ripped off some toilet paper, and nearly collapsed at the pain. I went for an Xray the following day but they said it was fine. My GP thought an MRI might be in order, and in the meantime my physio gave it a good going over (again excruciatingly painful!) thinking it was tendonitis.

The MRI report last week says I have "ulnar impact syndrome" (and tendonitis) and I've been referred to an orthopedic surgeon. From Googling it, it looks like I'll be undergoing an operation with 3 months pre op splint & 3 months post op all arm cast. As it's my dominant hand, and I'm totally left handed, I' seriously concerned as to how I'll get my 2 kids 2 & from school (16 km away & no bus) etc

So I'm wondering how the heck I did such serious damage so easily too!


Hi Maeve, sorry to hear what has happened to you. It does sound eerily similar with the sudden onset after such a small wrist action, which for me may have been carrying a small shopping bag. Next thursday seems an eternity away when I get back to the Rheumy clinic to restart my Methotrexate. I will also tell them what happened to my wrist. I'm assuming that by then it will have settled but it has got a long way to go. I do hope you can find a solution for your transport concerns. It is good your GP sent you for that scan and you got a prompt diagnosis. I may go along the GP route if this doesn't settle in a couple of days.

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