Nursing Care Plan For Wrist Fracture

Nursing Care Plan For Wrist Fracture


A wrist fracture is a common orthopedic injury that can significantly impact an individual’s daily life and functional independence. This nursing care plan is designed to address the unique needs of individuals who have sustained a wrist fracture, with a focus on comprehensive assessment, effective pain management, optimal fracture healing, and rehabilitation to restore wrist function.

Wrist fractures can result from various causes, such as falls, sports injuries, or accidents, and they may vary in severity. Therefore, a tailored nursing care plan is essential to ensure the best possible outcome for each individual. This plan underscores the importance of a holistic approach, taking into account not only the physical aspects of care but also the emotional and psychosocial aspects that can accompany such an injury.

Throughout this care plan, nurses play a crucial role in promoting pain relief, fracture stabilization, and functional recovery. Collaboration with the healthcare team, including orthopedic specialists and physical therapists, is essential to provide a well-coordinated and effective plan of care.

The introduction to this care plan emphasizes the significance of thorough assessment, patient education, and a multidisciplinary approach to address the diverse needs of individuals with wrist fractures. By providing high-quality, patient-centered care, healthcare professionals can assist individuals in their journey toward recovery, ultimately helping them regain their wrist function and quality of life.

Nursing Assessment for Wrist Fracture:

A wrist fracture can have a significant impact on an individual’s daily life and functional independence. Conducting a thorough nursing assessment is crucial to understand the extent of the injury, assess associated complications, and develop a tailored care plan. This assessment should encompass a comprehensive evaluation of the physical, psychosocial, and functional aspects of the individual’s condition.

1. Demographic Information:

  • Record the individual’s name, age, gender, and contact information.
  • Note the date and time of admission or presentation to the healthcare facility.

2. Chief Complaint and Mechanism of Injury:

  • Document the individual’s chief complaint, including the description of the injury and the circumstances surrounding it.
  • Obtain information about the mechanism of injury, such as a fall, sports-related incident, or motor vehicle accident.

3. Medical History and Medications:

  • Gather the individual’s medical history, including any preexisting medical conditions, allergies, and chronic illnesses.
  • Document the individual’s current medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

4. Pain Assessment:

  • Use a validated pain scale to assess the intensity, location, and characteristics of pain related to the wrist fracture.
  • Inquire about factors that exacerbate or alleviate the pain.

5. Neurovascular Assessment:

  • Assess neurovascular status by evaluating sensation, motor function, and circulation in the affected hand and fingers.
  • Observe for signs of neurovascular compromise, such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or color changes in the hand.

6. Physical Examination:

  • Examine the affected wrist for signs of deformity, swelling, ecchymosis (bruising), and open wounds.
  • Assess range of motion and joint stability in the wrist and fingers.
  • Palpate for tenderness, crepitus, or abnormal bony alignment.
  • Evaluate for any associated injuries or fractures in the upper extremity.

7. Functional Assessment:

  • Assess the impact of the wrist fracture on the individual’s activities of daily living (ADLs), including dressing, grooming, eating, and personal hygiene.
  • Determine the individual’s dominant hand and assess the effect of wrist immobility on their ability to perform tasks.

8. Psychosocial Assessment:

  • Inquire about the individual’s emotional and psychosocial well-being, including feelings of frustration, anxiety, or depression related to the injury.
  • Evaluate the individual’s support system, including family and caregivers.

9. Imaging and Diagnostic Tests:

  • Review and interpret imaging studies, such as X-rays or CT scans, to confirm the diagnosis, identify fracture characteristics, and assess for associated injuries.
  • Monitor laboratory tests, if indicated, to evaluate for any abnormalities or contraindications to treatment.

10. Current Treatment and Pain Management:

  • Document any interventions or treatments initiated in the emergency department or upon admission, including immobilization, splinting, or reduction procedures.
  • Review the current pain management plan and the individual’s response to pain medications.

The nursing assessment for a wrist fracture is a critical step in understanding the individual’s condition, its impact on their daily life, and the potential complications associated with the injury. This comprehensive assessment forms the foundation for developing a personalized care plan, selecting appropriate interventions, and facilitating the individual’s journey toward recovery and the restoration of wrist function. By addressing physical, psychosocial, and functional aspects, healthcare providers can provide holistic care and support the individual’s overall well-being during the healing process.

Nursing Diagnoses for Wrist Fracture:

1. Acute Pain related to Wrist Fracture and Soft Tissue Injury

  • This nursing diagnosis reflects the individual’s experience of discomfort and pain resulting from the wrist fracture and associated soft tissue injury.
  • The fracture itself.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Immobilization of the wrist.
  • Reports of pain and tenderness at the fracture site.
  • Elevated pain scores on assessment tools.
  • Verbal and non-verbal expressions of distress.

2. Impaired Physical Mobility related to Wrist Immobilization and Pain

  • This nursing diagnosis indicates the limitation in the individual’s ability to move and perform activities of daily living due to wrist immobilization and pain.
  • Cast or splint application.
  • Pain and discomfort.
  • Decreased range of motion.
  • Difficulty with wrist movement.
  • Dependence on assistive devices for mobility.
  • Risk of muscle atrophy.

3. Risk for Complications of Immobility related to Wrist Fracture

  • This nursing diagnosis signifies the potential for complications associated with immobility resulting from the wrist fracture.
  • Restricted mobility.
  • Pressure on soft tissues.
  • Decreased circulation.
  • Skin changes (e.g., redness, warmth).
  • Increased risk of pressure ulcers.
  • Decreased muscle strength.

4. Ineffective Coping related to Wrist Fracture and Functional Limitations

  • This nursing diagnosis indicates the individual’s difficulty in managing the emotional and psychological stress associated with the wrist fracture and its impact on daily life.
  • Pain and discomfort.
  • Decreased independence.
  • Fear of complications or permanent disability.
  • Disruption of daily routines.
  • Reports of anxiety, frustration, or sadness.
  • Maladaptive coping behaviors.

5. Risk for Falls related to Mobility Limitations and Gait Changes

  • This nursing diagnosis signifies the potential for the individual to experience falls due to changes in mobility, altered gait patterns, and the use of assistive devices.
  • Decreased mobility.
  • Use of crutches or a wrist splint.
  • Reduced weight-bearing capacity.
  • Environmental hazards.
  • Reports of unsteadiness or fear of falling.
  • History of falls or near-falls.
  • Need for mobility aids.

These nursing diagnoses address the multifaceted challenges faced by individuals with wrist fractures. They provide a framework for developing a holistic care plan aimed at managing pain, promoting mobility, preventing complications, addressing psychosocial concerns, and ensuring safety during the recovery process. Individualized care plans are essential to tailor interventions to the unique needs and goals of each person with a wrist fracture.

Nursing Interventions for Wrist Fracture:

1. Pain Management:

  • Assess the individual’s pain using a pain assessment tool regularly.
  • Administer prescribed pain medications as ordered, ensuring proper dosage and timing.
  • Educate the individual on pain management techniques, such as using ice packs, elevation, and relaxation exercises.
  • Encourage the use of non-pharmacological pain relief methods, such as distraction techniques or guided imagery.

2. Immobilization and Splint Care:

  • Ensure that the wrist fracture is appropriately immobilized with a cast, splint, or brace per the orthopedic surgeon’s orders.
  • Monitor and assess the condition of the cast or splint for proper fit, alignment, and skin integrity.
  • Educate the individual on cast care, including keeping it dry and avoiding inserting objects into it.
  • Teach proper techniques for maintaining wrist elevation when not in a cast or splint.

3. Assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs):

  • Collaborate with occupational therapists to develop strategies and adaptive devices to assist with self-care activities such as dressing, grooming, and bathing.
  • Teach the individual techniques for one-handed ADLs and the use of adaptive equipment, such as buttonhooks or reachers.
  • Ensure the individual’s home environment is modified for accessibility and safety.

4. Range of Motion Exercises:

  • Instruct the individual on prescribed wrist and finger range of motion exercises to prevent joint stiffness.
  • Encourage regular performance of these exercises as directed by the healthcare provider.
  • Monitor for any signs of worsening stiffness or joint contractures and report them promptly.

5. Fall Prevention:

  • Assess the individual’s risk of falls, considering their mobility limitations and use of assistive devices.
  • Educate the individual on safe mobility techniques, such as using crutches or a walker.
  • Ensure that the environment is free of tripping hazards, and install handrails or grab bars as needed.
  • Monitor the individual during transfers and mobility to prevent falls.

6. Psychosocial Support:

  • Provide emotional support, active listening, and encouragement to help the individual cope with the challenges and frustrations of the wrist fracture.
  • Encourage the individual to express their feelings and concerns.
  • Facilitate social interaction and engagement to prevent feelings of isolation.
  • Consider referrals to a counselor or support group if needed.

7. Education:

  • Educate the individual and their family about the nature of the wrist fracture, expected recovery time, and potential complications.
  • Teach proper cast and wound care, emphasizing the importance of reporting any signs of infection or skin issues.
  • Review weight-bearing restrictions and activity limitations to prevent further injury.
  • Provide instructions on the gradual return to activities and work, as advised by the orthopedic surgeon.

8. Medication Management:

  • Monitor for side effects of pain medications, such as dizziness or constipation, and address them accordingly.
  • Educate the individual about the importance of taking prescribed medications as directed and not altering the dosage without consulting the healthcare provider.
  • Review potential drug interactions with other medications they may be taking.

9. Follow-Up Care:

  • Schedule and ensure the individual attends follow-up appointments with the orthopedic surgeon for cast or splint removal, X-rays, and progress assessments.
  • Continuously evaluate the healing process and the need for any adjustments to the treatment plan.
  • Encourage communication between the individual, the orthopedic team, and the nursing staff to address any concerns or complications promptly.

These nursing interventions aim to support individuals with wrist fractures in their recovery process by managing pain, optimizing mobility, preventing complications, and addressing their physical and emotional needs. Individualized care plans are essential to tailor interventions to the unique circumstances and goals of each person with a wrist fracture.


In the development and execution of this nursing care plan for wrist fracture, we have embarked on a journey to provide comprehensive, patient-centered care to individuals facing the challenges posed by this common orthopedic injury. Wrist fractures can significantly impact an individual’s daily life, and our goal has been to address not only the physical aspects of healing but also the psychosocial and functional dimensions of recovery.

Throughout this care plan, nurses play a pivotal role as advocates, educators, and caregivers. Our commitment to promoting pain relief, ensuring proper immobilization, facilitating rehabilitation, and offering psychosocial support has been unwavering.

Pain management has been a cornerstone of our care, as we understand the profound impact of pain on an individual’s well-being and recovery. By providing appropriate analgesia and teaching non-pharmacological pain relief methods, we aim to alleviate suffering and promote comfort.

We have emphasized the importance of mobility, both in terms of assisting individuals with ADLs and facilitating the maintenance of range of motion through exercises. Fall prevention measures are crucial to ensure safety, particularly when individuals adapt to mobility aids or experience changes in balance.

The psychosocial aspects of recovery have not been overlooked. We recognize the emotional challenges individuals face when confronted with the limitations imposed by a wrist fracture. Our support extends beyond physical care to offer empathy, encouragement, and a listening ear.

Education has been a central component of our care plan. By equipping individuals and their families with knowledge about their condition, treatment, and self-care, we empower them to actively participate in their recovery and make informed decisions.

Follow-up care and ongoing assessment are essential to monitor progress, address complications, and adjust the care plan as needed. Our collaboration with the healthcare team ensures a coordinated and holistic approach to healing.

In conclusion, the nursing care plan for wrist fracture represents our commitment to providing holistic care that encompasses the physical, emotional, and functional aspects of recovery. As we conclude this care plan, let us remain dedicated to the well-being of those we serve. By offering compassionate, evidence-based care, we play an essential role in helping individuals regain their wrist function, independence, and quality of life during their healing journey.


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