How is a chauffeur fracture treated?
Providers aim to put the broken bones back into their original place and keep them there while they heal. Treatment for a chauffeur fracture depends on:
- Severity of the fracture.
- Whether the injury happened in the hand you use most (dominant hand).
- Whether your bones have shifted (displaced).
- Your activity level.
- Your age.
- Other injuries to your arms or legs that may affect ability to function or bear weight.
Treatments for chauffeur fractures can be nonsurgical, though many of these fractures require surgery to heal. Treatments include:
Closed reduction and casting: Your provider will move your bones back into place if needed. This happens without making an incision into your skin. They will place a splint over your fracture for several days and then replace it with a plaster cast. Your provider may change your cast after two to three weeks and check X-rays along the way to ensure your fracture hasn’t changed. They usually fully remove your cast after about six weeks.
External fixation: Your provider places an external fixation (stabilizer) device across your wrist joint, attached by metal pins. They may use this treatment if bones fail to stay in place with a cast or you have multiple areas of trauma.
Limited open reduction: Your provider uses a small incision to move your bones back into their original place. Then, they use an external fixation device to maintain the position. Your provider may use this technique when your bones have shifted more than 2 millimeters.
Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF): Your surgeon makes an incision in the volar part of your wrist (the front part, or the area where you feel your pulse). They reattach the pieces of your bone and hold them in place with a plate and screws. Some surgeons are now using 3D printing to create models of the area to increase accuracy.