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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Orthopedics and Injuries > Sprained or Broken Wrist

Sprained or Broken Wrist Cost

How Much Does a Sprained or Broken Wrist Cost?

low costWith Insurance: Copays & Coinsurance up to Out-of-Pocket Maximum average costMild to Moderate Sprain or Fracture: $500 or lesshigh costRequiring Surgery: $7,000-$10,000+
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  Typical costs:
  • Without health insurance, diagnosis and non-surgical treatment for a sprained or broken wrist usually includes the cost of the X-ray, a facility fee and a doctor fee for a typical total of $500 or less for a mild to moderate sprain and up to $2,500 or more for a fracture that requires a cast. The average cost of a wrist X-ray is $190, according to[1] , but some radiology centers charge $1,000 or more. Non-surgical treatment for a common type of wrist fracture, an ulnar styloid fracture, costs an average of about $240, not counting the doctor fee, according to Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[2] in Lincoln, Nebraska. A typical doctor fee for non-surgical treatment of a fracture would include $90 to $200 for an office visit and from $250 to $950 for treatment, according to Carolina Orthopaedic Surgery Associates[3] .
  • Without health insurance, diagnosis and surgical treatment of a broken wrist typically costs $7,000 to $10,000 or more. For example, surgical treatment of a distal radius fracture (a common wrist fracture) costs about $6,056, not including the doctor fee, according to a cost calculator from Baptist Memorial Health Care in Memphis, Tennessee. Surgical treatment of a scaphoid fracture (another common wrist fracture), costs on average about $7,328, not including the doctor fee, according to a cost calculator from Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[4] in Lincoln, Nebraska. A typical doctor fee for surgical treatment of a fracture could reach $2,000 or more, according to Carolina Orthopaedic Surgery Associates[5] .
  • Treatment for a sprained or broken wrist is generally covered by health insurance. Typical expenses for a patient with insurance can include an X-ray copay, an office visit copay and coinsurance of 30 percent or more for the procedure. With surgery, the total could reach the yearly out-of-pocket maximum.
Related articles: Sprained or Broken Ankle, Elbow Treatment or Surgery, Elbow Replacement, Broken Arm, Carpal Tunnel Treatment

What should be included:
  • A mild wrist sprain can be treated at home with rest, icing, compression -- using an elastic bandage -- and elevation. For a moderate wrist sprain, a doctor probably would place a splint on the wrist to keep it still for about 10 days. And for a severe sprain, an orthopedic surgeon might need to perform surgery to repair the tendon in the wrist.
  • For a broken wrist, the doctor would realign the bone if necessary (called a "reduction") then put on a plaster cast, which would stay in place for up to 12 weeks. Or, if surgery is required -- usually for a more severe fracture -- the surgeon would make an incision and place screws or other hardware to hold the bone in place during healing.
  • The Mayo Clinic[6] has an overview of broken wrists and hands. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has an information sheet on wrist sprains[7] as well as on the two most common types of wrist breaks -- scaphoid fractures[8] and distal radius fractures[9] .
Additional costs:
  • Going to an emergency room for initial treatment could add $1,000 to $2,000 or more to the final bill; costs would include an emergency room visit fee, an emergency room doctor fee and possibly the cost of a temporary cast such as an air cast; the patient would then need to seek treatment from an orthopedic specialist.
  • If the patient needs physical therapy, six to eight weeks of sessions at $50 to $75 or more an hour could cost $1,000 or more. Anchor Physical Therapy offers information about physical therapy for broken wrists.
  • For patients who have a broken bone treated surgically, metal hardware usually can be left in, unless it causes irritation in the future; if removal is required, it can cost between about $2,533 and $11,710 or more, according to Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[10] in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • Some orthopedic specialists offer discounts for uninsured/cash paying patients. For example, Southern California Orthopedic Institute offers discounted services for cash-paying patients, and Northwest Community Hospital Orthopedic Services Center[11] , in Chicago, offers discounts for prompt payment.
  • Some free clinics, such as the Community Health Free Clinic[12] in Chicago, offer orthopedic specialty care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[13] provides a directory of federally funded health centers; if the nearest clinic doesn't offer orthopedic care, ask for a referral.
Shopping for a sprained or broken wrist:
  • The general practitioner can refer the patient to a specialist. Or, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery[14] offers an orthopedic specialist finder by city, state or zip code. A sports-related injury could also be treated by a doctor who specializes in sports medicine, which could be either a family physician or an orthopedic surgeon; the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine hosts a doctor locator.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
surgery on wrist for twisted ulna bone and soft tissue / five pins
Amount: $23,000.00
Posted by: Robbed in Milwaukee, WI.Posted: June 15th, 2015 06:06PM
Type of Injury: wrist and hand injuryType of Treatment: ortho
Medical Center: aurora orthoInsurance Carrier: UMR
23,000 was the cost of the surgeon only!
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distal radius fracture (w/ 4 temp pins)
Amount: $20,000.00
Posted by: lj in reno, NV.Posted: September 6th, 2012 01:09AM
Type of Injury: broken wristType of Treatment: surgery in ER/ therapy
Medical Center: renownInsurance Carrier: united
Before my insurance, around 20,000. Third party injury covered what my insurance didn't.
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Distal Radius Wrist Fracture With Surgical Implants
Amount: $48.00
Posted by: Lega11yblonde in Richmond, VA.Posted: February 20th, 2011 08:02AM
Type of Injury: Broken WristType of Treatment: Surgery
Medical Center: CJW Medical CenterInsurance Carrier: Medicare
I had a broken wrist, emergency room visit and then sent to the best wrist doc they have.
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