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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 NewChoiceHealth.com[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.
Discounts:
  • 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
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.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
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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External Resources:
  1.  www.newchoicehealth.com/Directory/Procedure/100/Wrist%20X-Ray
  2.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  3.  www.c-osa.com/charges.htm
  4.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  5.  www.c-osa.com/charges.htm
  6.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/broken-wrist/DS00971
  7.  orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00023
  8.  orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00012
  9.  orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00412
  10.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  11.  www.nch.org/medical-services/orthopedic-services/index.php
  12.  www.communityhfc.org/referals.htm
  13.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  14.  www.abos.org/find-a-certified-orthopaedic-surgeon.aspx
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