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Wrist Sprains & Strains

Home » Conditions » Wrist Sprains & Strains

 

Wrist Sprains & Strains

Get to the Root of the Pain

A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which is a strong band of connective tissue that connects one bone to another.

A wrist sprain is a common injury, as there are many ligaments in the wrist that can be stretched or torn. This occurs when the wrist is bent forcefully, such as in a fall onto an outstretched hand. Typically, these falls are the result of athletic or recreational activities, where an individual breaks their fall by bracing the ground with their hands.

 

Prevention

Reduce your risk.

Because wrist sprains usually result from a fall, be careful when walking in wet or slippery conditions. Wrist sprains also occur during sports, such as skating, skateboarding and skiing. Wrist guard splints or protective tape can be used to support the wrist and prevent it from bending too far backward.

 
 

Symptoms

Pinpoint your pain.

Symptoms of a wrist sprain may vary in intensity and location. The most common symptoms of a wrist sprain include:

  • Swelling in the wrist
  • Pain at the time of the injury
  • Persistent pain when you move your wrist
  • Bruising or discoloration of the skin around the wrist
  • Tenderness at the injury site
  • A feeling of popping or tearing inside the wrist
  • A warm or feverish feeling to the skin around the wrist

 

 

Diagnosis

Get the answers you need.

It is important in all but very mild cases for a doctor to evaluate a wrist injury. Proper diagnosis and treatment of wrist injuries is necessary to avoid long-lasting stiffness and pain.During your appointment, your doctor will discuss your medical history and any previous injuries to your hand or wrist. He or she will ask questions about how and when the current injury happened, and will review all your symptoms, including any numbness in your hand. Your doctor will examine your entire arm and hand to make sure that there are no other injuries, as well. Your doctor may also order imaging tests to help determine whether your wrist is sprained, such as X-rays & MRIs.

 
 

Treatment

Life’s too short to put up with pain.

Minor sprains and strains may heal on their own with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Over-the-counter or prescribed anti-inflammatory medications may also be used to alleviate discomfort and swelling. Moderate sprains may need to be immobilized with a wrist splint for one or more weeks.If symptoms persist or your sprain is severe, surgery may be required to repair the fully torn ligament. Surgery involves reconnecting the ligament to the bone. Your doctor will discuss the surgical options that best meet the needs of your injury.

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