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Wrist Sprain

What Is A Wrist Sprain?

A wrist sprain occurs when you stretch the ligaments of your wrist too far. It’s even possible to tear these ligaments that support your wrist and connect wrist bones properly. Sprains can be a small tear in the ligament fibers or involve a complete tear that affects the ligament’s attachment to the bone.

What Are The Causes Of A Sprained Wrist?

The most common cause of a wrist sprain is falling onto your outstretched hand. You can also experience a wrist sprain when performing activities where your wrist bends or twists forcefully, such as hitting a volleyball.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Sprained Wrist​?

Pain in your wrist is often the first indication of a sprain. You may also experience symptoms like:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness

Your wrist may feel warm to the touch, and it’s possible you can hear a popping or tearing sound when you move your wrist.

What Are The Risk Factors Of A Wrist Sprain?

Because wrist sprains happen most commonly while reaching out to catch yourself while falling, any activity where there is a risk of falling can lead to a higher likelihood of sprains. This includes running, cycling, and a number of other sports. Avoid slippery surfaces and try not to over-work your wrists, as tired muscles offer less support if a fall or collision does occur. Other common causes of wrist sprains include injury while playing racquet sports such as golf or tennis. If you have continued pain in the wrist while playing sports, it is important to be evaluated to rule out fractures or ligament tears.

How Is A Sprained Wrist Diagnosed?

Dr. Nance listens to your symptoms and evaluates your level of pain and range of motion with wrist movements. With severe pain and swelling, you could have a more serious issue, such as a bone fracture. Dr. Nance may recommend imaging tests to confirm a sprain and rule out other problems. An X-ray can rule out a broken or fractured bone. An MRI scan or CT scan may be useful in viewing the ligaments to find the tear.

What Are The Possible Treatments?

Dr. Nance evaluates the severity of your sprain to determine the best course of treatment. For mild sprains, she may recommend rest and ice therapy to reduce swelling. For moderate sprains, you may need to use a wrist splint to stabilize your arm and allow your wrist time to heal. Severe sprains that don’t respond to splint therapy may need surgery. Bad tears in your ligament that need to be repaired or reattached to the ligament may be the best option for proper healing. Following surgery, Dr. Nance will have you go through physical therapy to strengthen your wrist and increase your range of motion. It’s crucial to have wrist pain evaluated immediately to ensure there aren’t breaks or fractures. Early treatment also ensures your ligaments heal properly and don’t cause additional complications with your wrist functionality. To learn more about your treatment options for wrist sprains, schedule a consultation online or by phone.

Meet Dr. Erin Nance

Dr. Erin Nance specializes in orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgery, as well as traditional orthopedic services. Dr. Nance takes her time with every patient in her Midtown East, New York office, ensuring everyone gets the care and attention they deserve. Learn More »

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