The wrist is one of the most important joints in your body. There is a complex network of nerves, veins, muscles, and bones, and one wrong movement can lead to an injury like no other. There are orthopedic surgeons who specialize in hand and wrist injuries. Here are some symptoms of the most common types of wrist injuries.
A sprained wrist is one of the most common wrist or hand injuries and it can put a damper on the performance of your once perfectly good wrist. A sprain is essentially the stretching or tearing (in some severe cases) of the ligaments present in the hand.
Ligaments are stretchy connections between the bones and the muscles and if you overuse your wrist a lot, then it can cause sprains. The common symptoms of sprains include the following:
- You will feel pain when you’re rotating or twisting your wrist.
- There might be swelling around the wrist and on the lower side of the palm.
- The area around the wrist might be bruised as well if the stretching of the ligament has caused it to block the blood flow.
- The wrist will feel tender and sensitive.
The diagnosis of a sprained wrist is pretty easy. It can be done by a physical examination or an x-ray. As far as treatment is concerned, a sprain is pretty much a self-healing injury as long as you take care of it right. Avoiding strenuous exercises, engaging the wrist in work, and icing the swollen area will help and your wrist will be good as new in no time.
A fractured or broken wrist is also one of the most frequently occurring injuries and the main cause of this injury is falling on your wrist and the bone taking all of the impact from the fall. Your wrist is strong, but that doesn’t mean that it can bear the weight of your body and fall alone, and be alright.
This can turn into a serious medical emergency because you can damage the nerves, arteries, and even veins through a fracture. Here are some common symptoms of a wrist fracture/break.
- Immense pain when you try to close your palm into a fist or even try to move it a little bit.
- There will be obvious swelling in the wrist and the main reason is because the broken or dislocated bone is poking the nearby flesh and muscles, that’s not only causing swelling, but sudden pinches of pain as well.
- Speaking of dislocation, there will be an obvious deformity on your wrist. Your bone is dislodged from its original place and the effects can be seen clearly on your hand.
The best mode of treatment for wrist fractures and breaks is to encase the hand in a sling and avoid movement for some time after the bone is lodged back into place.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This injury has more to do with the nerves than anything else. The main victim of this injury or disorder is the median nerve. This is a nerve that travels from your forearm and into the palm of your hand. This nerve can get pinched or pushed down by certain activities and that can cause a lot of issues in the wrist and the palm of your hand.
The main cause of this disorder/injury can be overuse of the wrist and not giving it enough breaks. It can also be caused if you have a predefined bone condition like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis because these disorders can cause immense trauma to the nerves as well.
Here are some symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- A tingling sensation in the fingers.
- Your fingers will feel swollen although they are not. They’re going to feel like dead weight on your hands.
- The numbness can radiate up towards your arm if you try to move the wrist around too much.
Non-surgical methods of treating carpal tunnel syndrome include avoiding lifting weights and wearing a sling to prevent unnecessary movement. Medication can also help with the pain and discomfort. As far as surgical methods are concerned, carpal tunnel relaxation is a common procedure. It is done by cutting the ligament to relieve the pressure in the nerve and it’s usually done under local anesthesia.
Distal Radial Fracture
The radius is the bone that goes from the forearm to the palm of your hand and a distal radial fracture is the fracture that occurs in the radius close to the wrist. The main cause of any breaks/fractures in the bone is overuse and application of force on the bone that can cause it to break. The symptoms include the following:
- Pain in the wrist, that can radiate up the arm as well, if you try to move it too much.
- Dislocation of the wrist and on the lower side of the arm.
Fractures take time to heal and the best way is to restrict the movement of the hand, after relocating the bone back in place. Some fractures can cause pain in the elbow so you should let an elbow specialist Woodbridge look at the situation as well.
De Quervain’s Syndrome
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an injury that causes inflammation of the tendons inside the wrist. There is synovial fluid in the tendon sheath of the wrist and it acts as a lubricant for your muscles and bones to avoid friction and unnecessary rubbing.
The causes of this disorder/injury include overuse of the wrist like grabbing onto things too tightly, engaging the wrist in activities with full strength and there might be some medical issues as well, that can lead to De Quervain’s syndrome like arthritis, grout, and overall age. Here are some symptoms of this disorder.
- One of the main affected areas of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is the occurrence of pain under the thumb. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis affects the tendon under the thumb the most and most of the symptoms can occur there, along with other parts of the wrist.
- There might be tenderness or swelling in the wrist and thumb area.
The best mode of treatment for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is through medication and massages. The tendons, just like sprains, can heal on their own and your hand will feel better in no time at all.
The scaphoid is a part of the wrist bone close to the thumb and any injury on this bone, can be termed as a fracture and the effects can be projected onto the thumb, as well as some parts of the wrist. You can injure your thumb and wrist, when you fall hard on your hand and the wrist takes most of the impact. The symptoms of a scaphoid fracture include:
- Swelling and feeling of numbness in the wrist and thumb.
- You won’t be able to use your thumb properly.
- There will be pain in the thumb when you try to move it in certain directions.
Surgery can be done to move the scaphoid back in place, if there are problems with your hand, even after a lot of time has passed. It’s non-invasive and safe.
If you have an injured wrist, the easiest way to diagnose it is through symptoms, which is why it’s important to know about different wrist injuries, so you can assess things firsthand. For diagnosis, if you feel pain in the wrist, visit a hand injury doctor Woodbridge.