Broken Wrist Vs Sprained Wrist
A sprained wrist happens when a ligament in the wrist becomes injured. Ligaments are bands of connected tissue that stretch from bone to bone. Wrist sprains usually involve an overstretched or torn ligament.;
A broken wrist happens when you fracture a bone in the wrist. The wrist is made up of 13 different bones that can break during an injury. Even the smallest of fractures can cause considerable pain.
I Hurt My Hand Playing Sports How Do I Know If Its Broken Sprained Or Bruised
While sports are fun, there are also plenty of opportunities for injury. When an injury occurs to the hand or wrist while playing sports, it may be important to have a hand specialist evaluate it. Appropriate treatment will provide the best chance for healing properly, allowing you to return to playing the games you love. A hand surgeon will be able to diagnose whether the hand, finger or wrist is broken, sprained or bruised and whether you need specialized treatment.
But What If Its A Wrist Fracture
A fractured wrist is a common occurrence;in people who have recently tried to catch themselves while falling. You might also experience a wrist fracture in a car accident or it might be the result of a sports injury.;
Your wrist;is comprised of 8 small bones that are then connected to your radius and ulna. When you attempt to catch yourself during a fall, your radius is the bone that takes the brunt, making it the;most commonly broken bone;in a wrist fracture.;
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How To Handle A Sprain: Rice It
Youcan give the injury three days to improve if:
- Its not that painful.
- Your child can move the injured joint normally.
- Your child has the same pre-injury strength and sensations in theinjured area.
- Nothing is out of alignment.
Followthe RICE acronym for the first 24 to 48 hours to give your child some relief:
- Rest: Limit activities that useor put pressure on the injured area.
- Ice: Put ice on it as soon asyou can. The general rule is to apply ice or a cold pack four to eight times aday for 20 minutes. To avoid adding frostbite to your list of concerns, wrapwhatever you use in a towel.
- Compression: Wrap the injury inan elastic bandage to reduce the swelling.
- Elevation: Rest the injuredarea on a pillow higher than your childs heart.
If the swelling gets better and its less tender within acouple of days, your child is most likely OK, relates Dr. Star. But if itdoesnt get better within two to four days, then you should see a doctor.
Understanding Hand And Wrist Fractures
The wrist is one of the most complex joints in the body, so wrist fractures often involve a lot of different bones at once. These typically include the tiny bones at the base of the hand, called carpal bones. A fractured wrist causes almost immediate pain and tenderness. These decrease, and then worsen, when pressure is applied between the tendons that connect to the thumb. Bruising and swelling are also common symptoms of a hand or wrist fracture. In some cases, your wrist may look bent or hang differently. Making a fist can be challenging with a wrist fracture as well. Its common for wrist fractures to include additional damage such as ligament injury, wrist sprains or dislocation.
The two large bones in the forearm, the radius and the ulna, can also be affected by a wrist fracture. The radius runs along the thumb side of the forearm, while the ulna is on the outer side of the forearm. Fracture of these larger bones can cause the hand and wrist to go out of alignment.
When finger bones are fractured, the finger is hard to move and feels very painful. The affected digit feels tender and often looks swollen. Sometimes the finger looks shorter or even deformed, and the fingers may cross each other incorrectly when you try to make a fist.
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How Do I Treat A Broken Wrist
In most cases, it is not a good idea to treat a broken wrist yourself. If you believe that your wrist may have been severely sprained or broken, you should visit your local emergency room immediately. Once there, you will likely have to have an X-ray done to find out if your wrist is actually broken, where the fracture has occurred, and what type of fracture it is. These things will allow doctors to provide you with the proper treatment for your broken wrist.
Many times, the doctor will treat a broken wrist by first putting it in a brace or cast to keep the bone perfectly still as it heals. This is especially important if the break occurred right on the joint, because this area is generally much harder to keep still than just above or below the joint. You should make every effort to rest the area and allow your wrist to heal, even if its tempting to begin moving it again once the pain is gone. Depending on the break, you may have to leave the brace or cast in place for several weeks or longer before removal.
Some severe cases may result in surgery being needed to treat a broken wrist that is badly damaged. This most often occurs due to a traumatic injury, such as those which may occur during a sports game or automobile accident. Patients who are advised to have surgery will likely require a much longer healing time to allow for both the bone and surgical wounds to heal completely. A brace or cast will likely be required right after surgery.
Signs Of A Wrist Fracture
The wrist is a part of the body that is injured frequently, and these injuries may result in pain, a sprained wrist or even a wrist fracture. A;wrist fracture;is a medical term for a broken wrist, which means youve broken one or more of the many bones in your wrist. There are eight;wrist bones;which are connected to the forearm bones called the radius and the ulna. The radius is the most common bone to break in the wrist. This injury typically happens from falling on an outstretched hand, but it can also result from traumatic events such as a car accident.
Wrist fractures can range in severity. You may have a non-displaced break, which means the bones did not move out of place. Or, your break may be displaced in which the bones need to be put back into place. In some fractures, the bone can shatter into multiple pieces . Some patients have also suffered from an open fracture, which is when a fragment of bone is forced out through the skin.
Sometimes, its not always clear if youre suffering from an actual wrist fracture. Here are five signs that you may have broken your wrist:
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Kinds Of Wrist Breaks
When you try to stop an object from falling, but the impact is too much for your wrist to take, the situation can cause your wrist to break. This is the most typical cause behind a broken wrist and is called a distal radius fracture.
Besides that, other wrist breaks include a scaphoid fracture, which implicates your scaphoid carpal bone, a Chauffers fracture, which involves your radius bone, and an ulnar styloid fracture, which happens to your ulnar region.;
How Do You Know If You Fractured Your Wrist
If you fell on your wrist or got injured during recreational sports, you may have a broken wrist. This injury involves a fracture or crack in one or more of the bones in your wrist. This type of injury is quite common among children and adults alike. It can happen when you try to break your fall when skateboarding, rollerblading, riding a horse, etc. Its happened to people during home construction or home renovation projects. People who play contact sports or engage in high-intensity sports like skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking are also at risk for wrist fractures, although anyone can experience it.
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Cast Splint And Brace
Immobilization limits unnecessary movement, which promotes proper healing. It also ensures that your bones line up correctly.
Metacarpal fractures are often difficult to effectively mobilize and will likely require surgery.
Is My Wrist Broken Or Sprained
It is a natural instinct to put out a hand and to try to catch oneself during a fall. This impulse is the cause for nearly all wrist sprains and fractures. Medical professionals even have an acronym for this mechanism of injury: FOOSH stands for fall on outstretched hand.
When a wrist injury occurs, it can be difficult to determine what type of injury has occurred. Most frequently, the resulting wrist injury is either a sprain or fracture.
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How Long Does A Sprained Wrist Take To Heal
A mild wrist sprain will start feeling better 24 to 48 hours after you start treatment. It will fully heal in 1 or 2 weeks.
If you have a moderate or severe injury, recovery might last 6 to 8 weeks. Youll need to wear splint for most of this time.
In a severe sprain, your ligament will heal in 8 to 12 weeks. A full recovery may take 6 to 12 months, especially if you need surgery.
Its not always possible to avoid accidents, but you can reduce your risk of slips and falls.
Follow these tips to prevent wrist sprains:
- Use caution when walking in rain or icy weather.
- Wear wrist guards during activities like basketball, skiing, and skateboarding. If you fall, the wrist guard will stop your wrist from extreme motions.
- Wear shoes that properly fit to minimize the risk of falls.
- Lift heavy objects with both hands to reduce the pressure on each wrist.
When Will I Feel Better After A Wrist Sprain
Recovery time depends on how serious your wrist sprain is. These injuries may take from two to 10 weeks to heal. But that’s a rough estimate. Everyone heals at a different rate, but generally, time to heal depends on the grade of sprain and proper management.;Grade1 typically takes 2-4 weeks as opposed to grade 3 which may take as long as 3-6 months.;
While you heal, you might want to take up a new activity that won’t irritate your wrist. For instance, skiers could put down their poles and try jogging or stationary biking.
Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Do not try to return to your old level of physical activity until:
- You feel no pain in your wrist when it’s at rest
- You can work out and grip and move objects — like a ski pole, bat, or racket — without pain
- Your injured wrist, as well as the hand and arm on that side, feel as strong as the uninjured wrist, hand, and arm.
If you start using your wrist before it’s healed, you could cause permanent damage.
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How To Tell If Your Wrist Is Sprained
This article was medically reviewed by Victor Catania, MD. Dr. Catania is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Pennsylvania. He received his MD from the Medical University of the Americas in 2012 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Robert Packer Hospital. He is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 11 testimonials and 81% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 264,360 times.
Wrist sprains are relatively common injuries, especially among athletes. A sprain occurs when the ligaments in the wrist are stretched too far and potentially tear, either partially or completely. A sprained wrist causes pain, inflammation, and sometimes bruising, depending on the severity of the injury .XResearch source Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between a badly sprained wrist and a bone fracture, so being well-informed should help you make the distinction. However, if you suspect a fracture for any reason, make an appointment with your doctor and get medical treatment.
Wrist Fracture Or Sprain
You tripped and fell and landed on a hard surface with your arms outstretched. Nothing feels broken, but you do feel some pain in the wrist area: How can you tell if you have a wrist fracture or a wrist sprain?
The wrist is a network of many bones and joints. It consists of eight carpal bones, five metacarpals bones and two forearm bones; the radius and ulna. It is the hub to over twenty joints that are held together by ligaments, which makes it a very intricate and complex union.
When a fall or forceful impact occurs, its a common reaction to stretch your arms out to brace yourself from the impact. By doing so, youre hands and wrists become vulnerable to injury, often resulting in hand, wrist or upper extremity fractures or injuries. If a severe fracture happens, it can easily be detected by the deformity of the wrist and/or bones that may be protruding through the skin. However, in some fractures and injuries it is difficult to determine what the injury really is. In fractures and sprains alike, pain levels can vary, and symptoms are often very similar. If pain is moderate and no symptoms are visible, it is often thought that the injury is merely a sprain; however, that is not always the case. ;The information below provides wrist fracture and wrist sprain symptoms which aide in diagnosis:
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Most Common Types Of Fractures For A Broken Wrist
Most of the time, a fracture of the wrist is very painful with movement and to touch and gets very swollen very fast. The most common type of wrist fracture is a distal radius fracture.;
The 2nd most common type of fracture in the wrist is a scaphoid fracture, one of the carpal bones located at the base of the thumb. This fracture is sometimes difficult to see on an x-ray and takes a long time to heal due to the poor blood supply it receives.;
If you have tenderness at the base of your thumb that doesn’t seem to go away, it would be wise to seek further evaluation from an orthopedic doctor.;
Anatomy of Hand – Sprained Wrist vs Broken
Sprained Or Broken Wrist How To Tell
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Part 1 Of 2: Identifying Symptoms Of A Sprained Wrist
How Can I Tell If Wrist Is Broken Or Sprained
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How Can I Tell If Wrist Is Broken Or Sprained. Watch for any bruising at the site of the injury, as this can. A wrist fracture is also accompanied by a constant dull ache that is unrelenting whereas pain from a wrist sprain is intermittent with movement.
Ligaments are what connect the many bones in your wrist. A pop or tear when the injury happens. Crunching or popping with bending/straightening, or turning the.
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How To Prevent A Broken Or Sprained Wrist
My best advice–try not to fall! This may seem common sense, but many times the cause is preventable. Loose rugs, items on the floor, unsafe ladder use, all are preventable common causes of falls.; As much as we love our pets, we must also be careful with them around our feet as well.
Second to that, there are a few things you can do to prevent a wrist injury should you fall.
- Be proactive and build bone strength with a diet containing sufficient calcium and vitamin D and doing weight-bearing exercises
- Wear protective gear for sports activities, especially skateboarding and rollerblading
- Take care when walking on slippery or bumpy surfaces