How Can I Prevent A Wrist Sprain
Wrist sprains are hard to prevent, since they’re usually caused by accidents. Even the best-trained athlete can slip. But always make an effort to exercise safely.
Some athletes benefit from using wrist guards or tape. These may prevent the wrist from bending backward during a fall.
SOURCES:American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons web site: “Wrist Sprains.” Davis, M.F., et al, Expert Guide to Sports Medicine, American College of Physicians Press, 2005. Rouzier, P., The Sports Medicine Patient Advisor, second edition, SportsMed Press, 2004.
When Does Swelling In The Arm Turn Serious
TOS: When Swelling in the Arm Turns Serious. Without treatment, VTOS can lead to blood clots, including pulmonary embolism, a potentially life-threatening blood clot in the lungs. All three subtypes of TOS including VTOS typically affect healthy, young and active people, though symptoms may vary among the types.
Wrist Sprain Vs Broken Wrist
We use our hands for so much throughout the day that wrist pain can be very debilitating. The most common cause of wrist injuries is falling onto an outstretched hand. This may cause the wrist ligaments or bones to become damaged. Some wrist injuries are classified as wrist sprains while others are considered a broken wrist. Understanding the difference will help you get the correct treatment from your Jacksonville orthopedic specialist. Contact our hand and wrist specialists to take advantage of their specialized knowledge and training in this area.
Don’t Miss: Can Strawberries Cause Stomach Pain
How To Tell If Your Hand Is Broken Broken Hand Finger And Wrist Symptoms And Treatment
According to recent estimates published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, approximately one-quarter of all sports injuries involve the hands or wrists. Hand fractures and broken fingers are currently on the rise due to increased athletic competition around the country, but these kinds of injuries are also common off the playing field, especially for older adults. As part of the natural aging process, our bones weaken over time, leaving us more vulnerable to fractures and other injuries. Regardless of the cause, there are many effective broken hand treatments and strategies to help expedite the recovery process and prevent reinjury. In this post, we will explain many common broken hand symptoms and what to do for a broken hand, including physical therapy and surgical options. Lets take a look…
Broken Hand Symptoms: How Do I Know If I Have A Broken Hand
Approximately 6 million people suffer a broken bone every year in the United States, and broken fingers are very common. The location and severity of the hand fracture will determine the symptoms the patient experiences and the available treatment options. So what does a broken hand feel like? Lets take a look at a few of the most common broken hand symptoms.
Fractured hand symptoms involving the metacarpals include pain, swelling, general tenderness along the site of the injury, and bruising. These metacarpal fractures symptoms may be more pronounced as the patient makes a fist or even loosely grips items. Metacarpal fractures may also give the involved fingers a shortened appearance. For example, Boxers fracture symptoms may include the knuckle appearing indented or crushed inward due to displacement along the neck of the metacarpal. Broken finger symptoms include pain, decreased range of motion, swelling, and sensitivity to even the lightest touch. Fractured finger symptoms may also include bruising, and its possible for the finger to appear deformed or misaligned. Broken thumb symptoms include swelling, bruising, sensitivity to the touch, and decreased range of motion. Some patients also report numbness or feelings of cold around the injury. In some cases, the hand or fingers may change colors, becoming pale or even blue, after a fracture of the hand. Patients may also notice other tactile sensations, such as tingling.
When Its Time To See The Doctor
If these home treatments dont ease your pain in one or two weeks, it might be time to see an orthopaedic physician, who specializes in treatment of bones, joints and muscles.
Your doctor may recommend surgery if theres severe damage to your median nerve or to prevent permanent sensory or functional loss, Dr. Seitz says.
The surgery involves cutting the band of tissue in the wrist that crosses the median nerve to lessen the pressure.
Over time, surgery may be the best route to permanent relief, Dr. Seitz says.
What Are The Types Of Hand Fractures
Bones are rigid structures but not so rigid that they cant bend a little. However, if the force is too great, the bone will develop a fracture and then break. That force determines how bad the fracture is, from a hairline crack to shattering the bone.
Bones can be broken in several different ways. Some of the types of hand fractures that can occur include:
- Comminuted fractures occur when the bone is shattered into three or more pieces under the skin
- Compound fractures are bones that are so broken they stick out of the skin
- Greenstick fractures have a partial break on one side of the bone, which can occur because the rest of the bone can bend to withstand the pressure
- Impacted fractures occur when one bone is broken but it pushes into another bone
- Intra articular fractures of bones of the hand occur when the break extends into the surface of a joint
- Longitudinal fractures run the entire length of the particular bone impacted
- Pathological fractures occur when the bones are weakened by an underlying condition that results in the fracture, like osteoporosis
- Spiral fractures indicate at least one part of the bone has been twisted
- Stable fractures are when the two broken parts of the bones line up and are barely out of place
- Stress fractures are common in athletes whose repeated pressure on their bones cause it to simply give way
You can also have a fracture dislocation when the hand is broken but a joint is also dislocated.
Recommended Reading: Pineapple And Stomach Pain
What To Look For
In general, fractures usually result in more bleeding, swelling, and bruising than a sprain. If the pieces of the broken bone move against each other, youll feel or hear a crunching or grinding sound that goes along with excruciating pain when you try to move the wrist.
Lots of patients have told me that when they sprained their wrists, there was some swelling and some pain, but it went away pretty quickly. The pain from a broken wrist usually doesnt go away very quickly.
Bones Of The Wrist And Hand
There are eight small carpal bones in the wrist that connect to the hand and the forearm. These bones manage hand movement. If you cant move your fingers, its a likely indicator that the wrist is broken.
Ligaments stretch between these carpal bones, connecting one to another. Strain or tearing of the ligament is often what causes pain and swelling in a sprain.
Recommended Reading: Lidocaine Patch For Sciatica
What’s The Treatment For A Wrist Sprain
While they can bench you for a while, the good news is that minor-to-moderate wrist sprains should heal on their own. They just need a little time. To speed the healing, you can:
- Rest your wrist for at least 48 hours.
- Ice your wrist to reduce pain and swelling. Do it for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours for two to three days, or until the pain is gone.
- Compress the wrist with a bandage.
- Elevate your wrist above your heart, on a pillow or the back of a chair. as often as you can.
- Take anti-inflammatory painkillers. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , like Advil, Aleve, or Motrin, will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs can have side effects, like an increased risk of bleeding and ulcers. They should be used only occasionally, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
- Use a cast or splint to keep your wrist immobile. This should only be for a short time, until you see the doctor. Then follow the doctors advice about whether or not to continue using a splint. Using a splint for too long can result in more stiffness and muscle weakness in some cases.
- Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if your doctor recommends them. It is best if you see a physical or occupational therapist to guide a program specific to your condition.
More severe Grade III wrist sprains, in which the ligament is snapped, may require surgery to repair.
Less Common Symptoms Of Wrist Sprains
The less common symptoms of wrist sprains may include:
- Bruising. A bruise, also known as contusion, may form on the skin over the wrist due to rupture of blood vessels under the skin and leaking of blood into the tissue spaces. A change in color of the skin varying from red, black, or blue may occur due to bruising. Sometimes, bruising may extend to the fingers.
- Warmth. A feeling of warmth over the sprained wrist may be present due to increased blood flow to the area.
- Numbness. Numbness in one or more fingers may be experienced in cases where a wrist bone dislocates and presses on one or more nerves in the wrist.
- Feeling of tearing. In some moderate to severe wrist sprains, popping or tearing may be felt at the time of injury. The tearing feeling may also occur during wrist movements.
- Feeling of instability. Instability refers to a consistent click or clunk when moving the wrist. It can feel like the bones are shifting position and may be uncomfortable.
It is also possible for bone fractures, tendon damage, and/or nerve injuries to occur along with wrist sprains. A careful evaluation by a medical professional can help diagnose and treat wrist injuries.
Donât Miss: Can Blueberries Cause Stomach Pain
Also Check: How To Fake A Broken Wrist
Two Major Types Of Body Damages
Urgent care for fractures and bruises are essential, especially if there are issues of bleeding or open bones that cut through the skin. Yet, there are instances that some bone damages like bruises may not show fracture symptoms. A patient should know which doctor or surgeon is the right medical practitioner for an emergency. It may be best to distinguish the two major types of body damages. You may also want to read ahead for the other symptoms to know how to tell if a bone is fractured or bruised.
You May Like: How To Sprain Your Wrist Without Pain And Fast
Different Types Of Wrist Fractures
Wrist fractures are common and usually happen if you put your hands out to protect yourself when you trip or fall. Treatment for a wrist fracture can vary depending on the severity and the type of fracture. An orthopedic surgeon will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment to ensure a successful recovery from a wrist fracture.
A broken wrist usually causes immediate pain, swelling, and tenderness, and there may be bruising or discoloration to the affected area. In some cases, there may also be an obvious deformity. If you experience severe pain, have an open fracture , if the wrist area is deformed or numb, or if the fingers are no longer pink, you should seek immediate medical treatment.
You May Like: 1 Week Pregnant Symptoms Cramping
The Difference Between A Broken Or Sprained Wrist
A sprain involves the ligaments that connect the bones at the joint. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a fracture and a sprain. You should not assume that the degree of pain determines the specific problem.
Although it would seem that a sprain would hurt less than a fracture, this is not always the case. Sprains can often be extremely painful, where fractures may sometimes hurt less. There are also different degrees of sprains from mild to severe.
A broken or sprained wrist may have many of the same symptoms:
- Swelling in your wrist or hand
- Pain, especially when you move your wrist
- Difficulty picking up objects
- Limited range of motion
However, if youve fractured your wrist, there are a few symptoms that go beyond sprains. There may be a deformity in the wrist and bone pushing against the skin or sometimes puncturing it. When you fall and hurt your wrists, you might hear a snap or pop and your wrist will usually swell immediately and worsen, even when treated with ice.
The best way to know for certain if your wrist is fractured or sprained is to see a hand surgery specialist. They can do a thorough assessment and diagnose what is causing your pain.
“Many wrist fractures do not require surgery, and can be adequately treated in a cast or brace. “Brandon P. Donnelly, MD
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.
Also Check: Can Neck Pain Cause Nausea
Bruised Wrist Or Wrist Contusion
Bruised wrist or wrist contusion is the condition which is caused when there is a bruising in the wrist along with the underlying tissues and the skin due to a direct blow. Bruising leads to rupture of the small capillaries that assist the blood to infiltrate tendons, muscles and other soft tissues which force the blood to come out of the ruptured small capillaries.
What You Can Do For Your Wrist Pain
The best treatments for wrist pain are prevention, rest and support to your wrist. Wrist splints and braces that support, stabilize and protect can be worn to give your wrist time to heal.
Splints that can help include the ultra light Fix Comfort Wrist Brace with tri layer foam cushioning offers excellent wrist support without bulkiness to relieve symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and to rest and heal ligament injuries.
You May Like: How To Know If Your Wrist Is Sprained
You May Like: Pineapple Cause Gas
Basics Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the fingers and thumb. Specifically, carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve located in the wrist. This nerve supplies feeling to the thumb, index, middle and ring finger. The carpal tunnel is a well defined space in the palm at the wrist. The two walls of this anatomical tunnel are formed by bones that support the wrist. The roof of the tunnel is the thick transverse carpal ligament. Several tendons and the median nerve pass through this tunnel. Space in the tunnel decreases when tendons swell or the ligament thickens. Pressure inside the tunnel increases and restricts blood flow to the nerve. The pressure is most noticeable when the wrist is fully extended or flexed.
Which Bones Are At Risk
Responsible for providing support for the pelvis and holding it in place. The coccyx or tailbone can be damaged by falling from the stairs or a ladder. People seldom have tailbone fractures since the large mass of Gluteus Maximus tissues protect the tailbone. Notably, more women have tailbone issues than men due to their menstrual periods. Yet, men are also prone to tailbone problems due to physical exhausting from sports and other dangerous activities.
The rib, which holds as the cage for the chest, can quickly get the infection through open fractures. Sternum broken bones are common for vehicular accidents through seatbelt malfunctions and crushing from high impact sports. People with osteoporosis, menopausal women, and steroid users are more susceptible to having a broken chest.
- Legs, Hands, And Feet
The difference of injury on a persons legs, hands, and feet are all connected to the many joints and fragments in the persons skeletal system. People always use these three body parts daily and are prone to break from a fall or accident. It is more painful to have little injuries in this area as it may lead to bone loss.
Also Check: How Do You Know If Your Wrist Is Sprained
How Do I Know If My Broken Bone Is Healed
August 28, 2010 by Dr. Henley
a healing metacarpal fracture
My patients often ask, Is my fracture healing?. How does your doctor decide whether your fracture is healed or not? This article will help you learn how fracture healing takes place and how to tell if your fractured bone is healed.
When a bone breaks, it bleeds. Your bones contain thousands of blood vessels that supply the cells inside. Clotted blood pools into a glob that surrounds the broken ends of the bone.
That clotted blood is good and normal the cells and proteins inside it provide a type of scaffold that allows bone cells to know where to grow.
The bone cells form strands of new bone that interlink and grow into a solid mass of bone across and around the fracture site. This process of going from clotted blood to solid bone takes about six weeks in most situations.
As the bone heals, the pain from the fracture will decrease and become less painful. When you touch the fractured area, the pain will lessen as the fracture gets more solid.
So, one way to tell if the broken bone is healed is for the doctor to examine you if the bone doesnt hurt when he touches it, and its been about six weeks since you broke it, the bone is most likely healed.
So, a broken bone is healed after the bone stops hurting and there is some evidence of new bone formation on x-rays taken in the doctors office.