Wrist Sprains
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Breaking a fall with outstretched hands may often result in a wrist fracture. It may also result in a sprain of the ligaments of the wrist. Ligaments connect bone to bone within a joint.

Wrist sprains are graded on the degree of injury to the tissues.
  • Grade I: a mild sprain, the ligaments are stretched, but not torn.
  • Grade II: a moderate sprain, some of the ligaments are torn. These sprains may involve some loss of function.
  • Grade III: a severe sprain, there is a complete tear all the way through the ligament. These are significant injuries that require medical or surgical care to ensure recovery. As the ligament tears away from the bone, it may also take a small chip of bone with it, resulting in an avulsion fracture.
Symptoms include:

Symptoms of wrist sprain are similar to a fracture. Diagnosis should be made by your physician.
  • Swelling and tenderness in the wrist.
  • Bruising and discoloration in the wrist.
  • A popping or tearing sound in the wrist with pain when moving the wrist.
  • Injury site warm to the touch.
Non-surgical treatment
Wrist sprains can be treated with PRICE.
  • P: Protection from further injury with a wrist brace.
  • R: Rest means limiting movement of the injured wrist as much as possible.
  • I: Icing, cold therapy to stimulate blood flow and relieve the pain associated with inflammation. Cold therapy should be applied several times over the course of the day.
  • C: Compression means supporting the wrist with a firmly (not tightly) wrapped elastic bandage, or gel wrap. If swelling causes the bandage to become tight, it should be loosened immediately.
  • E: Elevating the wrist above heart level minimizes bruising and swelling. This should be done as often as possible during the first 48 hours.

Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

Surgical treatment

Surgery is usually not indicated for this condition.

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