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Dislocated Wrist

Carpal bonesA dislocated wrist is a dislocation of any of the eight small bones called carpal bones which make up the wrist. A wrist dislocation will occur as a result of a traumatic event or fall onto the wrist.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually include severe pain with an obvious deformity in the wrist. Tingling in the thumb, index and middle fingers which suggests associated median nerve damage. Medical attention should be sought immediately.

Causes of a dislocated wrist

The eight carpal bones in the wrist are the hamate, capitate, pisiform, trapezoid, trapezium, scaphoid, lunate and triquetrum. There are a number of ways in which the carpal bones dislocate and the lunate bone is usually involved in most of them. A dislocation of the carpal bones will involve severe ligament damage and if left untreated can result in permanent disability. Two significant dislocations are anterior (front) dislocation of the lunate and perilunar dislocation of the lunate.

Treatment for a dislocated wrist

Carpal dislocations usually require surgical treatment by a specialist wrist and hand surgeon. He or she will put the bones back in place and repair any ligament and soft tissue damage. The wrist is then immobilised in a cast for 8 weeks to allow time for the injury to heal.

Once out of the plaster cast a full rehabilitation program with wrist strengthening exercises should be done to restore the hand and wrist to full normal functioning and help prevent any future injury.

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