Swollen wrist

Swelling in the wrist joint which may be a general swelling over the whole joint, or localised swelling on a specific area or point.
 Due to the wrist involving many bones swelling over a specific area is common and can be due to bone, ligament, soft tissue damage. A swollen wrist is usually with pain and most commonly from a fall. Wrist swelling can also be from the forearm or a fracture of the radius or ulnar higher up.

Arthritis can cause wrist swelling and pain can be present. If there is swelling in the wrist joint it may not be visible and can cause stiffness but will be clearly visible on a scan. Injuries and conditions that cause this symptom are listed below:
  • Colles Fracture of the Wrist

    Colles Fracture - Wrist

    A Colles fracture is a particular type of broken wrist involving a break of the radius or forearm bone on the thumb side of the wrist.

  • Scaphoid Fracture

    Scaphoid Fracture

    The scaphoid is one of the small group of bones in the wrist called the carpal bones. It is the most common carpal bone to fracture among athletes and is often caused by falling onto an outstretched hand.

  • Sprained Wrist

    Sprained Wrist

    A sprained wrist is an injury to any of the ligaments which connect bone to bone in the wrist of which there are many.

  • Hook of Hamate Fracture

    Hook of Hamate Fracture

    The wrist contains a number of small bones called carpals. The hamate is a carpal bone on the outside (little finger side) of the wrist. It has a hook shaped part which protrudes outwards can under certain circumstances can be fractured.

  • Wrist Strain

    Wrist Strain

    A wrist strain is a general term used to describe pain in the wrist. This may be due to a sudden force causing an acute injury, or due to overuse, causing a repetitive strain injury.

  • Dislocated Wrist

    Dislocated Wrist

    A 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.

  • Distal Radial Epiphysis Injury

    Distal Radial Epiphysis

    A distal radial epiphysis injury is an injury to the growth plate at the wrist end of the radius bone in the forearm.

  • Bennett Fracture

    Bennett Fracture

    A Bennett fracture is an injury to the base of the thumb joint usually caused by a hard impact or trauma such as punching something hard or falling onto the hand with the thumb sticking out to the side. It is a serious injury and will require surgery to avoid long term complications.

  • TFCC Tear

    TFCC Tear

    A TFCC tear is an injury to the triangular fibrocartilage complex, found in the wrist, between the end of the ulna bone and the carpals. Its function is to stabilize the radioulnar joint.

  • Distal Radioulnar Joint Subluxation

    Distal Radioulnar Subluxation

    The distal radio-ulna joint is the joint at the wrist, between the two forearm bones the radius and the ulna. This injury is usually a subluxation or partial dislocation although fractures of either bone can be involved.

  • Smith's Fracture

    Smiths Fracture

    A Smith's fracture is a break in the end of the radius bone, at the wrist. The fragment of fractured bone is displaced forwards to the palm side of the wrist.

  • Bartons Fracture

    Bartons Fracture

    Bartons Fracture is a fracture of the distal radius bone at the base of the thumb. This fracture is sometimes also called a fracture dislocation.

  • Carpal Fracture

    Carpal Fracture

    A carpal fracture is a break to one of the small bones in the wrist. There are eight carpal bones in the wrist.

  • Bruised Wrist

    Bruised Wrist

    A bruised wrist is also known as a wrist contusion. This occurs after an impact to the wrist which causes bleeding under the skin.

  • Broken Wrist

    Broken Wrist

    A broken wrist (or fractured wrist) is a fracture or break in the wrist end of either the radius and ulna forearm bones or any of the small carpal bones in the wrist. There are a number of different types of wrist fracture so an accurate diagnosis is essential.

  • Wrist Tendonitis

    Wrist Tendonitis

    Wrist tendonitis or wrist tendinopathy is inflammation or more likely degeneration of any of the flexor or extensor tendons which cross the wrist joint.

  • Ganglion cyst

    Ganglion cyst

    A ganglion cyst or wrist ganglion is a small lump which appears in the wrist, often attached to a ligament. Some are not painful but others may require treatment.

  • Wrist Bursitis

    Wrist Bursitis

    A bursa is a small sack of fluid that lubricates where tendons move in joints. If the bursa is subjected to repeated trauma or friction then it can become inflamed and swollen causing pain in the wrist.

  • Acute Wrist Injuries

    Sudden onset injuries are called acute injuries and are usually caused by a fall onto the hand with an outstretched arm or a forced twisting movement. Damage can occur to the bones, ligaments (connect bone to bone) or tendons (connect muscle to bone) in the wrist.  In the first 72 hours, the first aid principles of P.R.I.C.E. are advised including protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.  If a broken bone (fracture) is suspected, then always seek medical advice immediately.

  • Gradual Onset Wrist Pain

    Gradual onset injuries or chronic injures occur over a period of time and often cannot be traced back to a single incident or cause. The most common structure injured are the tendons of the wrist through over use or repetitive strain.