Here we outline common wrist injuries including sprains, strains, fractures and overuse and nerve related causes of wrist pain.
Select the type or location of wrist pain:
Acute wrist injuries
Sudden onset injuries or acute injuries include wrist fractures, sprains, strains, and contusions.
Wrist fractures – (broken wrist) is a fracture or break of either the radius and/or ulna forearm bones. Or any of the smaller carpal bones in the wrist. There are a number of different types of wrist fractures, so an accurate diagnosis is essential.
Wrist strain – is a tear of any tendon in the wrist. Tendons connect muscles to bones. Wrist strains may occur suddenly, or develop gradually through overuse.
Wrist sprain – is an injury to any of the ligaments which connect bone to bone in the wrist. They are common and usually caused by trauma, for example, falling onto an outstretched arm.
TFCC tear – is an injury to the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) in the wrist. It may occur suddenly from impact or trauma, or tears develop gradually over time. Symptoms consist of wrist pain and restricted wrist and hand function.
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Chronic wrist pain (gradual onset)
Gradual onset wrist injuries occur over a period of time. You often cannot trace it back to a single incident or cause.
Wrist tendonitis – is inflammation, or more likely degeneration, of any of the flexor or extensor tendons that cross the wrist joint. Repetitive movement and overuse causes stiffness and pain and swelling in the wrist. Sports and repetitive work are common causes of tendonitis.
Carpal tunnel syndrome – is a common cause of wrist pain. Symptoms consist of dull ache in the wrist and forearm. Pain may also radiate into the hand and fingers. It is often worse at night and you may also feel a tingling sensation.
Distal radial epiphyseal injury – A distal radial epiphysis injury is an injury to the growth plate at the wrist end of the radius bone in the forearm. It affects mostly young athletes and caused by overuse.
Ganglion cyst – or wrist ganglion is a small lump that appears in the wrist, often attached to a ligament. The size of the cyst and the severity of the wrist pain varies from person to person. Some ganglions are not painful. Therefore you can just leave them alone. However, others hinder joint movement and cause pain.
Wrist bursitis – is inflammation of a small sack of fluid called a bursa. Bursae are located between tendon and bone, and their function is to lubricate joint movement. Repeated trauma or friction causes them to become inflamed and swollen, resulting in wrist pain
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