The most common form of wrist pain is sharp or radiating pain due to a direct fall or blow to the extremity. Especially common in younger children and adolescents, a fractured radius / ulnar is seen when there is a misuse of workout equipment, falls onto arms, and other accidents. If there is acute pain after an accident, it is important to visit an orthopedic physician to identify the possibility of a fracture, and detect angulations and dangers associated.
The next common type of wrist pain is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Please see carpal tunnel syndrome page for more information.
Surgery is not always the best option. In less developed forms of wrist pain, the following might be explored:
- Bracing / Casting
- Wearing a brace or cast, especially when active will alleviate some pressure on the joints in the wrist. The most common treatment for a fractured ulnar / radius is casting. A short arm or long arm cast is applied to the affected extremity, immobilizing the unit to allow adequate conditions for healing to occur.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen can relieve pain. Glucosamine supplements and calcium might be added to diet.
- Steroid Injections
- One method to alleviate pain symptoms for longer periods is steroid injections. This is not used in the case of a fractured structure. This is more often used for a diffuse chronic condition. The option of having these injections depends greatly on the patient’s overall health and any outstanding concerns, such as diabetes.
- Physical Therapy
- Exercising the muscles involved in the joint will strengthen the system as a whole, placing less stress on any specific point.
- Reduce force on wrist
- When exercising, it is often much easier on the wrist to do so with a wrist support brace. Also, avoid direct blows to extremity.
- Practice safe form with joint movements
- When lifting a heavy object lock wrist, and do not allow wrist to bend to unsafe position.
- Take Supplements
- Arthritis is indiscriminate. Taking Glucosamine chondroitin has proven effective in promoting healthy joint cartilage and spacing
- Practice safe athletic movements
- The most common injuries to the wrists are fractures, strains, and sprains. This is often caused by an accidental fall onto wrist, or improper athletic movements. It is recommended that athletes practice safe weight lifting regiments.
In more advanced forms of wrist pain surgical treatment might be considered. After diagnosis and proper proposed protocol, patient will be educated on the suggested procedure. After conservative treatments have failed, and the correct procedure is evaluated, surgery will then be performed followed by physical therapy and rehabilitation. The common procedure for mal-union or non-union fractures includes Open Reduction Internal Fixation. This required the surgeon to utilize hardware and diagnostic imaging to correctly reset the fractured site.
What Happens Without Treatment?
Without treatment, pain symptoms may gradually lessen overtime. However, in many cases if the injury requires surgical intervention, but is left untreated, the pain symptoms may worsen. Especially evident is the increase in angulations of a fractured wrist. If the bone begins healing at a different angle, malformation may be present. While this is uncommon in children due to their healing processes, adults may experience this occurrence more. If the structure of the anatomical part becomes affected due to the prolonged waiting to have surgery, a more advanced procedure may become necessary.
**Children are advised to be extremely careful on jungle gyms and workout equipment.
Falling off these structures is all too common.