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Wrist Injury from a Fall?

Wrist Injury from a Fall?
Wrist Injury from a Fall?

Wrist Injury from a Fall?

Wrist sprains and injuries can range from mild to severe, depending on the fall and how much damage has been done to the ligaments. When the ligaments that support the wrist are stretched beyond their limits, they tear, causing pain, swelling, soreness, bruising, and motion loss. Most wrist sprains occur from a fall where the wrist is bent or gets twisted forcefully. It is not advised to delay diagnosis and treatment. This can result in long-term problems or even a permanent disability. Hand and wrists injuries are prevalent but should be taken seriously.

Mild wrist sprains will usually improve with a home treatment called the RICE protocol:

  • Rest. Try not to use your wrist for at least 48 - 72 hours.
  • Ice. The cold will reduce pain and swelling. Apply an ice or cold pack right away to prevent or minimize swelling. Apply the ice or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day. After 48 to 72 hours, if swelling is gone, apply heat to the area that hurts. Do not apply ice or heat directly to the skin. Place a towel over the cold or heat pack before applying it to the skin.
  • Compression. Wear an elastic compression bandage to reduce swelling. Don't wrap it too tightly because this can cause more swelling below the affected area. Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight. Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness, or swelling in the area below the bandage.
  • Elevation. As often as possible, rest with your wrist raised higher than your heart.

You may also take anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs and Aspirin to reduce swelling and pain. If you find that your wrist still hurts after 48-72 hours seeking medical treatment is advised.

Wrist injury prevention:

  • When playing sports, wear wrist guards to help protect you from a bone fracture or a sprained wrist.
  • Wearing gloves can protect the skin on your hands and palms when playing sports or skating. In addition to protecting your skin, gloves can prevent nerves from being affected by a fall.
  • Always warm-up before playing a sport, focusing on stretching and improving your flexibility.

If you have taken a fall and are experiencing pain in your hand, wrist, arm, schedule an appointment with your doctor or take a trip to the emergency room. Pain, swelling, bruising, and limited range of motion are all signs; it's time to seek medical treatment.

Dr. Daneca DiPaolo is a highly-skilled, board-certified orthopedic surgeon and hand specialist located in Grenada, Mississippi. She offers the newest orthopedic techniques, and she provides quality, compassionate, state of the art orthopedic care. For all appointments and inquiries, please call (662) 227-7794.

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons - AAOS
  • Mississippi State Medical Association
  • Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand