How Do I Know If I Sprained My Wrist?

If you notice pain originating from your wrist, you might have a sprain. Unlike a fracture, or crack in the bone, sprains result from stress injuries to one, or multiple, ligaments or tendons. Additionally, sprains can take longer to heal and, if not treated properly, will continue to cause pain and discomfort for months, or even years, after the initial injury. Like fractures, sprains have varying degrees of severity, ranging from Grade I (a stretched ligament) to Grade III (a torn ligament).

Here are a few indications you might have a sprain:

Symptoms of a Sprained Wrist

– Localized tenderness
– Pain at the time of injury
– Wrist hurts upon moving
– Mild to moderate swelling
– Bruising or discoloration
– Skin around wrist feels warm or feverish

Treatment of a Sprained Wrist

Depending on the severity, treatment of a sprain will vary. Here are some possible treatments your doctor will recommend:

Rest: Mild sprains can be treated at home with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Moderate sprains could require immobilization for the first week, possibly longer. You can use a wrist splint, which is available over-the-counter at many drugstores.  

Pain Management: Ibuprofen or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication can help reduce the swelling and the pain of a mild sprain. However, if pain and swelling persist longer than 48 hours, seek medical attention.

Physical Therapy: Moderate to severe sprains need movement to heal properly. Your doctor can recommend specific exercises to help you regain wrist mobility and strengthen your wrist to prevent future injury.

Surgery: With severe sprains, surgery might be required to reconnect the torn ligament. Post surgery, a period of rehabilitation will help strengthen the wrist and restore motion. Full recovery could take several months.

Call Coastal Orthopedics for Sprain Treatment

If you think you have a sprain, don’t hesitate to contact a physician. The experienced team at Coastal Orthopedics treat a variety of orthopedic injuries, including injuries of the hand and wrist. We will examine your hand and determine the best treatment for you.

Learn more about Coastal Orthopedics and our team here, or schedule your appointment through our Patient Portal today.