Conditions & Treatments

Wrist Sprains

Facts about

Wrist Sprains

A sprain is an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are the connective tissues that connect bones to bones; they could be thought of as tape that holds the bones together at a joint.

Wrist sprains are especially common due to falls and sports activities. The wrist is usually bent backwards when the hand hits the ground, such as when someone slips or trips and falls. These injuries also frequently occur during sports such as football and snowboarding. After injury, the wrist will usually swell and may show bruising. It is usually very painful to move.

The most common ligament to be injured in the wrist is the scapho-lunate ligament. It is the ligament between two of the small bones in the wrist, the scaphoid bone and the lunate bone. There are many other ligaments in the wrist, but they are less frequently injured.

Sprains can have a wide range of severity; minor sprains may have minimal stretch of the ligaments, and more severe sprains may have complete ruptures of the ligament(s).

Surgery &

Other Treatments

Initially your doctor will examine your wrist to check its flexibility and stability and to see where it hurts. X-rays are taken to check the alignment of the wrist bones and to check for any fractures.

Occasionally other studies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be performed to help determine the diagnosis. Treatment may range from immobilization in a splint or cast to surgery.

Surgery may consist of arthroscopic or open surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is performed through small (3-4 millimeter) holes in the skin where a camera and other special instruments are placed inside the wrist to confirm the diagnosis and potentially treat the ligament injury. Some injuries require open surgery in which an incision is made to repair and/or reconstruct the ligament. A variety of methods exist, which could include metal pins, screws, and other specialized devices.

Patients are usually placed in a splint or cast after surgery, which may need to remain on for 6-12 weeks after surgery. The doctor will determine the best course of treatment.

Associated &

Chronic Injuries

Occasionally fractures occur along with wrist sprains. These may require additional surgery to repair the fracture with metal pins, screws, or plates. Cartilage damage in the wrist which does not show up in an X-ray may also be present.

The term “chronic” refers to an old injury of greater than several months to years. If there is no or minimal cartilage damage, the ligament may be reconstructed as discussed above.

If there is moderate to severe cartilage damage (arthritis), symptoms may be pain, stiffness, and swelling. These may be first treated with splinting and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, and later with cortisone injections.

If these treatments fail, surgery may be an option. This may be a partial wrist fusion, removal of arthritic bones (proximal row carpectomy), wrist replacement, or complete wrist fusion. The doctor will determine the best course of treatment.

For patients’ wrist sprain treatment and rehabilitation, referring doctors may contact one of our doctor’s offices in West Bloomfield, Howell, Macomb, or St. Clair Shores.

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Dr. Aroras office from my first call to schedule my appointment was friendly. Walking in the first day, I felt like I was in a nice atmosphere. Dr. Arora was EXCELLENT in taking great care of my hand injury. He was gentle and very understanding to the concerns I had about my hand. His expertise was admirable and I would recommend anyone with an injury to their hand to his office to be under his care. Because of him, I have healed faster than expected and will make an 100% recovery! Thank you Dr.

Jackie S.

I first thought I was going to have to have painful injections or surgery, but Dr. Arora suggested physical therapy may do the trick. I was doubtful, but I agreed to do it. Now, my pain is gone, and with the help of an ergonomic keyboard at work to keep my hands in the correct position, I am virtually pain free. The therapy strengthened my wrists and shoulders, and built more flexibility into my wrists.

Jerry T.

My experience with this doctor was positive from the outset. Dr. Arora was kind and spent a great deal of time with me. Staff was friendly. The office was nice and bright.

Ariel G.

Very friendly and helpful Great staff!!! Doctor Arora was very professional and did great work. I was very happy with everything!

L B.