A wrist sprain is caused by trauma. The most common way this happens is by falling on an outstretched hand.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will also be asked how you hurt your wrist. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on your wrist.
It can be hard to tell a wrist sprain from a fracture or dislocation of one of the small wrist bones. Pictures of the wrist may be taken. This can be done with:
- MRI scan
- CT scan
Treatment will depend on the joint involved and how much it is injured. The goal of treatment is to ease pain and improve movement. Choices are:
- Supportive care, such as rest, ice, a compression bandage, and raising the wrist to ease pain and swelling
- Over the counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen
- A brace or cast to keep the wrist still as it heals
- Physical therapy to strengthen the wrist and improve movement
Some people may need surgery to repair a ligament that is torn. This is not common.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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