You will be asked about your symptoms and how you hurt your wrist. An exam of your wrist will be done.
Pictures of your wrist may be taken. This can be done with:
- X-rays to rule out damage to the bone
- MRI scan
- CT scan
Wrist sprains are graded from 1 to 3:
- Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of ligament
- Grade 2—Partial tearing of ligament
- Grade 3—Complete tearing of ligament
Your wrist will need time to heal. Do not do things that cause pain or put extra stress on your wrist.
Ice may help reduce swelling and pain in the first few days after the injury.
Compression can reduce swelling. Use an elastic bandage around the wrist.
Elevation can also help reduce swelling. Raise the arm higher than the heart. A couple of days of elevation might be advised for severe strains.
Pain Relief Medicine
Your doctor may advise over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen.
Note: Aspirin is not advised for children with a current or recent viral infection. Check with your doctor before giving your child aspirin.
Support may be needed to protect, support, and keep the wrist in line while it heals. This may include:
- A brace—A brace may need to be worn to keep the wrist still as it heals.
- A cast—A cast may be needed for 2-3 weeks in cases of severe sprain.
- Rehabilitation exercises—Exercises to strengthen muscles and range of motion may be advised by a doctor or physical therapist.
- Surgery—Surgery is rarely needed. However, it may be needed to repair a ligament that is torn completely.
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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a (Sprain, Wrist)
American College of Sports Medicine http://www.acsm.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
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