A direct blow, penetrating injury, twisting, jerking, jamming, or bending abnormally can cause acute injury. Bruising, damage to ligaments, joints and tendons, pulled muscles, broken bones, sprains, dislocations and crush injuries can result.
Wrist fractures are common and can often be treated with casting, surgery or both. Two types of wrist fracture are:
- Scaphoid (Navicular) Fracture: Caused by a fall or a direct blow to the wrist. This bone has an unusual blood supply which can cause healing problems.
- Galeazzi Fracture: This is a type of radius fracture of the forearm. In addition to the fracture of the radius, this fracture includes injury of the distal radio-ulnar joint of the wrist. Treatment of a Galeazzi fracture is with surgery to repair the radius fracture.
Sprains and Dislocations
Sprains and dislocations are injuries to the ligaments and soft-tissues, and frequently occur around the small joints of the hand and wrist. It is important to obtain a proper diagnosis of a wrist sprain or dislocation so treatment is appropriate for the injury. However, these injuries are sometimes not treated, and can cause ongoing, unresolved pain. Your physician can help improve your pain and function, even months or years later.
- Lunate Dislocation: In a lunate dislocation of the wrist, one of the carpal bones shifts out of position. A lunate dislocation is usually a severe injury causing pain, swelling, and numbness. Treatment requires the bone to be brought back into normal position.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
“Overdoing” an activity or repeating the same activity can cause stress on the joint or tissues. In the wrist, one of the most common is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). A “pinched nerve” at the wrist, carpal tunnel is caused by increased pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel itself is a space in the wrist where nerves and tendons pass from the hand to the arm. When pressure in the tunnel builds up from swelling, the nerves become pinched and cause numbness, tingling, and pain in the arm, hand, and fingers. Common causes include:
- Repetitive grasping with the hands
- Repetitive bending of the wrist
- Exercise or sports, especially racket sports
- Improper and ill-fitted equipment
- Broken or dislocated bones in the wrist which produce swelling
- Arthritis, especially the rheumatoid type
- Thyroid gland imbalance
- Hormonal changes associated with menopause
The hand surgery specialists at Oakland Regional Hospital treat these and many more conditions of the hands, fingers and wrists. If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or a decrease in function, click below to make an appointment for a consultation. Or, call the Appointment Hotline at (248) 423-8484.