The Wrist Doctor - What You Should Know

Wrist doctor examining hand



5 Signs You Need to See a Wrist Doctor

1. You Injured Your Wrist

If you fall on your wrist and you are experiencing extreme pain, loss of mobility, swelling or bruising, you need to seek medical help. These could all be signs of a broken wrist.

2. Your Wrist Pain Won’t Go Away

If your wrist pain will not go away or worsens, it may be a sign of a more serious injury or condition. Talk to a hand specialist about treatment options.

3. You Have a Hard Time Grasping Objects

If you find it difficult to grasp a doorknob or open a jar, it may be a sign of wrist arthritis.

4. It is Difficult to Fall Asleep or Stay Asleep

If your wrist pain keeps your up at night or wakes you up, it is important that you seek treatment options.

5. You Have Tingling or Numbness in Your Fingers

Tingling and numbness in the fingers may be a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. You may need treatment like physical therapy or even surgery to alleviate symptoms.



What is Causing my Wrist Pain?

Wrist pain may be caused by everyday activities like typing and driving, or it may be a sign of an injury or condition.

Common Wrist Injuries:

Sprained Wrist

A wrist sprain can be caused by falling wrong on your hands. Athletes are the most likely to experience a wrist sprain - especially gymnasts, basketball players, baseball players, skiers, and snowboarders.

If you have a sprained wrist, you may experience swelling, bruising, pain, and loss of motion in and around the wrist.

Fractured Wrist

A fractured wrist, also known as a broken wrist, occurs when at least one of the bones in your wrist breaks. A fractured risk may occur from slipping on ice and using your hands to break your fall or falling while you are snowboarding.

You may notice right away that you have a broken wrist if you wrist is bent in some way. Other signs may include severe pain, swelling, and bruising.

If you think you may have a fractured wrist, seek medical attention immediately. It is important to get treatment as soon as possible for proper healing and alignment.

Common Wrist Conditions:

Wrist Arthritis

The three types of wrist arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis.

Wrist arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the wrist joint starts to wear away. It is most common in older adults, but it can affect anyone.

Wrist pain and swelling near the wrist joint can be signs of wrist arthritis. It may also be difficult to grip objects like a doorknob.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve, the nerve that extends from your forearm to your hand.

There is not a direct cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, but injuries and conditions like wrist fracture or wrist arthritis can increase the risk of developing CTS.

Carpal tunnel syndrome may feel like tingling, numbness, and weakness in the fingers and hand.

Wrist Tendinitis

Wrist tendonitis is caused by inflammation of the wrist tendon. It can be caused by overuse, injury, or wrist conditions like arthritis.

Pain that worsens with movement, swelling, and warmth may all be signs of wrist tendonitis.



How Will my Wrist Pain be Diagnosed?

When you come to see one of our hand and upper extremities specialists in Nashville or Franklin, they will review your medical history, symptoms, and perform a physical examination.

To confirm diagnosis, they may need to take an MRI, X-ray, or NCS test.



How Can I Treat my Wrist Pain?

After your wrist specialist diagnosis your wrist pain, they will come up with a treatment plan.

A wrist doctor may recommend a range of treatment options from ice and medication all the way to surgery.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Wrist Pain

Our hand doctors focus on conservative treatment methods before considering surgery whenever possible. Some of the non-surgical treatment options they may recommend include:

Surgical Treatment Options for Wrist Pain         

If non-surgical treatment does not help, surgery may be the only option for your wrist pain. Conditions and injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist arthritis, and wrist fracture are more likely to require surgery than other conditions; however, surgery is not always necessary.

If you do need wrist surgery, your hand specialist may perform any of the following:



Our Wrist Doctors in Nashville and Franklin, TN

If you are experiencing wrist pain, seek help from one of our wrist specialists in Middle Tennessee! They treat a range of wrist, hand, and upper extremity conditions.

Dr. Thomas Dovan

Dr. Dovan received his fellowship in the wrist, hand, shoulder, and elbow at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Dovan sees all kinds of patients. He states “I see a lot of athletes, a lot of children who hurt themselves on the playground, I also see a lot of retired people who just want to keep going. They like to play golf, they like to play tennis, but also they just like to have a pain-free or lower pain lifestyle.”

Dr. Samuel Crosby

Dr. Crosby received his fellowship in the hand and upper extremity from Harvard University. Dr. Crosby works with both children and adults. He states “I love working with kids, it really adds a different dynamic to my practice. Kids are fun, honest, open, they always come in with new surprises – and the truth is, kids heal really well. I always tell their parents, If I could make everybody heal like kids, my job would be much easier.”



If you or a loved one are experiencing wrist pain, come see one of our hand doctors in Nashville or Franklin, TN! To schedule an appointment, call us or request an appointment online at a location near you!




Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, July 1). Broken wrist. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from

WebMD. (2021, May 13). Sprained wrist injury: Symptoms,treatments, and recovery. WebMD. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from


Marina von Rutenberg Marina is the Marketing Coordinator for Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. She has been writing and reviewing medical content since 2021.

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