A wrist sprain occurs when the ligaments in the wrist are damaged. Wrist sprains often occur from falling, and there are different types of sprains that can occur based on severity of the sprain.
Grade 1 Wrist Sprain – The ligaments in the wrist are stretched, but nothing is torn.
Grade 2 Wrist Sprain – The ligaments in the wrist are partially torn.
Grade 3 Wrist Sprain – The wrist ligament is completely torn.
Wrist sprains are most often caused by falling. During the winter seasons, it is common for people to slip on the ice and sprain their wrist. Additionally, falling often occurs in activities like skiing, ice skating, gymnastics, and more.
Symptoms of a wrist sprain may depend on the severity of the sprain. Some common wrist sprain symptoms may include:
If you think you may have a wrist sprain, seek help from a wrist doctor near you. A doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history as well as perform a physical exam.
If your doctor thinks that you may have a wrist sprain, they may order x-ray or mri imaging to confirm diagnosis.
Treatment for a wrist sprain will depend on the severity of the sprain. For a mild sprain, a doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medication and RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation.) Moderate sprains may be treated similar to a mild sprain, but your doctor may also recommend a splint or physical therapy exercises. With severe sprains, surgery may be necessary. Seek help from a hand and upper extremity specialist to determine a proper treatment plan.
Since wrist sprains most often occur from falls, it is not always something that is preventable. However, if you play a sport that puts you at risk of spraining your wrist, it may be beneficial to wear wrist guards for protection.
The length of time it takes to heal a wrist sprain will depend on severity of the sprain and if surgery was needed. Wrist sprains will typically take between 1-6 weeks to heal. If you have to undergo surgery, your wrist may not fully heal for 6-12 months.
If you are suffering from wrist pain, seek help from a hand and upper extremities specialist near you. At Elite Sports Medicine, Dr. Thomas Dovan and Dr. Samuel Crosby specialize in injuries related to the hand and upper extremities. We have locations in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN. To schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic providers, call us or request an appointment online.