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Wrist Sprains


When your wrist is bent too far, this can injure bands of tissue called “ligaments.” Ligaments connect the bones of your hand to each other. They also connect the bones of your hand to the bones of your forearm.


Wrist Sprains

Causes & Triggers

You can sprain a wrist by trying to catch yourself when you fall. Your hand bends backward too far. This hurts your ligaments. Most wrist sprains involve the scapholunate ligament.

  • Accident
  • Injury
  • Stretched or torn ligament

Signs & Symptoms

A wrist sprain can cause pain and swelling. Your skin may bruise. Your wrist may pop when you move it.

  • Joint instability
  • Pain
  • Reduced or limited wrist movement
  • Swelling

Tips & Treatment

A mild sprain may get better with rest and ice. Wrapping it and keeping it raised may help. A moderate sprain may need a splint. A severe sprain may need surgery. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for your needs.

  • Severity of wrist sprains is graded as follows:
    • Mild—Grade I: Stretched ligaments with no or minimal tearing
    • Moderate—Grade II: Partially torn ligament; may require splinting or casting
    • Severe—Grade III: Fully torn ligament; severe pain; wrist joint feels unstable; may require surgical repair
  • Consult a well-qualified orthopedic specialist for evaluation since improper diagnosis and treatment can lead to joint instability or arthritis.

Related Specialties

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