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4 Common Wrist Injuries In Sports 

No matter how much you prepare yourself, there’s no going around the fact that you could get injured. In sports, it’s almost a given that people will sustain injuries in different parts of the body, including the wrists. 

The wrist allows you to articulate the position of your hand. It consists of eight small bones connected to a complex system of ligaments, muscles, and tendons. An injury to the wrist can make daily tasks challenging. So, timely intervention is crucial whenever you or someone you know gets on. For this reason, being familiar with the indications of common wrist injuries can make a difference in recovery.

Certain sports can make your wrists susceptible to sprains, fractures, and other forms of damage. Ligament injuries are the most common due to the repetitive action of the wrist, often progressing into carpal tunnel syndrome. In most cases of sprains or fractures, using a splint is an extremely helpful first aid measure. It’s also used for carpal tunnel syndrome to relieve the pressure on the nerves of the arm, keeping the condition from getting worse.

Whether you’re just an enthusiast or a pro, here are other common wrist injuries to watch out for.  

  • Wrist Sprain  

The most prevalent form of wrist injury among athletes is a sprain. It happens when the wrist is bent forcefully, causing damage to the connective tissue inside.  

A sprain can be mild or severe, with grades based on the degree of injury. A grade 1 sprain involves a stretched ligament without tearing. Grade 2 means there’s a partial tear on the ligament, while grade 3 indicates fully torn ligaments.  

A minor to moderate wrist sprain typically heals in a matter of two to ten weeks. Worse sprains naturally take longer. Luckily, there are ways to speed up the healing, such as rest, applying ice, compression with a bandage, and anti-inflammatory medication. 

  • Distal Radius Fracture 

A common type of fracture that affects the wrist is a distal radius fracture. This involves damage to the wrist end of the radius bone. Typically mistaken for a sprain, it happens when the wrist experiences shock from a heavy fall, which cracks the bone inside.

The common indication of damage in the distal radius is intense pain. You may also observe swelling that can get severe, making it difficult for you to move the affected wrist. There’s also a tingling sensation in the fingertips and some loss of movement in the fingers. In particularly bad cases, the wrist will appear deformed.

The fix a broken distal radius, a doctor places the affected wrist in a plaster cast until the bone fully heals. In cases involving misalignment of the bone that can potentially disrupt the function of the arm or wrist, realignment is necessary. Only then can a cast be applied

For more extreme distal fractures, surgery may be your only suitable treatment option. Surgeons have to open up the wrist and use tools to patch up the broken bone. Recovery will take a long time, requiring you to opt out from a lot of your routines until the fracture heals. 

Once it does, you may need physical therapy to recover the wrist function you lost. You’ll need this step to get back to your regular activities with ease, whether that be sports or academics.

  • Wrist Dislocation 

During a hard fall, the wrist can end up dislocated or out of its normal position. 

Dislocation affects the bones, tendons, ligaments, and even nerves inside the wrist. In most cases, the doctor can simply reset it back to its normal position and then apply a cast or splint to facilitate total healing. These also help stabilize the wrist until the next follow-up appointment. 

In severe cases of dislocation, surgery may be necessary. The healing process can take weeks or months, depending on the severity of the injury. 

  • Scaphoid Wrist Fracture 

The scaphoid is one of the smaller bones in your wrist. It easily gets damaged during sports. The bone is situated on the thumb side of the wrist and can be challenging to manage due to its limited blood supply. Similar to most wrist injuries, damage to the scaphoid bone usually stems from falling onto an extended hand.  

A scaphoid wrist fracture is marked by pain, swelling, and tenderness in the area beneath the base of the thumb. The pain intensifies if the thumb or wrist area is moved. Treatment usually involves casting if the fracture isn’t displaced or surgery if displacement is evident.

Treat Wrist Injuries The Right Way

The wrist is susceptible to various injuries, especially among athletes. Getting timely treatment is always key to preventing complications. With this short guide, you can know what to expect and do whenever you or someone you know gets a wrist injury.  


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About the author: Access Publishing

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Paso Robles Daily News on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.