Caring For Your Wrist Injuries
Orthopedic Wrist Care at The Medical Center of Aurora
Wrist injuries are very common among athletes and those who perform repetitive motions for their jobs or hobbies. It is important to see a doctor right away if you have severe pain in your wrist, swelling in the wrist, swelling or numbness in the wrist or fingers.
Make an appointment with a hand specialist at The Medical Center of Aurora. Call Now! 303-873-0630.
If your fingers, hand or wrist go cold or begin to turn gray or slightly blue in color or if you hear an abnormal clicking or grating sound when you move your wrist, see a orthopedic doctor or hand surgeon immediately.
Orthopedic Wrist Injuries
Arthritis of the Wrist
Arthritis of the wrist affects each person differently and can cause significant pain and reduced quality of life. Symptoms of arthritis in the wrist include pain and stiffness of the wrist, swelling around the wrist, wrist weakness (inability to do daily functions), limited motion and a clicking or grinding sound during movement.
Arthritis of the wrist is treated with the goal of relieving pain, maintaining mobility and function, and improving quality of life. Treatment can include lifestyle changes, pain relieving medications and anti-inflammatory medications. In more advanced cases of rheumatoid arthritis of the wrist, hand surgery may be required.
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by compression of the median nerve. Symptoms of Carpal tunnel syndrome include pain, tingling and numbness in the thumb, index and middle finger. Pain may go all the way to the elbow. Constant, repetitive hand motion may aggravate the ligaments and tendons increasing the pain.
Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome focuses on minimizing the pain. This includes altering the use of the hand and wrist, ice and elevation, physical therapy, wrist stabilizing devices and over-the-counter of prescription medications. If the carpal tunnel syndrome is severe or does not improve with nonsurgical treatments, hand surgery may be needed. The most common surgical procedure for carpal tunnel syndrome is carpal tunnel release.
Colles’ fracture / Distal radius fracture
A Colles’ fracture / distal radius fracture is a break is considered a break in the wrist. This often happens when someone falls on an outstretched arm. In young adults (18-25) a Colles’ fracture/distal radius fracture happens during a traumatic accident such as a skiing/snowboarding accident or car accident. For older adults a simply fall from standing height can cause this type of fracture due to the presence of osteoporosis.
Symptoms of a Colles’ fracture/distal radius fracture include pain and swelling in the wrist, bruising, tenderness, and the wrist looking deformed. The wrist should be immobilized and a hand surgeon should be seen immediately for treatment.
Depending on the extent of the fracture, hand surgery may or may not be required. A cast, splint, or sling may be needed to protect, support, and keep your wrist in line while it heals. Over-the-counter or prescription medications and rest will also be required.
De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
De Quervain's tenosynovitis is an irritation of tendons running from the wrist to the thumb. Symptoms of De Quervain's Tenosynovitis include pain in the thumb and wrist, and associated pain which may increase running up through the forearm. It may be difficult or painful to grasp or lift objects and there may be swelling at the base of the thumb.
Treatment goals for De Quervain's tenosynovitis is to relieve pain and help regain function. Supportive care may include restricting activities of the thumb and wrist, ice therapy to help relieve swelling, a thumb splint to support the wrist and medication such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If supportive care is not helpful, cortisone injections may be advised to reduce swelling. If injections do not relieve the pain, hand surgery may be advised to open the tunnel that the tendon passes through.
A wrist fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in the wrist. Symptoms of a fractured wrist include pain, swelling and bruising around the wrist, limited range of wrist or thumb motion or a visible deformity in the wrist.
Treatment for a fractured wrist includes aligning the wrist bones and immobilizing the wrist while the bones heal. A wrist splint or a cast will prohibit movement of the wrist, while pain relief medications will help manage the pain. Physical and rehabilitative therapy will help with recovery once the splint or cast is removed.
Ganglion Cyst of the Wrist and Hand
A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac. It is usually attached to the membrane that surrounds a tendon or a joint lining. Ganglion cysts usually appear on the back of the wrist. They may also be on the underside of the wrist, hand and fingers.
Some ganglion cysts go away without treatment. For others, treatment to remove the cyst can include putting a needle into the cyst to drain the fluid, injecting a corticosteroid solution into the cyst, or a hand surgeon may need to surgically removing the cyst.
Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome of the Wrist
Ulnar tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed at the wrist. It causes numbness and tingling in the fingers and weakness in the hand. This most often happens when there is a growth pressing on the nerve. Treatment for the ulnar tunnel syndrome can include physical therapy, lifestyle changes to relieve pressure and pain relief medications. In some cases, a hand surgeon may need to surgically remove the growth causing the pressure.
A wrist sprain is stretching or tearing of the ligaments supporting the wrist. The most common cause of a wrist sprains are falling on an outstretched hand. Repetitive motion can also cause a wrist sprain.
Treating a wrist sprain includes rest and immobilization, ice, compression and elevation. A brace may keep the wrist still as it heals, or a cast may be needed for 2-3 weeks in cases of severe sprain. Surgery may be needed to repair a ligament that is torn completely, or if there is an associated fracture. After treatment for a wrist sprain, physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises are recommended to regain strength and function in the wrist.
Make an orthopedic wrist appointment at The Medical Center of Aurora. Call Now! 303-873-0630.
Orthopedic Surgeons Specializing in Wrist Care at The Medical Center of Aurora
The Medical Center of Aurora is proud to be home of the some of Denver’s best orthopedic surgeons. Our fellowship trained physicians and certified nurses provide high-quality care in a patient-centered setting. We have low infections rates and fast recovery rates. Our medical staff is committed to providing patient education and individualized patient care so that our patients receive the best possible outcome for your wrist injury or illness.
For your comfort, safety and to achieve the best possible outcome, The Medical Center of Aurora has updated and renovated operating rooms and has invested in the most advanced orthopedic surgery technology available including sophisticated imaging equipment for successful minimally invasive surgeries.