Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Injured Wrist Treatment

The treatment for a wrist injury depends on the severity of the injury. Treatment for a minor wrist injury includes rest, elevation, and cold compresses. A forearm splint (wrist splint) may be applied for a short time to immobilize the wrist, allowing it to heal. Pain can be controlled with acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

General treatment for a wrist fracture includes rest, elevation, cold compresses, and pain medications. If the fractured bone has moved out of normal position, then a doctor may move it into position and place the wrist in a cast or splint. Surgery may be required for severe fractures in which the bones must be realigned and fastened into position. In most cases, healing requires 6 to 8 weeks.

Specific treatment for a wrist injury may include:

For more information:

Injured Wrist Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of wrist injury.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having a wrist injury again?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Injured Wrist Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a wrist injury:

Continue to Injured Wrist Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 9, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Injured Wrist References
  1. De Schrijver F, De Smet L. Fracture of the hook of the hamate, often misdiagnosed as "wrist sprain". J Emerg Med. 2001 Jan;20(1):47-51. [11165838]
  2. Haims AH, Moore AE, Schweitzer ME, Morrison WB, Deely D, Culp RW, Forman HP. MRI in the diagnosis of cartilage injury in the wrist. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 May;182(5):1267-70. [15100130]
  3. Musharafieh RS, Macari G. Salter-Harris I fractures of the distal radius misdiagnosed as wrist sprain. J Emerg Med. 2000 Oct;19(3):265-70. [11033273]
  4. Oskam J, Kingma J, Klasen HJ. Fracture of the distal forearm: epidemiological developments in the period 1971-1995. Injury. 1998 Jun;29(5):353-5. [9813678]
  5. Staebler MP, Moore DC, Akelman E, Weiss AP, Fadale PD, Crisco JJ 3rd. The effect of wrist guards on bone strain in the distal forearm. Am J Sports Med. 1999 Jul-Aug;27(4):500-6. [10424221]
  6. Wollman S. Patient education series. Sprains and strains. Nursing. 2003 Sep;33(9):47. [14501515]
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