Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Wrist Tenderness Overview

What is wrist tenderness?
A person with wrist tenderness has pain in the wrist when pressure is applied to one of the structures in the wrist. Wrist tenderness may be caused by inflammation, infection, or injury. Common causes of wrist tenderness include wrist tendinitis, wrist contusion, wrist sprain, wrist bursitis, wrist fracture, and arthritis.

What are the symptoms of wrist tenderness?
Symptoms that occur with wrist tenderness include wrist redness, stiffness, swelling, and warmth. Additional symptoms may include a deformed wrist, difficulty moving the wrist, hand numbness (unilateral), and hand weakness (unilateral).

How does the doctor treat wrist tenderness?
The treatment for wrist tenderness depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for wrist pain may include rest, elevation, cold compresses, a splint, and a shoulder sling. Additional treatment may include antibiotics, corticosteroid injections, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Last Updated: Mar 1, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Wrist Tenderness References
  1. Helliwell PS. Regional musculoskeletal pain. The elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. Baillieres Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 1999 Jun;13(2):311-28. [10952866]
  2. Nagle DJ. Evaluation of chronic wrist pain. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2000 Jan-Feb;8(1):45-55. [10666652]
  3. Palmer KT. Regional musculoskeletal conditions: pain in the forearm, wrist and hand. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Feb;17(1):113-35. [12659824]
  4. Shin AY, Deitch MA, Sachar K, Boyer MI. Ulnar-sided wrist pain: diagnosis and treatment. Instr Course Lect. 2005;54:115-28. [1594843]
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