Brief Outline of Wrist Sprain

Wrist sprains involve injury to the ligaments of the wrist. Such sprains are a common occurrence when the hand is extended to break a fall. Ligaments are necessary for stabilisation of the hand and control of motion. Wrist sprains vary from moderate to severe, with the latter involving complete tearing of the ligaments and instability of the accompanying joint. The injury is common to athletes engaged in football, basketball, skiing, snowboarding, rollerblading, and a variety of other sports in which the hands are vulnerable.

Anatomy and physiology

The eight carpal bones of the wrist are connected together via ligaments – fibrous bands of tissue. Such ligaments also connect the bones of the wrist with the radius, ulna and metacarpal bones. The smooth coordination of these bones required for proper hand movement is impaired when one or more ligaments are injured.

Wrist Anatomy BonesCause of Wrist Sprain

Engaging in sports where falls are common, e.g. in-line skating, snowboarding, cycling, soccer, football, baseball, and volleyball. Lack of protective equipment, including wrist guards. Muscle weakness or atrophy.

Signs and symptoms

Pain with movement of the wrist. Burning of tingling of feeling at the wrist. Bruising or discolouraion of the skin.

Complications if left unattended

Moderate to severe wrist sprains left untreated can lead to ongoing deficit of movement and strength in the wrist as well as developing arthritis at the region of the injury.

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