I took a bad turn at work yesterday. It would seem that I sprained my wrist. I have not seen a doc for it yet. However, let me clue you in as to what I have done.
First, I finished work. The injury occurred about 1 pm. I get off work at 4. When I got home, after picking the kids up, I iced it and held it relatively still. Then I went to work today. I iced it as I could while at work. After I left work, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a stiff brace and a flexible one. I immediately put the stiff one and still have it on. Where do I go from here? I have had people tell me that I should alternate between ice and heat. Since you are a nurse, would you mind dispensing some advice?
Thanks. How is your son by the way? Have you gotten much time in the shop since his departure? I sure haven't, just look at a prior post if you need clarification.
A sprain or strain is an injury to the wrist ligaments without any evidence of bone injury (that is, no broken bones or cracks in the bone). With a sprain, there is usually only a partial tearing of the ligaments. In severe wrist sprain, there can be a complete tear.
A fractured or broken wrist means there is a break or a crack in one or more of the bones of the wrist.
The wrist is made up of the 2 bones of the forearm (the radius and ulna) and 8 carpal bones (scaphoid or navicular, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, hamate). Many ligaments connect these bones to each other.
The most common cause of wrist injuries is a fall on an outstretched hand.
The amount of pain or the ability to move the wrist does not reliably determine whether the wrist is broken or sprained. Signs and symptoms of wrist injury include the following:
When you have fallen and injured your wrist, it is important to rest your arm.
If there is an obvious deformity of the wrist or numbness in the hand, you should lay your wrist across a soft pillow and seek medical attention immediately.
If there is no obvious deformity and you are not in severe pain, you may want to take some acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) and wait to see how the wrist feels. Again, a soft pillow is a good temporary splint.
Apply ice to the area. Do not put ice directly on your skin. Wrap a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel to create an icepack.
If pain or other symptoms do not go away within a day, you should see a doctor.
If you have severe pain, deformity, numbness, or are unable to move your wrist, you should call your doctor for an immediate appointment or go to an urgent care clinic or a hospital's Emergency Department.
If there is no deformity and the pain is manageable with over-the-counter pain medication, you may want to wait 12-24 hours before deciding whether to call the doctor. If symptoms persist after a day, see a doctor.
If you have obvious deformity, numbness, or severe pain, you need medical attention.
If there is obvious deformity or severe swelling, there may be a broken bone that needs to be moved back into its normal position.
There also can be a dislocation where the bones are no longer in the correct position although they are not broken.
The doctor will ask what happened. Sometimes the way you fell (the mechanism of injury) tells what type of injuries to look for. After taking a history, the doctor will examine the entire arm from the shoulder to the fingers. This is done to make sure there are no other injured areas. The doctor will also check to see how well the blood is flowing into the fingers and make sure there is no numbness in your hand.
When examining around the wrist, the doctor will gently push on the wrist to determine where there is tenderness. A special area that will be examined is called the anatomical snuffbox. This is the area that is indented when you stick your thumb up as if to hitchhike. Tenderness there is of special importance because the bone under that spot (the scaphoid) is the most common carpal bone that is fractured and often does not look fractured on the initial x-rays.
X-rays of the wrist or forearm or both may be taken.
If there is no fracture seen on the x-ray, the doctor may diagnose you with a sprain. In cases where there is tenderness in the anatomical snuffbox, the doctor may also suspect there may be a fracture of the scaphoid that is not showing up on the x-rays.
For a wrist sprain, the doctor may decide to treat you with no splint, a Velcro wrist splint, or plaster splint (like a cast). The decision on a splint will be based on your level of pain, amount of swelling, restriction of movement, and concern about an occult or hidden fracture. (An occult fracture is a fracture that is so small that it does not appear on the initial x-rays.) If the doctor has concerns for an occult fracture, the doctor may splint you and advise you to have repeat x-rays at your doctor's office or with an orthopedist (bone specialist) in 5-10 days.
For minor sprains, you will likely be given no splint and told to limit activity appropriate to your level of pain.
For more severe sprains, you will likely be given a Velcro wrist splint that you can take on and off. Also you might be prescribed some form of pain medication. You should make sure that you let the doctor know what other medications you are taking and any allergies that you have.
Most experts recommend only the use of ice for sprains. Some doctors may still recommend switching to heat after 24-48 hours.
Treatment of a fracture (a broken bone) depends on the specific type of fracture found. If you have a fracture, you may be treated by the doctor who sees you initially or you may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
Top to bottom (I hope I am correct. I know onw at least!)
Marc a.k.a woodmangler
Mark a.a.a. Mad Mark. What's he up to anyway?
I hope the lst one is either you (Sonny), Dick, or Limey.
Let me know. Oh yeah, the wrist. Not broken, remember my post regarding such? Check the archives. I get some decent use out of it and the pain factor is considerably diminished when I am not at work and don't have to use it all day to feed mailing machines.
BTW, incase you didn't know it already, we are pretty twisted here, aren't we? Sonny, I think that you still take the cake!!! :D ;-)
Yep you got the order eggzacary right!
But no I'm not twisted. Outragious sense of humor maybe. But not twisted.
Besides, I sure can't help you with your wrist, but I can twang on your funny bone. :7
Marc left the door open, w i d e open. That was a funny thread, I thought.
Since we were running jokes to bait Dick back in, I figured we could use a good laugh.
Listen up there feller. I think you are doing about all a doctor could have done for you. Pain is your guide, if it hurts, move it less, but don't get to immobile.
I ran 3 fingers through a sprocket on a dirt bike once. After they sewed the pinky back together, and fixed the dislocated left ring finger they put this dang brace on for 2 weeks. It took months to get the grip back in that hand. But I let pain be my guide.
Squeezed a nerf ball for a while, but I think just plain working with my tools helped the most.
You are the best judge of how to approch it. If you got it xrayed and it's OK from that view, work it as you can to help keep it mobilized.
I'll try and help keep your funny bone twanged.
Like we say at work, "NO whiening." :P
Whatcha been up to rookie?
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