Wrist Injuries

Wrist pain occurring suddenly is often caused by falling onto an outstretched arm. Wrist injuries of this type can range from a mild wrist sprain or wrist strain to a broken wrist. To give you some idea about wrist injuries, we have given a brief summary on the causes, symptoms and treatment of some of the commonly occurring injuries of the wrist such as Broken Wrist, Wrist Bursitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Wrist Ganglion and Wrist Sprain. To learn more about these conditions and other wrist injuries, please visit the complete WRIST INJURIES topics listed on the left side menu where you will find detailed information regarding causes, symptoms, and treatment with stretching and strengthening exercises.

Broken Wrist:

Broken Wrist

A break, crack or a fracture to any of the bones which forms the wrist results in a broken wrist. Broken wrist is a common sports injury especially in contact sports such as soccer, hockey, wrestling etc. People who are suffering from osteoporosis are also more prone to fracture of the wrist. Wrist fractures are classified into two types:

  • Ulna or radius fractures.
  • Carpal bones fractures.


There are more subtypes of these fractures, which you can read in detail under the "wrist injuries" section on the left side menu.

Wrist gets fractured due to direct trauma to the wrists, falling on your outstretched hand, calcium deficiency, disease of the bone etc. The athlete experiences immediate pain upon the fracture, which worsens upon movement. There is also swelling, bruising, deformity of the wrist and numbness which indicates nerve damage. Treatment comprises of closed reduction followed by splinting or casting, whereas surgery is required for more severe cases. Patient should join a rehab program after the recovery and perform some stretching and strengthening exercises for improved range of motion, flexibility and strength. We have provided various such exercises in detail under our "wrist injuries" section.

Wrist Bursitis:

Wrist Bursitis

This is inflammation of the bursae present in the wrist and is caused by irritation from direct injury to the wrist, repetitive motions of the wrist, such as seen when playing tennis or badminton etc. Symptoms experienced are pain, tenderness, swelling, redness, stiffness and worsening pain upon movement. Conservative treatment includes rest, ice therapy, compression bandages and taking NSAIDs. Non-conservative treatment comprises of fine needle aspiration of bursa and corticosteroid injections; and of course patient should follow with rehab exercises which are given in detail under our wrist injuries section on the left side of the menu.

Wrist Ganglion:

Wrist Ganglion

This is a cyst containing excess fluid which forms on the wrist joint or tendon. It can occur on any joint, but is more common on the wrist and hand. The different types of wrist ganglions are:

  • Volar Wrist Ganglion
  • Pulley or Seed Ganglion:
  • Mucous Cyst


To read more about these in detail, refer to our "wrist injuries" section on the left side menu.

Causes for this condition are stress or trauma to the joints, old wrist injuries and strenuous activities of the wrist. Symptoms include: Fluctuating pain, worsening pain upon activities, presence of a swelling or a bump. Treatment comprises of NSAIDs, using splints, fine needle aspiration and surgery in severe cases. Exercises for Wrist Ganglion can be done. To know more in detail about them, visit our wrist injuries section on the left side of the menu.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Wrist Injuries

This is a condition where the median nerve gets compressed in the carpal tunnel resulting in irritation of the nerve causing symptoms such as tingling or pain. This condition often affects the thumb, index and middle fingers. The most common cause for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is using keyboard for prolonged periods of time. Athletes participating in bowling, golf and tennis are more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome. Causes include: Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes; repetitive wrist movements, obesity, fracture, pregnancy, inflammation, bone spurs, wrist sprains and smoking. Symptoms comprise of pain and weakness of the hand. Treatment done is splinting the wrist, cold therapy, NSAIDs, surgery for severe cases followed by physiotherapy. To know more about Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, refer to our wrist injuries section on the left side of the menu.

Wrist Sprain:

Wrist Sprain

An injury or tear of the cartilage, ligaments and joint capsule of the wrist results in wrist sprain. Wrist sprain is classified as first, second and third degree sprains. Causes include falls, direct trauma to the wrist, repetitive stress to the wrist, weightlifting or boxing etc. The athlete experiences pain, warmth, stiffness, swelling and bruising. Wrist sprain is treated by rest, ice application, compression bandages, NSAIDs, casting or splinting. Physiotherapy should be done in the recovery period. To learn more about Exercises for Wrist Sprain, refer to our wrist injuries section on the left side of the menu.

Other Wrist Injury Topics Which are Covered in This Section:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: October 24, 2014

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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