With eight small bones attached to a movable joint, the wrist is a very complex structure. If you factor in the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves it’s no surprise that the wrist is one of the most commonly injured areas in the upper body. If you have recently suffered from an injury, please don’t hesitate to contact an Austin Wrist and Hand Doctor and get the healing process started today.
These are 6 common wrist conditions to watch out for per the Austin Wrist and Hand Doctor:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in your arm and hand. This is caused when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist. It’s important to see a doctor if you believe you may have carpal tunnel syndrome because early treatment will help ensure it doesn’t get worse over time.
A Ganglion cyst is a lump around the hand and wrist that occurs adjacent to joints or tendons. Ganglion cysts are noncancerous masses and will not spread to other areas, but can cause pain, tenderness, and decreased muscle tone. These cysts can occur in patients of all ages, and while there isn’t one known cause, they may form due to injury, arthritis, or joint or tendon irritation.
Arthritis of the Wrist
While there are many forms of arthritis that can affect the wrist and hand, the most common ones we see are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Typically, we only see osteoarthritis in the wrist if the patient has a previous injury. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, so if it’s found in one wrist, it’s usually affecting the other one too. The most common symptoms of arthritis of the wrist are pain, stiffness, swelling, and numbness.
A wrist fracture is the medical term for a broken wrist. This occurs when you break or crack one or more of the bones in your wrist. The most common cause of a wrist fracture is due to someone trying to catch themself during a fall and landing on their wrist. Common symptoms include: severe pain – specifically when gripping or squeezing your hand or wrist, swelling, bruising, tenderness and an obvious deformity such as a bent wrist.
Kienbock’s disease occurs when the blood supply to one of your wrist bones is cut off. This disorder typically affects young adults and involves the progressive collapse of one of the small bones in the wrist. Early on, it’s common for people to think this is a sprained wrist, because the most common symptoms are a painful and swollen wrist, stiffness, tenderness, and decreased grip strength.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are caused when there is an injury to a ligament, muscle or tendon in the wrist. Sprains range from a tiny tear in a ligament to a complete tear detaching the ligament from the bone, which is why there are three grades of sprains to determine the severity. The three grades of sprains are grade 1 (mild), grade 2 (moderate), and grade 3 (severe). Symptoms of a sprain or strain are usually swelling, bruising, tenderness, a feeling of popping or tearing, and warmth inside the wrist.
Wrist injuries happen to everyone, and when they do, don’t delay – call an Austin wrist and hand doctor to get treated. Due to how complex the structure of the wrist is and how often you use your wrist and hand, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and get a professional opinion ASAP. If you have any questions about an injury or if you’ve been living in pain for years, give our office a call. We’d love nothing more than to get you back to pain-free living!