Mayo Clinic specialists start with the least-invasive treatments possible:
- A wrist splint can provide temporary pain relief if your wrist is stable (synovitis, arthritis or degenerative tear). Mayo Clinic specialists may suggest modifying your activities (changing your golf or tennis swing, for example) to provide long-term relief.
- A wrist and forearm cast may be recommended if you have a recently ruptured ligament or dislocated tendon. It can take four to six weeks for the injured tissue to heal.
- Cortisone injections can relieve pain.
Mayo Clinic specialists usually recommend minimally invasive (arthroscopic) surgery if:
- Your pain persists after other treatments
- You have a split UT ligament
- You have older (chronic) tissue damage from a degenerative condition
Arthroscopic surgery is done through several small incisions instead of one large one.
More extensive surgery may be needed if you have an older ligament or tendon injury. Injured tissue stiffens and deteriorates over time. It usually can't be repaired and must be replaced. The options include substituting a tendon for a ligament or rebuilding the joint.
After surgery your wrist and forearm will be in a cast for about six weeks. Mayo Clinic specialists will show you exercises to increase your wrist's range of motion. You may need occupational therapy. You can expect your wrist to recover its full strength within a few months.
Feb. 14, 2011