Treatments for wrist problems vary greatly, depending on the type, location and severity of the injury, as well as on your age and overall health.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), may help reduce wrist pain. Stronger pain relievers are available by prescription.
If you have a broken bone in your wrist, the pieces will need to be aligned so that it can heal properly. A cast or splint can help hold the bone fragments together while they heal.
If you have sprained or strained your wrist, you may need to wear a splint to protect the injured tendon or ligament while it heals. Splints are particularly helpful with overuse injuries caused by repetitive motions.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary. Examples include:
Nov. 04, 2011
- Severely broken bones. A surgeon may connect the fragments of bone together with metal hardware.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. If your symptoms are severe, you may need to have the tunnel cut open to relieve the pressure on the nerve.
- Tendon or ligament repair. Surgery is sometimes necessary to repair tendons or ligaments that have ruptured.
- Swigert CR. Hand and wrist pain. In: Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1807/0.html. Accessed Aug. 30, 2011.
- Questions and answers about sprains and strains. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sprains_Strains/default.asp. Accessed Aug. 30, 2011.
- Anderson BC. Evaluation of the adult patient with wrist pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 30, 2011.
- Upton DS, et al. Acute wrist injuries in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 30, 2011.
- Deune EG, et al. The patient with hand, wrist or elbow pain: Introduction. In: JB, et al. Current Rheumatology Diagnosis & Treatment. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=38. Accessed Aug. 30, 2011.
- Ferri FF. Wrist pain. In: In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed Aug. 30, 2011.