Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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.

Medications

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.

Therapy

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.

Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be necessary. Examples include:

  • 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.
Nov. 04, 2011

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