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Wrist Injury
(Wrist Fracture)

What Kinds of Wrist Injuries are Possible?

  • The wrist is made up of the two bones of the forearm (the radius and ulna) and eight carpal bones (scaphoid or navicular, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and the hamate). Many ligaments connect these bones to each other.
  • A sprain is an injury to the wrist ligaments without any evidence of bone injury (that is, no broken bones or cracks in the bone). A strain is where there is a tearing of the muscle fibers in the area surrounding the wrist.
    • With a sprain, there is usually only a partial tearing of the ligaments.
    • In a severe wrist sprain, there can be a complete tear.
  • A fractured or broken wrist means there is a break or a crack in one or more of the bones of the wrist.

Wrist Injury Causes

The most common cause of wrist injuries is a fall on an outstretched hand.

  • You can also have wrist pain from repetitive use that results in an inflammation of the tendons (tendonitis). This is termed a repetitive motion injury and is really not a true sprain.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is another common wrist injury that may occur from repetitive motion.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/2/2015
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Wrist Injury (Wrist Fracture):

Wrist Injury - Causes

What was the cause of your wrist injury?

Exercises for Wrist Injuries

Wrist injuries, whether a sprain or a bone fracture, can be painful. As a patient heals, it's important to maintain a range of motion in the wrist.

That's why physical therapists and doctors alike recommend several types of wrist rehabilitation exercises patients can perform as they heal from a wrist injury.

But remember, with any type of rehabilitation, talk to your doctor first about which exercises are best for you.


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

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Wrist injuries are common among athletes.

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