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Symptoms and Signs of Wrist Injury (Wrist Fracture)

Doctor's Notes on Wrist Injury
(Wrist Fracture)

Wrist injury means the wrist, mainly composed of the distal ends of the 2 forearm bones, 8 carpal bones, tendons and ligaments (a joint) is either sprained, strained or fractured. Signs and symptoms of wrist injury (fracture) may include pain, swelling, limited range of motion of the wrist joint, skin discoloration over the joint, warmth of the joint and deformity of the joint. Tendons and ligaments may also be injured with fractures; signs and symptoms are similar.

Causes of wrist fractures most often are falls onto an outstretched hand, but almost any type of trauma (falls, hit with a blunt object, crush injuries, for example) can cause fractures. Causes of injury without fractures are often due to injuries to the tendon and ligaments without bone fracture such as repetitive use and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Wrist Injury
(Wrist Fracture) Symptoms

The amount of pain or the ability to move the wrist does not reliably determine whether the wrist is broken or sprained. Signs and symptoms of wrist injury include the following:

  • Swelling
  • Heat/warmth
  • Pain
  • Discoloration
  • Limited ability to move the joint
  • Deformity

Wrist Injury
(Wrist Fracture) 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.

Sports Injuries Types, Treatments, and Prevention Slideshow

Sports Injuries Types, Treatments, and Prevention Slideshow

Sports injuries are injuries that occur when engaging in sports or exercise. Sports injuries can occur due to overtraining, lack of conditioning, and improper form or technique. Failing to warm up increases the risk of sports injuries. Bruises, strains, sprains, tears, and broken bones can result from sports injuries. Soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and bursae may be affected. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is another potential type of sports injury.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.