Treatments & Conditions | Hand Microsurgery in Erie, PA

Wrist Injuries & Conditions | Hand Microsurgery in Erie, PA

Hand Microsurgery has an experienced medical staff that specializes in treatment of the upper extremities, including the wrist. The wrist is a complex joint with eight small bones and many connecting ligaments. The wrist is also a mobile joint that can move up and down and from side to side, as well as rotate. Its many small bones, bound to one another by ligaments, enable these actions to occur. On the hand side of the wrist, there are two rows of bones at the base of the hand, with four bones in each row, which are called carpals. The long thin bones of the hand radiate out from one row of carpals and form the basis of the fingers and thumb. The radius and the ulna are the two bones of the forearm that form a joint with the first row of carpals.

Wrist Sprains

A sprain is an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are strong bands of connective tissue that connect one bone to another. There are many ligaments in the wrist that can be stretched or torn, resulting in a sprain. This occurs when the wrist is bent forcefully, such as in a fall onto an outstretched hand. A few common symptoms experienced include:

  • Swelling in the wrist
  • Pain at the time of the injury
  • Persistent pain when you move your wrist
  • Bruising or discoloration of the skin around the wrist
  • Tenderness at the injury site
  • A feeling of popping or tearing inside the wrist
  • A warm or feverish feeling to the skin around the wrist

Wrist sprains can range from mild to severe. They are graded, depending on the degree of injury to the ligaments. Sometimes, a wrist injury may seem mild with very little swelling, but it could be that an important ligament has been torn that will require surgery to avoid problems later. Wrist sprains are most often caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand. This might happen during everyday activities, but frequently occurs during sports and outdoor recreation. 

Wrist Fractures

The wrist may fracture at the end of the radius and sometimes at part of the ulna. This fracture often results from a sudden fall on an outstretched hand. One of our experienced physicians at Hand Microsurgery may reposition a broken bone by closed or open reduction. Reduction can be done for all types of fractures. However, treatment will vary for each fracture and depend on the extent of injury. Treatment may also include self-care, such as wrist exercises, or a cast to prevent movement

Wrist Arthroscopy

Wrist arthroscopy is used mostly for diagnosis but in some cases can be used for treatment. It works best for showing ligament tears, or damage to the TFCC or cartilage. Arthroscopy involves using a small instrument called an arthroscope that allows for the surgeon to see inside the joint without making large incisions into the muscle and tissue. Often times, diagnosis and repairs are both done during the arthroscopy procedure.

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