• Dr. Terrell Joseph

What is a Sprained Wrist?

Today let's discuss a very common injury, the wrist sprain. Wrist sprains occur across the spectrum of all of our most popular sports.

I see wrist sprains especially in the sports that are popular here in the mountains, such as skiing and snowboarding.

Snowboarders are particularly vulnerable to the wrist sprain, because they tend to fall in a manner that makes the wrist a natural point of contact when hitting the ground.

snowboarders are particularly vulnerable to wrist sprains

Beginning snowboarders have a strong tendency to throw that wrist out to catch themselves when they catch an edge and fall suddenly, while more experienced snowboarders know to tuck the wrist in to absorb the impact with their arm, instead.

The Wrist Sprain is a Ligament Injury

In our world, we will often hear patients say "I tweaked my wrist" which is an immediate indication that we are dealing with a sprain. What's the difference between a "strain" and a "sprain?"

A "strain" is a muscle injury.

A "sprain" is a ligament injury.

So, generally, if you hear someone say they sprained their knee, or they sprained their wrist, they are dealing with a ligament injury. (Using the knee for an example, you often hear of an MCL sprain, for instance, and this is an injury to the medial collateral ligament.)

Hope you enjoyed that little anatomy lesson. Now let's talk more about the wrist sprain and whether you need to have it looked at by an orthopaedic specialist.

How We Treat Most Wrist Sprains

  • Here's some good news for you. Most ligament sprains (in this case, of course, we are talking about the wrist) can be treated very easy with the following

  • A brace

  • Time/rest

  • Anti-inflammatories

How We Treat the "More Serious" Wrist Ligament Injuries

The ligament that we are "on the lookout" for is the scapholunate ligament. If you have an injury to this ligament, you are dealing with a more severe injury.

Watch this video for more explanation. If you have The scapholunate ligament injury, you'll want to visit a specialist to check it out.

This video will tell you more!

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Contact Dr. Joseph

181 West Meadow Drive 
Suite 2700
Vail, CO 81657 

Tel: 970-476-7220

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