Articles Common Wrist Injuries

January 17, 2019

We have compiled a list of common wrist injuries. It is important to accurately diagnose and identify the cause of these injuries as this will direct treatment to ensure the best outcomes.

Common Wrist Injuries- TFCC (Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex)

The TFCC is comprised of a specialised pad of cartilage and ligaments located towards the little finger side of your wrist. Its role is to absorb impact and help stabilise the bones of the wrist joint. These injures typically occur following a fall onto an outstretched hand or excessively rotating the wrist. Symptoms can include pain over the TFCC, pain/numbness/ tingling into the little finger, restricted wrist movement, weakness, difficulty bearing weight through an extended wrist (i.e. push up position) and difficulty with rotational wrist movements.

Common Wrist Injuries- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

The carpel tunnel is located on the palm side of the wrist and comprised of 9 tendons and 1 nerve (median nerve). Problems arise when the nerve becomes compressed due to swelling within the carpel tunnel. Symptoms typically include pain/numbness/tingling into the thumb, 1st and 2nd fingers, hand weakness, cramping, pain with repeated/prolonged gripping and night pain. Carpel tunnel can arise following trauma (i.e post wrist fracture) or from overuse.  People who are in occupations requiring repeated use of tools and pregnant women are particularly prone to developing this condition. Similar symptoms can also arise from the neck, it is therefore important to be assessed thoroughly to locate the source of the symptoms.

Common Wrist Injuries- Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion is a small non cancerous fluid filled nodule. These are most commonly found on the tendon sheaths located on the back of the wrist but can also appear on the fingers, ankles and feet. Symptoms include a palpable or visible lump over the tendon and occasionally pain with activity. In most instances these cysts will disappear by themselves and not cause any problems. Persistent symptoms will require treatment. In the good old days we would fix the problem by giving it a good hard whack with a bible in an attempt to burst the cyst. Thankfully, things have become a little more sophisticated since then and treatment options include bracing, needle aspiration and surgical removal as a last resort. 

Common Wrist Injuries- Wrist Fractures 

Wrist fractures are normally the result of sudden impact (i.e. landing onto an outstretched hand). Symptoms can include severe pain, swelling, deformity, loss of function, bony tenderness, finger numbness, weakness and joint instability.  Wrist fractures involving the joint surfaces have more complications and can predispose people to an early onset of arthritis.

Please keep in mind the information provided is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute to consult your treating health professional. If you have any specific questions or require assistance with your individual treatment requirements please do not hesitate to contact MyFamily Physio Mona Vale, Northern Beaches Sydney.

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