sprained wrist treatment

Your wrist is one of the most important parts of your body, as it helps you do numerous everyday tasks, from holding something light like a pen to something heavy like a 100-pound weight, your wrist is something you don’t want to injure. However, accidents do happen so here is how to tell if your wrist is broken or sprained. 

Broken Wrist vs Sprained Wrist

broken wrist

A sprained wrist happens when a ligament in the wrist becomes injured. Ligaments are bands of connected tissue that stretch from bone to bone. Wrist sprains usually involve an overstretched or torn ligament

A broken wrist happens when you fracture a bone in the wrist. The wrist is made up of 13 different bones that can break during an injury. Even the smallest of fractures can cause considerable pain.

Symptoms of a Broken Wrist

  • Crooked wrist
  • Swelling around the wrist
  • Bone protruding through the skin
  • Intense sharp stabbing pain
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising 

Related: When to Go to the ER for a Sprained Ankle

How Common Are Wrist Fractures and Sprains? 

25% of fractures seen in children by a pediatrician are wrist fractures.

wrist fractures in children

18% of elderly fractures are broken wrists.

elderly wrist fractures
wrist fractures between genders

The risk of breaking a wrist is higher in boys (42%) than it is in girls (27%)

wrist fractures in sports

23% of all sports fractures involve the distal part of the radius.

Treatment for a Sprained Wrist

RICE Treatment Method

For a sprained wrist, the best treatment is to use the RICE method:

Rest: An injury needs healing, a sprained wrist won’t heal in motion. Avoid moving your hand as much as possible. 

Ice: Ice will help with the swelling because it helps remove excess heat from your wrist which presents itself after an injury. Ice will also decrease swelling and pain.

Compression: Wrapping up your wrist provides support and prevents swelling from building up.

Elevation: Keeping your wrist in an elevated position will help your body absorb the extra fluid that gets caused by excess swelling. You should place your calf on an arm sling. Your wrist should be at an equal level with your heart. Your wrist should also be free and not compressed while elevated.

How Long Does it Take for a Broken Wrist to Recover?

Healing time typically depends on the overall health of a person. On average, a broken wrist takes about six weeks to heal properly. Make sure to follow all directions given by your healthcare physician in order to avoid further complications.

Now that you know how to tell if a wrist is broken or sprained, please make sure to get the appropriate medical care. Stop by Village Emergency Centers in Katy, River Oaks, Clear Creek, or Jersey Village for the quality medical care that you deserve.