Jennifer’s Twisted Wrist

Jennifer tripped and fell, breaking her fall with her outstretched hand. The force of the impact bent her hand back toward her forearm. Jennifer is an ER nurse. She has high deductible insurance and knows that an ER visit will be expensive and a referral for an appointment with an orthopedist will take time. Jennifer wanted to know if she had a fracture or a sprained wrist.

A friend recommended DOC and she remembered passing the DOC location. She was greeted and treated with no wait time by a friendly staff, including Blake Lyman, the PA-C, who ordered X-rays and diagnosed no fracture, but a wrist sprain.

A wrist sprain generally occurs due to acute impact such as attempting to break a fall with the wrist like Jennifer or in contact sports. The stressful impact results in the ligaments that connect bone to bone to overstretch and develop minor tears. There are many ligaments in the wrist that can be stretched or torn, resulting in a sprain.

Symptoms of a wrist sprain may vary in intensity and location. The most common symptoms of a wrist sprain include:

  • Swelling in the wrist
  • Pain at the time of the injury
  • Persistent pain with wrist movement
  • 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

Jennifer suffered with pain, swelling and tenderness.

Wrist sprains can range from mild to severe. It was important for the DOC orthopedic specialist to evaluate Jennifer’s wrist injury. She wanted and needed to know the proper diagnosis for treatment to help avoid long-lasting wrist stiffness and pain.

Her moderate sprain needed to be immobilized with a wrist splint for several weeks. If immobilization causes any stiffness in the wrist, stretching exercises can help Jennifer regain full mobility. DOC’s orthopedic examination, diagnosis and treatment costs with X-rays were much less expensive than any other options. Jennifer left happy, saving time and money at DOC.

There are more than 200,000 cases of wrist sprains in the U.S. every year. Protective gear supports the wrists for snowboarding, skating, skiing, and diving athletes. For Jennifer, good shoes with traction and care on uneven surfaces may be her best defense.

Other Resources:

Wrist Sprains – American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

   

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