A sprained wrist is a common injury and it usually results from falls. When a person falls, instinct will be to spread the hands out to break the fall. This action can result in a sprained wrist. This injury is also very common among people who play a lot of active sports.
Sprains are graded depending on the severity of the injury.
- Grade 1. The ligaments are stretched and there is very little to no tearing.
- Grade 2. There is partial tearing and some loss of function.
- Grade 3. The ligaments are completely torn and bone involvement may be present. Imaging studies can reveal the presence of avulsion fractures.
Sprained Wrist Symptoms
The following are the most common symptoms of Wrist Sprains.
- Pain. This is immediate and it is worse the higher the sprain grade. The pain can occur with or without movement.
- Swelling. This can occur immediately and the affected wrist can balloon in size.
- Loss of function. The patient may not be able to use the affected wrist as a result of pain or weakness.
- Bruising. The affected wrist can discolor and produce a bruise as a result of the injury.
In severe sprains, patients may also feel and hear ‘Crepitus’. This is a crispy rough sound that is associated with fractures.
Sprained Wrist Healing Time
The healing time for a sprained wrist is going to depend on the degree of damage.
- Grade 1. Patients can expect full recovery in 2 to 3 weeks.
- Grade 2. Full recovery may occur in 4 weeks.
- Grade 3. This takes longer especially when there is bone involvement; patients may see full recovery in as long as 8 to 10 weeks.
Sprained Wrist Home Remedies
Severely sprained wrists are going to need medical attention and that can sometimes involve surgery. Minor sprains can be treated at home as soon as the grading has been confirmed. Some home remedies for a sprained wrist include:
- Cold Compresses. This is also a first aid technique and it helps to keep the inflammation down.
- Immobilization. For the first days to a week following an injury, a sprained wrist is going to be left immobile to help with recovery.
A week or a couple of weeks following the injury, patients can practice the following treatments to help treat their sprained wrists.
- Warm Compress. This helps to bring any inflammation down. It may be alternated with cold compresses.
- Exercises gradually increasing in intensity. These help the wrists to regain its strength and mobility.