There’s a common misconception that you don’t have to worry about having a dislocated wrist if you’re not an athlete. Well, you probably know by now that this is not the case. You’re reading this article because you’re experiencing it and you’re not an athlete. While it’s true that a dislocated wrist is more common in athletes, even non-athletes can experience it as well.
Either way, whether you play sports for a living or not, you can benefit from this guide. This guide will tackle everything there is to know about this condition.
What is it?
This condition happens when there is a dislocation in one or more of the carpal bones. These are small bones and there are 8 of them all in all. These 8 small bones make up the wrist.
A dislocated wrist happens due to trauma in the area. This usually happens if you fall to the ground and you used your hand for support. The wrist will carry the weight of your body and since it’s not really designed to carry it, especially during a fall when the amount of pressure is greater, dislocation can happen.
How Would You Know if You’re Suffering from it?
Of course, you’ll feel pain in the area. That’s usually the first thing that you’ll notice. You’ll feel it as soon as the trauma happens, so you’ll immediately know that something’s not right.
What makes it different from other conditions that cause discomfort in the area, then? Since there’s dislocation involved, you should also see a deformity. This is caused by the dislocated bone/s.
Due to the same deformity, you may also feel some tingling in your fingers. The most common fingers affected are the index, thumb and middle fingers. If you’re feeling a tingling sensation, this means that there’s probably damage to the median nerve. If this is the case, it’s a must to be seen by a professional.
Other Important Information
As mentioned, it’s usually caused by a trauma to the area. But to be more specific, there are other things that can cause the dislocation. There are 8 small bones namely the capitate, hamate, trapezoid, pisiform, scaphoid, trapezium, triquetrum and lunate. In most cases, the lunate bone is the one involved and dislocated. The more severe ones are the front and the perilunar dislocation of the lunate.
The situation will lead to severe damages to your ligaments. This means that it’s important to have it treated right away. While a lot of people can handle the pain and may learn to live with it, if you don’t have it treated right away, it can lead to permanent disability.
What are Your Treatment Options?
Now that you understand that you need to have it treated right away, what are your options? The best treatment is surgery. This is not a normal condition that can be treated with rehabilitation or rest. You need to have surgery done by a competent hand and wrist surgeon.
What the surgeon will do is to put the dislocated bones back in their rightful places. Once that’s done, the professional will repair the damages to the soft tissues and the ligaments.
After the surgery, your wrist will be placed in a cast to limit the movement. The cast will be in place for usually around 2 months. This should give it time to heal.
The Rehab Program
What then are your treatment options while waiting for it to heal? It’s just a waiting game. Once the cast has been removed, you’ll have to undergo a comprehensive rehab program centered on exercises that can help strengthen your wrist. This will help restore it back to normal. This can also help prevent injuries to the same area in the future.
Here are the specific steps that you need to undergo for rehab purposes:
This can help manage the inflammation. Basically, you need to Rest, apply Ice and Compression, and Elevate the wrist.
- Work on the soft tissues.
There are different therapies that you can do including scar massage. Elastomer may also be applied. In most cases, your therapist may also recommend whirlpool therapy.
- Improve the range of motion.
You should expect a loss in motion even after surgery. You need to bring back the mobility of your wrist. This will help you achieve it.
- Improve the strength.
With strengthening exercises, you should be back to carrying and lifting things again in no time.
- Improve the conditioning.
This will help you reinforce the area so that you can prevent injuries to the same area in the future.
What to Do Now
You need to consult a professional for proper diagnosis. He or she should be able to tell you if surgery is the best option for you.