The open wrist is one of the most common conditions in traumatology; in medicine, it is known as a wrist sprain. This condition occurs due to overstretching or tearing of the ligaments, solid and flexible fibers responsible for supporting the bones of the joint. In general, people open their wrists when they land badly on one of their hands when they fall.
Depending on the pull on the ligaments, an open wrist can be a mild or severe injury classified into three degrees. Properly treating these injuries is essential to prevent ligament inflammation from becoming a recurring condition that can cause arthritis. At FastlyHealwe have prepared this article so that you can learn much more about the open wrist: symptoms and treatment.
Degrees of injury from an open wrist
According to their severity and the strain on the ligaments, wrist sprains, or types of the open wrist, are classified as follows:
- Grade 1 is considered a minor injury since the ligaments were stretched too much but did not break.
- Grade 2: In this grade, the ligaments are partially torn, and the joint may need to be balanced with a splint or cast.
- Grade 3: the ligaments are completely torn and represent a severe injury that must be treated surgically.
When an open wrist is considered a grade 3 injury and is not treated correctly, the ligaments and bones can weaken over time and cause chronic joint pain, even leading to or triggering arthritis.
Symptoms of an open wrist
The symptoms of an open wrist are easily recognized because they appear almost immediately after the injury has occurred when the hand is at rest since if it is in motion, it is likely that the pain will take a little longer to appear. As time passes, the symptoms tend to be more intense, and mobility can be compromised due to inflammation. Fortunately, a wrist sprain is not a high-risk health condition, so its discomfort is not considered severe. The symptoms of an open wrist are:
- Loss of strength and stability.
- Joint pain.
- Inflamed wrist.
- Pain in the hand
- Inflammation of the hand.
- Loss of mobility or difficulty moving the wrist.
- Warmth sensation.
- Numbness of the hand and wrist.
Open wrist treatment
Treatment of the open wrist can vary depending on the degree of injury and is primarily focused on reducing inflammation and pain. Suspending any activity with the injured wrist or hand is very important to prevent the damage from worsening and ensure complete recovery of the ligaments. Treatment of the open wrist consists of:
- Relieve pain with cold: to improve hand and wrist ailments, cold compresses should be applied for 15 minutes, then rest another 15 minutes and apply again. This is known as cryotherapy, the use of ice to reduce inflammation, and it is highly effective in reducing inflammation caused by stretching of the ligaments.
- Immobilize the open wrist: when the injury is mild, it is unnecessary to immobilize the wrist; however, when the sprain is grade 3, it is essential to avoid mobility ultimately to reduce inflammation and prevent the injury from worsening. The wrist can be immobilized with a cast or splint.
- Pain Relievers – The medical specialist treating you in the emergency room will prescribe several over-the-counter pain relievers to control pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy: after the injury has been treated and the rest and recovery time has passed, the doctor will likely order some physical therapy sessions to regain lost strength and improve pain if it still exists.
- Surgery – Used in grade 3 open wrist cases to repair or replace ligaments that have been completely torn. It requires hospitalization, physical therapy, rest, and pain medication.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.