Wrist Sprain

Dr. Steven Rueda is one of the most sought after doctors for wrist sprain in Palm Beach. Wrist sprain is the medical name given to injury of the wrist ligaments. These ligaments are tissues that connect bones to other bones. Injury to the ligaments can be simple bruising, a partial tear, or a full tear of the ligament.

Wrist Sprain Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms arising from wrist sprain are caused by inflammation of the ligaments, and by mechanical symptoms of unstable bones in cases where the ligaments fully tear. Fortunately the majority of the tears that occur are partial. The most common complete ligament tears in the wrist are the “scapho-lunate ligament” (SL) tears, and the “triangular fibrocartilage complex” (TFCC) tears. Some of the most common symptoms include:


  • Pain in the wrist with bending
  • Pain in the wrist with twisting
  • Swollen and puffy wrist
  • Cracking and popping when moving the wrist
  • Decreased range of motion of the wrist

In some cases patients present with all of the symptoms, and in some cases only with some of them. Other conditions like a wrist fracture can cause similar findings.

The diagnosis wrist sprain is usually performed by clinical examination, history, and xray imaging. Dr. Rueda uses xrays to rule out any underlying fractures. In some cases, advanced imaging like MRI may be necessary if the suspicion for a more complex tear exists.

WHAT CAUSES Wrist Sprain?

Ligament sprains are primarily caused by trauma to the affected area. They usually result in significant pain, and in the worse scenarios they may lead to instability of the bones that they are holding together if the ligaments are fully ruptured. The image below shows some of the most commonly injured wrist ligaments.

Wrist Sprain Treatment Options

There are three main ways to treat wrist sprain: braces and splints, steroid injections, and surgery. The treatment depends on whether a full tear or partial tear has occurred, as well as the intensity of the symptoms. The main goal of sprain treatment is to control pain, and restoring ligament function for those that were fully torn.
Braces and splints are the mainstay for wrist sprains. They control pain and inflammation with immobilization of the joint. This form of treatment is ideal for those who have ligament bruising or small partial tears.
Steroid injection is an alternative that reduces the inflammation and improves pain in the joint. It is done in the office setting and is very well tolerated. In most cases it provides symptoms relief from days to months. Its an optional treatment for those with ligament bruising and small partial tears.
Surgery is indicated for patients who have failed treatment with braces and steroid injections, or those with confirmed full ligament tears.

Wrist Sprain Procedure

There are three main types of wrist sprain surgery: wrist arthroscopy, ligament repair, ligament reconstruction. Dr. Rueda is an expert in all of these procedures, and has presented on the subject in national meetings. Some of the differences across the types of surgery are listed below:

Wrist Arthroscopy:

Can diagnose ligament ruptures and remove inflammatory tissue to reduce pain

Ligament Repair:

Repairs disrupted or torn ligaments to re-establish normal anatomy

Ligament Reconstruction:

For injuries where the torn ligament is extensively damaged. The ligament is recreated using the body’s own tissue.


  • Wrist Arthroscopy: Outpatient procedure. Most patients are actually surprised at having less pain that they expected. There is tightness, swelling and bruising for first few days after surgery. A soft dressing is applied and removed in five days. The patient begins therapy to gradually increase the movement in the wrist joint.
  • Ligament Repair and Reconstruction: Outpatient procedure. Patients receive a nerve block to minimize pain after surgery. There is tightness, swelling and bruising for 2-3 weeks after surgery. A splint is worn for 4-6 weeks. The patient begins therapy to gradually increase the movement in the wrist joint after splint removal.

• Wrist Arthroscopy: Most patients generally return to work in 1 week when the incision is healed. Weight lifting and heavy manual exercise is not allowed until 3 weeks after the surgery.
• Ligament Repair: Return to work depends on the activity and profession. Those whose labor does not require strong hand activity usually return to work for basic tasks in 2 weeks wearing a splint.

Why Choose Precision Hand Center for your Wrist Sprain Procedure?

Dr. Rueda, a Hand Fellowship trained surgeon who has 7 years and 2,000 procedures of experience will be your safe and best choice for wrist sprain treatment. Successful results in these procedures require a surgeon that is experienced and knowledgeable in hand surgery and hand anatomy. Dr. Rueda has published articles in expert peer reviewed journals and his work has been presented in several national conferences. Dr. Rueda’s passion for patient education and custom centered approach will guarantee you feel comfortable every step of the way. Dr. Rueda also believes in treating his patients as if he was treating his own family; you can trust you will enter a trusting and long-term relationship and have some of the best wrist sprain treatment Palm Beach can offer.


Patients with classic history, symptoms, and exam who have failed conservative treatment are good candidates for the procedure.

Complications in wrist sprain surgery are specific to every procedure. Dr. Rueda will discuss these with you personally. Unlikely but serious risks include failure of repair or reconstruction.

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