What are the treatments for a torn ligament in the wrist?

Written by carol wiley
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The treatment for a torn ligament in the wrist depends on whether the ligament is completely torn or partially torn (a wrist sprain) and how bad the sprain is.

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Background

Ligaments in the wrist connect all the carpals, small wrist bones, to each other and also connect the carpals to the bones of the forearm and metacarpal, finger, bones. Injury to one or more of these ligaments changes the way the bones move as a unit, causing pain and eventually arthritis if not properly treated.

RICE

The first treatment for any sprain is RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation. The Langone Medical Center recommends icing the wrist for 15 to 20 minutes, four times a day for several days. Also, wrap your wrist in an elastic compression bandage and keep the wrist above the level of your heart as much as possible for 48 hours.

Brace or Cast

You may need to wear a brace to keep your wrist immobile, especially if you play sports. For a severe sprain, your doctor may recommend a cast for two to three weeks.

Surgery

Surgery is usually only necessary to repair a completely torn ligament.

Physiotherapy

As the torn ligament starts to heal, rehabilitation exercises to restore flexibility, range of motion and strength in your wrist are important.

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