DefinitionA wrist sprain is stretching or tearing of the ligaments that support the wrist. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to each other.
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CausesThe most common causes for wrist sprains are falling on an outstretched hand and repetitive motion.
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of getting a wrist sprain include:
- Playing sports
- Job- or activity-related repetitive motion of the wrist
- Poor coordination
- Poor balance
- Reduced flexibility and strength in muscles and ligaments
- Loose joints
- Not wearing wrist guards during activities, such as in-line skating
SymptomsA wrist sprain may cause:
- Pain, tenderness, and swelling around the wrist
- Redness, warmth, or bruising around the wrist
- Limited ability to move the wrist
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and how you injured your wrist. An exam of your wrist will be done to check the stability of the joint and the severity of the injury.Imaging tests may include:
- Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of ligament tissue
- Grade 2—Partial tearing of ligament tissue
- Grade 3—Complete tearing of ligament tissue
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