What Are Wrist Ligament Injuries?

The wrist ligaments connect the eight small wrist (carpal) bones to one another and to the bones of the forearm and hand. When they are injured, usually due to a fall on an outstretched hand, any of the following symptoms may present:
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Weakness
Wrist instability can also occur. Nonsurgical treatment of wrist ligament injuries is usually effective. However, in some severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.

How Are Wrist Ligament Injuries Treated?

There are many nonsurgical treatment options available, including:
  1. Activity modification. Slowing down of stopping activities that cause pain.
  2. Semi-immobilization. A removable wrist brace.
  3. A splint or cast.
  4. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter and prescription medications used to decrease inflammation and pain.
  5. Hand therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises.
Any, all, or any combination of these treatments can be used to decrease symptoms and heal the injured ligaments. Surgical treatment may be used to repair severely damaged and/or torn ligaments. Because tendon damage is patient specific, tendon repair surgery is something that should be discussed with an orthopedic hand surgeon.