Wrist Injuries

From baseball to football to boxing, wrist injuries are common for all sorts of athletes. In fact, about 25 percent of all sports injuries involve the hand or wrist. At Henry Ford, we use the most advanced and proven techniques to treat hundreds of wrist injuries every year, from sudden (acute) injuries like fractures and dislocations to ligament injuries resulting from overuse. Regardless of the cause, our sports medicine physicians are eager to be part of your recovery team.

Henry Ford Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic

For treatment of orthopedic injuries, you can get the care and the expertise of a Henry Ford orthopedic specialist at an Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic. There’s no need for an appointment or physician referral (unless required by insurance), and you will only be charged for an office visit.

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Common wrist injuries

When to see a doctor

Minor wrist injuries can often be treated at home with the R.I.C.E. method (rest, ice, compression and elevation) or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine. If you’ve sustained a traumatic wrist injury like a fracture or tear, or if pain in your wrist has worsened over the course of a few days, make an appointment with one of our sports medicine physicians.

Other reasons to see a doctor include:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Difficulty gripping objects

Request an appointment with an orthopedic specialist

How we treat wrist injuries

When you visit Henry Ford for your wrist injury, one of our sports medicine physicians will conduct a physical exam to evaluate the source and severity of your pain. If necessary, we’ll issue an X-Ray, MRI, or CT scan to diagnose the injury properly. Once a diagnosis has been made, we’ll develop a custom treatment plan that may involve rest, physical therapy, or—as a last resort—surgery.

Treatment options

Non-Surgical Treatments

R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) — When a wrist injury first occurs, patients should rest the affected area to prevent further injury from occurring; ice it to reduce pain; compress it to reduce swelling; and elevate the injured wrist above the heart to also reduce pain, swelling, and recovery time.

Physical Therapy — Many wrist injuries can be treated with physical therapy, either on its own or in conjunction with surgery. For recovering patients, Henry Ford’s rehabilitation team takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining exercise and strength training with manual therapy at more than 20 outpatient facilities across southeast and south central Michigan.

Anti-inflammatory medication — Over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol, Advil, Motrin and Aleve can often help reduce wrist pain from minor sprains and aid in initial recovery.

Surgical Treatment

Wrist arthroscopy — Using an athroscope (tiny camera) that enters the wrist via a small incision, a surgeon can diagnose and treat wrist injuries, including fractures, ligament tears, and more.

Ligament surgery — When ligaments are torn, surgery may be necessary to repair or reconstruct them.

Have an injury?
Virtual visits are available.

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If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • In the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell
  • If you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days:
    • fever
    • chills
    • drenching sweats
    • new cough
    • shortness of breath
    • body aches
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

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