Do I Need Wrist Surgery?

By  aenriquez  published  September 24, 2020

Certainly, patients in our modern times are permitted and even expected to understand the cause of their discomfort or pain and the various options available for treating a condition. They have a well-educated staff of nurses and doctors to attend to them who are fully aware that communicating well with their patients is one of their primary tasks and questions could (and should) come at them from all sides. Patients also have the Internet that has, one would think, information on every topic known to man.

There’s only one problem: It’s called time.

Patients are in a hurry; doctors and nurses are in a hurry, too. Communication takes time. As such, you need to have targeted questions about the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options you face. In these modern times, doctors and patients choose treatment options together. Everyone wants to be on the same page. To get there, you need information that will allow you to ask the right questions to understand and participate in your own recovery.

All that said, what about your wrist? It is a complex, constantly functioning part or your anatomy made up of muscles, bones, bone joints, and ligaments. Moreover, sometimes you know why your wrist hurts, especially if it’s from a traumatic event. At other times, the pain sneaks up on you. This type of injury is apt to be a wear and tear condition that evolves when you perform the same task or tasks again and again, sometimes for weeks, months, or years.

A wrist is vulnerable to a variety of common injuries. A traumatic event – an accident, or a fall, for example—results in ligament tears, sprains, and fractures. Wear and tear (overuse) injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis. Also, wrist joints are susceptible to arthritis and arthritis pain.

When to See the Doctor

The first step on the road to recovery is the decision of when to call the doctor. There are a few simple guidelines here. First, judge whether the pain is constant or intermittent. Then judge whether the pain interferes with a standard function at work or at home, such as picking up lightweight or moderately heavy items. If a hurt wrist is not functioning properly, see a doctor to find out what’s the matter.

How do you judge pain? Do this the same way it is done in a doctor’s office. Imagine a scale in which one represents a no pain at all and 10 represents pain that is hard to tolerate. If your pain levels are at five or six or higher, call the doctor, whether the pain is constant or intermittent.

Secondly, evaluate your ability to function. Can you lift the same weights that you lifted before you noticed the pain or is function compromised?

Ask yourself … is it painful to lift or twist objects? Is there numbness you cannot account for? Are you having trouble bending or straightening out your wrist?

Array of options

Your doctor could offer an array of options to correct a condition that is causing mild pain, but as pain increases the options tend to get narrower.  For example, you don’t take an aspirin for a broken wrist. 

The most common causes of wrist pain are these:

  • carpal tunnel, an overuse injury of the ligaments that attach the wrist to the forearm
  • arthritis
  • sprain and strains (ligament and muscle injuries)
  • fractures and breaks (bone injuries)
  • tendonitis (inflamed tendon or tendons)

Remember: visit your doctor loaded with questions. Come prepared so you can get direct answers and meet the goals of your visit to the doctor’s office.

And remember: In Tempe, Arizona, dial (486) 449-FXRX for an appointment to treat sports-related injuries and all other orthopedics needs.

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