How to tell if your wrist is broken or sprained
If you broke your wrist, it will be very swollen and painful. If you broke it badly, it may look deformed meaning that it looks twisted or bent strangely. A sprained wrist will still look straight and you should be able to take it through most of its full range of motion. With a broken wrist, you may not be able to keep it straight, and may not be able to bend it fully. At Easy Orthopedics in Colorado Springs, we frequently see and treat the many varieties of broken wrists and sprained wrists.
Can you move your wrist if it’s broken?
If you broke your wrist, you still may be able to move it some depending on how bad you broke it. In some instances, there can be a lot of deformity and it will be pretty obvious that you broke your wrist. Those with significant wrist deformity usually will not be able to move it much. Sometimes you can break one of the smaller carpal bones in the wrist (such as the scaphoid), and while it will hurt and be painful to move, you still may be able to move it, especially if you broke it a long time ago.
How long does a sprained wrist take to heal?
A sprained wrist will usually heal anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks if it’s treated properly. A sprained wrist means that the ligaments of the wrist got stretched or maybe even torn a little, but that there are no bone breaks. Usually these ligaments will scar back down and heal on their own. How long it takes depends on how bad you sprained it and whether you have gotten treatment. Most wrist sprains can be simply treated in a removable wrist splint for a few weeks until they start to feel better.
How do I know if my wrist injury is serious?
You will know if your wrist injury is serious if it looks deformed, you can’t move it without a lot of pain, or the pain is not getting better after a long time. Non-serious wrist injuries such as wrist sprains will hurt, but your hand and wrist should be mostly usable. Badly injured wrists are not generally usable as they hurt too much. Sometimes someone will get a break in one of the small bones in their wrist and not know it. In these cases, the pain just won’t go away and should be looked at by a hand surgeon.
I hope we were able to answer some of your questions about how to tell if your wrist is broken or sprained. If you would like us to evaluate your wrist and are in the Colorado area, contact us below to make an appointment.