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Injured wrist, swelling. Due to sprain or fracture?

My friend has injured his wrist today while we were returning from a picnic. we were in a bus which suddenly braked to make two other friends fall straight away hitting my friend s wrist. His wrist started to swell after a few minutes. We went to a pharmacy as there was no doctor available at that time. So, how could we know whether it is a sprain or a fracture? What are the do s and don ts?
Asked On : Wed, 26 Dec 2012
Answers:  4 Views:  33
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Dec 2012

Your welcome to this forum
Your friend might be having post traumatic sprain because of the low energy involved in the incident.
But non the less, it will be very well thought if other possible out comes of the trauma could be investigated. Your friend could be having a dislocation, fracture, sprain or post traumatic inflammation.
The possible way of determine the exam account is through a doctor physical exams and x-ray of the wrist. Others could be asked like CT scan or MRI but those are not necessary.
In the mean time an analgesic should be used either locally or orally to kill the pain.

Hope this helps and wish you a quick recovery
Answered: Wed, 26 Dec 2012
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Critical Care Specialist Dr. Sadiq Mughal's  Response
Hi thanks for your question.
The swelling wrist could be due muscle sparain or haematoma (collection of blood under muscleor skin) or it could be due fracture of any bone involved in wrist joint.
The best thing would be to consult a physician,but if you can find one, get X Ray of his wrist joint done to rule out or confirm fracture.
If there is fracture of any bone on X Ray,then he needs orthopediac consultation.
If X Ray rule out any fracture,then he needs antibiotic ,analgesic anti inflammatory (pain killer) drugs.
Keep his arm elevated,this will help in reducing edema.
Hope this answers your question.
Answered: Wed, 26 Dec 2012
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General Surgeon Dr. Grzegorz Stanko's  Response

Thank you for the query.

You wont be able to tell as long as wrist X-ray wont be done. Usually both, sprain and fracture, cause pain while moving, swelling. Fracture can change the shape of injured area, however not necessarily. Moreover, some fractures can not give much pain. So you should go to ER and have it checked as in some cases not treated can result with future lack of wrist proper function.

Hope this will help.
Answered: Wed, 26 Dec 2012
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Dr. Saurabh Gupta's  Response
Feb 2014
Thanks for writing to us.

It might be soft tissue injury or fracture.

Without X-ray, it is difficult to differentiate a fracture from others. I suggest you to consult an orthopaedician nearby for a detailed examination. You may get the X-ray of the area affected under his/her guidance.

In the interim,apply ice packs to the affected area,anti-inflammatory drug like motrin to reduce pain and inflammation. Avoid lifting weight and rest well.

Wishing you good health...
Dr Saurabh Gupta.
Answered: Wed, 26 Dec 2012
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