Dear Ask The Doctor: I am young female generally in good health. Early on this year, I injured my left wrist. We do not fully understand how I damaged it for we were walking across hills. It suddenly became apparent when I noticed I was unable to twist it. It was red and became very tender. I did not fall directly onto it before it started hurting but later on, tripped and fell onto my front, landing on my wrists. The pain did get worse after that. I had numerous ice packs on to try and reduce the swelling but did not seem to work. Unfortunately, I did not receive proper medical attention until 4 days later where I was diagnosed with tenosynoviti and tendonitis. 3 weeks later, I still have a pain running down the outside of wrist, my wrist joint feels and looks like it has slightly deformed and seems to have moved backwards. I was wondering if this is tendonitis or if I have been falsely diagnosed?
Dear Patient: First of all, if you see a deformity in your wrist along with the pain, swelling and limitation for the normal movements I recommend you to go to the hospital and get X rays done to rule out a possible wrist/hand fracture or dislocation produced when you tripped, fell and landed on your wrist. If the x-rays or other imaging study (CT or MRI) do not show any fracture of hand or wrist, then you can think about a post traumatic Tenosynovitis or wrist sprain. The healing time varies from patient to patient, but generally requires Protection (splinting and avoidance of painful movements and activities), Rest, Ice the first 24 hours and then local heat (hot moist compresses or paraffin baths), anti inflammatory medication (i.e.: “Aleve”) so you can come back progressively to your daily routine in about 4-6 weeks. It is recommended that you keep using a wrist brace and avoid movements and activities that may put additional stress on the wrist.