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Doctor insights on: How To Tell Difference Between Wrist Sprain And Fracture

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Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Board Certified, Hand Surgery
29 years in practice
4M people helped
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How to tell difference between wrist sprain and fracture?

How to tell difference between wrist sprain and fracture?

Exam and imaging: Wrist fractures may seen on standard x-rays and additional studies such as bone scan or MRI may be helpful sprains may be postivie finding in that here is no fracture but bones may be out of linel. A careful history and exam is also very important as you correctly implied it can be confusing so seek out so called experts such as a hand surgeon or orthopedic surgeon who specializes in han. ...Read more

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Dr. Vikram Patel
Board Certified
31 years in practice
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Dr. Michael Kleerekoper
7 doctors shared insights

Fracture (Definition)

A fracture is a broken bone. As there is cartilage at the end of many bones at the joint, a fracture may also include a break in the cartilage. Fractures and broken bones are the same thing. It seems that many believe that a "fracture" is a lesser injury or an incomplete break in the bone, but this is not correct. Fractures may be displaced or ...Read more


Dr. Troy Reyna
Board Certified, Pediatric Surgery
38 years in practice
3M people helped
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How to determine the difference between a wrist fracture and a wrist sprain?

How to determine the difference between a wrist fracture and a wrist sprain?

Swelling: There is usually more swelling and defomity and pain with fracture. If pain/discomfort increases rather than getting better over time, have it checked for a fracture. ...Read more

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Dr. Vikram Patel
Board Certified
31 years in practice
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Dr. Richard Makowiec
Board Certified, Hand Surgery
21 years in practice
216K people helped
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How can I determine between a wrist fracture and a wrist sprain?

See a hand surgeon: An xray and a good clinical examination should easily be able to distinguish between the two. ...Read more

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Dr. Jeffrey Sider
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
33 years in practice
1M people helped
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Can a wrist sprain be worse to recover from than a fracture?

Can a wrist sprain be worse to recover from than a fracture?

Sometimes: Most wrist fractures can be treated with cast immobilizaton and will typically heal in about 6 weeks. Sometimes with a sprain one can develop different types of carpal instability which can lead to long term problems like arthritic changes. Swelling and pain. So sometimes a sprain can be worse in the long run than a fracture. ...Read more

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Dr. Vikram Patel
Board Certified
31 years in practice
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Dr. Daniel Mass
Board Certified, Orthopedic surgery, hand surgery
40 years in practice
808K people helped
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Wrist sprain or fracture? What are sympotoms?

Wrist sprain or fracture? What are sympotoms?

Pain and swelling: After a fall type of injury you can injure your wrist. A fracture is a break in one of the eight small wrist bones. The thumb sided scaphoid is the most common to fracture and the most common to not heal. Any suspicion requires immobilization. A sprain is a stretch to a complete tear of the stabilizing ligaments. To miss this injury can lead to arthritis. All sprain need acute immobilization. ...Read more

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Dr. Ahmad M Hadied
Board Certified, Orthopedic Surgery
43 years in practice
53M people helped
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How do I know if it is a wrist sprain or fracture?

How do I know if it is a wrist sprain or fracture?

X-ray: Both cause pain and limited mobility, x-ray will tell us if you have fracture or not. ...Read more

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Dr. Gregory Harvey
Board Certified, Orthopedic Surgery
32 years in practice
1M people helped
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What is the difference between a sprained wrist and a fractured wrist?

What is the difference between a sprained wrist and a fractured wrist?

Sprain: A sprain involves tearing of the wrist ligaments whereas a fracture also includes a breaking of the wrist bones. ...Read more

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Dr. Marc Dehart
Board Certified, Orthopedic Surgery
27 years in practice
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
Board Certified, Psychiatry
19 years in practice
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Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Board Certified, Hand Surgery
29 years in practice
4M people helped
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10
Is there a way to tell if my wrist is sprained or fractured?

Is there a way to tell if my wrist is sprained or fractured?

An exam followed by : An appropriately selected xray is a good start. The wrist is complex and "sprains" arent necessarily treated all the same as the injury can be mild or complex/ even with a negative x-ray. A fracture can differ in its appearance just by varying the view of the x-ray so while a standard traum series of xrays helps rule out an obvious fracture there are many injuries that need special views/studies. ...Read more

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Dr. Jeffrey Wint
1,377 doctors shared insights

Broken Bone (Definition)

Broken bone is also known as Fracture. A bone fracture is a condition in which there is a break in the bone. It can be caused by a high force injury or it may result from a previous medical condition that involves weakening of the bone. Common symptoms include severe pain, swelling of the surrounding ...Read more


Dr. Peter Ihle
1,064 doctors shared insights

Sprains And Strains (Definition)

Sprains and strains are conditions in which a person has problems with his muscles (strains) and joints (sprains), such as pain, swelling, fractures, restricted movement, or joint instability, due to trauma or excessive exercise. The treatment ...Read more


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Dr. Vikram Patel
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