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Does My Hand or Wrist Injury Require Immediate Care?

Jun 6, 2021

Does My Hand or Wrist Injury Require Immediate CareWe use our hands all the time and our wrists help make those movements happen. So, when you suffer an injury that affects your hand or wrist, it can affect your ability to do so many things in your daily life. If you are experiencing pain in your hand or wrist after a recent fall, you may wonder whether or not you need to go to the doctor. A hand and wrist doctor is the best option to diagnose a hand or wrist injury and talk through what your next steps will be so you can properly heal.

Common Hand and Wrist Injuries

The smaller bones in the hands and lack of fat around the wrist joints make these areas more susceptible to injury than other parts of the body. When you slip or fall, it is natural to try and catch or brace yourself by extending your hands and wrists. However, sometimes bracing your fall can lead to injuring your hand or wrist even when you’ve protected your body from other potential injuries. A sprained or broken wrist are two common types of injuries that can occur from what might seem like a small slip or fall. Common hand injuries include damaging the joints in your fingers or breaking a finger or bone in your hand, more typical with sports injuries.

When to See a Doctor

From putting on your clothes to washing your hands to making dinner, a hand or wrist injury can make everyday tasks much more difficult to complete. But how do you know when to see a doctor? If you fell, were in a car accident, or hurt yourself playing a sport, then you might start to notice pain and even swelling right away. If you suspect a serious injury like a broken bone, then you may visit an emergency room or urgent care center. However, when it comes to treating broken bones, also known as fractures, an emergency room or urgent care doctor will typically wrap or splint the affected hand or wrist and then refer you to your doctor for follow-up care. If the emergency room or urgent care center doctor requests an X-ray, you may not get your results right away either. Sometimes the pain is manageable and you are able to immobilize your hand or wrist on your own until you can see a hand or wrist doctor who specializes in this type of injury.

Why You Should See a Specialist

When it comes to getting treatment for an injury, we always want the very best care and, ultimately, the best outcome for healing and recovery. That’s why you should see a specialist for a hand or wrist injury. A hand and wrist doctor specializes in sprains, strains, dislocations, and fractures that occur in the hands and wrists. Whether you have a sports-related injury, suffered a car accident injury, or slipped and fell, a hand and wrist doctor can assess the damage and determine what course of treatment is most appropriate. While emergency room and urgent care doctors can help with any initial trauma, you will need to find a doctor for continued care and follow-ups. A hand and wrist specialist will diagnose your injury, develop a treatment plan, and schedule regular follow-ups and possibly even X-rays to manage your progress. They’ll also teach you the importance of hand exercises that’ll help your recovery.

How Can I Tell if My Wrist is Broken?

When you injure your wrist badly enough to cause pain and swelling, you may wonder whether or not you’ve broken a bone. It can be difficult to tell because you may be able to move your wrist or fingers in certain ways with minimal pain and unable to move other ways altogether. A hand and wrist specialist will want to review any X-rays you may have had taken by an emergency room or urgent care doctor and will likely order a new set of X-rays or other diagnostic imaging tools to assess the damage in the days between when you first injured yourself. There are multiple places where you can fracture your wrist and each can affect your mobility differently.

A hand and wrist doctor will not only determine what specific injury you have, but they will also help determine whether a brace, cast, or more invasive option is necessary to correct your injury. The goals of treatment will be to treat the root cause of the injury and also help you to fully recover so you can avoid any long-term damage or pain. At AICA Orthopedics, we have hand and wrist doctors, orthopedics, and specialists who can help you get started right away.

 

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