The ins and outs of a dislocated wrist

August 18th, 2016 by LOC Team

There are eight bones that make up your wrist called carpal bones and a dislocation can be of any one of these carpal bones. In most cases, a dislocated wrist will occur after a fall or other traumatic event. As the wrist is a relatively small area on your body, it should be quite clear if there’s something a bit odd about it but if you are unsure whether your wrist is dislocated or not then take a look at the symptoms below which should help you out.

The telltale symptoms of a dislocated wrist

As we said above, dislocated wrists are typically caused by a fall or some other kind of traumatic incident so it can be very hard to know what you have done, you may have bruised your wrist, sprained it, dislocated it or even broken it. The list of symptoms below can’t give you a definitive answer to what has happened but they can give you an idea of what a dislocated wrist feels like.

Some symptoms to look out for include;

Severe pain
Tingling in the middle fingers and thumb (possible median nerve damage)
Deformity of the wrist

If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical attention as quickly as you can. Get yourself down to A&E because you could well have a dislocated wrist.

The causes of a dislocated wrist

We have already mentioned the most common reasons a dislocated wrist can occur so here we are going to get all medical on you. The eight carpal bones that we mentioned above are called; pisiform, hamate, capitate, trapezoid, scaphoid, trapezium, triquetrum and lunate, told you we would get all medical on you!

Now, these bones can become dislocated in a number of ways but the lunate bone is normally involved in all of them. The two most significant and most common dislocations that happen in your wrist are anterior dislocation and perilunar, both involved the pesky lunate carpal bone.

A dislocated wrist is very painful and so it is unlikely that you would leave it to heal by itself, without seeking medical attention but if you do, it could lead to permanent disability, so please don’t do that.

The treatment

A dislocated wrist is most likely to be treated with surgery. This surgery will be done by a hand and wrist specialist and they will pop the bones back into place and also repair any soft tissue and ligament damage that may have occurred. After surgery, the wrist is put into a cast for 8 weeks so it can heal and rest.

After you have got your wrist out of the cast, a rehabilitation program will normally need to be completed. This involves wrist strengthening exercises that will help restore your wrist and hand to normal and also prevent any further injury.

We hope that this article has helped you understand the ins and outs of a dislocated wrist. Please don’t put off getting medical attention, it could cost you the use of your hand. Feel free to search our website further for more information about other common health conditions.


This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. Always seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, before applying any diet, exercise, other health program, or other procedure set out on this Site.

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