A wrist sprain is a type of ligament injury. Therefore, the injury affects the connective tissues that link one bone to the next. A common sports injury, a wrist sprain generally results when a ligament is torn or stretched.
Because a number of ligaments act to support the wrist, any sprain that occurs may be rated mild, moderate, or severe. The degree of severity then depends on the extent of the injury. Grade one wrist sprains are mild and generally happen when a ligament is merely overstretched. Moderate or grade two sprains are denoted by partial tearing of the affected ligament or ligaments. The patient may also complain about some loss of functioning.
Severe or grade three sprains happen when the ligament is entirely torn. These types of injuries generally necessitate surgery. An avulsion fracture, characterized by a chipped bone, is usually considered a grade three injury.
Symptoms of a wrist sprain include pain at the outset, wrist swelling, pain while moving the wrist, bruising, tenderness, and a popping sensation. The patient may also feel some warmth around the wrist itself.
While some wrist strains may present very little in the way of swelling, it does not mean that the injury is not severe. A crucial ligament may have been torn, and this can result in eventual stiffness and pain if the injury is not addressed. Therefore, it is important to have the wrist carefully examined whenever any injury occurs.