How To Manage a Dislocated Wrist: Treatment and Exercises

Common Causes

A dislocated wrist occurs from a fall or high impact traumatic event. There are 8 small bones in the wrist called the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and hamate. An easy way to remember them is by using the acronym: Some Lover’s Try Positions That They Can’t Handle.

Dislocating one of these bones implies ligament damage.

The lunate bone is most often involved. A dislocation may also be associated with a fracture of one of the bones.

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Common Treatments

Dislocations usually need surgical intervention. Left alone may lead to permanent damage so ensure you seek medical attention straight away if you suspect you have dislocated your wrist and if you are experiencing any numbness, pain or if there is obvious deformity.

After surgery, your hand therapist can apply a splint or cast to allow the bones and soft tissue structures to heal.

Exercises and Recovery

Once the cast/splint is removed exercises can be commenced. This is an important part of the recovery process as your wrist is likely to be stiff from the trauma of injury and immobilisation period. The focus will be on range of motion and then building proprioception and stability.

Here are some wrist excercises you can practice at home:

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