1. Get Immediate Help, if Necessary
- If there is obvious deformity, severe pain, numbness, or the person cannot move the wrist or maintain a grip, see a doctor immediately or go to a hospital emergency department. These are signs of a possible fracture.
- Support the hurt arm and wrist with a makeshift splint, such as a ruler, stick, rolled up newspaper, a pillow or sling, until you get help.
2. Rest Wrist
- Minimize wrist motion to prevent further injury.
3. Control Swelling
- Ice the area for 20 minutes at a time, 4 to 8 times the first day.
- You may apply a compression wrap such as an Ace bandage.
- Elevate the wrist above heart level.
4. Treat Symptoms
- For pain and inflammation, give the person over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn). Do not give aspirin to anyone under age 18 unless advised by your doctor for a specific condition.
- If pain and swelling get worse in 24 hours, see a doctor.
- The doctor may need to order X-rays to rule out a fracture that was not obvious at first and examine the wrist to look for signs of tendonitis, arthritis, gout, infection, or other conditions.
Referenced on 24/05/2021
- Children’s Hospital Denver: “Hand and Wrist Injury."
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Sprains and Strains."
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Sports Injuries."
- FamilyDoctor.org: “Hand/Wrist/Arm Problems."
- Wrist Injury Information from eMedicineHealth.