Wrist Conditions and Injuries

Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are the most common mass or lump in the hand. They are common in the back of the hand. These fluid-filled cysts arise from the ligaments, joint linings or tendon sheaths when they are inflamed or irritated.

Wrist Arthritis

Arthritis at its most basic level is a wearing away of the smooth gliding surfaces of the joints.  There are many types and patterns of arthritis affecting the wrist.  Some of the more frequent causes include osteoarthritis, trauma, and systemice inflammatory illness.  

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling to the hand, especially at night; pain with prolonged gripping such as holding a steering wheel or clumsiness in handling objects. Sometimes the pain can go all the way up to the shoulder.

Wrist Tendonitis

Tendonitis of the hand and wrist is a very common occurence. This represents an inflammation of the tendons that move the bones and joints. There are many types of tendonitis affecting a variety of tendons. Some are more common than others, but all can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and problems with function.

DeQuervain's Tendonitis of the Wrist

This is common in adult women between the ages of 30 and 50. It is an irritation and swelling of the tunnel which surround the thumb tendons as they pass from the wrist to the thumb. Pain when grasping or pinching and tenderness over the tunnel are the most common symptoms. If the hand is made into a fist with the thumb tucked in and bent towards the little finger, the pain gets worse.

Carpal Boss 

The carpal boss is an osteoarthritic spur that develops at the base of the second and/or third carpometacarpal joints. (figure 1) A firm, bony, nonmobile, tender mass is visible and palpable at the base of the carpometacarpal joints, especially when the wrist is volar flexed.

Wrist fractures

The most commonly broken bone of the wrist is the radius. Many people think that a fracture is different from a break, but they are the same.  When the wrist is broken, there is pain, swelling, and decreased use of the hand and wrist.  Often the wrist appears crooked and deformed. Fractures of the small wrist bones, such as the scaphoid, are unlikely to appear deformed.

Distal Radius Fracture of the Wrist

When someone falls on their outstretched hand, they sometimes get a "broken wrist." The bone that is usually broken is called the radius. It is the larger bone on the upper side of the photograph above. The end toward the wrist is called the distal end. The medical term for "broken bone" is fracture. Therefore, the medical term for the most common type of "broken wrist" is a distal radius fracture (that is, the larger forearm bone is broken near the wrist).

Scaphoid Fractures of the wrist

Fracture of the scaphoid bone occurs most frequently from a fall onto the outstretched hand. Typically there is pain initially, but the pain may decrease after days or weeks.  Bruising is rare, and swelling may be minimal. Since there is no deformity, many people with this injury mistakenly assume that they have just sprained their wrist, leading to a delay in seeking evaluation.  It is common for people who have fractured this bone to not become aware of it until months or years after the event.