Reckless Rita knew she was clumsy. She had suffered from it for as long as she could remember. From the time she fell on her bicycle because she didn’t see a big rock in the middle of the road, to her graduation ceremony where she stumbled in her cap and gown and fell in front of the entire class. And now it happened to her at the office where she works as an accountant. Somehow her computer got unplugged and she was leaning on her wrist, trying to plug it back in when her wrist suddenly twisted and she felt a debilitating pain. Luckily, Reckless Rita’s coworker Carly knew of a hand care clinic to recommend, the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas. Carly had visited the clinic to get her carpal tunnel syndrome treated by the doctors and told Reckless Rita that they would take good care of her wrist. Reckless Rita called the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas and was able to get an appointment that same day.
“Well, Rita, tell me what happened to your wrist,” the doctor prompted. “I was plugging in this computer cable under my table. I was leaning forward to reach the socket when I fell on my wrist. It hurt so bad,” Reckless Rita explained. “If only I had been more careful, I am so clumsy,” she added, her head down.
The doctor told Reckless Rita not to worry as she was in good hands now and asked her to describe the pain in her wrist in more detail. “Well, when it first happened, my wrist hurt a lot. Now, it doesn’t hurt as much as when I fell. However, as soon as I try to move my wrist, the pain returns,” Reckless Rita told the doctor. “And it’s also swollen, as you can see,” she added. The doctor asked Reckless Rita if her wrist had started to feel numb or tingly. Reckless Rita had not experienced this but the doctor decided to conduct a physical exam to confirm Reckless Rita’s diagnosis.
Based on the physical exam and Reckless Rita’s symptoms, the doctor explained to her that she had a wrist sprain. Luckily, Reckless Rita’s injury was a grade 1 sprain meaning that even though her wrist ligaments were stretched, they were not torn and didn’t require surgical repair like a more severe injury would have required. However, Reckless Rita would need to rest the wrist properly and then follow a physical therapy program with exercises to strengthen her wrist. The doctor put a splint on Reckless Rita’s wrist to help her keep it immobile. He also told Reckless Rita to ice the wrist every few hours for a couple of days, until the pain had disappeared.
Two weeks later, Reckless Rita returned to Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas. Her wrist pain and swelling were gone although the wrist still didn’t feel quite normal, it felt stiff after being immobilized. “That is what the physical therapy exercises are for,” the doctor explained. “Now we will strengthen your wrist and soon you won’t even remember that you had a wrist sprain.”
After completing her physical therapy program with strengthening exercises and stretches, Rita now feels better than ever. She is back at the office and all the numbers are right again! And in an attempt to avoid injury, Rita has become more careful. She still spills her iced coffee on the table every so often but she is concentrating more when performing tasks that could potentially lead to another injury.
Have you experienced similar symptoms to Rita’s? It is important to get even minor wrist injuries checked by a hand specialist to discard the possibility of a severe injury, and to return to your normal activity sooner rather than later. Make an appointment with us today!