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Crunching sound in the wrists after a fall.

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For a while now (a couple months), my right wrist pops with every rotation. I'm not completely positive, but I believe it started after a basketball game where I fell to the floor on my hands for a loose ball. My wrist was painful for a bit, but I thought it was just a minor sprain. I haven't had any pain at all, but recently I've been feeling some discomfort. My wrist pops when I out my hand out as if to shake someone's hand and I move it downwards in that position. It also pops every single time I rotate my wrist. It'll pop when I rotate it both clockwise and counter-clockwise. The popping is loud (like clunking) and feels different than just air pops. The popping is happening on the ulnar side of my wrist (the side of the pinky finger) right at the wrist. It feels like something's catching/grinding when it pops.I'm not sure about it being a broken bone because I would think that I'd be in more pain?Does anyone know what this is? Should I see a doctor?Symptoms again: -fell on outstretched hand -little pain that went away, now feeling discomfort -popping with every wrist rotation -popping occurring on ulnar side of wrist (pinky side) -feels like it's catching and grindingThank you so much!

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 31 Doctors Online


It seems that you have had a ligament tear of the wrist due to fall.

There are various ligaments of the knee that are very susceptible to sprain and tear due to excessive shearing force. They derive nutrition from the synovial fluids around the joint and hence do not heal very soon. Ligament sprain usually require conservative treatment whereas excessive deformity can require surgery.

I would recommend the following-

1)Consult your physician and obtain a X-ray of the wrist. This will help to determine if there is any gross deformity or trauma like fracture. X ray doesn't help to diagnose ligament pathology.

2)Consult an orthopedician and discuss the need for an MRI of the wrist. MRI shows any pathology of the wrist and aids in its diagnosis.

3)If it is a sprain, you will need complete bed rest for about a week and then you will have to restrict your physical activity. Ice packs and cold compress will reduce the inflammation.

4)Take Tab Tylenol 500 mg to reduce the irritation or swelling, if there's any.

Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
Dr. John Monheit and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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