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Unable to move wrist following injury. Is it emergency?

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My 3 year old daughter was playing with her older sister yesterday when she suddenly cried out in pain and clutched her wrist. My best description is the 3 year old was trying to crawl backwards while her older sister was trying to pull her forward while pulling her wrist. It swelled slightly within 30 minutes. I have given advil 3 times, and iced it yesterday while elevated. She refuses to move that arm and keeps it tucked firmly against her side. However I saw her sitting on the couch with it bent (voluntarily of course) at a 90 degree angle. I also saw her tapping the fingers of the injured hand. Last night I wrapped an elastic ace bandage around it and have kept it on since. There is no bruising and I don't believe there's any severe swelling because the area around the ace bandage isn't puffy. She won't wave and won't let us touch that hand.
Having had many sprains myself before, I want to believe that rest ice compression and elevation will help her body heal itself, but I'm also terrified there's a fracture that obviously I can't see. I also want to avoid any unnecessary trips to the doctor's office/urgent care facility because of all the serious germs going around.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.

Thank you for your query at DoctorSpring.com
From the injury that you described, it does not seem likely that she has a fracture.
She is not letting you touch her hand, since it is extremely painful, and being a child, she is scared that any kind of movement, or somebody else trying to hold her hand might cause more pain.
So as you already know, you just need to continue with the RICE protocol.
The pain should subside in a couple of days. In case it doesn't and there is severe restriction of movement, then an x ray of the affected wrist will be necessary ro rule out any fracture or ligament sprain. Being only 3 years, she will have lower threshold of pain, but still within 2 days, her activities should be better. I will advise you to observe her activities, and if you notice she is able to move her wrist in the next 2 days, then RICE with advil is sufficient. A painkiller spray can also be helpful, once you take off the bandage.
But please do not wait beyond a couple of days if her pain does not get better and get the x ray done.
Let me know if i can help you further,

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
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MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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