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Wrist FAQ

I fractured the scaphoid bone near the base of my thumb and need to get back to work right away. My doctor says I can either have surgery or a cast. What's my best bet?

I broke a small bone in my wrist a few weeks ago. The doctor said it was the scaphoid bone near the base of my thumb. She gave me a choice between having a cast or surgery, and I chose the cast. Now I'm hearing about the stiffness and muscular problems people have after their casts come off. Did I make the wrong choice?

I fractured the scaphoid bone near the base of my thumb, and the doctor wants to put a cast on it. Meanwhile, I'm having flashbacks to the cast I seemed to have worn forever in the second grade. Is there anything faster than this prehistoric treatment?

I had an arthrogram for my sore wrist, and it came out normal. Does this mean there's nothing wrong with the wrist? Why do I still have pain?

I've had wrist pain for almost two years now. The arthrogram and X-rays have all come back normal. No one can tell me what's wrong with the wrist. My doctor thinks it will probably get better without surgery. How likely is it that the pain will go away? Are my chances of recovery worse because I've been in pain so long?

I fell on the ice and hurt my wrist. An X-ray showed that the wrist was not broken, but the bone in the middle was damaged. I wore an arm splint for six weeks. However, the bone hasn't healed. What’s the next step?

I am a baggage handler for a large airport. I'm going to have surgery to repair a bone in my wrist damaged from Kienbock's disease. Will I get my full grip strength back after the operation?

My doctor wants to inject my wrist with steroids for carpal tunnel syndrome. I've heard so many negative things about steroids. Should I do it?

Is there any way to tell if surgery will help with carpal tunnel syndrome?

I'm going to see a physical therapist for a Semmes-Weinstein monofilament test. What is this?

I had a few beers too many and got in a fist fight two days ago. The doctor says I have a broken wrist. I can either wear a cast for six weeks or have surgery to pin the bone together. Which one is better?

I broke the bone at the base of my thumb. I'm probably going to need a cast. The problem is my job requires the use of my hands to pull sheets of taffy off a machine. Will I be able to still do this with the cast on?

I fell off my horse and broke a bone (the scaphoid) in my left wrist. I had surgery to pin the bone but the bone broke again during the operation. Now I have a wire holding the pieces together AND I'm wearing a cast. Is it safe to go horseback riding again since the wrist is in a cast?

After a bad crush injury of my right wrist I had three operations. I'm still left with severe pain. The doctor has suggested a wrist fusion. Do they ever do a partial fusion? I'd like to keep some of my motion.

I'm planning to have my left wrist fused next month. Are there any studies to show how patients come out years later? Am I just getting a quick fix? Or will the results last a lifetime?

There's a lump on the back of my wrist that seems to come and go. I looked on-line and found it could be a ganglion cyst. Is there anything else this lump could be?

What's the best treatment for a ganglion cyst in the wrist? I've had one for six months, and it doesn't seem to bother me.

I had a ganglion cyst in my wrist removed, and now it's come back. How often does this happen? After the first operation I was stiff for several months. Will the same thing happen this time?

I broke my wrist and it's healing with a hump. It makes my wrist and hand look like a humpback whale. Besides looking funny is there any real reason I should have it operated on?

I fell last spring and sprained my wrist badly. I didn't see a doctor then but now I'm wondering if I should go. The wrist doesn't move quite right, and there's an odd bump on the thumb side of my wrist. It's almost as big as the bump that's normally on the right side. Would seeing a doctor make any difference at this point?

Two months ago I broke my wrist but the injury was diagnosed as a "sprain". I even had an X-ray and it was considered "normal". After being in a splint it just didn't get better so I had a CT scan. The scaphoid bone was broken and twisted. How come it didn't show up on an X-ray?

My nephew was diagnosed with Kienbock's disease and has a lot of trouble with his wrist. I've never heard of it. What causes it and how is it diagnosed and treated?

I am a piano major at the University and just found out I have a scaphoid wrist fracture. I'm looking everything up I can find about this problem before seeing the surgeon tomorrow. Can I avoid surgery? I have concerts, recitals, and outside music gigs I can't afford to miss.

My 18-year-old son broke his wrist skateboarding. When I went with him to the emergency room, there was an orthopedic surgeon on-call, so I thought we were in the hands of the right expert. Even so, it seemed to me like they took way too many X-rays. And then they did a CT scan on top of it. They finally said it was a broken scaphoid bone and surgery was needed. Was this really all necessary? Should I question the bill when I get it?

My doctor wants to inject my wrist to find out if I have carpal tunnel syndrome. This is supposed to be a diagnostic test and the treatment. How does it work?

My husband has been diagnosed with Kienbock's disease after have a sore wrist for a while. He thought he had sprained it but after it didn't get better, he went to the doctor. How common is the disease and how could we have known earlier that it wasn't a sprain?

Why is Kienbock's disease named by stage?

I had an arthroscopic test done on my wrist. It showed a torn dorsal radial ligament. What happens to these if they aren't repaired surgically?

Have you ever heard of a problem in the wrist called carpal boss? My son has this and it's very painful. What can be done about it?

I have a bone cyst on top of a bony bump they call carpal boss. I don't want to have surgery. I once had my shoulder injected and it worked great. Would an injection be of any help for this problem?

My daughter is in gymnastics and one of her team mates had to stop because she hurt her wrist. Her doctor said it was a "gymnasts wrist." Is there a way to prevent that?

I've had Kienböck's disease of the wrist for three years now. It's gradually getting worse. I know I'll need surgery eventually. But how can I tell when the time is right?

Ten years ago, I had surgery for Kienböck's disease. The surgeon took a row of bones out of my left wrist. It seems to be holding up pretty well. There's a few things I have to be careful about like lifting. Otherwise, I'm pleased. How long will I still have good function in that hand after a surgery like this? Should I expect to get arthritis in that wrist?

I am a painter by trade and by profession. My primary medium is oil paint but I dabble with watercolor, too. As I get older, I'm experiencing more and more painful wrist arthritis. My rheumatologist has suggested a wrist fusion on the right side. I know it might help my pain but will I still be able to paint as effectively?

I've been trying out a wrist splint to find out if a fusion surgery might help me. The splint really irritates my wrist, so maybe I should just go for the surgery and skip this step. What do you think?

I found out the funny bump on the back of my wrist is a ganglion. The doctor told me it's a benign tumor that doesn't have to be removed. Is this good advice?

I had a ganglion removed from my wrist last year. The surgeon did it arthroscopically (instead of making an open incision). Now the darn thing has grown back. Was I wrong not to have the full, open surgery?

When my daughter was five, she fell off the monkey bars in the playground and broke her forearm just above the wrist. At first, the doctor in emergency said that my daughter was fine and didn't need an x-ray. It was only when I insisted that they did the x-ray and found she had broken both bones just above the wrist. Why do you think they didn't believe us?

My sister's daughter had broken her scaphoid bone after falling during a soccer game. It didn't look broken and she didn't look as if she was in a lot of pain so my sister didn't get it checked. It was only a day later that my niece went to a doctor and she was told her hand was broken. What signs should we have watched out for?

Our 16-year-old daugher has injured her wrists in two separate accidents. Both occurred while she was skateboarding. The first one seemed to heal up just fine. But something just isn't right about this new injury on the other side. What should we do?

I had a lot of pain in my wrist for quite a while. I was bowling a couple of times a week in a league so I thought I just over did it. When I went to the doctor, he said I had Kienbock disease where the bones in my wrist were dying. Can this spread? What is going on? He said the only way to deal with it was to do a surgery that would cut out part of the bone.

How do doctors diagnose Kienbock disease?

My daughter is a gymnast and has hurt her hand twice doing floor exercises. She's been diagnosed with dorsal wrist impingement and responded well to injections the first time. This time it's not working. The doctor is now talking about surgery. What is involved? How long will she have to stay away from gymnastics?

How is dorsal wrist impingement diagnosed? I can't seem to find any tests for it.

Why do wrist replacements not seem to work as well as hip or knee replacements?

My mother is going to have her bones fused in her left wrist where her arthritis is just horrible. Does this mean her hand will be straight all the time now?

I've had carpal tunnel syndrome for about six weeks now. I'm finding the worst thing is that I can't button my buttons. But I'm not sure exactly why I can't do this anymore. What's happening to me?

My husband was recently diagnosed with Kienböck's disease. He makes a living as a piano professor at our local university. What will happen to his wrist with this disease?

I raise bees for their honey to support myself and my family. It's a small operation, so we do a lot of the honey harvesting by hand. I was recently diagnosed with Kienböck's disease. This is a big problem when it comes time to use the hot honey knife to cut open the honeycombs. I'm going to have surgery soon. Will I get enough motion back to get back to work?

My father has had to have surgery on his left wrist because the doctor said that part of the bone died. He's fine now, although he can't move his wrist like before. How does part of a bone just die?

If someone has osteonecrosis in the hand or wrist, do they have to worry about it coming back somewhere else?

What type of joint is the wrist?

My mother had a fusion of her wrist because of arthritis. Will she ever get flexibility back?

I've had gout for about 10 years now. Usually, it's pretty well controlled with diet and drugs. Last week, I started getting some wrist pain. My regular doctor was out of town, so I went to the local walk-in clinic. They didn't think the wrist pain was coming from the gout. But they didn't know what was causing it. (I haven't hurt myself that I know of). Is it possible they are wrong?

What is pseudogout? My twin brother was just diagnosed with this, so I'm wondering if I'm next. What should I watch out for?

Both my children broke the bone in their wrist, right next to their thumb (at different times). Is that a particularly easy bone to break? If so, why?

What is better (cast or surgery) if you break the bone at the bottom of the thumb, by the wrist? I know someone who had surgery and someone else who had a cast.

I feel like I'm in a grade B horror film. In one year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had chemotherapy, and then developed a staph infection from cellulitis. They think I got the cellulitis from the intravenous catheter used to give me a blood transfusion after surgery for the cancer. Now I've developed septic arthritis of the wrist from the staph infection. What's the prognosis for that?

My husband is in the hospital for septic arthritis of the wrist. He has surgery this morning to irrigate the joint and clean out any debris that has accumulated in there. The hope is that he will recover quickly and come home without any complications. How likely is that and how soon might I expect them to release him? They were very closed-mouth at the hospital about answering either question.

Dad has Alzheimer's but still lives at home with Mother. Two months ago he got out of a cast for a broken wrist. He fell down without any warning and landed on his left hand. He has exercises to do in order to get his wrist motion and hand strength back. But with the dementia, he never does these unless we do them with him. How important is it that we go over there three to four times a week to supervise the rehab program?

I am typing this with one hand because I still can't use my right hand very well. It's been a year since I broke that wrist. I can't lift a heavy pot or swing a hammer. Is this normal?

I've been doing research on Kienbock's disease because my sister has it. Is there one type of surgery that is better than another? The studies don't seem to be very definite.

I read there are several types of surgeries that a surgeon may do on Kiebock's disease. If this is true, which doctors do which procedures and how do you know which one you surgeon may use?

I had a lump removed from my hand that turned out to be an angiomyoma. The surgeon's report listed it as a discrepant diagnosis. What does that mean?

I went in to have a ganglion cyst removed from my wrist that I knew was a ganglion. I had one in the same place five years ago. The surgeon still insisted on sending the tissue for lab testing. It cost me an extra $250.00 to tell me what I already knew -- it was a ganglion cyst. Are these lab tests really needed?

I'm checking into the various types of wrist replacements out there. I've heard there's a new C-shaped one. How does that work?

I'm wondering if it's time to throw in the towel and get a wrist joint replacement. I can't even do simple things like brush my teeth or button a shirt sleeve anymore. I know these artificial joints are available. How do I found out if I might be eligible?

I went to the doctor for a problem with my wrist but they couldn't find anything wrong. Six weeks later, the thing blows up and I find out it was a staph infection of all things. Now I have to have surgery -- how could they have missed something so simple?

I have a bacterial infection in my right wrist. I guess I got it because I had a bladder infection and the bacteria went through the blood stream to that joint. I've been treating the bladder infection with cranberry juice and supplements trying to avoid taking antibiotics. Will that work for the wrist infection, too?

I'm trying to understand the kind of problem I'm having with my wrist. The surgeon wrote it down for me so I could go on-line and look it up. It's called: SNAC. Can you please explain what this is?

I had a drill press at work slip and hit my wrist dead center. Broke the middle bone (scaphoid) into three pieces. The wrist never healed properly. Looks like surgery is next. What can they really do for this problem?

I saw a hand surgeon yesterday about getting a wrist replacement for my very bad, very painful wrist. She recommended a wrist replacement. I've had rheumatoid arthritis for so long, I don't know if I would know how to use it if she did fix it. She did make a comment I wondered about. She said I would have to to follow her directions exactly to get the best result. It didn't exactly sound like "my way or the highway" but I did wonder what she meant. Should I look for a different surgeon?

My brother crash landed while hang gliding and broke his wrist into many tiny pieces. The surgeon spent hours putting it all back together. We watched the video together last night but there wasn't any real narration. When things are that busted up, how does the surgeon even know where to start?

I'm doing a school project on my uncle's wrist fracture. I hope to be a surgeon myself someday. He gave me all the pictures the surgeon took during the operation. One thing I don't understand is a photo with his fingers in what looks like a Chinese finger trap. What does that do?

I have a wrist problem called Kienböck Disease. I've seen two surgeons who both want to do surgery. One suggested grafting a piece of bone to that area to help restore the blood supply. The other wants to shorten one of the bones in my forearm. Neither one of these appeals to me. Is there some other way to handle this problem?

Dad was just diagnosed with Kienböck Disease of the wrist. Like the stubborn man he is, he is refusing any treatment. What will happen without the surgery the doctor is recommending? Can he heal on his own?

Do you think if I have surgery to cut the nerves to my wrist, I'll lose the sense of where my hands are? I am a musician in need of pain relief but not at the expense of not feeling my wrists and hands.

When I saw the hand therapist for my wrist pain, she did some interesting tests on me. She would put my wrist and hand in one position and tell me to remember how that felt. I wasn't allowed to look during the test. Then she shook my wrist and hand out and asked me to go back to the position I was in before she shook me out. I was surprised how accurate I was. What's the mechanism behind this?

I have a painful wrist problem called impaction syndrome. The X-rays showed that the tip of my ulnar bone is too long so it's smacking up against the bones in the wrist. The first surgeon I saw says she can shave down the tip of that bone or remove part of it or all of it. The second surgeon I went to said, no he would just remove a piece of the bone and collapse it down so it would be more natural. Do you think it matters how it is done?

I'm having some mild pain along the little finger side of the wrist. The hand surgeon I saw last week thinks it is something called ulnar styloid impaction syndrome. I looked that up on the internet so I think I have a pretty good understanding of what it is. What I didn't find was what will happen if I don't have the recommended surgery? Can you help answer that question?

I know there are always possible complications after any kind of surgery. What kinds of problems can develop after surgery to repair a torn triangle wrist ligament?

How long does it take to recover from surgery for a torn triangular cartilage in the wrist? It took six months before I finally realized it wasn't going to heal without surgery. Is this going to take another six months? I can't believe how much time I've wasted trying everything from herbs and acupuncture to exercises and rehab. I need a break!

I can see now how dragging my feet and refusing surgery for an unstable wrist joint is catching up with me. About 10 years ago, I fell off a ladder and tore the ligament between the scaphoid and lunate bones in my wrist. Before that injury, I couldn't have told you the name of even one bone in my body but now I feel like a wrist expert. Unfortunately, the bones twisted inside the wrist. There was a lot of pain and "clunking" that I chose to ignore. Now the joint is destroyed. What happens from here? I mean, what are my options? Do I even have any options?

How does a person decide when you need surgery? I have a torn ligament in my wrist (the one between the scaphoid bone and lunate bone -- I'm learning a lot about anatomy). Can't get a straight answer out of my doc. Says I can try going with a splint and give it time but surgery is always an option. What would you recommend?

Years ago, I tore the triangle ligament in my wrist and had to put my bowling activities on hold. I never did get back to bowling but I'm interested in trying it again. The problem is: my wrist clunks and clicks and I'm worried I might reinjure myself. Do you think it's safe to give it a try anyway?

I'm looking for any information I can find on the latest in surgical treatment of a torn triangular complex ligament for the wrist. I would like to be fully informed before I go back to the doctor for the results of the tests I had. I've already been told I'm likely going to need surgery.

I've been putting off having surgery for a wrist problem known as Madelung deformity. How long do you think I can wait before it's too late with something like this?

In order to get relief from the severe pain in my wrist, my doctor says I need to have surgery to shorten the ulna bone near my wrist. The doctor says my smoking will prevent the surgery from doing any good. I think he's just trying to get me to quit. Will smoking make the surgery worthless?

I've heard that smoking makes it harder to heal from certain types of surgery, such as spine surgery. Does smoking also affect wrist surgery?

Some of my snowboarding magazines say that using wrist braces lowers the chance of a wrist injury. Is this true?

Will wearing a wrist brace when I snowboard keep me from spraining my wrist?

A snowboarding magazine had an article stating that wrist braces lower the chances of wrist injury. Would a hard brace work better than a soft one?

The idea of snowboarding intrigues me, but I've heard wrist injuries are common. As I get started, what should I know to avoid injuring my wrists?

I get hand and shoulder pain that becomes so intense that even heavy painkillers don't seem to help. About every three weeks, the pain changes to a dull ache with numbness and tingling. Then the intense pain returns. Could this problem be from carpal tunnel syndrome?

How does the scaphoid bone of the wrist usually get broken?

What treatments can help me avoid surgery for my wrist arthritis?

What problems does arthritis of the wrist cause?

How did I develop arthritis in my wrist?

I'm still having a lot of pain after spraining the ligaments in my wrist. Why?

How do injuries to the wrist ligaments occur?

Ever since I severely sprained my wrist, I've been worried about the long term consequences to my wrist joint. Should I be?

What is Kienbock's disease?

The pain in my wrist was recently diagnosed as Kienbock's disease. What caused my problem?

The excruciating pain in my wrist was just diagnosed as intersection syndrome. What is it, and what is it that intersects to cause such pain?

What does intersection syndrome feel like?

After downhill skiing over the weekend, I've started feeling pain on the back of my forearm, close to the wrist. What could this be, and what could have caused it?

Recently diagnosed with intersection syndrome, I'm wondering what could have caused my problem?

The bump on my wrist was diagnosed as a ganglion cyst. What is a ganglion cyst?

My doctor and I have been keeping a close eye on my wrist ganglion. It looks like the ganglion is getting bigger. What's the next step to get rid of this thing?

What symptoms are caused by a wrist ganglion?

Some treatment! My doctor said the best "treatment" for my wrist ganglion is to simply keep an eye on it. What are the chances this approach will work?

The ganglion cyst on my wrist is unsightly, to say the least. Why do I have this problem?

Working in the warehouse requires heavy use of my arms and hands. The doctor wants to do fusion surgery for my wrist arthritis. Won't a surgery like this make my wrist and hand too weak to do my heavy job?

What can I expect after my wrist fusion surgery?

What are the main differences between intersection syndrome and de Quervain's tenosynovitis?

The pain on the inside edge of my wrist was recently diagnosed as de Quervain's tenosynovitis. What is this problem, and what can be done for it?

What are the symptoms of de Quervain's tenosynovitis?

How did I end up with de Quervain's tenosynovitis?

Why would my doctor recommend joint replacement surgery to fix my problems with wrist arthritis?

Why is my doctor recommending replacing my arthritic wrist joint? Wouldn't it be faster and easier to simply fuse the bones together?

Both my wrists are affected by rheumatoid arthritis. My doctor feels I should only have replacement surgery for one wrist. Why not both?

What can I expect after my wrist replacement surgery?

The fracture in my wrist bone, the scaphoid, has still not healed after 12 weeks in a cast. What's next?

Can a fracture in the scaphoid bone of the wrist heal without surgery?

How will I know if the scaphoid bone in my wrist is broken?

What does Kienbock's disease feel like?

After three months wearing a cast for treatment of Kienbock's disease, my doctor told me the bone in my wrist still hasn't healed. What's next?

What is the difference between Guyon's canal syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome?

What does Guyon's canal syndrome feel like?

I broke a small bone in my wrist when I accidently clubbed the ground instead of my golf ball. Now I'm having weakness in my hand and thumb. How does my fracture relate to the symptoms I'm feeling now?

I injured the ulnar nerve from a bad wrist injury. Tests now show I've got a blood clot in the artery that runs next to the ulnar nerve. Are the feelings of numbness and weakness in my hand from problems with the nerve or the blood clot?

After falling on the ice and hurting my wrist, the doctor X-rayed my hand. The wrist was not broken but the bone in the middle was damaged. My arm was held still in a splint for six weeks but the bone has not healed. What’s the next step?

Last month I was told I have Kienbock's disease. What is this, and what causes it?

The weakness in my left hand has gotten worse. My doctor says this is because a nerve is being squeezed by a ganglion in the palm of my hand. Will surgery to get pressure off the nerve help?

My eight-year old daughter has a ganglion cyst on the front of her wrist. She says it doesn't hurt, but it's a bit unsightly. The doctor says we should watch and wait, but wouldn't it be quicker and easier to do surgery to remove the cyst?

My six-year-old daughter has had a ganglion cyst on her wrist for at least a year now. Since the cyst didn't seem to be painful, I've put off taking her to the doctor. Now I'm wondering if it's too late, or if there's something the doctor can do.

Years ago, my college professor smacked the ganglion cyst on the back of my hand with a bible. It actually made the cyst go away. Could this treatment help my nine year old daughter who has a cyst on the back of her wrist?

Sometimes I wake up at night and my hands have both gone numb. When I get up and walk around, it goes away. I read a magazine article that said this could be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. How can I tell for sure?

I had surgery for arthritis on the thumb-side of my wrist. Surgery helped with the pain, but now I can hardly move my hand. Is this normal? What causes it?

I have arthritis on the thumb-side of my wrist, and my doctor is planning to operate. He said one of the side effects of the surgery is that I won't be able to move my hand as much afterward. Are there any medical developments that can help?

I am having surgery to get rid of the arthritis pain in my wrist. In addition to fixing the wrist joint in place, my doctor wants to take out a piece of the scaphoid bone in my wrist. He says this will help my recovery. Is this a good idea?

I am having surgery to fix a broken bone in my wrist. My surgeon says he is going to use a bone substitute to join the bones together. Wouldn't it make more sense to use actual bone?

I have a fracture on the thumb-side of my forearm, right near the wrist. My surgeon's going to implant a bone-like substance to heal the break. I'm 60, and I've heard that older bones don't heal as well. Is my age going to work against me in recovery?

What are the different ways to treat a fracture on the thumb side of the wrist? Is it enough to "fix" the bones from the outside?

What's the usual surgical treatment for Kienbock's disease?

I have Kienbock's disease. My doctor wants me to undergo a surgery designed to improve the blood flow near the ends of my forearm bones. Will surgery help with the pain? And how about restoring wrist movement?

Who first discovered Kienbock's disease, and what causes it?

My sister gave birth to twin girls. One has permanent paralysis of her forearm from the way she was positioned at birth. She can’t turn her hand over enough to pick up small items. When she picks up larger things, she can’t keep the object in her hand. The family has exercises to do with my niece but she is not very willing to do these. Is there anything else that can be done?

I had an X-ray taken of my wrist last week. The X-ray technician forgot to put my shoulder and elbow in a certain position, so the X-ray had to be taken over. Isn't it dangerous for me to be exposed to extra radiation?

A heavy tool from my work area fell off the wall and hit my wrist. When I went to the hospital, they X-rayed my arm. After three X-rays, the technician came back for one more X-ray. By that time, my arm was in extreme pain from the change in positions. Is it really necessary to make sure my wrist is in one exact position and not rotated?

I hurt my wrist while traveling. I went to the emergency room and had X-rays taken. The X-rays were normal, and no treatment was recommended. I took the X-rays home for my regular doctor to see. My doctor insisted on doing one more X-ray. Why was this necessary?

My eight-year-old daughter is involved in gymnastics at a competitive level. She hurt her wrist and continues to complain of pain, especially during floor exercises. The X-rays were normal, and she has full motion at the wrist. Can she safely continue to practice?

I have had wrist pain of unknown cause for six months. I didn't injure the wrist in any way I know of. I can point right to the spot that hurts, but the doctor can't find anything wrong. How can that be?

I am having surgery to repair a torn ligament in my wrist. The doctor is going to put my whole arm in a cast for six weeks. Is this really necessary for a small tear in the wrist?

I hurt my wrist playing football. The doctor told me I have a "Class 1B TFCC." What does this mean?

What is the "Finkelstein's test"?

What is "washerwoman's sprain"?

Recently, I started getting a sharp pain in my wrist at the base of my thumb. I am a full-time piano teacher, and the pain is affecting my work tremendously. What could be causing it? How is this problem treated?

I broke my wrist when I fell off a ladder painting my house. The doctor put a device on it called a fixator. This is supposed to allow the bone to heal while still letting me move the wrist. Now I have constant numbness and tingling in my thumb and first two fingers, and problems with swelling, pain, and hand sweating. Wouldn't it be better to put the arm in a cast?

My mother-in-law broke her wrist this winter when she fell on the ice. She was told she had a Colles fracture. What is this?

I injured my forearm in a work-related accident six months ago. I'm not having any pain, but I still can't get a good grip with that hand. What's the hold up?

I cut the tendons in my wrist when a window broke at work. I’m anxious to return to work as soon as possible. I was wondering if people with a Type A personality return to work sooner than those who are more relaxed.

I work in a factory that makes window frames. I lift 20 to 30-pound frames at least 100 times each day. Four months ago, I had a work-related arm injury. How will I know when it’s safe to return to work?

I was recently diagnosed with Kienbock's disease of the wrist. This surprises me because I don't work at a desk or computer. I'm a stay-at-home mother with three children. Who gets this disease?

I play the piano in a professional jazz band. What's the fastest way to recover from surgery for Kienbock's disease? With no sick leave or vacation time, I'll need to get back to work as soon as possible.

I was recently diagnosed with Kienbock's disease in an advanced stage. I’ve had very little pain or problems. Why weren't there any symptoms before this?

Three months ago I started having severe wrist pain and couldn't put any pressure on my wrist. The doctor put me in a cast and I was off work for a month. When this didn't change my pain, a bone scan and an MRI were done. This is how they found out I have Kienbock's. After another four weeks in a cast and then surgery, I'm still off work. Wouldn't it be better to just start with the surgery?

My husband is 35 years old and works on road construction crews. He was recently diagnosed with Kienböck’s disease. What causes this?

I'm going to have surgery to repair a problem in my thumb called de Quervain disease. What do they do exactly?

My son is on a volleyball team in California. He's starting to get a neuropathy of his right thumb. We're concerned because his father and I both have diabetes and mild neuropathies. Could this problem be the first sign of diabetes for him?

My 16-year old son spends hours on the computer between schoolwork, instant messaging, and video games. He's starting to complain about pain in his thumbs. Is there a special keyboard he can use to solve this problem?

I've been having wrist pain for weeks now. The doctor did an X-ray and said I have arthritis of the pisiform bone in the wrist. How is it possible to have arthritis of one tiny bone?

I have wrist arthritis that has caused one of my bones to form calcium deposits. The doctor has suggested removing the painful bone (the pisiform). What will happen if a bone is just taken out of the wrist?

I was in a fight and smashed my hand up pretty bad. I ended up having several bones removed. Now it looks like I need a wrist fusion. I work in heavy construction. Will I be able to go back to my old job?

Years ago my wrist and hand were smashed in a work accident. I have had lots of rehab and several surgeries. My wrist hurts constantly. I am thinking about having it fused. What do other patients say about the results of this operation?

I am 33 years old and have severe rheumatoid arthritis in my wrist. The doctor says it's posttraumatic arthritis. I broke my wrist ice-skating years ago. I'm still too young for a wrist replacement. What are my other options?

Can you explain something to me? I have carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motion at work. But my unemployed sister who stays at home also has carpal tunnel. Is there some genetic link?

My grandma has pretty bad rheumatoid arthritis with big bumps on the little finger side of her wrist. What are those?

I'm having quite a bit of trouble with wrist pain and loss of motion from rheumatoid arthritis. Most days I just want the whole hand cut off. The doctor has suggested a fusion but then I can't ever use the wrist. Aren't there any other options?

I work as a bricklayer for a large construction company. A pallet of bricks fell on me and I injured my wrist. Tests show I have a torn interosseous ligament between two bones in the wrist. My surgeon has suggested doing an operation right away. What happens if I wait and see if it heals on its own?

I had a Grade III scapholunate tear that was repaired surgically. The operation didn't work and I have constant pain. I can't use that hand for hardly anything. Can anything be done to help me?

What is Preiser's disease and what causes it?

My adult daughter has developed a problem called avascular necrosis of the wrist. No one seems to know what caused it in her case. What usually causes this condition?

I'm 18-years old and need some advice. I have a broken bone in my wrist (scaphoid) that isn't healing. On the advice of a surgeon, my parents want me to have an operation to repair the bone. I'm young and active. I think I should be able to just wear a cast and it will heal on its own. What should I do?

I'm going to have surgery on my wrist to fix a broken bone that hasn't healed. This may sound silly, but I don't want to have a scar across my wrist that looks like I slashed my wrist. Is there any way to avoid this?

My doctor has suggested it might be time to think about having surgery on my left wrist. I have arthritis that's gotten worse with more joint damage. I can barely use that hand for anything. My choices are a wrist replacement or a joint fusion. Which is better?

Our 16-year old daughter was just diagnosed with a wrist impingement problem. When she does the horse and floor activities, there's excruciating pain along the back of her wrist. So long as she doesn't bend her wrist back all the way, she's okay. But she can't compete at her best without full wrist motion. What's a good treatment for this problem?

My son participates in track and field events at the college level. His best event is the shot put. Lately he's been complaining of pain across the back of his wrist. It seems to bother him the most when the shot put is in his hand and he's just ready to throw it. The coach doesn't know what could be causing the problem. What should we do?

I was at a play group for mothers with infants and young children. Everyone seemed to be complaining about wrist and thumb pain, myself included. What causes this?

What's de Quervain's disease? My aunt called me and asked me to find out about it. I thought you might be able to give me the basics so I can understand them.

My husband's Workers' Compensation case manager insists he is ready to return-to-work. He bases this claim on the fact that my husband can ride a bike and go golfing with the kids. The problem is that his job doesn't require biking and golfing. He's supposed to lift 50 to 70 pound packages while twisting and turning. How can we get this point across to the case reviewer?

My wife fell off some temporary scaffolding we had from the front door of our house to the garage. She broke her wrist, but the surgeon said it was a good break. I was never really sure what she meant by that. What is a good break?

My father developed a problem in his wrist after he injured it a few years ago. His wrist began to bend forward and now he can't straighten it out. His doctor is talking about using some sort of splint that he has to fix every day to help stretch his hand out. Wouldn't surgery do the trick?

Why would my father's wrist get tight and pull in after he broke it a while ago?

I'm thinking about going for a wrist joint replacement for my terrible, terrible arthritis. I'd like to know what different surgeons have to say about this without getting three or four opinions. Is there any information like that available?

Are there a lot of things that can go wrong with the wrist, other than breaking it or something like that?

Is carpal tunnel syndrome the same as other problems like Kienbock's disease?

Does Keinbock's disease run in families? Both my brother and his daughter, who is only 13 years old, had it.

What exactly is de Quervain's tendonitis and why is it called that?

My husband tells me I can hurt my wrist by my hobby, which I'm turning into a business: cake decorating. Is he right?

What exactly is a carpal boss? My doctor said I have this on my right hand. Should I get it removed?

Do you think it would hurt to speed up my rehab program for a repair of the TFC in the wrist? The surgeon says no sports for at least 4 months. I'm not having any pain. I have full motion. And I feel strong enough to get back in the game. It's been about six weeks since the surgery. Isn't that long enough?

I play tennis competitively at the collegiate level but I'm off the court with a wrist injury. Looks like I tore the triangular cartilage on the outside of my wrist. What are my chances for recovery without having surgery? The surgeon didn't seem very optimistic.

I have had some ganglion cysts on my wrist for a while and they're looking really ugly. What types of treatments are available other than surgery?

Next week I'm heading in to surgery for a wrist fracture that didn't heal. There's a bone called the scaphoid that lost its blood supply and has started to die. The surgeon is going to take a tiny branch of a blood vessel in the wrist and divert it to the broken bone. What kind of results can I expect from this kind of surgery? Will I be able to use my wrist and hand again normally?

I fell off a ladder and broke the scaphoid bone in my right wrist. I'm extremely right-handed, so this is causing quite a problem for me. I've had the wrist in a cast for quite a while, but it doesn't seem to be healing. They are talking about doing surgery next. Do you think the fact that I'm not moving it is why it isn't healing?

My elderly parents live in a very small town in Wyoming. We are concerned that if either one of them develops a health problem, they may not get the care they need. Last year, Mother fell and broke her wrist. She never has gotten her full motion back from that. We can't help but wonder if the care she received would have been better here where we live (close to Chicago). Is there any data on this sort of thing?

My 84-year-old mother broke her wrist over the weekend. The surgeon is planning to put some kind of new fangled plate inside her arm, which, of course means surgery. I can't see doing surgery on someone this old who is already fragile enough to break her arm. Am I wrong in my thinking about this?

What can you tell me about the volar plate system for wrist fractures? Our surgeon is recommending this treatment for Dad to stabilize his wrist fracture. We just don't know anything about it to make an informed decision.

Our son is on the local high school golf team hoping to get spotted and picked up for a college team. Last season, he had a wrist injury that is still bothering him. The doctor has told us he needs surgery but he insists on putting this off until after the college scouts are gone. Should we intervene and insist on treatment now?

I am on the women's tennis team at my college. Lately, I've been having quite a bit of wrist pain, especially when I move my hand toward the pinkie side. Would a different racquet help? What type would you recommend?

I followed my doctor's advice and took some extra vitamin C after breaking my wrist this winter. Not only did my wrist heal in record time (I was out of the cast in a month), but I never got a single cold or the flu. How does that work? Was it just because I thought I was doing myself some good taking it?

I heard adults should bump up their vitamin C if they break a bone. How much should I take for a wrist fracture that happened about two weeks ago?

My husband has just been diagnosed with Kiebbock's disease after several months of pain in his wrist. At first he thought he had sprained it but he had no idea how. What causes it?

My cousin had Kienbock's disease in the left wrist and had surgery. She said that she had a bone shortened in her wrist. I know the disease means that the bone dies for some reason, but how would shortening help it?

I broke my arm (forearm) last spring and had to have surgery to put a plate in to hold it together. Evidently, it's all healed now, so should I ask the surgeon to take the plate back out? It doesn't really bother me but I worry that it will poison my blood or cause some kind of problems when I'm older. What do you think I should do?

I'm going with my brother to the surgeon tomorrow to discuss the type of surgery he's going to have for an infected wrist joint. He is HIV positive and an alcoholic, so as a family we are concerned he gets the right care. He doesn't seem able to make decisions for himself based on sound logic and reason right now. What should I be prepared to ask the surgeon if anything?

No one knows how she did it but Mother left her assisted living unit, went outside, fell, and hurt her wrist. She developed septic arthritis (she already had arthritis in that hand) and now she's having emergency surgery. We just got the call from the director of the center. There were no details given. My husband is back on the phone trying to find out what's going on. I'm checking the Internet to find out how these kind of problems are handled. What can you tell me?

We were visiting friends in Canada when I fell and broke my wrist. The bottom of the radius was fractured. I'm 72 years old, so I thought they would just slap a cast on it and send me home to the States for the rest of my treatment. Instead, they did surgery to reset the bone properly and then put a cast on my arm and referred me back to my own physician. Is that what would have happened stateside?

Mom fell and broke her wrist while she was staying with our family. We took her to the hospital and they put a cast on her arm. Now there's a dispute with my brother because her wrist looks crooked. He's blaming me for not taking her right to a specialist. She says her wrist feels and works perfectly fine. Would she have gotten a different treatment with a specialist?

I think I made a mistake and I'm wondering if it's too late now to do something about it. Eight months ago, I fell when stepping into a hole in the yard that I didn't know was there. I broke off the tip of the radial bone but opted to just have a cast put on and not have surgery to take out the bone fragments. Now I'm having really a lot of pain and clicking on that side of the wrist. I can hardly even pick up a a piece of paper with that hand. Is it too late for the operation?

I fell going up the escalator at a local department store. Broke my wrist right at that bumpy thing on the back of the wrist. It hasn't healed but it doesn't hurt. Should I go ahead and have the surgery to remove the tip that has broken off -- or just wait-and-see what happens? I'm undecided and looking for information.

I found out the hard way that I have something called de Quervain's. My wrist was already hurting when I went in for the examination. The test to prove what was wrong was intensely excruciating. Is it really necessary to put people through such pain? Can't they just take my word for it that the wrist hurts?

Last month, I had a steroid injection for a painful wrist from De Quervain syndrome. My wrist hurt worse than ever after that. Now that it's calmed down, the physician wants to do a second injection. It didn't seem to help the first time -- in fact, it was much worse. What's the rationale in doing a second injection?

Can you give me a quick tutorial on the difference between osteomyelitis and septic arthritis of the wrist and hand? My sister has been diagnosed with septic arthritis (she also has rheumatoid arthritis) but they said it could become osteomyelitis.

What is a Volkmann contracture and what's the treatment for this problem? My brother has Parkinsons, fell and broke his wrist, and now has this problem on top of everything else.

My brother is a sushi-chef in Los Angeles. He says he got an infection of his finger that spread into his hand and wrist from contact with raw fish. Is this for real or is he making it up to avoid telling us the real truth?

I am a born and bred cowgirl in South Florida. My two horses keep me busy in the rodeo circuit roping calves and running barrels. My problem is I have a wrist ganglion that hurts. I can't help but wonder if it isn't slowing me down in my events. Should I have it removed? Everybody tells me to leave it alone and it will eventually go away. What do you think?

I have a ganglion cyst that comes and goes. But when it comes, it hurts like gang-busters. I've had it aspirated several times and now I'm going to have it surgically removed. My next decision is how to do the operation. Do you think it matters if it's done with the open method versus arthroscopically?

My 75-year-old father had a bad break in his left wrist that just hasn't healed right. I suspect they should have done surgery instead of just putting a cast on it. Should I say something? Is there some other treatment that might fix the problem?

I sat in the surgeon's office with Mother and listened to all the possible choices for treating her wrist fracture. In the end, we left it up to the surgeon to decide. It was just too much information and too overwhelming. Why do they tell us all these things? Why don't they just decide what needs to be done and do it?

My husband works as a cement engineer (mixer and layer). Every night he comes home and complains of wrist pain, swelling, and tenderness. In the last few months, he hasn't even been able to hold the trowel because of weakness. He refuses to see a doctor. I'm looking for answers as to what might be wrong. What do you think could be causing his symptoms?

I went through an extensive set of medical tests to figure out what was wrong with my wrist. The surgeons were especially excited to know if I had Preiser's disease. Turns out I had a rare case of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). What's the difference between these two problems?

I've had six years of wrist pain that has been manageable but now starting to interfere with work. Over-the-counter pain relievers and antiinflammatories aren't doing the trick. Neither is the wrist splint I've been wearing. Are there any other options?

The hand surgeon I've been seeing for my Kienböck disease has suggested an operation to cut the nerves to the wrist. I'm thinking about doing it but checking things out on the Internet first. I found your website and thought you might be able to offer some advice. What are the pros and cons of this kind of treatment?

I'm studying the possibility of having a wrist replacement for my right hand. Right now, I'm so limited in motion, I can barely unwrap a candy bar, pick up a cup of coffee, or take care of personal matters (if you know what I mean). The studies I found on the Internet report increased wrist motion of 10 to 15 degrees. That doesn't seem like hardly anything, is it?

The last time I saw the hand surgeon, she said wrist replacements were improving but she still couldn't recommend one for me in good conscience. Faced with the alternative of a wrist fusion for severe rheumatoid arthritis, shouldn't this be my decision to make?

About a month ago, my left wrist started aching for no known reason. I finally had it X-rayed and sure enough, there was a fracture in the scaphoid bone. How is it possible to have a wrist fracture and not know it? I don't have a particularly high tolerance for pain.

I'm a frustrated sports mother. Just found out my 19-year-old son has had a broken wrist bone (evidently the scaphoid bone) for the last six months. He's on a soccer scholarship at a local college but does not live at home. Nothing was done to treat it and it hasn't healed on its own. Now he's going to need more expensive surgery when he could have gotten over this in six weeks with a cast. What's wrong with these kids anyway that they don't let someone know something is wrong?

I've been hobbling along for months now with wrist pain -- mostly along the pinky side but the whole wrist hurts. Sometimes it swells up and starts to click. It's starting to affect my bowling score so I guess it's time to do something about it. The question is what? Would an X-ray help? I know it's not broken but I don't know what's wrong.

I am frustrated and very anxious. I have a torn TFCC in my right wrist (I am right handed). I've spent the last three months in a splint with no change in my pain. If it was going to heal on its own, would it have happened by now? The surgeon is recommending an arthroscopic exam before trying something different. What do you think?

I fell and broke my left wrist about seven weeks ago. Doctor slapped a cast on that baby and I thought I was good to go. Then I discovered last week that a tendon to my thumb ruptured. How can that happen with a cast on? I don't get it.

What is ulnocarpal impaction syndrome?

I am a hand therapist looking for information on the Regan Shuck test. I've heard about this for checking the wrist but have never seen it described or performed. Can you help me out?

I dislocated a bone in my wrist (the lunate) when I fell off my bike and hit the pavement with my wrists. When I looked on-line I saw how this bone is protected by the other bones around it. Nothing else was dislocated so how or why did this one pop out?

I am a construction worker just getting back to work part-time after a wrist injury that dislocated my lunate bone and tore the ligaments around it. Can I expect to get full recovery? No one seems to be willing to say "yes," "no," or even "maybe."

I'm scheduled to have both of my wrists replaced with implants that are now available. I know there can be potential problems with any surgery. Fill me in on the most likely complications so I can be mentally prepared.

Can you tell me the status of wrist replacement surgery these days? I know I'll need a wrist replacement at some point. I'm just waiting for the technology to improve enough to ensure a good result. So far from what I've seen in blogs and chat rooms, lots of people who get them aren't happy.

About a year ago, I fell while skateboarding with my 10-year-old granddaughter. At age 67, I know it was a stupid thing to do but I don't regret it. What I do regret is the fact that the wrist I broke in the fall still clunks and hurts. And I don't have the strength I need in that hand to pull weeds or lift a bag of dirt for my garden. What do you advise?

Years ago I received dire warnings that my wrist fracture and a triangle ligament tear would probably cause arthritis. I had the wrist in a cast but they didn't fix the torn ligaments. So far, I haven't had any problems like that. I know my grip isn't as strong on that side but I have learned how to get around that. What happens to other people with this kind of problem who don't have surgery to fix the torn ligaments?

Can you please explain to me what is a Darrach procedure for the wrist? I have a friend who is going on and on about this being the best thing that happened to her since sliced bread. Really? What kind of surgery is this anyway? I didn't want to hear any more about it from her but I admit, now I'm curious enough to ask.

What is the DRUJ joint? I saw an interview with Erin Andrews and one of my favorite NFL players. She was trying to find out about his DRUJ injury. So what is that?

Can you please explain something to me? I had a wrist fracture (the Colles type) that looked perfectly fine on the X-ray when they casted my arm. But when they took the cast off, it looks like my arm is still crooked. Why is that?

Mother fell down during the holiday and broke her wrist (a Colles' type fracture). I was amazed that the surgeon gave HER the choice of treatment: surgery or no-surgery. I guess I thought surgeons made all those decisions based on their training and experience. Why confuse an elderly widow with more on her plate than she can handle by asking her to decide what to do?

I am at the hospital with my father who fell and broke his wrist (radial bone). We are furiously looking for any information that might help us. They are offering surgery or a quick fix now and recheck in one week to see if it is holding. What's the best route? He's 81-years-old but hale and hearty.

I broke my wrist about six weeks ago. Fell off a ladder (dumb! I know better). I opted to go with closed reduction. They did put me to sleep and then put the bones back in place. I wore a special sling called a sugar-tong splint (I think that's the right name). Now that I'm back to "normal" (splint off, back to work), I notice a bump along the top of my wrist. I don't have full motion or strength yet. Will this all correct itself in time?

What does it mean when they say the new wrist replacements are "fourth generation." I think I understand it but I thought I'd better ask to know for sure.

I can't figure out what to do. I have pretty bad wrist arthritis in my good hand (right side). I'm only able to type with two fingers (hunt and peck method) but the worst is trying to do chores around the house or get dressed. I'm embarrassed to say I can't even manage the bathroom very well. The surgeon I saw suggested either a wrist fusion or joint replacement. Which is better? I don't know how to choose between them.

I am a lady weight-lifter with a serious problem. I tore the interosseous membrane of my left wrist and now the bones in there shift around. I never know when I'm going to have a pain free day for lifting. I can't decide if I should go for a repair of the problem or just have the wrist fused. What do you advise?

I just saw the X-rays that explain why my wrist hurts so much. One bone (the scaphoid) goes one way while the bone next to it goes another way. All I know is the wrist hurts all the time. My job requires heavy loading so I keep aggravating it. I know I'm headed for surgery but what can they really do? Will the surgery hold up at work?

I've heard doctors say we shouldn't rely on the Internet for medical information but sometimes it helps. I'll tell you my situation. I fell and injured my wrist and had an X-ray that showed a "crack" and "slight" shift of the scaphoid wrist bone. Suddenly, I'm scheduled for surgery to pin the bone. A quick search of the internet and I found some information that suggested all I needed was a cast. Long story short: I took myself to another surgeon who confirmed what I found. No surgery. End of story. Sometimes the Internet does make a difference!

What's the standard treatment for a wrist fracture involving the scaphoid bone? I'm asking because that's what my 27-year-old son has been diagnosed with after taking a bad fall. He's too old for me (his mother) to tell him what to do but that doesn't mean I don't check out what's happening for my own piece of mind.

I had an ORIF with a volar fixed angle plate placed 2 days ago.  I am supposed to keep my wrist in a splint for 2 weeks before I am allowed to do anything.  Is this normal?  I would think that my muscles would waste away in that time.  

How long is the recovery for a radial fracture and what can I expect during my recovery time?  I recently fell while skiing and have to have an “ORIF with a fixed volar angle plate.” I am a golfer and want to get back to my game this summer.

My pinky finger is numb.  I work as a welder and didn’t wear my gloves while grinding yesterday.  Should I be concerned?   

I recently underwent a surgery for carpal tunnel release, but my pain is still there. My doctor has now diagnosed with double crush syndrome, what does that mean?