Expert Advice: What to do for an injured wrist
Host Amber Smith: Here's some expert advice from Dr. Brian Harley from Upstate Medical University. What should a person do for an injured wrist?
Brian Harley, MD: It really depends, because our wrists are constantly being used every day. And at times you catch it in the door as you go through, or you grab it on a railing going down the stairs. And sometimes those are just fairly little, minor things, and it's not too much to worry about, but if somebody has really fallen and their wrist is sore and they go, "Gosh, I think there might be something wrong," I mean, the first thing is obviously you need to see a trained medical professional for an evaluation.
And sometimes that's just an urgent care or your primary care or a walk-in clinic, and you get it assessed. If it's really bad, if you get a lot of swelling and there's a terrible pain to start with, then, unfortunately, sometimes you have to go to the emergency department. Some of the urgent cares do offer some specialized orthopedic care, and so that's an option. But the first thing is really just to go see somebody to assess the severity of it, if it's concerning, and typically that involves a clinical exam and very frequently an X-ray, just to make sure that everything looks lined up.
There's a few things that can be bad. You can even break a scaphoid (bone) or some of these things that can slip through the cracks. And so, if at first it doesn't settle down pretty quickly, and you get a first evaluation, and you're pretty happy if it gets better quickly, then you're good.
And if it continues to persist, then that's typically when you seek an orthopedic consultation.
Host Amber Smith: You've been listening to Dr. Brian Harley from Upstate Medical University.