At Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, our specialty-trained wrist doctors are recognized experts in providing evaluation and treatment for a variety of wrist injuries and conditions.
Few things are more frustrating than an injury to the wrist, which can make even simple, everyday tasks painful or complicated. Whether it's a new injury or recurring complications from an older injury, problems with the wrist can significantly impede your quality of life. The good news is that, with the proper attention from a skilled wrist doctor, you can resume your healthy, active lifestyle free from discomfort or complication.
When Is It Time to Visit a Wrist Doctor?
Wrist injuries can originate from many different causes, but the most common by far is carpal tunnel syndrome, essentially a repetitive stress injury. Another common cause of wrist pain is arthritis. And, something as simple as a fall can lead to a fracture or other wrist problems. If you experience any of these problems, it's best to see an orthopedic specialist sooner rather than later. Early intervention from a skilled surgeon can mitigate any long-term effects to your wrist.
Specifically, you may wish to see a doctor who specializes in wrist care, should you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Feeling of pins and needles around your wrist
- Feeling that your wrist is weaker than normal
- Inability to move your wrist like normal
- Lump on your wrist
- The sense that your wrist has become unstable or wobbly in some way
- Tingling sensation, specifically a tingling in the fingers
- Wrist pain whenever you do certain activities, such as playing an instrument, typing on a keyboard, etc.
What Should You Expect From Your Visit to the Wrist Doctor?
Wrist pain can encompass a wide range of issues, including issues with a tendon, ligament, or nerve. Sometimes, surgery may be required to address these problems; in other instances, a hand specialist will be able to diagnose you and then treat the problem through physical therapy. Regardless, assessing the problem is always the first step.
A wrist specialist will be able to diagnose and treat any of the following problems:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ganglion cysts
- Pinched nerves
- Repetitive motion syndrome
- Tendon pain
- Trigger finger or thumb
What Kinds of Solutions Can a Wrist Doctor Offer?
Wrist treatment comes in different forms, from microsurgery to nonsurgical options. Whether or not your injury requires surgical treatment or nonsurgical intervention is something that only your doctor will be able to tell you for sure.
As far as surgical solutions, your wrist specialist may recommend a wrist arthroscopy. In this procedure, your wrist doctor will look inside the joint itself, diagnosing the actual root of the problem. Regarding nonsurgical options, it's common for orthopedic doctors to work with patients in retraining them to do specific tasks, like tossing a ball or swinging a hammer. Steroid injections and heat and ice therapy can also prove effective.
Again, the only way to know what kind of clinical intervention you require is to meet with a wrist doctor soon.
What Does Recovery From Wrist Surgery Entail?
If your injury does require surgery, the recovery may range from four to six weeks. While a little discomfort is normal, most patients do not need prescription pain medications beyond the first day. After that, ice packs and over-the-counter medication is typically sufficient.
To learn more about the results you can expect from your wrist surgery, speak with a board-certified wrist surgeon at your earliest convenience.
The Region's Most Comprehensive Wrist Care
At the Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, our experienced doctors and staff are proud to offer exceptional orthopedic care to people throughout the communities of northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Our doctors are available at our office in St. Joseph, Missouri, as well as at the Mosaic Medical Center in Maryville, Missouri, the Northwest Medical Center in Albany, Missouri, the Wright Memorial Hospital in Trenton, Missouri, the Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and the Hiawatha Community Hospital in Hiawatha, Kansas.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Daniel Smith, Dr. Corey Trease, and Dr. Brian Duncan, have years of experience in treating patients with a variety of wrist injuries or conditions. Our orthopedic wrist surgeons have the knowledge and skills to perform a thorough evaluation and provide an accurate diagnosis and viable treatment options. Conservative methods will always be recommended first, but there are some cases when surgery is required to help eliminate pain and restore proper function.
If a wrist injury or condition is keeping you from living the life you love, schedule an appointment with one of our specialty-trained wrist surgeons by requesting an appointment online or calling (816) 233-9888.
For those urgent injuries that require immediate attention and can't wait for an appointment, visit our OSMC Today Walk-In Clinic.