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Sprained or broken?

(11 Posts)
BrollyDolly Tue 14-Nov-17 15:57:23

I’m a bit miffed about this. Have bad pain in my hand and wrist that has been getting progressively worse since the weekend.

I vaguely remember tripping and putting my hand out on the wall to stop myself. (Have a young baby so mind isn’t always on form).

I’ve been to the doctor just now who didn’t really examine it just gave me a slip for an x Ray. Won’t be able to get this done until tomorrow as the department shuts at 4pm.

There is no swelling or bruising but it hurts to use my hand especially trying to write or turn a key etc or lifting the baby. I’m on my own so no one to help out at home and pain relief and cold compress hasn’t improved anything.

I know no one can say without an x Ray, just miffed as no swelling or bruising but hurts a hell of a lot confused

MissConductUS Tue 14-Nov-17 16:04:19

It's probably a fracture, and yes, they can be quite painful. Ibuprofen will help considerably until you can get the radiograph done. Start with 600mg and see how that helps.

By the way, there was really nothing external for the doctor to examine. Try not to use the hand any more than you absolutely have to.

Good luck and let us know what the x-ray showed. smile

JohnHunter Tue 14-Nov-17 19:37:47

I don't really understand the decision to arrange an x-ray (presumably looking for fracture) but not protecting your wrist in a splint or cast. If this were my wrist, I'd be heading to my local Minor Injuries Unit, which might even mean A&E at this time of night. A scaphoid fracture is the main concern, although hopefully your GP decided that this is unlikely based on examining you.

The other possibility is de Quervain's tenosynovitis, which is an overuse injury that is very common in new mothers. If you're feeling creative, you could try Finkelstein's test and beat your GP to the diagnosis wink.

At a minimum, I'd head out to a pharmacy to buy a hard wrist splint (e.g. a Futuro splint) to protect your wrist while you wait for the x-ray. If the diagnosis turns out to be de Quervain's then the wrist splint will be the definitive treatment anyway.

DOI: Orthopaedic surgeon and occasional A&E doctor.

Topseyt Tue 14-Nov-17 19:51:52

It could be a fracture even if it isn't swollen or bruised. Only an x-ray might show it.

A note of caution about taking ibuprofen though. When I broke my arm badly 18 months ago I was told that it was better not to take ibuprofen for a fracture because it can stop or reduce the formation of the callous that actually heals the bone and knits it back together again.

I was told that by our local pharmacist when I had gone in asking for advice on pain killers. Paracetamol is fine, as are others your GP can prescribe.

BrollyDolly Tue 14-Nov-17 20:01:45

Thanks for your replies. @JohnHunter I have some brown splints here I was given when pregnant, is that the sort you mean? I wasn’t sure if that would help or make it worse.

I asked the GP what the hospital would do if no break was found and they said nothing. I could only get a sling if I then went to a and e after but he said that wouldn’t make much difference anyway. Which is why I haven’t gone!

Now it’s too late as baby in bed sad

JohnHunter Tue 14-Nov-17 20:14:28

@BrollyDolly Do they look like this? Anything that protects your wrist and/or reduces its movement should help. Wearing a splint certainly shouldn't do any harm.

Topseyt Tue 14-Nov-17 20:15:54

When my DD fell and injured her wrist last winter no fracture was found on an x-ray, but apparently that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't one. The doctor in the A & E department told us that it can sometimes take a week or two for the reaction in the bone to become visible. DD was in quite a lot of pain though and as a scaphoid fracture was still a possibility they did put a splint on her.

She wore the splint for a couple of weeks, by which time she was pain free and a further examination at the fracture clinic gave her the all clear.

BrollyDolly Tue 14-Nov-17 20:25:18

@JohnHunter yes that’s the splint I’ve got. Will put it on. So I’ve tried the test and there is slight pain in that area but much more pain in the inside of my wrist ?

JohnHunter Tue 14-Nov-17 20:28:49

@BrollyDolly - Hard to say but let us know what comes of the x-ray +/- seeing your GP again.

BrollyDolly Wed 15-Nov-17 16:21:09

Update - they said there is no fracture and said they will write to my GP with the results. I’m just continuing to wear the splint for now until it feels better I guess! Thanks for your help.

JohnHunter Wed 15-Nov-17 21:59:51

Great. Maybe give it a few days (plus paracetamol/ibuprofen) and then try weaning out of the splint?

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