What is wrist dislocation?

Wrist Dislocation
Jump to

Dislocated wrist: Overview

Your wrist can be forced out of its normal position (dislocated) if you fall on it hard. This can happen in an accident or when playing sports.

When the wrist is dislocated, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves can be damaged. You may need more treatment.

The doctor put your wrist back in its normal position and may have put it in a cast or splint. This will help keep your wrist stable until your follow-up appointment.

You may need surgery because a dislocated wrist is usually also broken.

It may take weeks or months for your wrist to heal, depending on how bad the injury is.

The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

How can you care for your child's dislocated wrist?

  • Put ice or a cold pack on your child’s wrist for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when your child is awake). Put a thin cloth between the ice and your child’s cast or splint. Keep the cast or splint dry.
  • Follow your doctor’s directions for wearing a splint or cast.
  • Give pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask the doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • Prop up the wrist on pillows when your child sits or lies down in the first few days after the injury. Keep the wrist higher than the level of your child’s heart. This will help reduce swelling.

Dislocated wrist: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe or increasing pain.
  • You have problems with your cast or splint. For example:
    • The skin under the cast or splint is burning or stinging.
    • The cast or splint feels too tight.
    • There is a lot of swelling near the cast or splint. But some swelling is expected.
    • You have a new fever.
    • There is drainage or a bad smell coming from the cast or splint.
  • You cannot move your fingers.
  • You have tingling, weakness, or numbness in your hand and fingers.
  • Your fingers turn cold or pale or change color.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have problems with the cast or splint.
  • You do not get better as expected.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

Specialized emergency services

Find care near you

Comprehensive care

Find an ER near you