ZocdocAnswersWhy, after a year and a half, does my wrist hurt so badly?

Question

Why, after a year and a half, does my wrist hurt so badly?

I hurt my wrist while boxing with friends about a year ago and it still continues to pain me. I quit my job so I could rest my wrist after instructions of a doctor to rest and to wear a brace which immobilized my wrist yet after 6 months I started working again and the pain came back. I got a cortisone shot in my wrist and it at first made it hurt worse then took the pain away all together but it gradually returned. The pain is worse some days yet it mostly comes from the right side of my right wrist after twisting motions such as twisting a door knob or turning a key. The pain has not gone away at all and I have gotten 2 xrays, and two MRIs. I recently started seeing a specialist and got another MRI so I am hoping he will come up with an answer for me. Please, I am desperate, I am pursuing a career in law enforcement and I cant be out on the roads with a banged up wrist. If anyone has any information, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, D

Answer

Thanks for your question. Wrist and other injuries to the upper extremities can be very difficult to treat, and cause pain for a long time after the injury. The difficult part is that there can sometimes be no obvious injury that is causing the problem, or at least nothing that is readily visible on imaging or examination. While physical therapy, rest, ice packs, heat pads, and other conservative treatments can be effective for some people, there are others who do not have the improvement that they are seeking with any of these and look for other options to explain their symptoms and help them feel better. In these situations, speaking with a sub-specialist may be the best thing to help you get these answers. While most orthopedic surgeons have extensive training in problems of the extremities and bones/joints, there are others who will do additional training and specialize in a specific body part, such as the hand, which will then become the primary focus of their practice. Such surgeons are often found in tertiary care systems, and your doctor may feel that it is appropriate to recommend that you speak with additional specialists. Again, please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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