Ligament Injury of the wrist Discussion

Ligament injuries of the wrist are a difficult problem for which there may be no satisfactory solution. Complete tears will not heal and result in alteration of the alignment of the wrist bones which can cause painful instability and degenerative arthritis. Stiffness and loss of motion are common. Treatment options include surgical repair of the ligaments, ligament reconstruction with a graft, or partial wrist fusion. These are all major surgical undertakings, and require prolonged immobilization, hand therapy, and lengthy recovery times. On the average, following surgery, half of the normal range of wrist flexion and extension is lost. Degenerative arthritis can occur even after corrective surgery, and additional surgery may be required. In patients with congenitally lax ligaments, it may be impossible to determine the extent of instability due to injury. Patients who voluntarily produce a dramatic painful physical finding related to wrist instability should be managed with the same degree of caution as patients with voluntary shoulder instability.

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