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Management of Wrist Injuries

Kawamura, Kenji M.D., Ph.D.; Chung, Kevin C. M.D., M.S.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: October 2007 - Volume 120 - Issue 5 - p 73e-89e
doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000279385.39997.34

Learning Objectives: After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Understand the anatomy and the biomechanical properties of the wrist. 2. Understand the standard examination process for wrist injuries. 3. Accurately diagnose common wrist conditions. 4. Establish a management plan for wrist problems.

Background: Although common, wrist injuries and conditions are difficult to treat if the physician is unfamiliar with their management.

Methods: Wrist anatomy and kinematics are discussed. Physical and radiographic examinations that are mandatory for diagnosing wrist conditions are presented. Common wrist injuries are reviewed.

Results: Understanding the anatomy and kinematics of the wrist is important in diagnosing and treating wrist conditions and in predicting outcomes after treatment. Physical examination of the wrist requires an understanding of the surface anatomy and a number of specific maneuvers. Physicians should also be familiar with other diagnostic tests, which include radiography, arthrography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and arthroscopy.

Conclusions: Physicians who treat wrist injuries should be able to establish an adequate management plan for common wrist injuries and conditions and be able to predict outcomes based on these treatment plans.

Ann Arbor, Mich.

From the Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Health System.

Received for publication March 6, 2006; accepted June 15, 2006.

Kevin C. Chung, M.D., M.S., Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, 2130 Taubman Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48109-0340,

©2007American Society of Plastic Surgeons