WRIST

Men's Health (Singapore) - - HEALTH -

[TYPE OF JOINT: ELLIPSOID] The wrist’s col­lec­tion of bones, lig­a­ments, ten­dons, and car­ti­lage forms the body’s most com­plex joint. Be­cause it’s not weight-bear­ing, it’ll likely pro­vide prob­lem-free mo­bil­ity for a life­time— un­less you in­jure it.

TOP THREAT: SCAPHOID FRAC­TURE WHAT IT IS:

A break in the scaphoid bone, one of eight small carpal bones in the wrist. (Stick out your thumb hitch­hiker style: The scaphoid is un­der that lit­tle divot at the base of your thumb.) Scaphoid breaks ac­count for about 70 per­cent of carpal frac­tures.

CAUSE:

Usu­ally fall­ing palm down on an out­stretched hand

TREAT­MENT:

A cast or splint that im­mo­bi­lizes the thumb for about six weeks can treat most frac­tures, es­pe­cially close to the thumb, where there’s good blood cir­cu­la­tion. If bones are dis­placed, aren’t heal­ing, or show signs of de­cay due to poor blood sup­ply, you may need surgery to align them.

DE­FENSE:

If you don’t want to quit the sports most likely to break wrists— soc­cer, hockey, in-line skat­ing—wear wrist guards and/ or learn to tuck and roll.

FU­TURE-PROOF YOUR WRISTS:

A tri­an­gu­lar fi­bro­car­ti­lage com­plex (TFCC) tear en­tails dam­age to the car­ti­lage on the pinkie-fin­ger side of the wrist that sup­ports and cush­ions the carpal bones. TFCC tears cause pain near the pinkie, es­pe­cially when bend­ing the wrist from side to side. As with a scaphoid frac­ture, it can stem from fall­ing on an out­stretched hand.

WATCH OUT!

If an X-ray doesn’t show a scaphoid frac­ture im­me­di­ately, wait. Small breaks of­ten don’t ap­pear un­til 10 to 14 days af­ter in­jury, when poor blood sup­ply causes bone de­cay that’s more vis­i­ble on a scan. Wrist still hurt­ing af­ter that? X-ray it again.

ELLIPSOID In a mod­i­fied bal­land-socket, the rounded end of one bone (or mul­ti­ple bones) moves against a shal­low, el­lip­ti­cal cav­ity in an­other, al­low­ing a wide range of move­ment.

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