Dislocation [Wrist]


When the wrist is dislocated, one or more of the bones inside the wrist has moved out of alignment, and will need to be moved back into place. This is called reduction.

In some cases, reduction can be accomplished externally with sedation. However, for more severe dislocation, surgery may be necessary to correctly align the wrist bones again. The goal of reduction is to ease the pain associated with dislocation as well as restore original alignment and ensure full rotation and function.

There are different types of wrist dislocations:

Different types of injuries lead to different types of dislocations of carpal bones. However, most of the dislocations involve the lunate bone. Wrist dislocation usually involves severe damage to the ligaments and if left untreated this can lead to permanent disability.

The two most common types of wrist dislocations are anterior lunate dislocation and perilunar dislocation. Given below are some types of dislocations of wrist.

  • Lunate Dislocation: Dislocation of the lunate bone.
  • Perilunate Dislocation: Dislocation of the capitate bone from the lunate bone.
  • Galeazzi’s Fracture: Dislocation of the ulna along with fracture of radius.
  • Monteggia’s Fracture: Dislocation of radius along with fracture of ulna.
  • Generally, dislocated wrist can occur as a result of a fall on outstretched hands.
  • Dislocation of wrist may often occur in the contact sports where there is lot of risk to the players of colliding with one another.
  • Falls suffered during sports like football, diving, basketball, etc.
  • Weightlifting can sometimes also cause dislocation to wrist.
  • Falls during skating.
  • If there is any previous wrist injury, then applying force on it while falling down could also cause dislocated wrist.
  • Dislocated wrist may also occur due to automobile accidents.
  • Occupational injuries.
  • Instant pain after injuring the wrist.
  • Swelling.
  • Tenderness with palpation.
  • Bruising.
  • Wrist gets deformed.
  • Tingling of index and middle finger, and thumb.
  • Pain is also exacerbated with movements.
  • Diminished range of motion of wrist.
  • Exacerbation of pain with gripping.
  • Thumb and finger stiffness.

The physician may conduct a detailed examination and perform tests that can include:

  • X-rays.
  • CT scan rarely.
  • MRI rarely.
  • Bone scan.