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NurseElisa, LPN
Category: Health
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Experience:  30 years, critical care, home care, management, coronary care, gastroenterology, sex!
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is it normal for a wrist to be sore after a cast comes off

Customer Question

i just took my cast off and my wrist is very sore
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  NurseElisa replied 9 years ago.
It is very normal. You have had some atrophy (shrinkage) of muscles and ligaments because you were not able to use the area for a time. Very gentle movements will help this. Using an anti-inflammatory for pain and swelling, such as advil or motrin will help as well. Using a tennis ball or a rubber ball and squeezing it a few times a day gently will help as well.

Some doctors prescribe physical therapy after cast removal as part of the healing process. Do not force your hand to be overextended. Do not do any stretching that is painful. You don't want to rip any tendones or ligaments. Gentle exercises will help.

While the wrist fracture is healing, it is very important to keep the fingers flexible, provided that there are no other injuries that would require that the fingers be immobilized. Otherwise, the fingers will become stiff, hindering the recovery of hand function. Once the wrist has enough stability, motion exercises may be started for the wrist itself. Your hand surgeon or Orthopedist will determine the appropriate timing for these exercises. Hand therapy is often used to help recover flexibility, strength, and function.