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Vu asked...

I injured my wrist 12 years ago and it has not recovered.

Hi, I'm 32. Had an injured my wrist in a bike accident almost about 12 years ago. I did not go for any plaster at that time. The pain now keeps coming back. I injure it very easily now. My wrist movement is restricted too. If I'm playing football and I get hit hard by the ball on my hand, it starts hurting and then takes almost 6 months to sort of recover and then gets injured again very easily. Should I see some heart surgeon, can it be a symptom to a bigger problem. I went for a health check up and my blood tests showed low vitamin D levels too.

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The answer

This doesn’t sound like a heart problem but I do think you need to see an orthopaedic surgeon. One of the most likely reasons for ongoing pain in the wrist after the story you’ve given me is an undiagnosed fracture of the scaphoid bone. This is most commonly caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand, and since it sometimes doesn’t cause much swelling or any deformity, it can be mistaken for a sprain. It tends to cause pain at the base of the thumb, especially when you grip things or move your thumb. It can be difficult to pick up on X-ray even at the time, and sometimes needs special X-rays called scaphoid views to look at the right angle to pick up small cracks in the scaphoid bone. There are other causes, including damage to the ligaments around the wrist that provide support to the joints. Explain the problem to your GP and ask about the possibility of referral for an X-ray and possibly an MRI scan of your wrist to see changes which might not be picked up on X-ray. There are several treatments available, but they depend on what’s found on these investigations.

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