Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ


My daughter is a gymnast and has hurt her hand twice doing floor exercises. She's been diagnosed with dorsal wrist impingement and responded well to injections the first time. This time it's not working. The doctor is now talking about surgery. What is involved? How long will she have to stay away from gymnastics?


The best person to speak to regarding your daughter's surgery is her surgeon. He or she is best placed to answer specific questions and discuss what will be done. In general, however, surgery is only done if 1) the doctor is absolutely sure it is dorsal wrist impingement and 2) corticosteroid injections have been tried and helped somewhat, but no longer work. The surgery is usually done arthroscopically, using small incisions, rather than opening up the whole wrist. After the surgery, the patient is given exercises to help regain the range of motion - stretching, bending and rotating the wrist. After about two weeks or so, generally strength training can begin. However, this is completely at the doctor's discretion. As to if your daughter can resume gymnastics, that too is up to the her doctor. Mark Henry, MD. Arthroscopic Management of Dorsal Wrist Impingement. In Journal of Hand Surgery. September 2008. Vol. 33A. Pp. 1201-1204.

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