Q:

How long does a sprained wrist last?

A:

Quick Answer

Depending on the severity of the injury a sprained wrist takes several weeks to several months to heal, as specified by Drugs.com. Symptoms begin to improve within several days with mild sprains. In more serious cases, rehabilitation is required for a few months to restore complete range of motion and strengthen the wrist.

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Full Answer

Sprains involve injury to ligaments ranging from torn ligaments to ligaments being entirely separated from the bones of the wrist, writes Dr. Adnan Cutuk, a board certified orthopaedic surgeon. While many ligament injuries heal on their own over time, in some cases surgery is required to reconnect the ligament to bone. Generally, sprains that require surgery heal over a period of months.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that doctors often treat moderate wrist sprains by immobilizing the wrist for a week or more. Typically they recommend a number of stretching exercises to patients once the wrist is no longer immobilized. This type of wrist sprain generally heals within weeks.

Drugs.com indicates that even moderate wrist sprains often require physical therapy before they are considered completely healed. This is particularly important for athletes who may also need to wear a support splint during recovery to prevent re-injury or delayed healing.

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