Forearm and Wrist Trauma
Clinical Monograph 18
By R. C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC
As with most parts of the body, traumatic effects in the forearm or wrist may occur abruptly (eg, fracture, strain, sprain) or be the result of long-term microtrauma (eg, tunnel syndromes, arthritis, entrapment by scar tissue).
Screening injuries of the forearm and wrist
Joint Motion Restriction
Restriction in pronation suggests a disorder at the elbow, radioulnar articulation of the wrist, or within the forearm. Restriction in supination is associated with a disorder of the elbow or radioulnar articulation of the wrist. Thickened tissues may cause compression symptoms. A palpable nontender ganglion may be found on either the dorsal or volar aspect of the wrist, perceived as a pea-size or slightly larger jelly-like cyst.
Significance of Tenderness
Tenderness over the medial collateral ligament, which rises from the medial epicondyle, is a sign of valgus sprain. Muscle tenderness in the wrist flexor-extensor group is characteristic of flexor-pronator strain (eg, tennis, screwdriving motions). Tender, possibly taut, wrist extensors on the lateral aspect are often associated with tennis elbow. Tenderness in the first tunnel on the radial side is a common site for stenosing tenosynovitis associated with a positive Finkelstein’s sign. (more…)