Dislocated Wrist...Help

About two weeks ago I dislocated my wrist and although it has popped back into place since then it is still very painful. I am having even more trouble than usual with typing and writing or even just general use. I was wondering if there is a general amount of time that it takes a dislocated (and relocated) joint to feel back to 'normal'? I have a wrist brace but it doesn't seem to be helping.

I was just diagnosed this year and while I've had EDS all along I was not treated for it and all my muscles in my body stayed contracted to keep my joints in place. The enzymes that my rheumatologist placed me on have allowed my muscles to relax, but I am dislocating and subluxing more frequently and severely.

Any help or advice from fellow zebras is appreciated.

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I am not sure about the wrist dislocation, but wanted to just respond to the relaxing of your muscles. During these times you really have to be careful as you are prone to injury as you are finding out. My body tends towards the spastic so I have also worked on reducing those and have seriously injured disks, and more. I have found this is best been done for me under the supervision of a PT. You might really need some help strengthening these muscles that have been so stressed and not ableto functionally support you. Not sure if you have pilates based PT around you, but I have found that pilates focuses on those local muscles that wrap around your joints keeping them in place. I am in month 6 and am reducing my injuries and even the subluxing quite a bit. I'd checkin with your rheumy to see if he wants to adjust your dose or something. Let him know your issues. There is a balance to be found between the spasm and the laxity - either size is a dangerous place for us to be! Good luck!

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Thank you so much for your response. I was beginning to think that I was alone in dealing with muscle spasms. Like you said, it causes issues when they relax. I will definitely be checking out my local PT offices to see if I can find someone who will help with that. I have been reluctant to try PT again as the last time was pre-diagnosis and the PT placed her full weight on one of my thoracic vertebrae and bruised it; an injury that flares up every once and a while.

At this point I've been wondering if I'd rather deal with the pain of the spasms over the joint laxity. Right now my rheumatologist has me on creatine to try and strengthen my muscles and to act as a balance to the carnitine and the co-q10 which loosens them.

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I didn't know that the CoQ10 was a muscle relaxant. I'm taking that for cardio-issues, so good to know! The spasms are inefficiant and stop working eventually. I am 37 and have hit critical with this and now am trying to regain local muscles that aren't even firing. Very weird! I went from walking with pain for years to declining in months to most days walking less than a block and dragging my leg behind me. It creates a laxity that is very difficult to manage. If you can prevent this in yourself do! I also have failed PT so many times as traditional approaches only injured me more. If your muscles are spasming and then you start demanding them to over-exert it creates more pain, injuries and dysfunction. Plus, we are way more fragile! Also, traditional approaches often end up strengthening the larger propelling muscles, when stabilizing muscle strength is what you are seeking. Frustration for all involved! My new PTs approach respects this and my leg isn't dragging unless I sublux my SI joint - huge for me! Definitely interview you PT prospects ahead of time to see if they understand EDS or at least connective tissue disorders. Sorry about the disk injury - not a good PT experience for sure!

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I have had the same problem on and off now for over a year - the important thing, which was mainly overlooked by first ortho, is the strengthening - my wrist and actually elbow, shoulder and into neck all because weakened and spasmed which caused a lot of pain - it turns out (after EMG to make sure nerve was ok) that in various joints along my arm slip and impinge my ulnar nerve. Finally havea great PT who understands what is going on and slowly working on strengthening the muscles as well as "flossing" the never channel to minimize entrapment problems and get back some of the fine motor skills I was losing - like butoning a blouse, writing, and typing.

I wish I would have trusted my gut last year when this started and found a new PT who understood EDS and how to help me instead of having me shiw her the various "tricks" I could. Best of luck to you.

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I dislocate my wrist all the time. It will go back and pinch a nerve or will not go back to the right place. I have a friend that is a physical therapist that takes care of me. She will put it back or release the nerve for me. I wear a wrist brace that allows no bending at all when it is bad. If you can figure out what makes it go out and avoid that motion it will feel better. I can't open a door with my left hand. The twisting motion makes it go out. If the pain is really bad your wrist may not be in right or the nerve may be pinched. My physical therapist gave me easy wrist exercises that have really helped me.

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I have dislocated my right wrist about 100 times. The first time I had it set back in my a doctor. After that, I plop it on my thigh and put it back in myself. It hurts when it is out but is fine when I put it back in. I just get a twinge when adjusting it. I have developed 2 bones spurs due to this. One was so bad since I had nerves sitting on top of it. I finally had it removed (chiseled off). I have another one coming up that is causing me nerve pain but I had to have yet another surgery.

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My daughter just went through a terrible ordeal with her wrist . It was out for 3 months while all along it should've been operated on. She had a torn ligament and the doctor we went to to have surgery done on it decided she needed to try everything first to avoid it so she put a cast on it , which did nothing. I would suggest getting an MRI if it doesn't feel better . I know when my kids (3 have EDS) have a joint dislocate it can take anywhere from a few days to weeks for it to feel better depending on what is dislocated and how far out the joint went. If it just subluxates it's usually a few days but if it actually dislocates it will take much longer. In my daughter's case the joint would no longer stay in at all. She could hold her ulna and radius together and as soon as she let go it would go right back out. Nothing but surgery fixed it . The doctor ended up giving her an artificial ligament because you can't sew ligaments with EDS. I have posts about it on here if you want to check them out which include sites that show what they did with the surgery and information about distal ulnar radial dislocations. The first time it happened they didn't believe it was dislocated at all . This type of dislocation is often missed because the x-ray has to be taken at just the right angle. There is usually a broken bone for this type of dislocation so it is rare for it to happen without a break. I don't know if thats what happened with your wrist but if it is or you think it is ask them to check for an ulnar- radial disloction. Best of luck to you.

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Givnmegryhr,

I remember SO well, the issue with your daughter and her wrist! The doctor casted it while it was dislocated, from what I remember, and she was just in agony. How is she? I know how relieved you were when she finally went to someone who treated her properly, and did the surgery. I hope she is well!!!

Unhinged

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Hi,

I'm not sure by what you mean dislocated wrist. Did you dislocate the long bones of the wrist/ arm the ulnar and radius or did you dislocate the carpal bones of the wrist - scaphoid, lunate, hamate, etc.....

I dislocate and sublux the carpal bones on a daily basis.....and I've saw several hand surgeons and they all conclude their is nothing but major surgeries to redshift the weight of the bones but then it would stress the opposite side.

I use a simple braces for my wrists that I've bought at Walmart etc....they are nicer and fit better than the prescription ones..

If it were me I would go to the dr and they probably will, splint it or cast it. In my opinion complete rest is what works for my joints the best. I'm in a cast right now for 3 weeks. The only other advise I've been offered is if it hurts when you rotate your wrist than don't do that!!! Lol

I'm sry I'm not much help. But I've saw tons of ortho guys for wrist stuff and in the end it's always the same story. Splinting it in the beginning when I dislocate or sublux and continue to have pain. But I would definetley go see a dr if you're still having pain.

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Hi Unhinged. Thanks for asking about her. She was down to having finished PT , just wearing a splint and was only a few weeks left of wearing in when she got into a car accident and reinjured it! Can you believe it? I had a weird feeling something was gonna happen. Anyway, they re-casted it for 3 weeks and now she's back in the splint and back to PT. Her therapist said it's actually worse now than it was right after the surgery. She's to wear the brace for the rest of the school year at the least and then we'll see how it's doing. It's been a very ,very long road.

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I replied earlier thinking that I had finally found out what was wrong with my wrist; Ct arthrogram, x-rays, EMG and a bunch of very strange looks by the orthoedist. A different ortho is the same practice did the EMG and she noticed the joints from my wrist through my shoulder sliding in and out and entrapping my ulnar nerve. My EDS doc finally sent me to PT about 3 weeks ago. I have never finished PT after surgery or injury in the past because they just never really got what was going on with my body - I knew something wasn't right but didn't know it was EDS until not quite 2 years ago. My PT has helped me by taping my shoulder so that I can so the exercises that will help me stabilize my joints - we are not even talking about strength building right now. Anyhow, my wrist, elbow, shoukder - everything on my right side ranged from tingling and cold, to ordinary painful, and burning stabbing pain. So, she looked at it more (waiting for the EMG study report) because she is positive that something more os going on and after abiut 30-45 minutes it became obvious to her that my scalene muscles are entrapping my nerves and blood vessels - causing all the pain and cold and other sensations that 2 orthopedists just kind of shook their heads at me like I was crazy - give it 6 weeks - 2 with the braces 24/7 and then 6 weeks of PT and call her if it still hurts. I had seen her at least 10 years over the past year and she never got close to a real reason for my "wrist" pain. The PT spent time and asked questions and came up with thoracic outlet syndrome and some very simple exercises that will start to make it possible to strengthen other muscles that the scalenes are compensating for. Anyhow, I just wanted to let y'all know that if you persist and don't give into doctors' skepticsm and allowing it to make you doubt yourself, get depressed, etc.

I was so close to giving up a few weeks ago but I read someone's post and had dinner with a friend and said I woud give it 4 more weeks. Today, sore and tired, I am grateful that I did not give up.

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One of my worst issues is my dislocating and spraining wrists. I have dealt with them for over 18 years now. I have every brace imaginable, yet they still continue to go out on me. I cant tell you how many times they have dislocated IN the metal wrist brace even. Its very frusterating to be sure. I want to let you know that since its early, keep working on strengthening the wrist muscles. It may be the only thing years down the road that hold your wrists in place. As far as the pain, I used to feel it for a few weeks after a dislocation, now I only feel it for a day or so its happened so much. Please do whatever you can including bracing and muscle strengthening so your wrists dont end up like mine (I wasnt diagnosed for 15 years and by then they were totally shot). Good luck and I hope the pain goes away soon!

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I get "snapping ECU syndrome" in my wrist that comes and goes. It is VERY painful, but not a total wrist dislocation. What I wanted to say, is that I had shoulders that dislocated chronically for over a decade before I had them surgically repaired.... When they first started to dislocate, I would have it reduced (usually in an ER), and the excruciating pain would diminish immediately, BUT I would have pain afterwards (chronic, aching, nagging, sometimes sharp) for at least a month. Depending on the dislocation, even when they were put back correctly, and no nerves were pinched.... I still had pain for weeks. I always wore a sling for weeks. My doctor said that sometimes we tear soft tissue when we dislocate, and THAT is what is causing all the pain afterwards. That's why I used the sling and babied the heck out of them after....they felt TORN! As the dislocations persisted, the after pain got better, because the joints were SO unstable. I could usually get them back in myself in the end.

So, it could be that you have a pinched nerve, or it didn't go back quite right, or you could just be suffering from the effects of healing the damage you did to the surrounding tissue. If it keeps up, get it checked out. Sorry for your pain. Take care!

Unhinged

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Givnmegryhr,

OH NO!!!!!!!!! I'm so sorry to hear about your poor daughter's re-injury! Awful. Just awful. I really empathize with her. I spent so many years in a sling from shoulder dislocations when I was young. When I hadn't had a dislocation in a few months, my mom was feeling uneasy....like it was too good to be true. Well.... She was right! I got in a car accident & broke ALL the bones in my right hand (I'm a righty & it was right before exams). One of my metacarpals popped right out of my skin.....it was awful!!! Over the next two years, I had 4 hand surgeries! Re-broke, re-set my hand bones twice, pins put in, then the bone splintered & started coming through my skin AGAIN. Literally couldn't write with that hand for two years..... Had to put college off until the surgeries were finished. Then, of course, my shoulder dislocations resumed! I had surgery on them a few years later. Sigh. I could just hug your daughter! Tell her that it WILL pass eventually. It is so hard to go through that, especially during those years.... Tell her I'm rooting for her!

Xoxo Unhinged

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Thank you everyone for all your advice and support. To answer an earlier question, I'm not sure what bone(s) I dislocated. I simply reached up to pull down my shirt sleeve and the next thing I knew I heard two loud pops and got a searing pain in my wrist. The next morning I had two bruises near the area it popped and my wrist, hand, fingers, and arm near my wrist were swollen. A few days ago, my wrist started feeling better but I must have done something to it again today. The problem is that I can't really rest it. I'm in grad school and in the final semester crunch time with papers due right and left. I'm hoping I can nurse it along for the next three weeks until graduation.

On the up side I found a new brand of wrist brace that is a lot more stabilizing. It's made by 3M and is sold at CVS in case anyone is interested.

Since I was just diagnosed I have been reluctant to go to the doctor or ER for any dislocations or subluxations that I have had. A week after diagnosis I dislocated my shoulder and my arm was rotated forward for over a week before it popped back the night I decided that the next day I would go to the ER. After 12 years without a diagnosis and all the 'lovely' experiences with docs I am worried that I won't be taken seriously if I go to get a joint popped back in. Somehow doctors, or at least the one's I've come into contact with, never want their patient's to know what is wrong with them - it's like they would rather a patient didn't have a clue what was wrong. Does anyone have any advice for talking with doctors about a new diagnosis of EDS and possibly dealing with skeptical ER docs?

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I would suggest you keep all paperwork of doctor visits and especially your diagnoses of EDS with you when you see any doctor. The one ortho my daughter saw didn't believe she had it and asked how we knew and how did they test for it. I about lost it and said ,"Look , she has it. Her bones sublux and dislocate all the time she bruises easily and takes longer to heal her scars are stretched out and 3 out of 5 of my kids, my husband and my mother-in-law all have it. There's no question about whether she has it or not!"
Secondly I would tell you if you aren't getting anywhere with the doctor you are seeing get up and walk out. The more I deal with them the angrier I get when they don't believe something so we just cross them off the list and find another one. Don't waste your time if you aren't satisfied. We wasted precious time and my daughter was in such pain for 3 months before we finally found the doctor who helped her. And to him it was like look at the MRI. There it is. You can't live like this. We have to fix it . Boom. Surgery in a week. We LOVE him! :) The way I look at it is I'm paying you to help us and if you aren't doing your job , you're fired! Plenty of other docs out there. It might take awhile but it's worth it in the end to weed through them. Good luck . Oh and please, please don't wait to get a joint put in. My daughter's wrist was out last year for 5 days and I know that made it easier to injure. This time she did it in her sleep. Not even sure what she did! The longer they are out the more stretched they get and then they're even looser. Our ER doesn't put in dislocations you have to wait for an ortho to do it , which usually means the next day! I couldn't get over that .
Good luck . Hope you find a good doc.

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