Radial Wrist Pain

Georgia Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow

Your wrist is one of your body’s most delicate, intricate, and complex features. Your wrist is a crucial link between your forearm and your hand. If you are experiencing pain, specifically on one side of your wrist, seeking a specialist’s expertise can improve your quality of life.

The pain you are experiencing may be radial wrist pain. Our highly trained specialist at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow can determine the cause of your pain as well as render treatment, if necessary. Schedule an appointment with our expert team at our Atlanta or Marietta, Georgia locations today!

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What Is Radial Wrist Pain?

Radial-sided wrist pain is pain that can be felt on the thumb side of your forearm and is a common patient complaint.

Your forearm is made up of two bones:

  1. The radius (on the lateral, thumb side of your forearm)
  2. The ulna (on the medial, pinky side of your forearm)

The radius bone is larger than the ulna, and it connects your elbow to the “thumb side” of your wrist. Your radius also plays a vital role because it supports several muscles, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. You may feel radial wrist pain if damage occurs to these soft tissues.

While your wrist is made up of small bones and joints that allow you to move your hand in several different directions, your radius can play a major role in wrist pain.

What Causes Radial Wrist Pain?

There are many factors that can cause pain on the radial side of your wrist, including:

  • Intersection syndrome, which is a type of wrist tendonitis
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which is a painful inflammation of the tendon sheath in your wrist at the base of the thumb
  • Thumb arthritis
  • Acute injuries, including wrist sprains and strains
  • Wrist fractures (broken bones) such as distal radius fractures. Depending on the angle of the break, a distal radius fracture can be classified into the following types:
    1. Colles’ fractures — when your broken wrist bone (radius) points backward
    2. Smith’s fractures — when your broken wrist bone (radius) points forward
  • A scaphoid fracture is caused by falling onto an outstretched hand, and the force is specifically directed on your thumb or radial side of your hand.
  • Radial tunnel syndrome, which occurs when your radial nerve becomes compressed.

Radial Wrist Joint Pain Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that can cause radial-sided wrist discomfort. These risk factors can include, but are not limited to:

  • Falls
  • Automobile accidents
  • Trauma
  • Sports injuries
  • Participating in sports or other activities that require repetitive wrist extension and bending
  • Osteoporosis, which weakens the bones, putting them at higher risk of sudden and unexpected fractures

Radial Wrist Pain Treatment Options 

Your treatment will vary depending on the severity of your injury. Once an accurate diagnosis has been made, your treatment may be in the form of immobilization, such as a splint or a cast. Anti-inflammatory medication may also be recommended by your specialist.

At Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, we aim to help you recover through non-surgical methods. However, there are times when the severity of the injury requires surgical treatment to repair the bone. This may be the case if you have fractured your radius.

After surgery, physical therapy may be recommended to assist you in regaining your strength and the functionality of your wrist. If left untreated, your discomfort can turn into chronic pain.
Let our experts provide the pain relief you deserve! We have offices conveniently located in Marietta and Atlanta, GA. Schedule an appointment with one of our Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow experts today!

Medically reviewed by

Randall Alexander, MD

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Plastic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon