Pediatric Orthopedics for Child Wrist Pain

Your child’s hands play a huge role in how they interact with others and their environment. So when child wrist pain happens, special care is necessary to restore this connection. Our pediatric orthopedic doctors in El Paso treat various hand and wrist conditions, whether they’re congenital, neuromuscular, injury or trauma-related.

Providing Child-Friendly, Compassionate Care

Providence Children’s Hospital understands how frightening healthcare services can be for some children, so we use techniques that help your child feel more at ease while getting the care they need. You can rely on our pediatric hand surgeons, doctors, nurses, hand therapists and prosthetists who provide nothing but personalized, compassionate care. They can also guide you through the entire care process from consultation through your child’s recovery.

Our treatment options are focused on your child’s unique needs, helping restore movement and reduce or eliminate pain, so they can get back to doing the things they love as early as possible. These may include occupational or physical therapy, splinting, casting, reconstructive surgery and more.

What Causes Wrist Pain in Children?

Some of the most common causes of child wrist pain include but are not limited to the following:

  • Broken finger
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm, becomes compressed as it passes through an opening from the wrist to the hand
  • Congenital deformities or disorders of the hand/wrist (e.g., Cleft Hand, presence of one or more extra fingers, etc.)
  • Ganglion cyst – tumor or swelling on top of a joint
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) – a common type of arthritis in kids and teens that causes joint swelling and stiffness
  • Kienbock’s disease – a rare bone disease that affects one of the eight wrist bones
  • Overuse
  • Tendonitis
  • Trauma
  • Wrist injury (e.g., fracture, disfigured joints, strain, sprain, etc.)

How Do I Know if My Child's Wrist is Broken or Sprained?

You may be able to tell that your child is suffering from a broken wrist if the wrist looks abnormal or damaged. Some other signs may include wrist pain, bruising, tenderness, swelling, redness and/or warmth in the affected area and difficulty moving the wrist.

On the other hand, your child may be suffering from a wrist sprain if there’s bruising or changes in skin color, a popping sound in the wrist when your child moves it, pain, stiffness, swelling and or tenderness.

How Do Doctors Diagnose the Cause of Child Wrist Pain?

During the initial evaluation, a pediatric orthopedic doctor in El Paso may perform a physical examination and ask about your child’s medical history, the symptoms they experience and your family’s medical history. Based on the assessment, the doctor may request further tests and/or screenings such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Blood tests
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Electromyography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test
  • Urine tests
  • X-rays

What Are the Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Wrist Pain?

How our pediatric orthopedic doctors in El Paso treat wrist pain depends on its cause. They usually resort to nonsurgical treatment options first, which may include any of the following:

  • Hot or cold compress to reduce swelling, redness, pain, etc.
  • Immobilization (e.g., braces, casts, splints, etc.)
  • Lifestyle changes (e.g., drinking more water, cutting back on junk food, correcting sleeping positions, etc.)
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Physical therapy to improve strength and movement and reduce pain
  • Prescription medications (e.g., ibuprofen or naproxen)
  • Steroid injections to relieve pain

When Is Wrist Surgery Necessary?

A pediatric orthopedic surgeon in El Paso may recommend surgery based on the damage in your child’s wrist, the symptoms and  response to prior treatment.

What Are the Surgical Options for Wrist Pain?

Some of the surgical treatment options that your pediatric hand surgeon may recommend are as follows:

  • Fracture repair to fix bones in hand or fingers
  • Joint replacement, also called arthroplasty, for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
  • Nerve repair
  • Surgical drainage to remove a collection of pus if there is an abscess in the hand
  • Tendon repair

What Does a Pediatric Hand Surgeon Do?

A pediactric hand surgeon focuses on treating children’s hand, wrist, and forearm conditions using both surgical and nonsurgical techniques. They are pediatric orthopedic surgeons who have additional training in hand surgery.

Is Your Child at Risk for Wrist Pain?

Your child may be at an increased risk for wrist pain if he/she:

  • participates in gymnastics, cheerleading, equine sports or contact sports (e.g., basketball, football, field hockey, etc.)
  • types on a keyboard regularly
  • has an underlying medical condition such as JIA or a congenital hand disorder or deformity

When to See a Pediatric Orthopedic Doctor in El Paso

Please schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric orthopedic doctors in El Paso if your child is at an increased risk for wrist pain or if they experience any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty gripping objects or making a fist
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks because of pain
  • Fever
  • Hand looks abnormal
  • Numbness
  • Lost muscle mass in the hand, wrist or fingers
  • Pain in the wrist, fingers, hands or arms
  • Rash
  • Still experience pain even after treating with remedies or taking pain relievers for 2 weeks
  • Sudden, sharp pain in the hands
  • Swollen fingers
  • Tingling sensation in the hands
  • Warmth in a wrist joint
  • Wrist swelling or redness

It’s also best to see a doctor if your child went through surgery and is experiencing signs of infection or prolonged wrist pain. However, please call 911 or bring your child to the nearest emergency room if:

  • your child’s wrist, hand or finger is bleeding significantly
  • your child is unable to move his or her wrist, hand or finger
  • your child’s wrist, hand or finger is deformed or crooked

Find a Pediatric Orthopedic Doctor in El Paso

Is your child complaining of wrist pain after a fall, an injury or because of a congenital condition? Please schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric orthopedic doctors in El Paso for child-friendly care and treatment. You may also call 833-225-8751 to learn more.