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1. Fracture of the distal radius and ulna

Often referred to a ‘Colles’ fracture’, a fracture of the distal radius and ulna refers to a break in the forearm bones just above the wrist joint. A fracture of the distal radius and ulna are most frequently caused by a fall where you land on an outstretched hand.

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2. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis refers to inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding the tendons that move the thumb. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an overuse injury. The tendons of the thumb originate from above the wrist joint. They reach the thumb by going around a bony bump or prominence on the outside of the wrist and by crossing the wrist joint. Where they pass around the bony bump at the wrist, the tendons and tissues surrounding the tendons can be rubbed against the bone. Repeated rubbing can result in microtrauma. To repair this microtrauma the body commences an inflammatory response in the injured tissues.

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3. Wrist tendinopathy

Wrist tendinopathy refers to inflammation and swelling within one or more of the tendons which cross the wrist joint. The function of the tendons which cross the wrist joint is to transmit forces produced by the forearm muscles to the hand and fingers. Repetitive use of these muscles and, therefore, their tendons can lead to microscopic tears within the substance of the tendons. To repair these microscopic tears, the body commences an inflammatory response. This inflammation within the tendon is tendinopathy.

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4. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to a nerve disorder occurring at the wrist which causes pain, sensory changes and a loss of function within the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome results from compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is made up on three sides by the wrist bones, with the roof of the tunnel consisting of a strong, broad ligament. Passing through this tunnel is the median nerve which sends signals from the brain to the hand, and a number of tendons which move the fingers. As the walls of the tunnel are inflexible, if any of the contained tendons become inflamed or swell, the median nerve can become compressed. This can interfere with the messages or signals transmitted by the nerve.

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