COVID-19 update:  Our hospital is still fully open for appointments and admissions, however visitors are not permitted.

Sprains and Strains

As the hand and wrist are made up of over 100 muscles and ligaments they are particularly susceptible to sprains and strains.

A range of treatments are available to manage pain and restore muscle function and growth.


Sprains occur when one or more ligaments have been stretched, twisted or torn by excessive force. Common sites for sprains are the wrist and thumb and are often cause by an awkward fall or collision or by over-reaching.


The main symptoms are pain around the affected joint, an inability to use the joint normally or put weight on it, along with swelling, bruising and tenderness.


A doctor will need to know how the injury happened and will then examine the hand. The doctor will check for tenderness around the injury site, inflammation and bumps not usually present and bruising or bleeding around the joint. An X-ray may be needed in severe cases.


Many sprains and strains can be managed at home with over-the-counter painkillers and recovery protocols that include rest, icing and compressing the injured site and protecting it from further damage.

An orthopaedic consultant is best placed to decide the extent of an injury and recommend the correct treatment pathway as self-diagnosing a condition can lead to further damage. A medical expert can advise if a sprained joint needs immobilizing or should be used gradually to restore function.

A series of progressive exercises in combination with follow-up consultations can ensure a speedy recovery and, in certain cases, a physiotherapist may be recommended for more advance exercises.

Surgery is rarely carried out on sprains because less invasive treatments are viewed as being successful but severe muscle strains in professional sports people often require operations to restore muscle function and strength.

Recovery times vary and patients can experience pain and intermittent swelling for months after the initial injury.

London Hand & Wrist Specialists

Hand & Wrist Conditions We Treat At London Hand & Wrist Specialists our...

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, ENT, as well as a private GP practice and our urgent care centre, Casualty First, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information then get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 0207 078 3887.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

 If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP. You can simply refer yourself and book an appointment.

If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP.

If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.

    Make an enquiry

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