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Injuries and Medical Advice

Snap, Crackle, Wrist

The wrist has more tendons, nerves, bones and ligaments per square inch than any other part of the body and it’s all manacled tighter than Lindsay Lohan.

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Two weeks ago I tweaked my wrist doing a funky mantel, but it didn’t hurt until the next day. Doorknobs, slopers and sidepulls bring the most discomfort on the pinky-finger-side of my wrist. I have experienced clicking in my wrist. Sometimes something suddenly pops and everything seems to move a bit easier. What’s up?
Thomas | via e-mail

Mantels are more dangerous than shagging Medusa. Even if you survive manteling, you will carry the scars.

The wrist has more tendons, nerves, bones and ligaments per square inch than any other part of the body and it’s all manacled tighter than Lindsay Lohan. Frankly, you could have injured yourself in several different ways. Without looking at it, I would rather try and solve a Rubik’s Cube over the phone. That said, a good therapist should be able to figure it out and save you the expense of an MRI.

Although you could have torn a ligament in isolation, the most likely injury is to the triangular fibro-cartilage complex (TFCC), a small disc-like piece of cartilage with multiple ligamentus anchors that sits between the end of the ulna and the carpal bones that articulate with it.

Carpal instability on that side can be a chicken or egg situation with either a ligament or TFCC injury, and can lead to the bones continually drifting out of their proper position. And then the sudden relocation click.
This is different than the click you might notice as you move your hand in a circle where the wrist clicks as you go through the range over the little finger side. This click is more likely to be a torn free edge of the TFCC that is getting in the way. That said, it could be a bone that is not articulating properly with its neighbors because of a snapped ligament. See someone if it doesn’t settle.