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  • Writer's pictureFi Dean


Put that dumbbell down and listen up: muscles aren't everything. Your joints make your whole body tick but like any mechanical system they are prone to wear and tear. Without well functioning joints, it is challenging to add muscle, shed fat or get anything done around the house. To maintain them, you need to understand how they work and the threats they face. Over the next few months, I will tell you how to keep your six major joints in tip top condition. This month, let's look at the last - wrists. TYPE OF JOINT: Ellipsoid. The wrist's collection of bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage forms the body's most complex joint. Because it is not weight bearing, it will likely provide problem free mobility for a lifetime unless you injure it. TOP THREAT: The biggest threat is a scaphoid fracture. These breaks make up to 70% of carpal fractures. (Stick out your thumb, hitchhiker style: the scaphoid is under that little divot at the base of the thumb). CAUSE: Landing palms down with outstretched hands to break a fall. TREATMENT: A cast or splint that immobilises the thumb for about six weeks can treat most fractures, especially those close the thumb, where there's good blood circulation. If bones are displaced, aren't healing or show signs or decay due to poor blood supply, you may need surgery to align them and hold them in place with screws, pins or wires. DEFENCE: Either consider wearing wrist supports during sports most likely to break wrists - football, hockey, skiing, skating, or teach yourself to tuck and roll if you find yourself falling. OTHER POSSIBLE INJURIES: A triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC), tear entails damage to the cartilage on the little finger side of the wrist that supports and cushions the carpal bones. TFCC tears cause pain near the little finger, especially when bending the wrist from side to side. As with a scaphoid fracture, it can stem from falling on an outstretched hand. WATCH OUT: If an X-ray doesn't show a scaphoid fracture immediately, wait. Small breaks often don't appear until 10-14 days after injury, when poor blood supply causes bone decay that's more visible on a scan. Wrists still hurting after two weeks? Get it X-rayed again.

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