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Orthopedics/Painful Popping Wrist


For about a week I have been having pain and problems with my left wrist popping. It occurs on the outside part of my wrist when I use a twisting motion with my hand/wrist. I work as a greeter at Walmart which includes pulling shopping carts, forcing jammed carts apart and pushing heavy lines of carts up into the front of the shopping cart garage. To unjam the stuck carts I usually will grab it by the handle lift the wheels up off the ground and bang it on the floor much like flicking a towel but much heavier
I also wanted to mention that when I was in Jr high, my family was in a bad car accident. My same left wrist was bruised and very swollen, the ER doc took X-rays and said that I had sprained some ligaments in my wrist but did nothing else to treat it. For several months after that, my wrist would pop often until it finally went away. I don't remember why I never told my parents.
Now my wrist is popping again and hurts, any ideas what it could be? Thanks

It could be something called TFCC tear -can goolge. This is where a tear occurs in lateral portion of the wrist. If you have pain w twisting of the wrist and w your history , it at least needs to be ruled out. Xrays will not show this, as it is ligament problem. MRI's are pretty good at showing, sometimes they will inject dye in wrist area and see if there is any leakage-indicating a tear or they will just do a "plain" MRI. I would see an ortho who does hand/wrist


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Joe A Shaw PA-C


Most general questions that have to do with orthopedic and /or occupational medicine or ergonomics. With a focus on upper extremity disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome. After many years of treating and diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome I have developed a detailed website about carpal tunnel syndrome at


I have been a board certified Physician Assistant for 17 years, in the fields of occupational and orthopedic medicine.

American Academy of Physician Assistants, State Academy of Physician Assistants.

Physician Assistant degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine PA program. Bachelor of Health and Science degree. Board Certified Physician Assistant, Ergonomic certification, University of Michigan ergonomics certification. Associate Science degree in Emergency Medical Technology. Former Paramedic, EMT and Firefighter.

Awards and Honors
Current certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life support, and Basic life support, and CPR certification. University of Michigan Ergonomic training and certification.

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