So your wrist is going snap, crackle pop!

Maybe there’s even some pain or tingling along with the cracking in your wrist: carpal tunnel syndrome as a cause for cracking of the wrist bones?

“CTS does not cause cracking wrists,” says Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS, a renowned hand and upper limb surgeon and owner of Badia Hand to Shoulder Center in Doral, FL., and founder of OrthoNOW, the only urgent orthopedic care franchise in the world.

So what usually causes wrists to crack?

Dr. Badia explains, “That is due to ligamentous laxity which people mistakenly call double jointed.” Ligamentous laxity means that the ligaments are loose.

“That is a huge misconception, but people who are lax tend to have multiple problems, whether it be with their shoulders — women particularly with their knees,” or in the spine or elsewhere.

“But no, cracking wrists has nothing to do with a nerve compression in the wrist.”

And that’s what carpal tunnel syndrome is: The median nerve is being compressed – and by soft tissue.

The bones have nothing to do with the condition, and carpal tunnel syndrome does not affect the bones.

Of course, it’s possible to have both carpal tunnel syndrome and cracking wrist bones at the same time, but this is just a coincidence. There is no cause and effect.

Dr. Badia is a founding member of the American Hand Institute, a think tank and medical device start-up company focused on minimally invasive solutions to hand, wrist and elbow pathology.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


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