WRIST CONDITIONS

WRIST CONDITIONS2018-10-22T16:48:30+00:00
COMMON CONDITIONS OF THE WRIST

The information outlined below on common conditions and treatments of the wrist is provided as a guide only and it is not intended to be comprehensive. Discussion with Mr Mason is important to answer any questions that you may have.

For information about any additional conditions not featured within the site, please contact us for more information.

A wrist fracture is a medical term for a broken wrist. The wrist is made up of eight small bones which connect with the two long forearm bones called the radius and ulna. Although a broken wrist can happen in any of these 10 bones, by far the most common bone to break is the radius. This is called a distal radius fracture by hand surgeons. Some fractures are more severe than others. Fractures that break apart the smooth joint surface or fractures that shatter into many pieces (comminuted fractures) may make the bone unstable. These severe types of fractures often require surgery to restore and hold their alignment. An open fracture occurs when a fragment of bone breaks and is forced out through the skin. This can cause an increased risk of infection in the bone.

Read More About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Wrist Fractures here.

A scaphoid non-union fracture refers to a wrist fracture that is failing to heal. A fracture that is healing more slowly than expected is a “delayed union” fracture. The scaphoid is one of the eight small bones in the wrist. These small bones are arranged into two rows. During normal wrist motion, the wrist bones move together to allow the wrist to achieve many positions that we take for granted. The scaphoid spans these two rows; in a way, it “directs” the motion of the other small bones.

Read More About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Scaphoid Non-union fractures here.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition where the median nerve is compressed where it passes through a short tunnel at the wrist. The tunnel contains the tendons that bend the fingers and thumb as well as the nerve (see diagram). CTS commonly affects women in middle age but can occur at any age in either sex. CTS can occur with pregnancy, diabetes, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis and other less common conditions, but most sufferers have none of these. CTS may be associated with swelling in the tunnel which may be caused by inflammation of the tendons, a fracture of the wrist, wrist arthritis and other less common conditions. In most cases, the cause is not identifiable.

Read More About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome here.

Ganglion cysts are the commonest type of swelling the hand and wrist. They contain a thick clear liquid called synovial fluid, which is the body’s lubricant in joints and in the tunnels through which some tendons run. Although ganglion cysts can arise from any joint or tendon tunnel, there are four common locations in the hand and wrist – in the middle of the back of the wrist, on the front of the wrist at the base of the thumb, at the base of a finger on the palmar side, and on the back of an end joint of a finger.

Read More About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Ganglia here.

Arthritis involves inflammation of one or more of your joints. Pain and stiffness are common symptoms of arthritis, and when these occur in your wrist, simple daily activities can become more difficult. There are many types of arthritis, and most of these can affect the wrist. Although the severity of symptoms related to arthritis can vary, most arthritis-related diseases are chronic. This means that they are long-lasting—even permanent—and can eventually cause serious joint damage.

Read More About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis of the wrist here.

Kienbock’s disease, also known as avascular necrosis of the lunate, is a condition in which the lunate bone, one of eight small bones in the wrist, loses its blood supply, leading to death of the bone. The lunate is a central bone in the wrist that is important for proper movement and support of the joint. It works closely with the two forearm bones (radius and ulna) to help the wrist move. Damage to the lunate can lead to pain, stiffness, and sometimes arthritis of the wrist if some time has passed. Kienbock’s disease is most common in men between the ages of 20 and 40 and rarely affects both wrists.

Read More About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Kienbock’s disease here.

The scapholunate (SL) ligament connects two of the small carpal bones together, the scaphoid and lunate. These are located near the centre of the wrist. The SL ligament ensures the bones move in unison and the wrist has a smooth rotation. When it is torn, the bones separate in different directions, resulting in a painful loss of grip strength. This injury to the wrist is not uncommon and is often sustained by athletes.

Read More About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Scapholunate Ligament injuries here.

De Quervain’s syndrome is a painful condition that affects tendons where they run through a tunnel on the thumb side of the wrist. It appears without obvious cause in many cases. Mothers of small babies seem particularly prone to it, but whether this is due to hormonal changes after pregnancy or due to lifting the baby repeatedly is not known. There is little evidence that it is caused by work activities, but the pain can certainly be aggravated by hand use at work, at home, in the garden or at sport.

Read More About the Diagnosis and Treatment of De Quervain’s syndrome here.

The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is an area between your radius and ulna, the two main bones that make up your forearm. Your TFCC is made of several ligaments and tendons, as well as cartilage. It helps your wrist move and stabilizes your forearm bones when you grasp something with your hand or rotate your forearm. A TFCC tear is a type of injury to this area.

Read More About the Diagnosis and Treatment of TFCC Injuries here.

Discussion with Mr Mason is important to answer any questions that you may have. For information about any additional conditions not featured within the site, please contact us for more information.

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