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What is Kienböck’s disease?

Posted on August 02, 2022

Kienböck’s disease is a condition that develops when lack of blood supply damages your lunate one, one of eight small carpal bones in your wrist. Men are more often impacted then women, and most people with Kienböck’s disease are between the ages of 20 and 40 years old.

Kienböck’s Disease Symptoms Kienbock’s disease

With this condition, you’ll notice wrist pain, stiffness and swelling. The strength of your grip may weaken, and you may notice an unusual clinking sound when you move. Turning your hand upwards will be difficult and cause pain, and you’ll experience tenderness at the site of the lunate bone. Because Kienböck’s disease is progressive, symptoms will slowly worsen over time. Immediately after losing its blood supply, there will be visible changes to your lunate bone on MRIs, but not on X-rays. Then, without treatment, your bone will appear dense and it will harden. Over time, it can break into fragments or collapse completely, at which points nearby bones may also develop damage or arthritis.


Causes and Risk Factors

While your genes may increase your risk for Kienböck’s disease, arterial and vein disease can both contribute to this condition. Trauma to your risk and abnormal bone structures, along with diseases such as gout, lupus, cerebral palsy and sickle cell anemia all increase your risk.

Diagnosing and Treating Kienböck’s disease

Depending on when you seek medical care, your diagnosis may include a physical exam, medical history, MRI, CT scan and/or an X-ray. Depending on the severity of disease, your treatment may involve splinting or casting your wrist to restore blood flow to your bone.

Anti-inflammatory medications, along with or independently of cortisone injections can help reduce pain and swelling. Seek out physical therapy if your wrist mobility becomes compromised. And be sure to address your reduced blood flow with arterial or vein treatments if that’s causing your condition.

In certain cases, you may require orthopedic procedures such as joint leveling or bone grafts to undo damage to your lunate bone. In certain cases, your doctor may even recommend implanting a prosthetic bone to treat your Kienböck’s disease.

Preventing Problems

Because this disease is progressive, seeking early treatment or preventative care is the best way to preserve your wrist mobility. If you sustain any trauma to your wrist, seek immediate medical care to ensure proper healing and protect blood flow to the area. And, if you have blockages or reduced circulation in your veins or arteries? Schedule an immediate appointmentSchedule an immediate appointmentSchedule an immediate appointment with our Houston and Dallas area specialists. Using our diagnostic ultrasound, we’ll identify problem areas and come up with a plan to improve blood flow and protect your wrist and overall health.

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