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Wrist News

MRI Gives a Welcome Hand to Kienbock's Disease

Advances in MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology have improved the outcomes for some conditions. Kienbock's disease is one of them. Kienbock's disease was first described in 1910 by Dr. Kienbock. The condition is generally believed to be caused by a loss of blood supply to a bone in the wrist (lunate). The lost blood supply can cause bone death, called osteonecrosis.

Treatment can help stop the disease from getting worse. It can also eliminate pain and help keep normal hand and wrist function. Early treatment is very important. The specific steps taken depend on the stage of the disease. In its early stages, putting the arm in a cast is the first step. This gives the bone a chance to heal.

If the bone has already lost its blood supply, surgery will likely be needed. The dead or dying bone is removed and a new piece of bone is grafted in its place. The surgeon carefully looks for bone in the wrist to use as a donor piece. It must have a good blood supply.

Kienbock's disease of the wrist occurs most often in men who do manual labor. Pain, stiffness, loss of motion, and death of the lunate bone are common problems. Without early treatment, the patient can lose function and risk permanent damage. MRI aids in detecting early signs of this bone disease, making early treatment possible.

David J. Ingle, DO, et al. Early Detection of Kienbock's Disease With MRI Treated By Revascularization With a Distal Radius Bone Graft. In Orthopedics. January 2003. Vol. 26. No. 1. Pp. 91-93.


*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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