Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ


I play the piano in a professional jazz band. What's the fastest way to recover from surgery for Kienbock's disease? With no sick leave or vacation time, I'll need to get back to work as soon as possible.


Treatment for this disease of the wrist is based on the results of X-rays and MRIs. The more advanced cases need surgery to remove bone or tissue fragments and restore blood supply to the area.

There are two ways to perform this operation. The doctor can cut the wrist open, fuse the bones, and bring a small blood vessel to the lunate bone. A second method is to use an arthroscope to smooth the tissue and fuse the bones together. An arthroscope is a tool doctors use to look inside the joint without cutting it open.

A recent study showed that the fusion rate is faster with open surgery. However, there is a shorter hospital stay and faster return to activities with arthroscopic surgery. You will probably wear a cast, brace, or splint for a few weeks. Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead to move the wrist, don’t overdo it. Follow your doctor's advice closely after the operation for a faster recovery time.

Gürsel Leblebicioglu, MD, et al. Open Treatment of Stage III Kienböck’s Disease With Lunate Revascularization Compared With Arthroscopic Treatment Without Revascularization. In Arthroscopy. February 2003. Vol. 19. No. 2. Pp. 117-130.

*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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