Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ


I was recently diagnosed with Kienbock's disease of the wrist. This surprises me because I don't work at a desk or computer. I'm a stay-at-home mother with three children. Who gets this disease?


Kienbock's disease is the loss of blood supply to the lunate bone in the wrist. This causes painful loss of motion and decreased grip strength. Without enough blood, the bone starts to break down and even collapse.

The cause of this problem isn't known. Many theories exist such as one bone in the forearm being longer than the other and putting increased load on the lunate. Some think it's caused by the type of blood supply to the wrist, others suggest the shape of the lunate as the cause.

The disease affects men and women of all backgrounds. This condition has been reported in housewives, police officers, students, office workers, and even the unemployed. Even though it was first seen in 1910, not much is known about this problem.

Gürsel Leblebicioglu, MD, et al. Open Treatment of Stage III Kienbock'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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