Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ


What's the usual surgical treatment for Kienbock's disease?


Kienbock's disease occurs when blood stops flowing to the lunate bone in the wrist. The bone on the thumb side of the forearm (the radius) may be longer than the bone on the little-finger side (the ulna). These bones control rotation in the wrist. Surgeons have often treated Kienböck's disease by "leveling" or evening out these bones--shortening the radius or lengthening the ulna to reduce pain in the wrist.

A group of doctors from Argentina suggested a new surgical treatment to "decompress" the wrist. They've had good results from making small "windows" in the radius and/or ulna for blood to flow through. In a group of 22 patients, this procedure reduced pain 91 percent of the time. Pain relief was often immediate, which is thought to be due to a change in blood pressure within the bone. Ten years later, most of the patients (72 percent) had no pain in their wrists.

*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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