The wrist is a joint that attaches our hand to the forearm. Your ulna is smaller of the 2 bones that make up the forearm. Ulnar wrist pain is quite a prevalent issue in adults, however, it is scarcely seen in children. Amongst adults, men are commonly seen coming in with this problem after a fall on an outstretched hand, whether or not there is a broken bone.
What Is Ulnar Wrist Pain?
Ulnar wrist pain is basically discomfort on the side of the wrist, opposite to your thumb. It is called ulnar wrist pain when you have pain on the outer side of the hand or in your pinkie finger. Proper understanding of the root cause and diagnosis according to it is critical.
Sudden zaps of pain in the wrist are accompanied by loss of proper grip and pinch strength. This issue may affect the patient’s sleep and loss of productivity.
What Causes Ulnar Sided Wrist Pain ?
In any case, the first stage of recovery is finding the root cause of this condition.
During a physical exam the doctor takes a look and feels your wrist and does several movements in order to test the pain source, ulnar strength, motion range.
Also, they may go for imaging tests, like X-rays, CT scans, and MRI, also known as magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound.
A procedure called wrist arthrography is done; a special fluid is inserted into the joint to enhance the view of your wrist during the imaging.
Common causes of ulnar sided wrist pain are:
- Arthritis of the joint bones between them.
- Wrist bone breaks because of a fall onto an outstretched hand.
- Bending the wrist beyond its capacity causes tendon and ligament damage.
- Pinching of nerves because of an accident.
Ganglion cystic growth – benign lumps beside your wrist joints or tendons.
- There is a condition known as ulnar impaction syndrome. The ulna extends the radius, your other bone in the forearm, thus increasing pressure.
Treatments For Ulnar Sided Wrist Pain
The treatment for the ulnar wrist pain depends on what is causing it. Usually, your doctor tries to opt for some less invasive routes rather than going straight to surgery.
Non-invasive treatment options include a combination of:
- Adequate resting for self-healing
- Putting a cast on or splinting broken bones
- Use of anti-inflammatory medicines
- Physical therapy
When Should One Opt for Surgery For Ulnar Wrist Pain?
Surgery is next in line. If conservative or non-invasive techniques show no improvement, your health person may go for surgery.
Since overall recovery may take around 3 months, they usually perform surgery when other options are ineffective.
However, in cases where the pain in the ulnar side of your wrist is due to a health condition such as ulnar impaction syndrome, surgery is the only best available option.
In the surgical process, the repairing of TFCC damage is done via specialized surgical instruments. Small cuts or incisions are made on the side of your wrist to go in.
Surgery is also the best bet in cases of a tumor or growth like a ganglion cyst. Such mass growth can result in nerve compression and constant pain. In such a case scenario, removal of the pain and pressure source can ease your discomfort.
Do not worry if your arthritis does not adequately respond to the standard treatment type. You may be advised wrist joint replacement surgery, for that matter.
In this process, the damaged areas of the wrist bones are replaced with artificial implants. Also, joint replacement surgery can increasingly relieve pain and help recover your wrist and hand functionality. If arthritis is the reason for your troubles, head to Rheumatology Care of North Houston for a quick scan. Call at 832.532.9779 for help or visit our clinic any day.