Ulnar wrist pain is pain on the side of your wrist opposite the thumb. It is common. There are eight small bones in the wrist area which connect to metacarpals in the hand and the forearm bones. Ulnar wrist pain is accompanied by decreased motion and reduced grip strength. There might be a clicking or popping sensation with wrist movement.
Common causes of Ulnar Wrist Pain
- Injury from fall on an outstretched arm– Can injure the bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the wrist.
- Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) tear– TFCC is a shock-absorbing structure in the wrist. It can get torn due to an injury or from wear and tear over a period.
- Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome– It is due to compression of the ulnar nerve as it passes through the wrist. It results from repetitive strain or ganglion cysts (fluid-filled lump). It causes pain, numbness, or weakness in the wrist or hand.
- Arthritis-Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can lead to pain and stiffness.
- Ulnar Impaction Syndrome– In this syndrome, one of the forearm bones, the ulna is longer than the radius. It impacts the smaller wrist bones.
Treatment involves –
- Relative rest with wrist splint and braces.
- Ergonomic corrections and activity modification.
- Exercises to mobilize wrist, strengthening exercises for wrist tendon and ulnar nerve gliding exercises.
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and corticosteroid injections, depending upon the causative factor.
- If conservative treatment fails, surgery is required to decompress the ulnar nerve, repair tendons, or ligament tear, or fix fractures.
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