Kienböck Disease is an acquired bone disorder. Abnormalities of the lunate bone in the wrist develops following an injury or inflammation. Recurrent pain and stiffness occur in conjunction with thickening, swelling and tenderness in soft tissue overlying the lunate bone. The range of motion in the wrist may become limited.
Kienböck Disease is characterized by degenerative changes in the lunate bone of the wrist. Softening, deterioration, fragmentation or compression of the affected bone can occur. These changes may produce pain, swelling, tenderness, thickening and/or stiffness in the overlying tissues of the wrist. The range of motion may become restricted. Many individuals with Kienböck Disease have a shorter ulna than radius (negative ulnar variance). Healing occurs through formation of new bone in some cases.
The exact cause of Kienböck Disease is not known. However, it is believed to be caused by inflammation or injury of the wrist.
Kienböck Disease usually begins during childhood and seems to affect females more often than males.
The treatment of Kienböck's Disease may involve surgery of the lunate bone, shortening of the radial bone, lengthening of the ulna or the stiffening of the joints through an operation (arthrodesis). Cutting off the nerve supply of the wrist (wrist denervation) has been used in conjunction with some of the other procedures. Surgical options depend on how far the disease has progressed and the best option will differ for each individual.
If inflammation of the wrist has occurred, drug treatment may be recommended. Other treatment is symptomatic and supportive.
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eMedicine – Kienböck Disease : Article by Brian J Divelbiss, MD