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Ulnar Wrist Pain – Origin & amp; Treatment

Ulnar Wrist Pain – Origin & Treatment

Have you ever experienced ulnar wrist pain? Some people might confuse it with simple hand pain. In actuality, it is a pain that occurs on the outer side of (pinkie-finger side) of your wrist. The ulna is a scientific name for arm bone that finishes at the wrist. It is a common condition for people who may suffer from acute injuries. Hence you should know the origin and treatment of Ulna wrist pain

What are the Symptoms of Ulnar Pain? 

People suffering from ulnar pain will experience discomfort in their wrist while resting or moving the hand. So, the common symptoms of this pain include: 

  • You feel pain on the pinkie-finger side of the wrist 
  • If you move your hand, you hear a cracking or ticking sound and experience intense pain 
  • Your hand loses the gripping power due to the pain 
  • There is a loss of movement in the wrist, precisely when you rotate your forearm. You may also experience this condition with a sideways movement of the wrist towards the ulnar bone. 

What Are the Main Causes of Ulnar Wrist Pain? 

You should know that there are many types of injuries and medical conditions that can lead to pain in the outer part of your wrist. Therefore, the reasons are: 

Osteoarthritis

You experience wrist joint swelling and stiffness in this condition. It is mainly due to the joint’s cartilage’s wear and tears. Some people may suffer from inflammatory arthritis, which is caused due to crystal deposits in the joints. 

Bone Fracture

If your wrist or any of your hand bones gets damaged and broken, you may suffer ulnar wrist pain. It mainly occurs if the fracture is in the ulnar styloid, hamate bone, or pisiform bones. 

Never Compression or Injury 

Extra pressure or damage to any of the wrist nerves may cause ulnar pain. Even if you have nerve damage higher in the arm or neck, it may irritate the ulnar nerve. 

Overworking of wrist 

Sportspersons or people involved in rigorous physical tasks are likely to damage their tendons and ligaments. When anyone damages their hand ligaments due to repeated movement or injury, they are likely to suffer from this pain.  

Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) Injury

If the tissue that connects the ulna to other parts of the hand is damaged or distressed, you may experience intense pain. It may be due to falling onto your wrist or experiencing ulnar wrist pain when twisting. This condition can also occur due to a developing difference in the ulna’s length in contrast to the adjacent range in the forearm. 

Ulnar Impaction Syndrome 

You may suffer from this syndrome when your cartilage and ligaments have worn off due to high pressure that makes the ulna lengthier than the forearm bone. 

Ganglion Cysts 

Sometimes ganglion cysts can lead to pain in the ulna. These are non-cancerous growths. 

Ulnar Artery Thrombosis 

If you have a blood clot in the ulnar artery, you may experience a sharp tingling pain in the wrist. 

Kienbock’s Ailment 

If you have a reduced blood supply, your lunate bone on the ulnar side of the hand may die. Hence, you may experience sharp pain. 

Infection 

If you have experienced a powerful injury or suffer from an underlying medical condition that lowers body defense against infections. 

How is Ulnar Discomfort Diagnosed? 

Medical experts diagnose ulna pain by physical examination and reviewing your medical history. A few essential questions that doctors may ask you are: 

  1. Are you suffering from any medical condition that may cause wrist aches, like gout, diabetes, or infections?
  2. Did you experience any wrist injury? 
  3. How did your wrist discomfort appear? Was it sudden, or you are experiencing it for a long time? 
  4. Since when have you been experiencing the pain? 
  5. Did an accident or event cause pain? 
  6. Does your job or hobbies require a repeated wrist motion? 

What is the Intensity of your Pain? 

When you visit a doctor, he will feel the wrist and the surrounding area to detect any inflammation, redness, extra mass, wounds, sensitivity, or deformity. The doctor may perform many wrist movements to analyze the range of motion, strength, and pain source. This is how a majority of doctors diagnose this condition. 

Some doctors may also recommend imaging tests that may include: 

  • X-rays to see the link between arm bones and wrists. This will detect any fracture, arthritis, infection, cyst, or deformity. 
  • CT Scan helps detect minor fractures, irregular bone alignment, torn ligaments, artery blockage, and artery blood flow. 
  • MRI detects abnormal growth or soft-tissue damages
  • Ultrasound help recognize foreign bodies in the wrist region, tendon breakages, crushed nerves, and abnormal growths
  • Wrist arthrography is a technique that injects radiopaque fluid into the joint to improve the view of the joint structures before imaging tests. 

How to Manage or Treat Pain? 

The treatment of the pain is related to its cause. Hence, the typical treatment to ease pain include: 

  • Intake of anti-inflammatory medicines 
  • Modify your hand position while performing repetitive motions 
  • Physiotherapy that helps in mobilization of joints, support joints, and wrist ligaments 
  • Restraining wrist movement 
  • Surgery to remove a cyst, nerve compressions, repair tendon or worn-out ligament, fix fractures or treat osteoarthritis. 

When You Need to Call a Doctor? 

If you experience a tingling pain in the wrist that hinders your normal hand movement or function, and it wakes you up from sleep. If you experience significant swelling, redness, or fluid leakage. So, all these conditions require you to call a doctor. 

Damage to the trianulofibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is usually progressive and develops with time. TFCC is a shock-absorbing thing on the wrist. If you experience pain and the last finger or ulnar side of your wrist, which intensifies with movement, it indicates an ulnar wrist issue. So, if you are suffering from this, you may not perform basic routine tasks like opening a jar or pulling a door handle. 

Hence, you must seek immediate medical attention. 

 

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