Kienbock’s Disease

Kienbock’s disease is an uncommon condition, which affects one particular carpal bone, the Lunate. This condition is characterized by compromise of the blood supply to the Lunate. Avascular necrosis (AVN) is the term used to describe the resulting changes occurring to specific bones, which lose their blood supplies. Various factors have been implicated in this condition, including isolated or repetitive trauma, medical conditions, and medications. The precise cause of Kienbock’s disease often remains unclear. Patients with Kienbock’s disease usually present with a history of insidious onset of wrist pain, which must be differentiated from other common sources of wrist pain including arthritis, ganglions, and tendinitis. This diagnosis can be identified in its early stage by obtaining a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. When AVN of the Lunate progresses, routine x-rays can identify specific changes and confirm the diagnosis. Treatment of Kienbock’s disease is dependent upon the stage and severity.

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