Ulnar wrist pain

Diagnosis

Diagnosing ulnar wrist pain typically involves a comprehensive approach that includes reviewing the individual’s medical history, conducting a thorough physical examination, and performing various tests. The healthcare provider may inquire about relevant medical conditions such as gout, diabetes, or previous infections that could be associated with wrist pain. Additionally, they may explore any past wrist injuries and whether the pain onset was sudden or gradual.

During the physical examination, the healthcare provider will palpate the wrist area to assess for signs of swelling, redness, tenderness, masses, scars, or deformities. They will also evaluate the wrist’s range of motion, strength, and pinpoint specific areas of discomfort to gain insight into the underlying cause of the pain.

Tests that may be ordered include:

  • X-ray: These show the alignment of bones in the wrist and forearm. They can help identify fractures, arthritis, deformities, signs of infection, or tumors. This is the most frequently used test for this condition.
  • MRI: Rather than using whole-body MRI equipment, one might be able to place the arm within a smaller equipment for a wrist MRI. This test can check at soft tissues like tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves. It can also detect abnormal growths.
  • CT scan: CT scans provide more detailed images and can detect subtle fractures, check how fractures are healing, assess bone alignment, evaluate ligament tears, and examine blood flow in arteries for blockages.
  • Ultrasound: This test is helpful for finding foreign objects in the wrist, examining tendons for ruptures or tendinitis, detecting compressed nerves, checking blood flow, and assessing unusual growths.

Treatment

The treatment for ulnar wrist pain varies depending on what is causing it. Treatment options include:

  • Pain relievers: Common approaches to reduce pain include taking anti-inflammatory medications like naproxen or ibuprofen or getting steroid injections. Some are available over the counter, while stronger ones require prescription.
  • Physical therapy: Strengthening tendons and ligaments can be achieved with physical therapy. One might also need to adjust how they use their hands during repetitive tasks for better ergonomics.
    In certain cases, a cast, brace, or splint is used to immobilize the wrist so that the damage can heal.
  • Surgery: If the pain is due to a more serious issue like abnormal growth, nerve compression, tendon or ligament tears, fractures, or arthritis, surgery might be required. This could involve open or minimally invasive surgery. There are variety of techniques in minimally invasive surgery that entails less physical harm than in open surgery. This may result in less discomfort, a quicker hospital stay, and fewer issues.