I had never heard of Kienbock’s Disease until I was diagnosed and treated for it. Because it is often overlooked by physicians when symptoms first occur, here are some facts to be aware of.
What Is Kienbock’s Disease?
It is a rare disease that causes one of the wrist bones, the lunate, to loose blood supply, and causes the bone to die. Kienböck’s Disease
What Causes It?
There is no known cause, although some diseases seem to have a greater risk linked to them. These are lupus, cerebral palsy, sickle-cell anemia, and gout. Injury to the wrist, causing interruption of blood flow, can contribute to it. What is Kienbock’s disease and how is it caused
What Are The Symptoms?
- Loss of motion
X-rays may not show the damage of Kienbock’s Disease when the symptoms initially appear. It may be misdiagnosed as arthritis, or a sprain. It’s not until after the pain and swelling become more severe, and updated x-rays are taken, that it is properly diagnosed. The lunate bone will be fragmented, show deterioration, and be compressed.
There is no cure for this disease. However, if it’s diagnosed before the lunate bone dies, revascularation surgery may be done. This is when a healthy piece of bone, from another part of the body, is grafted into the lunate. In time, after the lunate heals, it becomes healthy again. The pain is eliminated, or becomes much less severe. Complete Revascularization
For advanced cases, a carpectomy is done, which is the removal of the lunate bone. Because removing one of the carpal bones would cause the remaining ones to collapse, surgical screws, and sometimes a plate, are inserted into one or two of the remaining carpals, causing them to fuse together. There is partial fusion, which allows for some wrist movement, or total fusion, which prevents all movement. Kienbock’s Disease Treatment
After partial or total fusion, there will always be limitations to the function of the wrist, more so with total fusion. If it appears in the dominant hand, it can be extremely frustrating to lose mobility, and those afflicted may suffer stress and depression. After the surgery, and as people age, arthritis is likely to develop in the wrist, which adds to the discomfort. The only treatment is anti-inflammatory medicines. Kienböck’s Disease-OrthoInfo