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Overview

Ulnar wrist pain manifests as tenderness on the opposite side of the wrist from the thumb. It is a kind of wrist pain that affects the outside of the wrist. The ulna is the arm bone on this side of the body that ends at the wrist. Ulnar wrist discomfort, whether at rest or during moving, is a typical symptom of a wide range of injuries and illnesses.

The intensity of the pain varies according to the condition’s underlying cause. If you grasp anything or twist your wrist, the problem is likely to worsen. Since ulnar wrist pain may be caused by a number of different types of injuries, determining the source of the pain can be challenging.

Pain may be felt both at rest and when moving. The following symptoms may occur:

·         There is discomfort on the “pinky” side of the wrist as you move.

·         Sounds of clicking or popping

·         The grip strength has been diminished

·         Range of motion is reduced or limited

If you have ulnar wrist pain, the doctor may rotate the wrist or hand in various positions to figure out what is causing it. Imaging tests, such as CT and MRI scans, may be required. The diagnosis of ulnar wrist discomfort is crucial in determining the best treatment option. It may consist of activity modification, splinting or casting, hand treatment, anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroid injections. If nonoperative therapy fails to relieve symptoms, surgery may be considered.

Causes

A fall onto an extended hand is one of the most prevalent causes of ulnar wrist discomfort. The wrist bones may be fractured as a result of this. When playing sports like tennis, golf, or football, the wrist may be wrenched back too much, causing tendons and ligaments to be injured. Carpenters and plumbers are at risk for ulnar wrist discomfort because their jobs often demand them to operate equipment in tight locations with uncomfortable wrist placement.

Ulnar wrist pain or wrist pain on the pinky side may be produced by a range of various incidents and medical conditions. They include the following:

Arthritis: Inflammation or swelling of the wrist joint and stiffness may result in ulnar sided wrist pain. The discomfort may be caused by osteoarthritis i.e. wear and tear of the cartilage between the bones in the wrist joint, inflammatory arthritis, or arthritis caused by crystal deposits in the joint such as gout.

Fractures: Wrist or hand bones that have fractured may produce pain on the outside of the wrist. It may also be produced as a result of earlier ulnar styloid.

Nerve injuries or compression: Nerve damage or compression in the wrist, upper arm, or neck results in irritation of the ulnar nerve at the injury site causing outer wrist pain.

Overuse: Tendons and ligaments that have been injured by repeated hand and arm motions or trauma also cause ulnar wrist pain.

Cartilage injury:Damage to the TFCC i.e. triangular fibrocartilage complex is one kind of cartilage injury. Trauma to the wrist, such as a fall onto the wrist or a series of repetitive twisting injuries, may result in rips or fraying of the connective tissues that connect the head of the ulna to the rest of the wrist. This may also be caused by a developmental disparity in the length of the ulna compared to the surrounding radius in the forearm leading to pain and discomfort.

Ulnar impaction syndrome: It is an ulnar impaction disorder. When the ulna is longer than the other forearm bone, more pressure is placed on the cartilage and ligaments, leading them to wear and break.

Cysts:Ganglion cysts are one kind of mass that may be noncancerous tumors linked with pain.

Ulnar artery thrombosis: The ulnar artery is blocked by a blood clot that causes the pain in the ulnar wrist.

Kienbock’s illness: The lunate bone on the ulnar side of the wrist is deprived of blood supply, resulting in the bone’s death.

When to see a doctor

If you have ulnar wrist pain that is interfering with everyday activities, you should seek medical attention. Also, if the pain is severe enough to restrict mobility and function, wakes you up at night, or is accompanied by considerable swelling, redness, or fluid leakage, see your doctor.

Delaying treatment may result in permanent damage to and around the wrist. Consult a physician immediately if you are experiencing substantial wrist pain (but no visible injury) or difficulty moving your wrist, or if you are experiencing numbness or loss of sensation in your hand or fingers.