Scapholunate dissociation (causing wrist pain) is the most common form of joint instability in the wrist of patients. The most common mechanism of injury for this type of instability in the wrist occurs because of a fall upon an outstretched hand causing the wrist to hyperextend. This generally causes marked swelling and pain upon the back and side aspects of the wrist. The condition is often underdiagnosed due to the minimal amounts of swelling present around the wrist. The Scapholunate ligament plays a major role in the stability of the hand as it links the scaphoid and the lunate bone together as well as the whole carpal region.

Common signs and symptoms arising from scapholunate ligament injury in the wrist include:

  • Pain localised to the ligament or associated with other areas of the wrist
  • Wrist pain localised at the Scapholunate joint on the back aspect of the hand
  • Clicking or catching in the wrist
  • Weakness in the wrist
  • Swelling over the back of the hand

Scapholunate ligament injuries can often be misdiagnosed for a scaphoid fracture as the patient presents with pain, swelling and tenderness over the snuff box region of the wrist. Physical examination of the wrist shows instability that begins with inspection of the hand, observing for any swelling and palpation over the radial styloid, wrist snuff box and over the scapholunate joint. This is then followed by asking the patient to actively move their wrist, then passively and in acute cases, under resistance as well. Finally the wrist is placed under a certain degree of stress to try and recreate the pain. This test is referred to as the Scaphoid Shift or Watson test. The orthopaedic test involves starting the wrist in ulnar deviation and extension and moving it into radial deviation and flexion. Upon movement if there was damage to the scapholunate joint the doctor would be able to observe a clunk.

Treatment of wrist pain

Treatment of Scapholunate Interosseous Ligament Injury may consist of immobilisation to surgery. It can also be treated conservatively with short arm cast with the fingers and thumb free for 2-6 weeks. Once the cast is removed a removable splint can be put in place to assist in the healing of the condition. Exercises can also be prescribed from a chiropractor to assist in the strengthening of muscles around the injury and return you back to normal activities at a faster rate.

Scapholunate instability is a common condition occurring after a fall upon an outstretched hand causing the wrist joint to hyperextend. So if you have noticed a clicking or catching noise when moving the wrist or you’ve been diagnosed with scapholunate interosseous ligament injury.

Lakeside Chiropractic in the heart of Joondalup is useful for you. With a lot of experience the team at Lakeside Chiropractic can assist you in providing exercises and manual therapies to return you back to normal activities of daily living. We have visitors from mostly Perth’s Northern suburbs and have HICAPS facilities on site to assist in the expense of your treatment. We’re BUPA and Medibank preferred providers however take many others including, HIF, HBF, NIB, etc. To book an appointment you can contact us on 93000095 and speak with our receptionist or book via our ‘book now’ tab on our website www.lakesidechiropractic.com.au. We look forward to hearing from you soon and treating your condition.

Post on