Diagnosis at Mayo ClinicBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Your Mayo Clinic doctor will ask about your symptoms and do a thorough physical exam that includes:
- Measuring the strength of your grip and your wrist's range of motion.
- Checking for ligament damage. In a simple test developed at Mayo Clinic, your doctor will press his or her thumb on a specific ligament. If this causes pain similar to what you experience when you use your wrist, that ligament is probably damaged.
- Determining if your wrist joint is stable, or if the bones and soft tissue move abnormally (unstable).
Mayo Clinic specialists usually recommend imaging tests to find the precise source of your pain:
June 06, 2015
- CT scan can show instability in the wrist when a unique CT method developed by Mayo specialists is used.
- MRI can detect the cause of wrist instability (ruptured ligament or dislocated tendon) as well as signs of swelling or degeneration.
- X-rays can indicate arthritis.
- Imboden JB, et al. Current Rheumatology Diagnosis & Treatment. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookID=506. Accessed Jan. 30, 2015.
- Boggess BR. Evaluation of the adult with subacute or chronic wrist pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 30, 2015.
- Pirolo JM, et al. Minimally invasive approaches to ulnar-sided wrist disorders. Hand Clinics. 2014;30:77.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 13, 2015.
- Tay SC, et al. The "ulnar fovea sign" for defining ulnar wrist pain: An analysis of sensitivity and specificity. Journal of Hand Surgery. 2007;32:438.
- Leng S, et al. Dynamic CT technique for assessment of wrist joint instabilities. Medical Physics. 2011;38(suppl):S50.
- Sachar K. Ulnar-sided wrist pain: Evaluation and treatment of triangular fibrocartilage complex tears, ulnocarpal impaction syndrome, and lunotriquetral ligament tears. Journal of Hand Surgery. 2012;37A:1489.
- Tay SC, et al. Longitudinal split tears of the ulnotriquetral ligament. Hand Clinics. 2010;26:495.