Mayo Clinic specialists start with the least invasive treatments possible:
- A splint or cast may provide temporary pain relief of your wrist. A cast generally extends above your elbow to prevent forearm rotation. If treated early, your wrist pain may even be cured with a cast.
- Pain-relieving medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), may improve mild cases of ulnar wrist pain when combined with rest and immobilization of your wrist in a splint or cast.
- Avoiding activities that cause you pain, or your doctor may suggest modifying your activities (changing your golf or tennis swing, for example) to provide long-term relief.
- Cortisone injections can relieve pain.
If you have pain that persists despite treatment, or you have a more severe injury, Mayo Clinic specialists usually recommend minimally invasive (arthroscopic) surgery.
Arthroscopic surgery is done through several small incisions instead of one large one.
More extensive surgery may be needed if you have an older ligament or tendon injury. Injured tissue stiffens and deteriorates over time, and may need to be replaced. Options include substituting a tendon for a ligament or rebuilding the joint.
After surgery your wrist and forearm will be in a cast for about six weeks. Mayo Clinic specialists will show you exercises to increase your wrist's range of motion. You may need occupational therapy. You can expect your wrist to recover its full strength within three to six months.
June 06, 2015
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- 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.