Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome of the Wrist: Cause & Treatments

Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome of the Wrist happens when the ulnar nerve that is located in the wrist gets compressed. The main function of the ulnar nerve is to innervate in the forearm and the hand and it travels from our neck all the down to the forearm and finally the hands. As a result, it can be compressed in multiple places during. When pressure starts to build up, it can impinge onto the nerve and result in numbness.


There are many possible causes of ulnar tunnel syndrome. Most of the reasons are due to medical conditions:

  1. Constricted fascial bands. This happens when the fascial bands connective tissues surrounding muscles and nerves get constricted and presses onto the ulnar nerve as a result.
  2. Cubitus valgus. Patients suffering from Cubitus valgus have a deformation in their forearm. The forearm is angled away from the body and this will cause large pressures building up at the site of the nerves.
  3. Tumours. Tumours are groups of abnormal cells that form lumps or growth and this excess weight will bear down and impinge onto the nerves.

Other non-medical conditions can cause ulnar tunnel syndrome as well. Simple actions such as leaning onto the wrist habitually can cause compression of the wrist, causing the bones to press onto the nerves.


Treatment and management of ulnar tunnel consist of a non-surgical as well as a surgical component. Initially, non-surgical options will be recommended to patients. These include physiotherapy, immobilisation of the wrist and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). For example, if the cause of this is due to repeated actions such as hammering a nail, the patient will need to stop such action immediately or use alternative methods in order to minimize this trauma. Immobilising the wrist and using a wrist splint will also hold the wrist in place, allowing the area to heal on its own. NSAID on the other hand will help to reduce inflammation.

If the above methods does not work, the patient will be sent for x-ray diagnostics and MRI scanning. Most often, patients with a growth such as a tumour will need to undergo surgical treatment to remove the cysts. Once the growth is removed, there will no longer be anymore nerve impingement and sensation will start to slowly return.

Ulnar tunnel syndrome is a treatable medical condition and patients should seek immediate medical attention before the nerves get damaged.

Symptoms And Treatments For Kienböck’s Disease

Kienböck’s Disease is a medical condition of uncertain etiology. What this means is that the exact cause is unknown. This disease involves the collapse of the lunate bone located is the wrist and is usually unilateral. The blood supply to the lunate will then be hindered and without blood, the bone will die off. This is because blood contains the necessary nutrients and oxygen that the bone cells need to grow, repair and sustain itself. When this supply is cut off, osteonecrosis will occur, leading to painful wrist and the eventual development of arthritis.


Patients who suffer from Kienböck’s Disease have no idea that they have it. This is due to the similarity between it and a normal sprained wrist. There will be pain and swelling will be present at the wrist region. Slowly, the flexibility of the wrist will be reduced and stiffness will start to onset due to the reduced range of motion available. Over time, the strength of the wrist will decrease and it will be difficult to clench the fist together.


Despite the advanced medical technological in this era, there is still no complete cure for Kienböck’s Disease. However, there are generally 2 kinds of treatment methods namely the non-surgical ones and the surgical ones. Since there is no cure, the ultimate aim of treatment is simply to relieve the pressure built up on the lunate and allows blood to flow properly.


Non-surgical treatment is preferred during the initial stages of this disease. Treatment methods include the usage of anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and pain. Some doctors may also require their patients to use a wrist splint to prevent unwanted movements. In serious cases, a cast may be used instead of a splint. If no noticeable improvements were seen during this period, a progression into a surgical treatment may be on the table.


As mentioned above, the main purpose of treatment is to relieve the pressure and reinstate proper blood flow. Revascularisation is a method that is capable of performing that. Revascularisation involves the removal of a bone that has blood vessels attached to it and reattached to the diseased bone. This reattached bone is capable of performing all the tasks that are required. Metal screws may be used to fasten the bone properly while it attaches itself over time.

Each patient will respond differently to the types of treatment administered. Some patients may feel better after a non-surgical treatment while others may require surgical intervention to allow them to get the relief they need.