Ulna abutment

Background

Ulna abutment syndrome is a collection of symptoms which result from the end of the ulna (one of the bones in the forearm) causing impact stresses on the carpus (wrist bones).

 

     

Causes

Symptoms may start as the wrist changes with age, or with a wrist fracture mal-union (abnormally healed fracture).

 

Symptoms

Pain is the main feature. This is usually on the back and inside (side with your little finger on) of the wrist and made worse when you bend your wrist inwards or when force is applied across it.

 

Treatment - non-surgical

Often rest and a splint may be enough to settle the pain, together with painkillers. You may find a steroid injection helpful. This may be given if there is uncertainty as to how much of your symptoms are coming from the wrist and how much from elsewhere.

 

Treatment - surgical

There are various surgical procedures which can help, but they all aim to take the stress off the wrist bones caused by the ulna, whether this is shortening the ulna (removing a section of the ulna) or replacing the end of the ulna. The particular surgery which is right for you can be discussed with your surgeon.

 

Physiotherapy / rehabilitation after surgery

The role of physiotherapy after surgery is usually to maintain wrist movement and ensure good function.

 

Outcome

This depends on the treatment, but the aim is to provide a pain free strong wrist which does not limit activity.

 

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