Ulnar Side Wrist Pain

Wrist pain on the ulnar side or little finger side of the wrist can be caused by many different things.

Determination of what the specific cause of this type of wrist pain is important to prevent permanent damage and get you back to your normal activities as quickly as possible.

Here is a list of potential causes of why your wrist on your little finger side might be hurting:

  • Overuse: Repeated hand and upper limb use can cause the tendons and ligaments in the wrist to become inflamed causing pain.
  • Arthritis: This is the most common cause of pain as it is a wear and tear of the joint that occurs as humans age, this is known as osteoarthritis. There are other types of arthritis such as Rheumatoid arthritis or gout which has have a similar impact as osteoarthritis. Arthritis in the wrist causes inflammation, swelling and stiffness in the wrist joint. When the wrist becomes inflamed or is stiff this causes pain and limits the movement of the wrist.
  • Fractures: A fracture of either the hand, wrist or forearm bones can elicit pain within the wrist. Sometimes when old fractures injuries have healed it can result in pain in later stages of life.
  • Nerve injuries: Irritation to the ulnar nerve can cause pain at the wrist. Click on this link for further information about injuries to the ulnar nerve.
  • Ligament instability: When the ligaments within the wrist joint become loose, the bones and muscles don’t work together in a smooth movement, this results in pain.
  • Ulnar variance: Have you previously had an injury to one of the bones within you forearm? If so, it is likely that the two bones are at a different length. This results in extra pressure (bone pushing against wrist bones) or reduced pressure (ulnar removed away from wrist bones) being applied to the bones in the wrist which results in pain. Generally, this can lead to other injuries associated with ligaments or other soft tissue injuries within the wrist joint such as Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Injury.
  • Triangular fibrocartilage Complex Injury (TFCC): In the wrist there is a triangular complex made of soft tissue that can be easily disrupted after a fall, repetitive use of the hand such as twisting movements, ligament instability or ulnar variance. The TFCC contributes greatly to stability of the wrist particularly with loading (ie. Gripping/lifting objects). This injury is a complex injury that results in pain with movement of the hand and forearm.
  • Growths: Growths such as ganglion cysts can cause pain within the wrist particularly if the cyst is pressing on ligaments and tendons causing a disruption to smooth movement.
  • Kienbock’s disease: This is a disease where there is a loss of blood supply to the lunate bone. This is a bone within the wrist. When this bone has a lack of blood supply, the bone dies. When this occurs the bone fractures and causes awkward movements within the wrist resulting in pain.

If you have ulnar sided wrist pain and contact us at Specialists Oh Hand and we can guide through a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that suits you.