Wrist conditions: Types and Information

The symptoms of a wrist conditions and problems can vary. A common symptom is wrist pain. In the following article, you will find the most common wrist conditions divided into categories:

  • Fractures of the hand
  • Wear-related diseases of the hand
  • Neurological diseases of the hand
  • Congenital diseases of the hand
  • Traumatic diseases of the hand
  • Inflammatory diseases of the hand
  • Fractures on the hand

Fractures on the hand

Distal radius fracture – Wrist fracture

A wrist fracture is a fracture of the end of the radius (one of the bones of the forearm) near the wrist.

It is the most common fracture in humans. It is usually caused by a fall, in which the patient uses his hands to restrain himself.

Read more about Wrist Fracture: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Scaphoid fracture

The scaphoid fracture is the most common in the carpal area. The most common cause of a fracture of the scaphoid bone (Os scaphoideum) is a fall on the wrist that is stretched out.

The scaphoid fracture can be difficult to diagnose initially because the symptoms are often very mild. However, if treatment is not given, the fracture usually fails to heal, and a so-called scaphoid pseudarthrosis develops. This is a “false joint.”

Read more about Scaphoid fracture: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Wear-related wrist conditions

Finger Arthritis

Polyarthritis is a wear and tear of the middle finger joints (Bouchard arthritis) or the end finger joints (Heberden arthritis) due to the consumption of the cartilage layer in the joint. The arthrosis ultimately leads to a narrowing of the joint space. This can lead to feelings of tension, problems in mobility, and severe pain.

Read more about Finger Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Thumb saddle joint arthrosis

Arthrosis of the thumb saddle joint is wear and tear (arthrosis) in the thumb saddle joint. This leads to wear and tear of the cartilage layer protecting the joint.

The thumb saddle joint is located between the polygon bone (Os trapezium) and the first middle ray bone.

Neurological wrist conditions

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is damage to the median nerve caused by trauma, inflammation, or degenerative changes, which in the long term leads to regression or atrophy of the thumb ball muscles.

Typically, night-time sensory disturbances of the first three fingers occur.

Read more about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Traumatic wrist conditions

Scapholunary dissociation / SLD

In scapholunar dissociation / SLD, the external force is used to injure the ligaments in the carpal area between the scaphoid bone (Os scaphoideum, formerly Os navicular) and the lunate bone (Os lunatum).

Typically, the disease is preceded by a fall on the extended wrist.

Dupuytren’s disease

Dupuytren’s disease is one of the so-called fibromatoses. More precisely, this is a benign, primarily painless, nodular, and stringy proliferation of connective tissue in hand. This leads to an inhibition of stretching of the fingers or a contracture of the little finger.

The most frequent localisations are located at Hollow hand, ring finger, little finger, middle finger, rarely thumb and index finger.

The cause of the disease probably lies in the genetic predisposition. An injury or fracture can then trigger the symptoms.

Sudeck’s disease

Sudeck’s disease is also called CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome). It involves painful dystrophy (nutritional disturbance) and atrophy (shrinkage) of the soft tissues (muscles, skin) and bones of the extremities with a typical stage-like course.

Tearing of the extensor tendon of the finger

The cause for the departure of the extensor tendon of the end phalanx of the finger is often due to sports accidents. The extensor tendon can tear out of the distal phalanx together with a piece of bone. Depending on the size of the torn out bone fragment, malpositioning may occur.

Immediately after the injury, it is noticeable that the distal phalanx of the finger hangs limply downwards.

Wrist conditions with inflammatory cause


Tendons represent the connection between the muscle and the bone. In places of high stress, they are sheathed by the so-called tendon sheaths. If an inflammation of these tendon sheaths occurs, it is called tenosynovitis.

Triggers can be overstrained, for example, by too much computer work, or an infection. With tenosynovitis, pain occurs in the affected area. These can spread along the course of the tendon and even radiate into the muscle. Externally, a redness and swelling can be seen.

Read more about Tenosynovitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints. The inflammation is directed against the inside of the joints.

The disease does not only occur on the hands but also the joints of the entire body. It initially manifests itself insidiously in the form of swelling and overheating of the joints, pain when pressure or movement is applied, and the so-called morning stiffness.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms. and Treatment


Osteomyelitis is a mostly chronic disease in which an inflammation of the bone occurs. The inflammation can spread to the bone marrow inside the bone and also affect the bone marrow.

The cause is, in most cases, an infection caused by a pathogen. This can occur especially after operations or open fractures.

Read more about Osteomyelitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


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