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Kienbock's Disease

What is Kienbock's Disease?

Kienbock's disease is a condition in which the lunate, one of the small bones of the wrist loses its blood supply leading to death of the bone. This results in pain, stiffness, and degenerative changes in the wrist joint.


The exact etiology of Kienbock's disease is unknown. Symptoms of Kienbock's disease include 

  • Painful and swollen wrist with decreased motion
  • Reduced grip strength
  • Difficulty or pain in turning the hand upward and 
  • Tenderness in the area over the back of wrist near the lunate bone


Kienbock's disease can be diagnosed by reviewing your medical history and by performing a thorough physical examination of your hand and wrist. Your doctor may also order an MRI and x-rays to confirm the diagnosis.


Treatment depends upon the severity and stage of the disease. In the very early and less severe stage, treatment may involve anti-inflammatory medications or immobilization. Your doctor may recommendsurgery if the pain is not relieved with the conservative treatment. The aim of surgery is to restore the blood supply to the lunate and may involve the following:

  • Revascularization involves insertion of a vascularized graft into the lunate bone.
  • Joint leveling refers to lengthening or shortening of the forearm bones (ulna and radius).
  • Fusion: Wrist arthrodesis, also called wrist fusion is a procedure in which the wrist joint is stabilized or immobilized by fusing the forearm bone (radius) with the small bones of the wrist.


  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Palm Beach Surgical Suits
  • Northpoint Surgery and Laser Center
  • Palms West Hospital
  • Wellington Regional Medical Center
  • The King's Academy
  • Marlins MiLB

Practice Locations

Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute

4215 Burns Rd
Suite 100
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute

Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute

7701 Southern Blvd
Suite 100
West Palm Beach FL, 33411

Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute

Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute

1411 N Flagler Dr
Suite 9800
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute