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I'm a 51 year old woman. Just was told that I have Kienbock's disease.

By Anonymous April 6, 2017 - 5:07am
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I wasn't having any symptoms until I slipped and I used my hand to protect my fall. I ask my Doctor if this is what caused my to get Kienbock's disease and he said no. Is this true since I wasn't hurting until after the fall?

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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER. Thank you for reaching out to our community for information.

Citing the website of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, "Kienbock’s disease, also known as avascular necrosis of the lunate, is a condition in which the lunate bone, one of eight small bones in the wrist, loses its blood supply, leading to death of the bone. The lunate is a central bone in the wrist that is important for proper movement and support of the joint (Figure 1). It works closely with the two forearm bones (radius and ulna) to help the wrist move.

Damage to the lunate can lead to pain, stiffness, and sometimes arthritis of the wrist if some time has passed. Kienbock’s disease is most common in men between the ages of 20 and 40 and rarely affects both wrists.

There is no single cause of Kienbock’s disease. It can be caused by multiple factors such as:

Skeletal variations: The ulna can be shorter than the radius, which may cause issues. Or, the shape of the lunate bone may be irregular.

Trauma: A single incident or multiple incidents may cause this disease.

Other medical conditions: Kienbock’s disease can be found more commonly in people who have medical conditions that affect blood supply, and it is also associated with diseases like lupus, sickle cell anemia and cerebral palsy."

Anonymous, I found it interesting that trauma is listed as a cause. But, equally important to note, that this is a slow-progressing disease, and patients often have the condition for months or even years before they seek treatment. It can be difficult to diagnose in its earlier stages.


April 6, 2017 - 8:17am
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