Do you have pain in your wrist when turning your hand upward? Is your wrist swollen? Is it difficult to grip things? There are many conditions that could cause such symptoms, but one of the lesser known conditions is Keinbock’s Disease.  A disease that is usually found in young adults, Keinbock’s Disease is a condition wherein the blood supply to the lunate (a small bone in the wrist) is blocked or interrupted.  The lack of blood flow may cause deterioration to the lunate or may result in the death of the lunate bone cells.

Causes of Keinbock’s Disease

There are many theories on what causes Keinbock’s Disease, but the exact cause is unknown. Some of the theories suggest that a predisposing factor is a trauma to the wrist; however, in many cases the disease cannot be linked to a specific traumatic event.


In addition to the difficulty in understanding what causes the disease, it’s also very difficult to diagnose as well, mainly because the symptoms are very similar to other common wrist injuries like a wrist sprain. Usually a physician will discuss the symptoms and medical history and use imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans to diagnose Keinbock’s Disease.


  • Pain in the wrist is the most common symptom, and the intensity of the pain will vary.  Some of the other common symptoms include:
  • A painful and swollen wrist
  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiffness in affected wrist and hand
  • Weakened grip
  • Swelling and tenderness on the top of the hand
  • Pain or difficulty in turning the hand upward

Treatment Options

Keinbock’s Disease has four stages and the treatment is dependent on the patient and the stage of the condition. However, there is no consensus about the ideal treatment plan.  There are both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options, and usually the first recommended treatments involve bracing the wrist and anti-inflammatory medications. If these treatments are not effective, the physician may recommend surgery.

Get Help with Keinbock’s Disease

Keinbock’s Disease can be very painful and frustrating for the patient due to the lack of consensus around the cause and ideal treatment. However, if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, the best thing to do is see an expert physician as soon as possible. As the rate of progression varies from patient to patient, it is best to get treatment immediately to help reduce pain and preserve the function of the wrist. Contact an IBJI physician today.