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Wrist Instability (Pain, Ligament Degeneration, Arthritis)

I'm 49 years old. I've been suffering from pain in my right wrist in forearm for about eight months. I often have a low eight, and typically have one to three episodes per day of 5 to 7 level pain in my wrist lasting 30-90 minutes. Activity typically brings on the pain -typing can do it (I am at a computer 4-8 hours/day), but every day activities such as lifting moderately heavy items, eating, etc., do it more often.

After undergoing physical therapy such as Graston, active release therapy, and dry-needling for more than six months, I finally got a referral to get an MRI done. Here are the results:

"There is dorsal angulation of the lunate with respect to the capitate and
distal radius indicating dorsal intercalated segmental instability.

Mild osteoarthritis at the lunate radius articulation.

There is some focal elevated signal involving the scapholunate ligament
near the lunate suggesting a partial tear on this nonarthrographic
examination. The scaphoid and lunate bones do not appear widened to
suggest a complete tear. If further evaluation of the scapholunate ligament
is indicated, an MRI arthrogram could be considered.

No evidence of fracture or avascular necrosis."

Note that I did not have any acute trauma and the tear referenced above is more likely degeneration due to repetitive overuse.

My orthopedist said that surgery is not an option and that there is little I can do other than take painkillers and possibly get a cortisone shot (which I've avoided up to this point).

I have the following questions:

- Is the pain I'm experiencing more likely due to the mild arthritis, to the ligament degeneration, or both?
- What sort of treatment is most likely to bring me relief?
- Does this type of wrist instability ever heal without surgery?

Any other advice will be welcome.
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User Profile
replied July 4th, 2019
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
Its mild arthritis due to overuse. Cortisol shot will help you in a better way.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care
Khan


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