Evaluation of Ulnar-sided Wrist Pain

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Determining the etiology of ulnar-sided wrist pain is often challenging. The condition may be acute or chronic, and differential diagnoses include injuries to the ulnar carpal bones, ligament tears, tendinitis, vascular conditions, osteoarthritis and systemic arthritis, and ulnar nerve compression. An anatomically based, methodical physical examination coupled with provocative maneuvers, including piano key, ulnar impaction, shuck, foveal stress, and extensor carpi ulnaris synergy tests, further defines the differential diagnosis. Diagnostic imaging used in the evaluation of ulnar-sided wrist pain includes plain radiographs and MRI with or without arthrography. Wrist arthroscopy is becoming increasingly important in the diagnosis and management of ulnar-sided intra-articular wrist pathology.

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