What's the usual surgical treatment for Kienbock's disease?

Kienbock's disease occurs when blood stops flowing to the lunate bone in the wrist. The bone on the thumb side of the forearm (the radius) may be longer than the bone on the little-finger side (the ulna). These bones control rotation in the wrist. Surgeons have often treated Kienböck's disease by "leveling" or evening out these bones--shortening the radius or lengthening the ulna to reduce pain in the wrist.

A group of doctors from Argentina suggested a new surgical treatment to "decompress" the wrist. They've had good results from making small "windows" in the radius and/or ulna for blood to flow through. In a group of 22 patients, this procedure reduced pain 91 percent of the time. Pain relief was often immediate, which is thought to be due to a change in blood pressure within the bone. Ten years later, most of the patients (72 percent) had no pain in their wrists.