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Kienböck's disease

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Slowly progrediating degeneration of the lunate bone of the wrist. It may be associated with degenerative changes in the wrist and sometimes leads to fragmentation of the bone. Onset at young age (15-40 years), usually after severe trauma with wrist in dorsiflexion (75 % of cases). Some cases have been observed in persons using pneumonic tools, others following dislocation of the lunate bone, and still others in patients having the ulna shorter than the radius (the ulna-minus variant).

Symptoms become manifest 18 months prior to X-ray showed lesions. Symptoms include recurrent pain, stiffness, and limitation of extension of wrist. Swelling over lunate bone area, with thickening of skin and tenderness on palpation. More common in Males.


  • R. Kienböck:
    Über traumatische Malazie des Mondbeins und ihre Folgezustände: Entartungsformen und Kompressionfrakturen.
    Fortschritte auf dem Gebiete der Röntgenstrahlen, 1910-1911; 16: 77-103. Über Luxationen im Bereich der Handwurzel.
    Fortschritte auf dem Gebiete der Röntgenstrahlen, Leipzig, 1910-11, 16: 103-115.

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