Scapholunate Ligament Tear: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 18. February 2015 12:42

The Scapholunate Ligament connects the two carpal bones together, scaphoid and lunate. These play a major role in the proper movement of the wrist joint by making both the bones move in the same direction and stabilizing the wrists. In a Scapholunate Ligament tear, these bones change their positions and the scaphoid bends forward while the lunate goes backwards. Thus, there is a significant loss of grip due to an unusual gap between them, which eventually lead to Wrist Arthritis.


Scapholunate Ligament tears are mainly caused due to a fall with an outstretched hand, motor vehicle accident, weight lifting etc. Certain degenerative conditions of the wrist, such as Arthritis, can also weaken the Scapholunate Ligament and make it vulnerable to injuries.


  • Intense pain in the thumb side of the wrist
  • Swelling at the back or center of the wrist
  • Clicking sound while moving the wrist
  • Stiffness on the affected side
  • Loss of grip
  • Visible bruising and discoloration
  • Instability of the wrist
  • Loss of motion in the wrist, in severe cases


To diagnose a Scapholunate Ligament tear, the orthopedic doctor may physically examine the wrist to determine the exact location of the pain. He may also suggest certain imaging tests such as X-rays and MRI scan to rule out the presence of fracture or tissue damage.


Depending upon the severity and cause of the condition, the orthopedic doctor may prescribe the following treatment options:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications: The patient may be prescribed certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and inflammation in the wrist.
  • Immobilization: Giving complete rest to the wrist by restricting its movements can allow the affected muscles and tissues to heal. 
  • Activity Modification: Activities that increases pain, such as pushing or gripping, should be avoided till the pain subsides.
  • Braces: The orthopedic doctor may also prescribe wearing a brace or cast for two to six weeks. This will help to provide stability and support to the wrist.
  • Physical Therapy: Once the pain and swelling has reduced, rehabilitation programs may help to restore the normal strength and range of motion of the wrist.
  • Surgery: It is usually recommended in severe cases of Scapholunate Ligament tear. During a procedure, the wrist surgeon may use pins and wires to hold the two carpal bones together. 

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Scapholunate Ligament Tear, you can consult Dr. Neagle in Carrollton, TX. To schedule an appointment with the hand and wrist specialist, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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