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Kienbock's Disease


Described by Kienbock in 1910, a radiologist in Vienna. (republished article in CORR 1980, Vol 149)

= collapse of the lunate due to vascular insufficiency and avascular necrosis




  1. Single forgotten wrist trauma
  2. Repetitive microfractures that result in vascular comprimise, causing disruption of blood supply to lunate
  3. Recurrent compression of lunate between capitate & distal radius which disrupts the intraosseous structures through shear stress at extreme wrist positions and/or repetitive compression loading

Associated with Negative ulnar variance (of interest, there do not seem to be any reports of Kienbock's disease after the Darrach's procedure)

Clinical Manifestations: 

  • Young adults
  • wrist pain that radiates up the forearm 
  • wrist stiffness
  • tenderness over lunate dorsally
  • weakness of grip

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