Scapholunate Ligament Tear – Plano, TX
Dr. Knoll is aboard certified wrist doctor in Plano, TX, providing effective treatment for Scapholunate Ligament Tear. He specializes in treating conditions such as Carpet Tunnel Syndrome, fractures and other orthopedic conditions.   

Scapholunate Ligament Tear

The Scapholunate (SL) Ligament lies between two of the eight carpal bones known as the scaphoid and lunate. This ligament binds the bones tightly and aids smooth rotation of the wrist. The scaphoid is located on the thumb side of the wrist and the lunate lies adjacent to it.

A SL ligament tear is a common injury of the wrist sustained by young athletes. The scapholunate ligament may break causing a shift in the two bones. This forces the bones to move in different conditions, resulting in the formation of a gap between the two bones.  

Causes Of Scapholunate Ligament Tear

  • Falling directly on the wrist
  • Hitting the wrist on a hard surface
  • Heavy weight bearing activities
  • Symptoms Of Scapholunate Ligament Tear
  • Localized pain in the wrist
  • Swelling and tenderness around the thumb
  • Weakness in the joint
  • Popping sound on rotating the wrist
  • Limited and painful motion of the wrist

Diagnosis Of Scapholunate Ligament Tear

  • Physical Examination: The doctor may examine the visible symptoms of the injury. He may also ask about the patient’s medical history.
  • Scaphoid Shift Test: This test is done by bending the wrist towards the little finger and thumb. It is performed to examine the wrist at the back as well as front.
  • X-Ray: The gaps between the two bones may be observed using an X-Ray test. The doctor may also suggest a stress X-Ray to get a clearer image of the carpal bones by moving the wrist and fingers in different positions. It may also be used to observe the wrist bones.  
  • MRI: It may be required to examine additional damages to bone cartilage or the surrounding areas.

Treatment For Scapholunate Ligament Tear

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Rest: The patient is advised to avoid activities like heavy weight lifting, tight gripping or indulging in sports until the wrist heals.
  • Brace: A brace or cast may be worn for 3 to 6 weeks to stabilize the joint.
  • Medications: Pain relieving and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed by the doctor.

Surgical Treatment

  • Arthroscopy: It requires inserting a camera into the wrist to probe the extent of injury.
  • If there are no gaps between the two bones i.e. there is a partial tear, the bones may be held together using fine metal wires to restore stability in the joint. A splint or cast may be worn until the joint heals.
  • A wide gap between the scaphoid and lunate signifies a complete ligament tear. It can be treated by using bone anchors to attach the ligament with the two bones. A cast may be worn for 7 to 8 weeks to keep the joint stable until healing is completed. The cast may then be replaced by a removable splint for a few weeks.

For complete treatment of Scapholunate Ligament Tear, visit Dr. Knoll in Frisco, TX. To schedule an appointment with the wrist doctor in Plano, call at (972) 985 -1072.