Bone is a living tissue and requires continuous blood supply for nourishment. Kienbock’s disease is a condition where one of the eight bones (lunate) in the wrist, loses its blood supply and thus causes death of the bone – this is known as osteonecrosis.
There are 2 main rows of bones that make up the wrist bone. The front row (proximal) includes scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum and pisiform. The back (distal) row consists of trapezium, trapezoid, capitates and hamate. The front row of bones articulates with the 2 forearm bones – the radius and ulna, to form the portion for wrist motion.
Damage to the lunate bone can lead to persistent pain, swelling and stiffness. Kienbock’s disease tends to occur more in men between the ages of 20 – 40 and rarely affects both wrists. Patients usually have a history of trauma to the wrist.