Scapholunate Ligament Tear: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 23. November 2015 08:39

The wrist is a complex joint comprising of three bones:

  • Radius: The big bone of the forearm on the thumb side.
  • Ulna: The small bone of the forearm on the finger side.
  • Carpal Bones: There are eight carpal bones namely- scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, hamate, capitates, trapezoid and trapezium.

Scaphoid is a small bone located near the thumb. Lunate is a small crescent shaped bone present in the center of the wrist, right next to the scaphoid. Scapholunate ligament holds both these bones together and allows them to move in tandem. When this ligament is injured, it is known as a Scapholunate Ligament Tear. The condition may cause a gap between the two bones, hence, causing them to move away from each other, disrupting proper movement and giving rise to pain.


Scapholunate Ligament Tear is commonly seen in athletes involved in contact sports or racquet sports which require maximum wrist movement. Sudden fall or impact on the wrist may cause the ligament to tear away.


  • Pain in the wrist, mainly near the thumb.
  • Mild to severe swelling.
  • Bruising or redness around the wrist area.
  • The grip of the wrist may weaken.
  • There may be slight snapping or popping sensation in the wrist.


A wrist specialist will carefully examine the wrist joint through to diagnose exact cause and extent of damage caused to the ligament. Treatment options may include:

Non-Surgical Methods:

  • A splint or cast may be put around the joint to keep it stable and restrict mobility for a faster healing.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines may be recommended to provide quick relief from swelling and pain.

Surgical Method:

Wrist Arthroscopy may be recommended if the ligament has suffered major damage. The procedure involves removing the damaged tissues from the ligament. In some cases, the ligament is realigned and the bones are held in place with the help of pins.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of Scapholunate Ligament Tear or any other hand/wrist conditon, visit Dr. Knoll in Plano, TX. To schedule an appointment with the hand doctor, you can call at (972) 985 – 1072 or 4031 West Plano Parkway Suite 100, Plano, Texas 75093.

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