Radioulunar Ligament Tear

Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg, Florida

With a radioulunar ligament tear, there can be instability in the wrist, where the ends of the radius and ulnar bones meet. This would lead to wrist pain.

On both the volar (the palm side) and dorsal (back of the hand) aspect of the wrist, run radioulnar ligaments that connect the distal aspects of the long bones of the forearm where they connect with the carpal bones of the wrist. Both ligaments on the volar and dorsal surface connect with the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC).

Traumatic injuries can cause disruption of the dorsal radioulunar ligament of the volar radioulnar ligament. This can be confused with other sources of wrist pain (especially pain in close proximity to the TFCC), making an accurate diagnosis somewhat difficult based only on physical exam. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is usually necessary to differentiate the diagnosis, along with standard x-rays, which would show degenerative changes or traumatic fractures.

If a radioulnar ligament is completely disrupted, there can be instability at the wrist. This can be seen on both x-rays and MRI as a displacement between the distal aspect of the radius and the ulnar. As this again is in close proximity to many other problematic areas that may cause chronic wrist pain, a skilled clinician must be adept in using a clinical exam history and appropriate imaging studies to diagnose this.

If the wrist is still stable, then conservative care is advised. A splint worn for four to six weeks will immobilize the wrist, allowing it to heal. Anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy may also be prescribed. A corticosteroid injection may also help.

If the wrist is unstable, a cast on the wrist and forearm or surgery may be appropriate.

An alternative treatment for a radioulunar ligament tear would be an injection of  platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and/or stem cell therapy. Both of these cutting-edge technologies may accelerate the healing of these ligaments. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy captures the healing growth factors that are in a person’s own blood. By injecting the PRP into the damaged area of the wrist, it may help heal the affected area and diminish pain. In addition, there are indications for platelet-rich plasma in healing a variety of conditions, in much the same way that stem cells may help regenerate different types of tissues.

If you continue to suffer with a radioulunar ligament tear and your current treatment plan leaves you feeling hopeless, perhaps a fresh set of experienced eyes can change your outlook.  Since 1990, Dennis M. Lox, M.D has applied his personal interests in sports medicine, cutting-edge regenerative medicine and chronic pain management to helping patients increase their quality of life. Contact us for an appointment at 727-462-5582.

Dr. Dennis Lox and the Florida Spine Center serve patients within the greater Tampa Bay area, including Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg, as well as all of Florida and the US.

All statements, information or opinions provided by this website are provided for educational purposes only. We do not diagnose nor treat through this website or by telephone. As you consider any treatment, discuss them with your physician.

Regarding platelet-rich plasma or stem cell therapy: Neither statements nor treatments have been evaluated by the FDA. We do not claim that these treatments work for any listed or unlisted condition. Patient testimonials offer only the patient’s impression of how a therapy worked for them – individual results will vary; results are not guaranteed nor warranteed. As you consider any treatment, discuss them with your physician.