(See also Overview of Hand Disorders.)
Kienböck disease is the death of bone tissue due to an impaired blood supply (osteonecrosis) affecting the lunate bone in the hand.
The lunate bone is one of the carpals in the wrist.
Kienböck disease is relatively rare. It is not known why the blood supply to the lunate bone becomes impaired. People typically do not remember being injured. It occurs most commonly in the dominant hand of men aged 20 to 45 years, usually in workers doing heavy manual labor.
Surgery is done to relieve pressure on the lunate bone, for example, by lengthening or shortening bones that connect to the lunate bone. Alternative surgical treatments are done in an attempt to reestablish the blood supply to the lunate bone (such as a bone graft or blood vessel graft). If the lunate bone has collapsed, the wrist bones may be removed or surgically fused together (called arthrodesis) as a last resort to relieve pain.
Attempts to treat this disease with methods other than surgery have not been successful, but wearing a wrist splint may relieve pain in very mild cases.