Instability occurs when the ligaments connecting the small bones of the wrist (carpal bones) are torn allowing the bones to move out of their normal positioning.

What are the causes?

Wrist instability can be caused by a fall on an outstretched hand with injury to the ligaments that connect the bones of the hand.

What are the symptoms?

Patients complain of pain over the back of the hand. A 'clunk' may be felt with wrist motion and weakness when trying to grasp objects.

How is it diagnosed?

Your surgeon can diagnose on physical exam combined with X-ray and/or MRI. Arthroscopic evaluation of the wrist is the most accurate diagnostic method.

How is it treated?


For patients with symptoms that interfere with their activities, the surgeon may recommend a splint, brace, or physical therapy. Avoiding activities that cause the pain is recommended.


Patients with severe symptoms may benefit from surgical intervention to repair or reconstruct the injured ligaments.