There are two major methods to treat ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome which includes surgical and non-surgical ways. Not all cases need surgery. However, surgery is quite effective in shortening the ulna and repairing the damaged fibrocartilage. If needed one can resume sport activities gradually even after the surgery, that is three to six times in a month. Unfortunately some of the athletes take time to regain their health thus cannot resume to sports after the surgery.

What is the Treatment for Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome?

What is the Treatment for Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome?

Ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome should never kill your hopes to be well again. The reason behind this is that the disease can be treated in a number of ways.

Non-Surgical Approach for Treating Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome

The early treatment for ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome is meant to remove pain, prevent the swelling of the wrist. The treatment offered in such a case is non-surgical and includes:

  • Using the anti-inflammatory medicines can help in relieving the pain caused by ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome.
  • Localized injections can be used to relieve the pain caused in ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome.
  • Splinting is also used.
  • Therapy with certified hand therapist can also help.
  • Modification of activities is also recommended and is a part of non-surgical approach.

In other cases one may still experience severe pain and swelling even after a nonsurgical treatment for ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome. This implies that the non-surgical treatment was unsuccessful. If that happens the doctor orders a Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI to test the tender tissue structures of the wrist. In case the MRI will give the results of a damaged structure then the patient is liable of undergoing an arthroscopic procedure. This entails the elimination of the extra length of the ulna bone. The procedure also aims at repairing the damage caused by such a condition. As a matter of fact eliminating the extra length of the ulna reduces the chances of being affected by ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome and is capable of resolving this condition.

Initial treatment offered entails anti-inflammatory medicines and ice for the purpose of reducing pain and inflammation. In addition, for the sake of reducing the chances of recurrent symptoms, the doctor advices the patient to reduce their activities. In other cases the health care providers will advise the patients not to indulge in activities that will cause a lot of wrist movement. This is done with an aim to reduce pain and inflammation. In addition they may help you undergo an exercise that will strengthen you as well as help one gain flexibility. Actually one is liable of doing the exercise at their homes or with a therapist.

In situations where the symptoms of ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome seem to improve one is liable of engaging in sport activities gradually. But in cases where the symptoms do not show any sign of improvement, then the only option left is undergoing surgery.

Medicines for Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome

The doctors will recommend the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines for ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome like aspirin and ibuprofens to relieve pain. Other pain relievers include acetaminophen. Actually it is against the surgery rules to consume the pain relievers at least seven days before surgery for this may increase the chances of unsuccessful surgery. Otherwise the pain relievers should only be used as prescribed by the physician.

Cold Therapy for Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome

The other type of treatment that relieves pain and reduces inflammation is the cold therapy alternatively known as the icing. As a matter of fact after every two to three hours the cold treatment ought to be applied within duration of 10 to 15 minutes, for the purpose of reducing pain and inflammation especially after indulging in an activity that worsens the symptoms. The use of ice packs and massages are quite effective then.

Surgery for Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome

Surgery for ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome can be done using various procedures for instance:

  • Open wafer procedure is used for treating ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome. This type of surgical procedure usually has a resection of the distal 2 to 3mm of the dome of the ulnar head.
  • Ulna shortening surgery for ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome should have an excision of 2 to 3 mm slice of the ulnar shaft accompanied by fixation.
  • Arthroscopic wafer procedure is helpful in treating ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome. This is minimal invasive procedure. It is the most effective method since it enhances quick recovery thus one can resume to activities as soon as possible.
  • Radial osteotomy can also be beneficial in treating ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome. This is the procedure that is used to restore normal joint anatomy especially after the occurrence of ulnocarpal impaction causing the fracturing of the radius.

Surgery Complications in Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome

Surgery tends to cause a number of complications in ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome for instance scars, infection, dorsal sensory branch of the ulna nerve damage, numbness in fingers for a period of ten hours post-op delayed or non-union, reflex sympathetic dystrophy medication.

Recovery Period/Healing Time for Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome

The recovery period/healing time for a minor ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome is between 2 to 3 weeks. If you have undergone surgery for the condition then your doctor will provide the approximate time of recovery.

Prevention of Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome

One can adapt a lifestyle that will prevent ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome:

  • Engaging in exercises that strengths the hand and arm muscles as well as getting used to safe hand and wrist movements that will help in preventing the recurrence of ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome.
  • When performing activities for instance hammering, typing, knitting, quilting, sweeping, raking, playing racquet sports, or rowing one ought to reduce the speed and the movements to prevent ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome.
  • One should also keep changing positons after a short period of time especially when holding objects for instance books or even playing the cards in order to avoid the repeated happening of ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome.
  • Using the whole hand to hold objects can also prevent wrist compression. This is because gripping with the thumb and the index finger causes a lot of tress to the wrist.
  • Using supportive gloves to the wrist can also help in prevention of ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome. When working with tools that vibrate one should have a vibration- absorbing padding.
  • While preparing food or indulging in craft activities one should take caution as well as reviewing the work posture and the body mechanism. Organizing work and positioning helps prevent excessive turning.
  • Wearing wrist braces enhances protection after surgery or even without surgery.

This condition of ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome can be treated even without undergoing surgery though in other cases surgery may be the only option. But one is liable of reducing the likelihood of being affected by ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome through the following:

  • Before indulging in any activities one should always warm up and stretch.
  • Maintaining appropriate conditioning for instance the flexibility of the arm, forearm and the wrist, muscle strength and endurance, using proper sports technique and the use of functional braces since they prevent ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome.

Wrist Braces for Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome

Wrist braces can be very helpful in coping and recovering from the ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome. Even if you have not undergone any surgery for ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome, it is better to wear wrist braces. If you have undergone surgery, then the doctor will recommend the type of wrist brace you should be wearing as there are many varieties of them.

Prognosis/Outlook for Ulnar Impaction Syndrome or Ulnar Abutment Syndrome

The prognosis or outlook for ulnar impaction syndrome or ulnar abutment syndrome is excellent for non-surgical procedures. If an athlete has undergone surgery, then the chances of returning to the sport might take a long period of time.

Also Read:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 18, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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