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Major Causes of Wrist Pain on Pinky Side & Its Symptoms, Treatment

The wrist is a vital part of the human hand. It is a joint that connects the hand with the forearm. Hand has five major bones known as metacarpals. There are eight small bones that connect metacarpals with radius and ulna. The latter two are the major forearm bones. Wrist pain in pinky side, also known as ulnar wrist pain is a common type of wrist pain[1]. It mainly occurs due to any injury to bones, ligaments, tendons, or cartilage. As the pain can occur due to so many reasons, it is sometimes difficult to spot the actual cause from outside.

Major Causes of Wrist Pain on Pinky Side

Major Causes of Wrist Pain on Pinky Side[2]

Wrist pain pinky side or ulnar wrist pain can occur due to several reasons. Here are the most common causes of this pain:

  • Minor or major fracture in the wrist can lead to wrist pain in pinky side. Such fracture may be due to an accident or constant movement of the wrist and arm.
  • Inflammation in the tendons adjacent to the wrist area on the pinky side or the ulnar side.
  • Sometimes wrist pain on pinky side occurs due to arthritis in the wrist.
  • In many situations, doctors have found that nerve injury or nerve impingement at the Guyon’s canal can be a reason for this pain.
  • Development of ganglion cyst (a type of lump in the wrist that is visible from outside) or any other types of tumors can also cause wrist pain in pinky side or ulnar wrist pain.
  • The ulnar wrist pain can arise due to Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) tear.
  • Tendinitis of Extension Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) can cause this kind of wrist pain.
  • In some cases, it is found that the impaction of ulna (ulna bone becomes same or longer than radius bone) is the prime cause of this pain.

So, proper diagnosis is important to find the source of the injury. The treatment is given accordingly.

Signs and Symptoms of Wrist Pain in Pinky Side

Wrist pain on pinky side has the following types of signs and symptoms:

  • The movement of the wrist on the pinky side can cause moderate to severe pain.
  • The grip strength of the fingers decreases with the increasing pain.
  • A cracking sound may occur while moving the wrist.
  • Sensation in the palm and wrist may decrease.

Normally, all these signs and symptoms do not occur together but the occurrence of all these signs and symptoms together is nor rare either.

Treatment for Wrist Pain on Pinky Side

Sportspersons and factory workers who need to lift heavy weight often complain of wrist pain on pinky side. Again, people who need to use computer keyboards like a typist or writer also gets this problem frequently. An orthopedic doctor first tries to reduce the pain with medicines. Then, they advise for X-rays to spot the exact reason for the pain.

Treatment depends on the problems. If there is a ganglion cyst, it must be operated or if the pain is due to TFCC injury[2], immobilization in the ulnar deviation and slight flexion with arm cast may be required. In many situations, the doctors advise for casting or splinting for some weeks along with anti-inflammatory medicines followed by hand therapy. Many advanced treatment procedures are now available that provide quick relief from the ulnar wrist pain if the injury is not a severe one.


Wrist pain on pinky side or ulnar wrist pain is a common problem across the globe. In most of the cases, it is a reason for any other problems in the wrist which must be treated appropriately. Proper diagnosis of the cause of this pain is the primary challenge in this condition. However, appropriate treatment can give complete relief from the pain.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 28, 2020

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