Hamate hook fracture is a common fracture in golfers and others who play sports that involve rackets or sticks such as tennis or hockey. This patient had a previous hamate fracture in the opposing wrist along with potential features of hamate bipartite.
A 19 year old male presented with a complaint of right wrist pain on the ulnar side of the wrist with no apparent mechanism of injury. The pain came on gradually one week before being seen in the office and he reported no prior care for the complaint. His history includes traumatic left hamate hook fracture with surgical excision.
The patient was found to have marked tenderness over the hamate and with a prior fracture to the other wrist, computed tomography of the wrist was ordered revealing a fracture to the hamate hook in the right wrist. He was referred for surgical evaluation and the hook of the hamate was excised. Post-surgically, the patient was able to return to normal activity within eight weeks. This case is indicative of fracture rather than hamate bipartite. This fracture should be considered in a case of ulnar sided wrist pain where marked tenderness is noted over the hamate, especially after participation in club or racket sports.
The purpose of this study was to determine the anatomic relationships between neurovascular structures and the transverse carpal ligament so as to avoid complications during endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery.
Twenty-eight patients (age range, 35-69 years) with carpal tunnel syndrome were entered into the study. We examined through wrist magnetic resonance imaging in three different positions (neutral, radial flexion, and ulnar flexion) and determined several anatomic landmark (distance from the hamate hook to the median nerve, ulnar nerve, and ulnar vessel) based on the lateral margin of the hook of the hamate. The median nerve and ulnar neurovascular structure were studied with the wrist in the neutral, ulnar, and radial flexion positions.
The ulnar neurovascular structures usually passed just over or ulnar to the hook of the hamate. However, in 12 hands, a looped ulnar artery coursed 0.6-3.3 mm radial to the hook of the hamate and continued to the superficial palmar arch. The looped ulnar artery migrates on the ulnar side of Guyon's canal (-5.2-1.8 mm radial to the hook of the hamate) with the wrist in radial flexion. During ulnar flexion of the wrist, the ulnar artery shifts more radially beyond the hook of the hamate (-2.5-5.7 mm).
It is appropriate to transect the ligament greater than 4 mm apart from the lateral margin of the hook of the hamate without placing the edge of the scalpel toward the ulnar side. We would also recommend not transecting the transverse carpal ligament in the ulnar flexed wrist position to protect the ulnar neurovascular structure.
Carpal tunnel syndrome; Ulnar neurovascular structures; Wrist position
To present the diagnostic, clinical features, and management of Kienbock’s disease and create awareness of the differential diagnosis of this condition in patients presenting with insidious, progressive dorsal wrist pain.
A 23-year old male varsity football player presented with insidious progressive dorsal sided wrist pain with reduced wrist flexion and extension. A diagnosis of Kienbock’s disease was made based on radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging.
Intervention and Outcome:
A 3mm ulnar-minus variance was found and a joint leveling procedure to shorten the radius was performed. Conservative therapy was provided pre and post surgical management.
This case report demonstrates the importance of findings on radiographs, MRI, and clinical examination in the accurate diagnosis and management of a patient with wrist pain.
Kienbock; Kienbock’s disease; lunatomalacia; avascular necrosis; osteonecrosis; lunate; Kienböck; maladie de Kienböck; malacie du semi-lunaire; nécrose avasculaire; ostéonécrose; os semi-lunaire
Wrist and hand injuries are common in elite divers, as all correctly performed dives end with a head first entry into the water with the hands extended above the head. This case presentation was an Olympic level diver with 3 months of persistent dorsal wrist pain. MRI findings showed contiguous contusions to the lunate, capitate, hamate and distal radius and also a peripheral tear of the ulnar attachment of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC). The repeated dorsiflexion stress of entry into the water likely caused these injuries. Although the authors had suspected a TFCC injury and did find an isolated ulnar-sided peripheral tear, the complicating carpal contusions led us to choose a conservative treatment plan, which was the only intervention the patient ultimately required.
Ulnar-sided wrist pain is a common complaint, and it presents a diagnostic challenge for hand surgeons and radiologists. The complex anatomy of this region, combined with the small size of structures and subtle imaging findings, compound this problem. A thorough understanding of ulnar-sided wrist anatomy and a systematic clinical examination of this region are essential in arriving at an accurate diagnosis. In part I of this review, ulnar-sided wrist anatomy and clinical examination are discussed for a more comprehensive understanding of ulnar-sided wrist pain.
Wrist; Anatomy; Clinical examination; Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Pain at the ulnar aspect of the wrist is a diagnostic challenge for hand surgeons and radiologists due to the small and complex anatomical structures involved. In this article, imaging modalities including radiography, arthrography, ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), CT arthrography, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and MR arthrography are compared with regard to differential diagnosis. Clinical imaging findings are reviewed for a more comprehensive understanding of this disorder. Treatments for the common diseases that cause the ulnar-sided wrist pain including extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tendonitis, flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) tendonitis, pisotriquetral arthritis, triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) lesions, ulnar impaction, lunotriquetral (LT) instability, and distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) instability are reviewed.
Wrist pain; Ulnar side; Imaging; Treatment
Ulnar-sided wrist pain is a common problem and can be difficult to manage due to the wide range of etiologies, and the fact that significant pain can be present without radiographic evidence. A common cause of ulnar-sided wrist pain is ulnar impaction syndrome, for which several factors must be considered when choosing from among the many available treatment options. Ulnar shortening osteotomy is the most commonly performed surgical procedure for ulnar impaction syndrome at the largest hand surgery unit in Canada. In addition to objective radiological and range of motion measurements, this study used a visual analogue scale and the Disabilities of the Arm and Shoulder survey to characterize self-reported outcomes of ulnar shortening osteotomy.
Ulnar-sided wrist pain is a common problem in the upper extremity. It affects a broad patient population and can be difficult to treat. Ulnar impaction syndrome (UIS) is major cause of ulnar-sided wrist pain and a number of different operations have been used to correct it, including ulnar shortening osteotomy (USO).
To retrospectively review functional outcomes and complication rates of USO for UIS at the Hand and Upper Limb Centre (London, Ontario) over a two-year period.
Twenty-eight patients who underwent USO between 2007 and 2009 participated in the present study. Ulnar variance pre- and post-surgery was assessed using standard radiographic examination. Patient-rated outcomes were measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) survey for functional outcomes. Objective grip strength and range of motion were compared with the contralateral extremity.
On average, USO achieved a 3.11 mm reduction in ulnar variance. Nonunion occurred in five patients and required a secondary bone grafting procedure. All USO eventually healed. Overall, pain improved by 47.2% and the mean DASH score after surgery was 37.21. Flexion, extension and supination range of motion decreased by 10° compared with the unaffected side. Eleven patients (39%) elected to undergo a second surgery for hardware removal. Patients receiving compensation from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board experienced significantly higher residual pain (VSA 5.24 versus 1.97) and disability levels (DASH 60.23 versus 25.70). Smokers also experienced worse outcomes in terms of pain (VSA 4.43 versus 2.36) and disability (DASH 51.06 versus 29.67). In this cohort, smoking was not associated with a higher rate of nonunion.
USO is effective in reducing pain in UIS and improves disability, at the price of a small decrease in range of motion. Smokers and people receiving compensation from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, however, have significantly worse subjective outcomes (VAS and DASH), but similar objective outcomes (range of motion).
Ulnar impaction syndrome (UIS); Ulnar shortening osteotomy (USO); Ulnar wrist pain
This case report describes the effectiveness of thrust manipulation to the elbow and carpals in the management of a patient referred with a medical diagnosis of cubital tunnel syndrome (CuTS). The patient was a 45-year-old woman with a 6-week history of right medial elbow pain, ulnar wrist pain, and intermittent paresthesia in the ulnar nerve distribution. Upon initial assessment, she presented with a positive elbow flexion test and upper limb neurodynamic test with ulnar nerve bias. A biomechanical assessment of the elbow and carpals revealed a loss of lateral glide of the humerus on the ulna and a loss of palmar glide of the triquetral on the hamate. After the patient received two thrust manipulations of the elbow and one thrust manipulation of the carpals over the course of four sessions, her pain and paresthesia were resolved. This case demonstrates that the use of thrust manipulation to the elbow and carpals may be an effective approach in the management of insidious onset CuTS. This patient was successfully treated with thrust manipulation when joint dysfunction of the elbow and wrist were appropriately identified. This case report may shed light on the examination and management of insidious onset CuTS.
Elbow pain; Ulnar nerve neuropathy; Biomechanical dysfunction; Humeroulnar joint manipulation; Neurodynamic
Traditional management of unstable fourth and fifth carpal–metacarpal (CMC) fracture–dislocations (fx–dislocs) of the hand includes closed reduction and percutaneous pinning (CRPP) versus open reduction internal fixation (ORIF). Traditional trajectory of pin placement is toward the base of the hook of the hamate. Our case series of CMC fx–dislocs treated with this trajectory led to the development of ulnar deep motor branch symptoms (sxs). We attempt to propose an alternative trajectory that could lower the chance of iatrogenic injury. Five fresh frozen cadaveric specimens underwent percutaneous pinning of the fifth CMC joint using fluoroscopic guidance. Each cadaver was dissected, and the proximity of the deep motor branch of the ulnar nerve was measured in relation to a pin that penetrated the volar cortex. Our results confirm the close proximity of the deep motor branch of the ulnar nerve to the volar cortex of the hamate and demonstrate the potential for iatrogenic injury during CRPP of the fifth CMC fx–dislocs, especially with penetration of the volar cortex. By demonstrating the close proximity of the deep motor branch to the volar cortex of the hamate in cadavers, we highlight the potential for iatrogenic injury with CRPP of CMC fx–dislocs as seen in our case series. We recommend a more midaxial starting point on the proximal metacarpal with a trajectory aimed at the midbody of the hamate to prevent penetration of the hamate volar cortex and limit the chances of iatrogenic injury.
Carpal–metacarpal fracture–dislocations; CMC fx–dislocs; Fifth CMC fx–dislocs; Deep motor branch ulnar nerve; Percutaneous pinning fifth carpal–metacarpal
Injuries of the median nerve in fractures in the region of the wrist are not uncommon.
Median nerve palsy is frequently the result of immobilizing the wrist in acute palmar flexion.
Good reduction and immobilization of the wrist in neutral position are the best means of preventing median nerve injury.
In any fracture in the region of the wrist, the status of the median, ulnar, and radial nerves should be examined before and after reduction of the fracture.
The majority of patients with median nerve neuritis recover completely without operation. In some cases, the duration of the sympathetic nerve paralysis is unpredictable.
Where neurological symptoms persist, neurolysis with or without sectioning of the transverse carpal ligament will improve the neurological status of the patient.
Fractures of the body of the triquetral bone are the second most common carpal fractures, and these fractures can be missed on plain X-ray. Although non-union of triquetral body fractures is very rare, such cases are associated with considerable morbidity and reduction in functional activity.
We report the case of a 29-year-old Caucasian British man who sustained an isolated displaced triquetral body fracture that resulted in non-union, who was treated surgically. We describe an original operative management for this debilitating injury. An open reduction and internal fixation using double headed compression screws was performed, without bone grafting, and with early immobilization of the wrist.
We propose this novel approach and advocate early clinical suspicion of triquetral body fractures in patients with a history of fall on an outstretched hand and ulnar sided wrist pain. We recommend evaluation using computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scanning.
The diagnosis of fracture of the hook of the hamate is rarely made at the time of the initial injury. Routine roentgenograms of the hand in the standard three positions do not visualize this structure. The carpal tunnel view (CTV) with hyperextension of the wrist may be too painful to position. A computerized tomography of the wrist in the transverse or axial plane will clearly and painlessly identify the fracture. Placing both hands and wrists in the praying position gives excellent comparison and documents any developmental bone abnormality. Scintigraphy, when positive, must be followed by tomography or a carpal tunnel view.
We describe the case of a dorsal proximal triquetral impingement caused by a torn triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) amassed on the repair site at the ulnar styloid. The impinging tissue was removed by simple burring with resultant relief of symptoms. This case illustrates painful impingement of soft tissue on the triquetrum. Possibly, the source of tissue impingement may include different extra-articular or torn intra-articular structures. Soft tissue impingement on the triquetrum may be a cause of ulnar-sided wrist pain following failed TFCC repair.
impingement; TFCC tear; TILT; triquetrum
Ulnar neuropathy at the wrist is rarely reported as complications of carpal tunnel release. Since it can sometimes be confused with recurrent median neuropathy at the wrist or ulnar neuropathy at the elbow, an electrodiagnostic study is useful for detecting the lesion in detail. We present a case of a 51-year-old woman with a two-week history of right ulnar palm and 5th digit tingling sensation that began 3 months after open carpal tunnel release surgery of the right hand. Electrodiagnostic tests such as segmental nerve conduction studies of the ulnar nerve at the wrist were useful for localization of the lesion, and ultrasonography helped to confirm the presence of the lesion. After conservative management, patient symptoms were progressively relieved. Combined electrodiagnostic studies and ultrasonography may be helpful for diagnosing and detecting ulnar neuropathies of the wrist following carpal tunnel release surgery.
Carpal tunnel syndrome; Open carpal tunnel release; Ulnar neuropathy
Distal radioulnar joint is a trochoid joint relatively new in evolution. Along with proximal radioulnar joint, forearm bones and interosseous membrane, it allows pronosupination and load transmission across the wrist. Injuries around distal radioulnar joint are not uncommon, and are usually associated with distal radius fractures,fractures of the ulnar styloid and with the eponymous Galeazzi or Essex_Lopresti fractures. The injury can be purely involving the soft tissue especially the triangular fibrocartilage or the radioulnar ligaments. The patients usually present with ulnar sided wrist pain, features of instability, or restriction of rotation. Difficulty in carrying loads in the hand is a major constraint for these patients. Thorough clinical examination to localize point of tenderness and appropriate provocative tests help in diagnosis. Radiology and MRI are extremely useful, while arthroscopy is the gold standard for evaluation. The treatment protocols are continuously evolving and range from conservative, arthroscopic to open surgical methods. Isolated dislocation are uncommon. Basal fractures of the ulnar styloid tend to make the joint unstable and may require operative intervention. Chronic instability requires reconstruction of the stabilizing ligaments to avoid onset of arthritis. Prosthetic replacement in arthritis is gaining acceptance in the management of arthritis.
Distal radioulnar joint; TFCC; distal radius fracture; DRUJ injuries; DRUJ arthroplasty
The gold standard for treatment of ulnar impaction has become ulnar shortening osteotomy. Previous reports in the literature have shown not only good results with relief of ulnar-sided wrist pain but also significant nonunion rates and painful hardware necessitating further surgery and potentially, metal removal. The purpose of this paper is to review the success rate of ulnar shortening osteotomy utilizing a low profile compression plate designed specifically for ulnar shortening osteotomy.
Ninety-three patients with ulnar abutment syndrome underwent ulnar shortening osteotomy with the low profile osteotomy plate. There were 47 males and 46 females. The Acumed’s ulnar shortening system was utilized in all cases. The patients were evaluated for pain, range of motion, grip strength, return to work, time to union, and hardware removal. The patients’ results were validated using the Mayo Wrist Score.
There was a 100 % union rate in the 93 patients. There were no nonunions or delayed unions, or any hardware removal. All patients noted an improvement in their ulnar-sided wrist pain. Utilizing the Mayo wrist classification, the average postoperative score was 84.5. The average preoperative Mayo score was 49.4, for an average increase of 35.1 points.
The Acumed’s low-contact plate designed specifically for ulnar shortening osteotomy demonstrated 100 % union rate and no implant removal in our series. This is the largest study to our knowledge of a series of ulnar shortening osteotomies and successful healing without the removal of any implants. Furthermore, the specifically designed ulnar shortening osteotomy plate significantly simplifies the procedure for the surgeon and improves patient outcomes with relief of ulnar-sided wrist pain.
Ulnar osteotomy; Compression plate; Positive ulnar variance
To present the case of a 21-year-old female collegiate gymnast with acute left wrist pain.
Madelung deformity is a developmental abnormality of the wrist. It is characterized by anatomic changes in the radius, ulna, and carpal bones, leading to palmar and ulnar wrist subluxation. It is more common in female patients and is usually present bilaterally. The deformity usually becomes evident clinically between the ages of 6 and 13 years.
Traumatic distal radius physeal arrest, congenital anatomic variant.
The athlete was treated with symptomatic therapeutic modalities and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for pain. She was able to continue to participate successfully in competitive gymnastics, minimally restricted, with the aid of palmar wrist tape and a commercially available wrist brace to prevent end-range wrist extension.
Madelung deformity can result in wrist pain and loss of forearm rotation, leading to decreased function of the wrist and hand. This patient was able to participate successfully in elite- and college-level gymnastics with no wrist pain or injury until the age of 21 years. Furthermore, she was able to continue to participate, experiencing only periodic pain, with the aid of taping and bracing support and without the need for reconstructive surgery.
Although rare, Madelung deformity is typically corrected surgically in athletes with chronic pain and disability. This case demonstrates an example of successful conservative management in which the athlete continued to participate in sport.
traumatic physeal arrest; triangular fibrocartilage complex
Guyon's canal at the wrist is not the common site of ulnar nerve compression. Ganglion, lipoma, anomalous tendon and muscles, trauma related to an occupation, arthritis, and carpal bone fracture can cause ulnar nerve compression at the wrist. However, ulnar nerve compression at Guyon's canal by vascular lesion is rare. Ulnar artery aneurysm, tortous ulnar artery, hemangioma, and thrombosis have been reported in the literature as vascular lesions. The authors experienced a case of ulnar nerve compression at Guyon's canal by an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and the patient's symptom was improved after surgical resection. We can not easily predict vascular lesion as a cause of ulnar nerve compression at Guyon's canal. However, if there is not obvious etiology, we should consider vascular lesion as another possible etiology.
Ulnar nerve; Arteriovenous malformation
Kienböck's disease is a condition of osteonecrosis of the lunate bone in the hand, and most patients present with a painful and sometimes swollen wrist with a limited range of motion in the affected wrist. Vaughan-Jackson syndrome is characterized by the disruption of the digital extensor tendons, beginning on the ulnar side with the extensor digiti minimi and extensor digitorum communis tendon of the small finger. It is most commonly associated with rheumatoid arthritis. We describe a case of a patient with an unusual presentation of Kienböck's disease with symptoms similar to those of Vaughan-Jackson syndrome.
A 40-year-old man of Indian ethnic origin with no known history of trauma presented to our clinic with a ten-day history of an inability to extend his right little and ring fingers with associated pain in his right wrist. He was being treated with long-term steroids but had no other significant medical history. His examination revealed an inability to extend the metacarpal and phalangeal joints of the right ring and little fingers with localized tenderness over the lunate bone. Spontaneous disruption of the extensor tendons was diagnosed clinically and, after radiological investigation, was confirmed to be secondary to dorsal extrusion of the fragmented lunate bone. The patient underwent surgical repair of the tendons and had a full recovery afterward.
Kienböck's disease, though rare, is an important cause of spontaneous extensor tendon rupture. The original description of Vaughan-Jackson syndrome was of rupture of the extensor tendons of the little and ring fingers caused by attrition at an arthritic inferior radioulnar joint. We describe a case of a patient with Kienböck's disease that first appeared to be a Vaughan-Jackson-like syndrome.
Open carpal tunnel release is the commonest surgical treatment of median nerve compression at the wrist. Although successful in most cases, there are well described complications. We report a case of laceration of the deep motor branch of the ulnar nerve at the level of the hook of hamate following a complicated carpal tunnel decompression. Good surgical technique and knowledge of wrist anatomy are essential for performing this apparently simple procedure safely.
Carpal tunnel; complications; nerve injury; ulnar nerve
Background and purpose
Mechanisms of injury to ulnar-sided ligaments (stabilizing the distal radioulnar joint and the ulna to the carpus) associated with dorsally displaced distal radius fractures are poorly described. We investigated the injury patterns in a human cadaver fracture model.
Fresh frozen human cadaver arms were used. A dorsal open-wedge osteotomy was performed in the distal radius. In 8 specimens, pressure was applied to the palm with the wrist in dorsiflexion and ulnar-sided stabilizing structures subsequently severed. Dorsal angulation was measured on digitized radiographs. In 8 other specimens, the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) was forced into rupture by axially loading the forearm with the wrist in dorsiflexion. The ulnar side was dissected and injuries were recorded.
Intact ulnar soft tissues limited the dorsal angulation of the distal radius fragment to a median of 32o (16–34). A combination of bending and shearing of the distal radius fragment was needed to create TFCC injuries. Both palmar and dorsal injuries were observed simultaneously in 6 of 8 specimens.
A TFCC injury can be expected when dorsal angulation of a distal radius fracture exceeds 32o. The extensor carpi ulnaris subsheath may be a functionally integral part of the TFCC. Both dorsal and palmar structures can tear simultaneously. These findings may have implications for reconstruction of ulnar sided soft tissue injuries.
Objective: While bony luno-triquetral coalitions are known to be asymptomatic, fibro-cartilage unions can cause ulnar-sided wrist pain. The purpose of this case report is to present a paradox clinical constellation of bilateral luno-triquetral coalition. Furthermore, recommendations for proper diagnosis and treatment options will be discussed. Methods: The case of a 21-year-old female patient is reported, where a bony coalition of one side caused wrist pain and the contralateral fibro-cartilage bonding was asymptomatic. Results: Because of the stable bony coalition in the symptomatic wrist, we refused to undertake a luno-triquetral fusion and continued conservative treatment with the option of wrist denervation. Conclusions: Consequently, not only incomplete but also complete luno-triquetral coalitions can cause wrist pain. Unfortunately, no clear biomechanical explanation is available for this finding.
Four-corner fusion (4CF) is an accepted and regularly performed procedure when managing posttraumatic degenerative disorders in the wrist. This procedure consists of excision of the entire scaphoid in association with midcarpal fusion of the remaining four ulnar carpal bones (hamate, capitate, lunate, and triquetrum). In the majority of cases, the long-term outcome is a functional painless wrist. However, the exact procedure to best achieve a rapid solid bone union of the fusion mass without hardware complications remains controversial. The authors have developed a precise system to ensure precise positioning, firm fixation, and fusion at the midcarpal joint together with an early postoperative recovery, avoiding some of the issues reported with other implants used for 4CF. The described implant is a circular plate accommodating variable angle locking screws as well as compression screws that can firmly fix the plate to the carpal bones. The locking technology produces a very solid construct. A special reaming-distraction-compression guide has also been developed to both countersink the plate on the underlying carpal bone mass and allow distraction of the midcarpal joint for debridement and cancellous bone graft interposition. The features of the implant, its surgical technique, and a relevant case are described.
four-corner fusion; SLAC wrist; SNAC wrist; wrist
Unspecific pain of the hand/wrist is a diagnostic challenge. Radiographs and planar bone scan are useful diagnostic tools in patients with unspecific wrist pain. Both modalities are deficient, either by not presenting metabolic disorders or due to inadequate anatomical resolution. Single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) claims to fuse both features.
Fifty-one patients with persisting wrist pain were referred for evaluation by SPECT/CT. All patients received X-ray and early-phase/late-phase SPECT/CT imaging. SPECT/CT results were compared with X-ray alone and X-ray combined with planar bone scan. The therapeutic impact was evaluated in consensus with the referring hand surgeon.
A total of 48 lesions were detected on plain radiographs, 117 on planar bone scan, and 142 on SPECT/CT. SPECT/CT detected significantly more lesions than the other imaging modalities. In 30 out of 51 patients (61%), a positive concordance between the clinical diagnosis and SPECT/CT findings was found. In 19 out of 51 patients (37%), SPECT/CT findings had significant impact on consecutive therapy.
SPECT/CT showed higher lesion detection rates compared to standard X-rays and planar bone scan. Significant impact on patient management could be demonstrated. SPECT/CT might be added to the workup of such a specific patient population when standard imaging fails to detect the patient's main pathology.
SPECT/CT; Therapeutic impact; Multimodality imaging; Hand and wrist pain
It has been previously noted that synovial haemangiomas in the hand and wrist are very rare pathological entities. We report the case of a 34-year-old right hand dominant male who presented to his general practitioner with an enlarging left volar wrist/ palmar mass, who further developed symptoms consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome. An MRI scan subsequently confirmed a large, complex mass with area of necrosis and peripheral enhancement. The rate of mass growth and radiological features raised the possibility of a soft tissue malignancy, and the gentleman was urgently referred to our unit for surgical exploration and removal of tumour. Surgical exploration demonstrated a tan-coloured soft tissue mass on the ulnar aspect of the median nerve. It appeared to arise from, and marginally infiltrated, the tendon sheath of the FDP tendon to the ring finger and the lumbrical muscle of the fourth ray; the distal and proximal extent of the tumour was difficult to define due to the diffuse growth of the tumour. Resection was achieved with macroscopic margins, with excellent functional recovery immediately and at 6 month follow-up. Histological analysis was consistent with a synovial haemangioma, comprising of numerous thin-walled blood vessels with a central cystic cavity containing blood and fibrin. Our case further demonstrates the diagnostic challenges posed by compressive neuropathy due to soft tissue masses, even with thorough clinical and radiological assessment. In the context of a rapidly growing tumour, malignancy must always be suspected and might highlight a role for pre-operative biopsy.
Carpal tunnel; synovial angioma; median nerve compression; tumour.