Luis Aguilella, Luis Gil-Santos
Diagnosing wrist pain syndromes can be approached through a systematic assessment of each of the tissues that compose the wrist: skin, muscles and tendons, bones and joints, blood vessels and nerves. This methodology tends to prolong the anamnesis and physical examination substantially. A more practical method in the context of intense daily clinical activity is to classify these pain syndromes by topographic area so that the differential diagnosis is narrower and the examination is more selective.
This chapter explains how to clinically diagnose the principal pain syndromes of the wrist, which we divide into three groups by location: radial pain, central pain, and ulnar pain. We will also suggest which complementary imaging tests and other diagnostic techniques can be used to confirm the clinical suspicion. While readers should already be familiar with the anatomy of this region, we will review certain anatomical structures as appropriate. Acute injuries such as fractures and dislocations are excluded from the differential diagnosis.