Hand Wrist Wrist Pain

7 causes of ulnar-sided wrist pain

people, healthcare and problem concept - close up of man suffering from pain in hand oe wrist at home

The “pinkie” side of the wrist is also known as the ulnar side. Pain on this side can be very common. It can result from injury to bones, cartilage, ligaments or tendons. Due to this wide range of causes, it can be difficult to determine why the pain is happening. Here are some possible causes of ulnar-sided wrist pain:

  1. Wrist fracture
  2. Arthritis of the joint(s) between the bones
  3. Ulnar Impaction Syndrome (when the ulna is longer than the radius, which can cause it to “bump into” the smaller wrist bones)
  4. Inflammation or irritation of the tendons that bend and extend the wrist
  5. Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Injury (TFCC) (when the connection between the ulna bone and other structures in the wrist is torn by an injury or frayed over time)
  6. Nerve injury or compression
  7. Tumors, most commonly ganglion cysts, that are benign

If you are having pain in your wrist, visit a hand surgeon. Your doctor will examine your wrist and potentially take x-rays to determine the cause of pain. Treatment options can include activity modification, splints, therapy, medicine or surgery. Visit www.HandCare.org to learn more and to find a hand surgeon.

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21 Comments
  • Lauren
    February 10, 2019 at 12:26 AM
    Reply

    I’m 13 and my right wrist have been clicking for about a month. It clicks when I move my hand up and down, and there’s a little bit of pain. Not much, but pretty annoying because I play the xylophone in the marching band and I use my wrist a lot. What should I do and if I had to see a doctor, what doctor should I visit? Thanks.

    • Sam
      February 15, 2019 at 5:45 PM
      Reply

      Hi there. I played marimba in high school (marching and indoor) and majored in percussion. Please assess your technique; this is critical. My technique may have been wrong, but nowadays at age 25 I have hand and wrist pain. Part of that is overuse, but please have your instructor or tech assess your technique and keep it in mind while you play; everything from warmups to shows. Ice and rest!

  • Andre michel Bissonnette
    February 8, 2019 at 10:59 AM
    Reply

    I am having wrist pain right below my pinky. the wrist locks and I am unable to move it up and down with out severe pain. I believe it is a tendon problem because I can feel the tendon moving around the bones. Is there a treatment for this type of injury. I am a gas fitter for many years now and pull on wrenches. I believe this is where the issue is coming from

  • Kandy
    February 4, 2019 at 9:21 PM
    Reply

    For about two months now the ulnar side above the bone has been hurting, loss of strength and no injury that I remember. I’m not sure if it’s ligament or tendends, but it don’t tingle nor does it shoot pain. I have tried to tape it but no help.

  • Ike
    January 28, 2019 at 8:04 PM
    Reply

    I was punching a a heavy bag (100lbs) about a month ago with wrist wraps, and I punched and my wrist kinda collapsed a little bit, it hurt a little right then, but felt fine after a couple minutes, so I kept punching. The next day it hurt when I did certain motions, but I ignored it. A couple weeks after that, it suddenly got worse, and I noticed it when I was holding my laptop and flipping it over. It hurt a lot! Since then it has been 2 weeks, it hurts occasionally, and it’s not getting better. What should I do?

    • January 29, 2019 at 7:40 AM
      Reply

      Ike,

      We highly recommend that you visit a hand specialist as soon as possible. The longer you delay treatment, the higher your risk of permanent damage to your hand. You can find one of our board-certified hand surgeons at http://www.findahandsurgeon.com.

      Sincerely,
      Staff
      American Society for Surgery of the Hand

  • Carlos
    January 15, 2019 at 6:57 AM
    Reply

    I was on a water park and this ride was pretty intese. I hold on for dear life and the next day the side of my wrist hurts a lot. But I can still move it around but the pain remains. Its been months now.

  • Michelle Bradley
    December 19, 2018 at 7:50 PM
    Reply

    I hurt my left wrist just below my pinky almost a year and a half ago playing with my dog. First diagnosed as a sprain, now after an MRI I was given a steroid shot and now the Orthopedic doctor wants to do surgery. I there any other alternative like casting so I cannot use my hand. I have been splinted and have had wrist supports, but because I can take them off I still have pain and sometimes the wrist supports are uncomfortable. Any suggestions?

    • Benjamin Jacobs, MD
      December 24, 2018 at 12:46 PM
      Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      You have asked a very difficult question to answer without seeing your hand. The questions you ask about non-surgical measures to treat your hand and wrist are excellent questions, but the answer really depends on the specifics of your hand/wrist problem. You absolutely should discuss these questions with your surgeon before you have the procedure so you are comfortable with your decision to move forward with surgery.

      Benjamin Jacobs, MD
      Chair, Public Education Committee
      American Society for Surgery of the Hand

  • Amr
    October 20, 2018 at 2:08 AM
    Reply

    I injured my ulnar wrist a week ago while clean and jerking heavy weights
    I can do all kinds of activities except anything with a 90degrees push
    Pain in ulnar and pinky

    • AJ
      November 16, 2018 at 8:02 PM
      Reply

      I also started having wrist pain which I first noticed while doing dumbbell snatches, KB push presses and cleans and jerks now the pain is ridiculous doing push ups, bear crawls, anything weight bearing. also a lot of snapping when i turn or rotate my wrist. Have you had your wrist examined yet? I’m going to make an appointment.

  • Chris Copeland
    October 2, 2018 at 7:49 PM
    Reply

    Please add hamate bone fractures. I was misdiagnosed by 3 doctors including an orthopedic surgeon for tendonitis, 5 weeks later after begging the ortho to re-evaluate me I got an MRI that revealed a fracture.

  • Ethel Read
    September 8, 2018 at 5:53 AM
    Reply

    It’s a shame that you do not give recommendations for treatment!!!

  • linda
    August 27, 2018 at 9:41 PM
    Reply

    I have not hurt my wrist. last week it started hurting. If i lift something it hurts worse..

  • ron heinen
    May 23, 2018 at 2:43 PM
    Reply

    Back in 1972 I broke my right wrist, in particular the radius knob. It healed fine and I had the use of it for 46 years before it decided to act up. The symptoms at first were just a looseness in the wrist but now it is painful most of the time. Cortisone shots help but not for long. My question is there something that can be done besides total immobilization at this point.

  • Cindy
    April 22, 2018 at 4:59 PM
    Reply

    I stressed/pulled my pinkie while picking up a pile of catalogs. It gets better and then I reinjure it by picking up catalogs or other heavy items. How can I protect it so it heals comoletelt?

  • Ahmed
    April 19, 2018 at 10:19 AM
    Reply

    My lower wrist hurts from the ulnar side not strong pain but sensitive( just touching hurts)

  • Dan
    February 14, 2018 at 5:27 PM
    Reply

    I hurt my wrist my wrist 7 weeks. I got hit on my wrist playing in a basketball game. The xrays were negative. I wore a brace for 6 weeks. My wrist never swelled up. I didn’t have any pain unless i was throwing a baseball, football or shooting a basketball. I had no loss in strength i am able 2 do push-ups bench curl. No problem at all. I just starting my sports activities back and i still have a pain that kills when i do activities

    • rams
      April 19, 2018 at 8:29 AM
      Reply

      Are you still having the pain???

  • adrienne conger
    January 31, 2018 at 11:53 AM
    Reply

    My pain alternates between the two wrists and if I apply pressure to the bone it feels better?

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