Your wrists and hands are intricate combinations of bones, tendons, and ligaments. Namely, one small part of the wrist is the carpal tunnel, which protects the tendons and the median nerve that are essential to the function of the wrist and fingers. The carpal ligament extends over the carpal tunnel and stabilizes the structures in the wrist. So, when carpal ligament instability occurs, people often experience wrist pain, weakness, and stiffness.
What Exactly Is the Carpal Ligament?
The carpal ligament is a cord that sits across the top of the carpal tunnel in the wrist and connects bones to other bones. The carpal tunnel is an arc of bone and creates a passage for the median nerve, which extends through the middle of the forearm. In addition to the carpal ligament, nine tendons pass through the carpal tunnel from the forearm to the fingers!
Understanding Carpal Ligament Instability
Carpal ligament instability refers to a condition in which the carpal ligament is forced out of its regular alignment and movement under physical pressure. With carpal ligament instability, the hand, wrist, and forearm joints can become unstable when the carpal ligament strays from its normal alignment.
Signs of Carpal Ligament Instability
- Chronic pain
Carpal ligament instability can lead to lasting pain. The hand, wrist, and forearm are used for basic, everyday tasks. So, when the carpal ligament falls out of alignment and causes joint instability, it can stress the tissues in the affected areas, leading to pain.
The instability of the carpal ligament and the affected joints can cause weakness in the hand, wrist, and forearm.
- Stiffness and reduced range of motion
With carpal instability, patients typically experience a reduced range of motion in the hand, wrist, and forearm. This is because carpal instability displaces the balance of the carpal joint and the radioulnar joints.
Carpal ligament instability can lead to cracking and popping in the wrist. Left untreated, this can cause wear and tear on the wrist joint and increase the risk of developing arthritis.
Stem Cell Therapy and PRP For Carpal Ligament Instability
Pain and stiffness associated with carpal ligament instability can be improved with stem cell therapy and PRP. These regenerative treatments work by stimulating the body’s natural healing process to repair injured tissue. By regenerating damaged cells in the wrist, PRP and/or stem cell therapy can resolve symptoms of carpal ligament instability.