Case Study Reveals 'Percussionist Wrist'
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Percussionists may be at
risk for wrist overuse injuries, a case study suggests.
The case involved a 70-year-old man with a growing, but
painless, mass on his left wrist, according to rheumatologists at
the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. A similar growth on
the man's right wrist had cleared up without treatment. The patient
had no obvious recent injuries to his wrists or hands, but he had
been a professional percussionist for more than 30 years.
Both of the man's hands were stiff and he had limited movement
of the wrists. Fluid drained from the mass on his left wrist showed
no signs of infection, but X-rays revealed a wrist deformity called
scapholunate advanced collapse (SLAC) -- a collapse of certain
bones in the wrist joint.
SLAC is a common form of arthritis that can be caused by such
things as trauma and manual labor. Surgery to correct the wrist
deformity may be required in cases where SLAC causes pain, but this
patient did not need surgery.
The researchers, Dr. Naoto Yokogawa and Dr. H. Ralph Schumacher
Jr., also said an MRI scan showed that the mass on the man's left
wrist was caused by tenosynovitis -- inflammation of the tissues
that surround the wrist tendons. This is a common problem in
This unusual case of "percussionist's wrist" appeared to be an
overuse injury similar to elbow tendonitis or knee problems that
can develop in runners. In this case, repeated "microtrauma" caused
damage to the wrist ligaments over time, eventually leading to the
SLAC wrist deformity, according to the doctors.
The report is published in the August issue of
JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more about
arthritis of the wrist.
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