The presentation, diagnosis and management of non-traumatic wrist pain: an evaluation of current practice in secondary care in the UK NHS

Review written by Ian Gatt info

Key Points

  1. Non-traumatic wrist pain is a significant burden to secondary care in the UK.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Non-specific wrist pain is a common problem with a prevalence of approximately 10% in the general population (1). The variability in local health-care systems within the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK indicates that pathways for non-traumatic wrist pain are likely to be varied (2). There is limited literature on the presentation, diagnosis, and management of non-traumatic wrist pain in both musculoskeletal service for initial diagnostics and treatment, and secondary care services.

This study therefore aimed to assess the overall proportion of referrals for non-traumatic wrist pain received by specialist hand and wrist clinics in the UK, describing demographics, potential diagnoses, investigations, and interventions performed.

Non-specific wrist pain is a common problem with a prevalence of approximately 10% in the general population.
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It is crucial to consider all the information obtained from a thorough clinical assessment rather than solely relying on an investigation to confirm a diagnosis.

METHODS

  • 10 consecutive patients who presented with non-traumatic wrist pain were identified from specialist hand and wrist clinics in 16 UK hospitals. These patients were identified retrospectively by reviewing all new referrals from January 2017 onwards.
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