Carpal Boss: Understanding the Bump on Your Hand and Treatment Options


If you’ve got a bony bump on the back of your hand near your wrist, it might be a carpal boss. While this might be surprising to discover, rest assured that it’s a very common and usually harmless condition. However, in some cases, it can cause pain or interfere with your hand function. Here’s what you need to know about carpal boss and your treatment options.

Sideways picture of a right hand indicating where De Quervain's occurs

What is a Carpal Boss?

A carpal boss is an extra growth of bone that forms where the bones of your hand and wrist meet. It can be caused by a variation in how the joint develops and is often simply a quirk of your anatomy. It can also be caused by some minor instability (wobbling!) of those joints so the body, in its wisdom reacts to that instability by creating more bone. Find out more about carpal boss treatment below…

Key Takeaway: A carpal boss is usually nothing to worry about in and of itself.

Why Might It Be a Problem?

For most people, a carpal boss won’t cause any symptoms whatsoever. However, sometimes the bump can:

  • Rub and become irritated from repetitive activities or pressure.
  • Cause a dull ache or tenderness, especially with certain hand movements.
  • In rare cases, be associated with a tendon problem or a small ganglion cyst (a benign, fluid-filled lump).

Key Takeaway: It’s not the bump itself, but what it might be doing that determines if treatment is needed.


Usually, I can diagnose a carpal boss just by examining your hand. To rule out other conditions or check if there are any associated issues, we might get an X-ray.

Key Takeaway: Diagnosing a carpal boss is typically straightforward.

Treatment Options

The good news is that in most cases, no treatment is necessary! Here’s how we approach carpal boss:

  • Observation: If the bump isn’t causing any problems, we simply keep an eye on it.
  • Carpal boss natural treatment: Unfortunately it will ot go away of its own accord and I am not aware of any home treatments for it.
  • Conservative Management: If it’s bothersome, we might try padding, activity modification, or sometimes a splint.
  • Surgery: If the non-surgical options don’t help and the carpal boss is significantly impacting your daily life, we can discuss surgical removal. This is usually a minor procedure that can often be done under local anesthetic.

Key Takeaway: We almost always start with the simplest approach and only consider surgery if truly necessary.

Surgery for Carpal Boss: What to Expect

  • Procedure: The excess bone is carefully removed, and any associated problems (tendonitis, ganglion, etc.) are addressed.
  • Anaesthetic: Often done with local anaesthetic, meaning you’ll be awake but your hand will be numbed.
  • Recovery: Generally quick, with most people getting back to normal activities within a few weeks.

Your Expertise

I have extensive experience diagnosing and treating carpal boss. I’ll help determine if the bump is what’s actually causing your symptoms and will discuss all your options with you so you can make an informed decision about treatment.


If you’re concerned about a bump on your hand, or it’s causing pain or functional problems, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation. Let’s determine if it’s a carpal boss and discuss the best course of action for you.


The information provided in this blog is intended for general knowledge and informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. It is essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and any questions related to a medical condition. The author, contributors, and publisher of this blog shall not be liable for any direct or indirect losses or damages related to the use of the information presented herein.

Meet Ali Phillips, Your Orthopaedic Hand and Trauma Surgeon

Ali Phillips is a fellowship-trained hand surgeon dedicated to educating and empowering his patients. He believes in clear information and shared decision-making. When not in the clinic, you might find him wing foiling or on a cycling adventure. Connect: @ali.thehandsurgeon on IG, Twitter/X, Threads, FB and TikTok


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