SNAC Wrist2024-05-08T09:16:55+00:00

SNAC Wrist

SNAC Wrist

Recognising the Symptoms of SNAC Wrist

Painful wrist – (SNAC) Osteoarthritis

Chronic wrist pain that just won’t go away could be a sign of SNAC wrist. This type of arthritis can be complex, but I’m here to offer a full evaluation and discuss the most effective treatment options tailored to your needs, from splints and hand therapy to injections and surgery.

Understanding SNAC Wrist

SNAC wrist is a progressive form of arthritis that can cause significant pain and disability over time. Being aware of the signs can prompt evaluation and treatment. Here’s what you should know:

  • Symptoms: Chronic wrist pain that worsens over time, stiffness, and reduced grip strength.
  • Causes: Collapse of a small wrist bone (scaphoid) due to various factors.
  • Treatment: Varies depending on the severity, ranging from non-surgical approaches to surgical interventions.

Don’t ignore worsening wrist pain. I’m here to help diagnose SNAC wrist and create a tailored treatment plan to preserve your hand function.


SNAC (Scaphoid Nonunion Advanced Collapse) Wrist is a condition that results from an untreated or improperly healed scaphoid fracture. This condition leads to arthritis and collapse of the wrist bones due to the disrupted blood flow and subsequent degeneration of the scaphoid bone.

The primary cause of SNAC Wrist is a fracture of the scaphoid bone that has not united or healed properly. This nonunion can disrupt the normal distribution of forces across the wrist, eventually leading to degenerative changes and arthritis in the joint.

Individuals who have sustained a scaphoid fracture are at risk, especially those whose initial injury was not diagnosed promptly or was inadequately treated. Young adults and athletes who engage in sports with a high risk of falls or wrist impacts are particularly susceptible.

Symptoms typically include chronic wrist pain, swelling, decreased range of motion, and a gradual worsening of pain during activities that involve wrist motion. There may also be a noticeable decrease in grip strength.

Diagnosis usually involves a detailed medical history and physical examination followed by imaging tests. X-rays are commonly used to identify bone alignment and signs of arthritis, while MRI or CT scans can provide more detailed images of the bone and soft tissues.

A SNAC Wrist does not heal on its own and generally worsens over time without treatment. Early intervention is crucial to manage symptoms and prevent further joint degeneration.

Treatment options depend on the stage of the condition and severity of symptoms. Non-surgical treatments include wrist splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroid injections. Surgical options might involve procedures to remove or repair the non-united scaphoid, reconstruct the wrist, or in advanced cases, perform a partial or total wrist fusion.

Managing daily activities involves modifying tasks to reduce wrist strain, using ergonomic tools, and possibly wearing a supportive brace. Occupational therapy can provide guidance on how to adjust your daily routines to accommodate and protect your wrist.

The best prevention is to treat scaphoid fractures promptly and properly. Ensure that any wrist injuries are evaluated by a medical professional quickly to avoid complications like nonunion and subsequent SNAC Wrist.

The long-term outlook can vary based on the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of treatment. Early and appropriate management can help maintain wrist function and minimise pain, but some degree of limitation in wrist mobility and function may be inevitable as the condition progresses.

Go to Top