Carpometacarpal Boss: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 24. April 2017 10:16

Carpometacarpal Boss or Carpal Boss is a condition that occurs due to deterioration of the joints situated at the back of the basal joints of the middle or index fingers. A bony overgrowth forms on the back of the wrist at the base of the metacarpal bones of either of the two fingers. Generally seen in people aged between 20 to 40 years, this condition can affect anyone.


  • Traumatic injury
  • Activities that involve repetitive wrist motion
  • Frequently playing sports such as badminton, tennis or golf
  • Wear and tear of the cartilage lining
  • Thickening of the soft tissue


  • Inflammation at the back of the hand in the index or middle fingers
  • Pain in the affected area
  • A hard, immovable bump on the back of the wrist
  • Breaking of the tendons that aid in straightening the fingers


  • The orthopedic doctor will note down the complete medical history of the patient along with the visible symptoms
  • He will also ask questions regarding any physical injury or trauma to the hand or wrist
  • A detailed physical examination of the wrist and hand is also done to look for pain and tenderness
  • Imaging tests such as X-Ray can be conducted by the doctor to confirm the diagnosis of Carpal Boss
  • EMG or nerve conduction studies can be done to have a clear picture of the nerve damage in the affected area


Initial treatment for Carpal Boss generally include conservative options.

Non-surgical treatment

  • The patient is advised to modify or limit the activities associated with wrist and hand
  • Pain medications might be recommended by the doctor to reduce discomfort and ease the symptoms
  • Application of ice packs can reduce swelling in the affected area
  • Muscle relaxants also aid in providing relief from pain and inflammation to a certain extent
  • Gentle massage in the affected area might also prove to be beneficial
  • Steroid injections can also calm down the painful symptoms
  • The doctor can use a wrist splint for immobilization of the hand till swelling subsides

Surgical Treatment

  • Surgery may be necessary if any of the above treatment methods fail to provide relief
  • A procedure known as Carpal Boss excision is performed after administering local anesthesia to the patient
  • The surgical procedure involves creating a small incision in the affected area of the wrist
  • Any soft tissue abnormality or arthritic joint is removed
  • If the pain still does not go away, a separate medical procedure is conducted
  • It involves fusing the joints for complete relief

For comprehensive treatment of Carpometacarpal Boss and other orthopedic conditions of the hand, consult Dr. Christopher D. Allmon. To schedule an appointment, call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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