ABC7’s The More in the Morning team spoke with Dr. Michael K. Kim, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, about Carpal Boss, a painful bump on the back of the wrist. A carpal boss, also known as a carpometacarpal boss or a bossing, is a bony lump on your wrist where your finger bones meet the bones of your arm.
Most people with a carpal boss don’t have any symptoms. The condition only requires treatment if it becomes painful or starts to limit the range of motion in your wrist.
Sometimes the bump becomes tender to the touch or painful when you move your wrist. Some people also experience painful snapping of nearby tendons when they move over the bony lump. Researchers believe these symptoms might be a result of another underlying condition, such as:
- Tendon damage
Dr. Kim can surgically remove the bump. This is a very straightforward outpatient procedure that usually takes less than an hour to do. You’ll receive local anesthesia, regional, or general anesthesia before Dr. Kim makes a small incision in the back of your hand. Next, he'll insert surgical instruments through this incision to remove the bump.
Following surgery, you’ll likely be able to start using your hand within a week, and return to your usual activities within two to six weeks.
Some people require a second procedure after having a carpal boss removed. This procedure is called carpometacarpal arthrodesis. It involves removing damaged bone and cartilage to help stabilize your wrist. Depending on your symptoms, Dr. Kim might recommend this procedure over just removing the carpal boss.