Extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) dislocation or subluxation is a condition in which an athlete notices a recurrent snapping sensation on the dorsum (back) of the wrist. People often call it snapping wrist or snapping ECU.

What is snapping ECU, or snapping wrist?

This condition results from an injury that tears the tissue that holds this extensor tendon in place on the back of the wrist. A baseball player who turn his wrist while swinging the bat or a tennis player turning his or her wrist or rotating the forearm to hit a groundstroke might feel the tendon slide back and forth over the bony prominence on the wrist (ulnar styloid).

Snapping ECU tendons - or snapping wrist - can be a challenging problem for athletes.

Treatment of snapping ECU

Treatment of extensor carpi ulnaris dislocation or subluxation can involve placement of the athlete’s wrist in a cast to try to get the torn tissue to heal to prevent the tendon from sliding out of place. Unfortunately, it can become a recurring problem, so surgery to repair this tissue is often needed.

Also read:
Wrist injury: Common injuries of the wrist and hand in sports and exercise
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Frequent questions about this common hand and wrist problem

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