What is a Carpal Boss?

When a patient sees a Hand & Wrist Specialist for a painful bony bump on the wrist where the fingers meet the arm bones, they may have what’s known as a Carpal Boss, also known as a bossing, or carpometacarpal boss. Ganglion cysts and other conditions may sometimes look like a Carpal Boss, so orthopedic specialists urge patients to get a proper diagnosis from a specialist. 

What Causes a Carpal Boss?

Many different conditions may end up forming a Carpal Boss, such as:

  • Abnormal Bones. If your wrist bones formed incorrectly when you were born, then you may have or develop a carpal boss.
  • ‌Arthritis. The wrist joint cartilage can suffer damage from conditions such as arthritis, possibly leading to the growth of bone spurs. A bone spur growing in a certain area can sometimes appear as a Carpal Boss.
  • Overuse. Repetitive overuse of the wrist can irritate the cartilage, leading to bossing.
  • Injuries. Traumatic impacts to the wrist can lead to broken bones that push together to develop a carpal boss.