Treatment of radiocarpal degenerative osteoarthritis by radioscapholunate arthrodesis and distal scaphoidectomy.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess wrist pain, range of motion, and the presence of radiographic midcarpal degenerative joint disease (DJD) in patients who had a distal scaphoidectomy in association to a radioscapholunate (RSL) arthrodesis and to compare these findings with prior studies of patients with only an RSL fusion. METHODS: Sixteen patients with radiocarpal DJD treated by RSL arthrodesis and distal scaphoidectomy were evaluated retrospectively for pain relief and range of motion at an average follow-up period of 37 months (range, 12-84 mo). Radiographs were assessed for the presence of secondary radiographic midcarpal DJD. RESULTS: Complete pain relief was obtained in 10 patients, 3 patients complained of slight pain during strenuous loading, and 3 patients had occasional pain with regular activities. The average postoperative ranges of motion were 32 degrees of flexion, 35 degrees of extension, 14 degrees of radial deviation, and 19 degrees of ulnar deviation. Two patients exhibited secondary midcarpal DJD. These results are significantly better compared with those previously published about RSL arthrodesis alone in terms of residual pain and decrease of wrist radial deviation and flexion. CONCLUSIONS: Patients who require an RSL arthrodesis for the treatment of severe localized radiocarpal DJD appear to have less pain and to retain more flexion and radial deviation if the distal scaphoid is excised concomitantly. This associated procedure also may help prevent secondary midcarpal DJD.