Chronic scapholunate instability treated with temporary screw fixation

  • Fok M
  • Fernandez D
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Abstract

Purpose To determine the efficacy of scapholunate (SL) temporary screw fixation to maintain the reduction of SL interval after ligament debridement, repair, or reconstruction. Methods A total of 36 patients who had chronic SL instability were included. Arthroscopic debridement was performed for dynamic instability, and primary repair or reconstruction of the SL ligament was performed for static instability. We then used SL screw fixation for the protection of the repair or reconstruction. Screws were removed when loosening was noted on x-ray. Results The average patient age was 43 years. Eleven had dynamic instability, and 25 had static instability. The average follow-up was 7.9 years. Nearly 95% of the patients had no more than mild pain. The average ranges of movement of the wrist were 55° extension, 51° flexion, 26° ulnar deviation, and 15° radial deviation. Postoperative x-ray revealed an average SL angle of 56°. The average SL gap was 2.5 mm. Both of these radiographic parameters were maintained at final follow-up. Dorsal intercalated segmental instability (DISI) deformity was not corrected in 2 patients. One patient had avascular changes in the proximal scaphoid and lunate but remained asymptomatic at 7 years postoperatively. There was no further intercarpal and radiocarpal degeneration. Conclusions Temporary SL screw fixation together with arthroscopic debridement, ligament repair, or reconstruction provided a stable closure of the SL interval and satisfactory clinical and functional results along with a low incidence of complication. Type of study/level of evidence Therapeutic IV.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Chronic scapholunate dissociation
  • scapholunate instability
  • screw fixation

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Authors

  • Margaret Woon Man Fok

  • Diego L. Fernandez

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