Surgical technique for the treatment of radial wrist pain
AbstractChronic radial wrist pain with no radiographic evidence of scapholunate instability or other wrist disease can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Our purpose was to evaluate the results of an operation to treat chronic radial or periscaphoid wrist pain that has failed to respond to conservative treatment. We examined the scapholunate ligament and performed a dorsal capsulodesis. One hundred-and-two patients were reviewed retrospectively. Casenotes were available for 88 patients. Function, pain, range of movement (ROM), and grip and pinch strengths were evaluated. Twenty (23%) of the patients were found to have a scapholunate ligament tear of 0–30%, 55 (61%) had a tear of 30%–60%, and 14 (16%) had a tear of 60%–100%. Mean postoperative grip strength was 29.5 kg (80% of the normal side). Postoperative range of movement was significantly limited in flexion compared with the normal side. All patients returned to their previous employment. Seventy (80%) of the patients described improvement in pain and function. Twenty-two (25%) required further operation on the same wrist. This procedure may be indicated in patients with chronic radial wrist pain and no overt instability that is resistant to conservative treatment. It has minimal morbidity and gives good results.