Midterm Outcomes of the Use of a Spherical Ulnar Head Prosthesis for Failed Sauvé-Kapandji Procedures


      The use of a spherical ulnar head prosthesis (UHP) for the treatment of symptomatic radioulnar convergence after Sauvé-Kapandji (SK) procedure has shown promising results in the short term. This study aims to evaluate the midterm outcome of the original cohort of patients treated with this technique.


      Seventeen patients with unstable ulnar stumps confirmed both clinically and radiographically were studied. The etiology for the initial SK procedure included posttraumatic distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) incongruity, primary DRUJ arthrosis, and dysplastic DRUJ. Fourteen of the 17 patients had a minimum of 2, and a maximum of 6, operations prior to having a spherical UHP. All patients suffered from severe pain with difficulty in performing work and daily activities. Ceramic UHP was used for all patients, except 2 in whom a cobalt chrome head was used.


      The average follow-up was 6 years (range, 4–17 years). A marked reduction in pain was observed with 11 patients reporting that they remained pain free. The range of motion of the wrist and power grip was maintained and showed a statistically significant improvement at the late follow-up. The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score also significantly improved from 77 to 41. There were no signs of prosthetic loosening at the midterm follow-up. The 2 patients with cobalt chrome prostheses had pain and osteolysis requiring revision to total DRUJ prosthesis. Two patients with dorsal prosthetic subluxation were successfully treated with distal radial osteotomy.


      The midterm results of ceramic spherical UHP for failed SK procedures in this small patient series are encouraging.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Therapeutic IV.

      Key words

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