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The Intercalated Segment: Does the Triquetrum Move in Synchrony With the Lunate?

Published:October 06, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhsa.2021.08.014

      Purpose

      To quantify the relative motion between the lunate and triquetrum during functional wrist movements and to examine the impact of wrist laxity on triquetral motion.

      Methods

      A digital database of wrist bone anatomy and carpal kinematics for 10 healthy volunteers in 10 different positions was used to study triquetral kinematics. The orientation of radiotriquetral (RT) and radiolunate rotation axes was compared during a variety of functional wrist movements, including radioulnar deviation (RUD) and flexion-extension (FE), and during a hammering task. The motion of the triquetrum relative to the radius during wrist RUD was compared with passive FE range of motion measurements (used as a surrogate measure for wrist laxity).

      Results

      The difference in the orientation of the radiolunate and RT rotation axes was less than 20° during most of the motions studied, except for radial deviation and for the first stage of the hammering task. During wrist RUD, the orientation of the RT rotation axis varied as a function of passive FE wrist range of motion.

      Conclusions

      The suggestion that the lunate and triquetrum move together as an intercalated segment may be an oversimplification. We observed synchronous movement during some motions, but as the wrist entered RUD, the lunate and triquetrum no longer moved synchronously. These findings challenge the assumptions behind models describing the mechanical function of the carpals.

      Clinical relevance

      Individual-specific differences in the amount of relative motion between the triquetrum and lunate may contribute to the variability in outcomes following lunotriquetral arthrodesis. Variation in triquetral motion patterns may also have an impact on the ability of the triquetrum to extend the lunate, affecting the development of carpal instability.

      Key words

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