Current Concepts| Volume 47, ISSUE 8, P772-782, August 2022

Radiocarpal Fusion: Indications, Technique, and Modifications

      Degenerative disorders of the wrist may affect isolated joints and inhibit normal functions of the wrist secondary to pain and stiffness. These processes that affect only the radiocarpal joint may be secondary to posttraumatic osteoarthritis, primary osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Radiocarpal wrist arthrodesis may help preserve some of the native wrist kinematics while alleviating pain and improving the range of motion. However, the surgeon must ensure that the patient’s pathologic process primarily affects the radiocarpal articulations while relatively sparing the midcarpal articulations. Depending on the location of the pathology, isolated radiolunate or radioscapholunate arthrodesis have been described to preserve some motion in the midcarpal joint. To maximize motion in the midcarpal joint after radiocarpal arthrodesis, techniques for distal scaphoid and triquetrum excision have been described. We report patient outcomes for various techniques and describe our preferred technique for radioscapholunate arthrodesis using distal scaphoid excision.

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