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Arthroscopic Wafer Procedure Versus Ulnar Shortening Osteotomy for Treatment of Idiopathic Ulnar Impaction Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial

      Purpose

      We compared the arthroscopic wafer procedure (AWP) and ulnar shortening osteotomy (USO) for treatment of idiopathic ulnar impaction syndrome in terms of clinical, functional improvement and time of return to work.

      Methods

      This single-center study was conducted at an academic level 1 referral center between 2014 and 2020. Sixty patients with idiopathic ulnar impaction syndrome were prospectively randomized to treatment with either AWP or USO. At the final follow-up, patients were evaluated by the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand; the Modified Mayo Wrist Score; the visual analog scale for pain; wrist range of motion; and grip strength. Also, the time of return to work and complications were reported.

      Results

      The mean follow-up periods were 22 ± 5.7 months in the AWP group and 21.1 ± 5.3 months in the USO group. All patients in the USO group achieved union by 12 weeks. At the final follow-up, there were no statistically significant differences in the outcome measures (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score; Modified Mayo Wrist Score; visual analog scale score; range of motion; and grip strength) in either group. Fewer complications and an earlier return to work were observed in the AWP group.

      Conclusions

      Both techniques yielded comparable outcomes, with earlier return to work, a lower incidence of complications, and fewer secondary procedures in the AWP group.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Therapeutic II.

      Key words

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