JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Wrist arthroscopy without distraction. A technique to visualise instability of the wrist after a ligamentous tear.

We describe a technique for arthroscopy of the wrist which is carried out without traction and with the arm lying horizontally on the operating table. The wrist is not immobilised, which makes it possible to assess the extent of instability after a ligamentous tear. In a prospective study of 30 patients we compared this technique with conventional wrist arthroscopy, performing the new method first followed by conventional arthroscopy. The advantages are that the horizontal position of the arm allows the surgeon to proceed directly from arthroscopic diagnosis to treatment, and that no change of position is required for fluoroscopy. In terms of diagnostic sensitivity, we found our technique matched that of conventional arthroscopy. We had no difficulty in carrying out minor surgical procedures such as debridement and suturing.

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