RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, NON-P.H.S.
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Scaphoid and lunate translation in the intact wrist and following ligament resection: a cadaver study.

PURPOSE: To determine the amount of scaphoid and lunate translation that occurs in normal cadaver wrists during wrist motion, and to quantify the change in ulnar translation when specific dorsal and volar wrist ligaments were sectioned.

METHODS: We measured the scaphoid and lunate motion of 37 cadaver wrists during wrist radioulnar deviation and flexion-extension motions using a wrist joint motion simulator. We quantified the location of the centroids of the bones during each motion in the intact wrists and after sectioning either 2 dorsal ligaments along with the scapholunate interosseous ligament or 2 volar ligaments and the scapholunate interosseous ligament.

RESULTS: In the intact wrist, the scaphoid and lunate statistically translated radially with wrist ulnar deviation. With wrist flexion, the scaphoid moved volarly and the lunate dorsally. After sectioning either the dorsal or volar ligaments, the scaphoid moved radially. After sectioning the dorsal or volar ligaments, the lunate statistically moved ulnarly and volarly.

CONCLUSIONS: Measurable changes in the scaphoid and lunate translation occur with wrist motion and change with ligament sectioning. However, for the ligaments that were sectioned, these changes are small and an attempt to clinically measure these translations of the scaphoid and lunate radiographically may be limited. The results support the conclusion that ulnar translocation does not occur unless multiple ligaments are sectioned. Injury of more than the scapholunate interosseous ligament along with either the dorsal intercarpal and dorsal radiocarpal or the radioscaphocapitate and scaphotrapezial ligaments is needed to have large amounts of volar and ulnar translation.

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