JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Functional outcome of open reduction of chronic perilunate injuries.

PURPOSE: Perilunate injuries are complex and occasionally go unrecognized acutely. Open reduction and internal fixation is a valid treatment option for these injuries. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the functional outcome of treating chronic perilunate injuries with open reduction and internal fixation.

METHODS: Between 1998 and 2007, we treated 24 patients for chronic perilunate injuries. We excluded 5 patients from this study because they underwent proximal row carpectomy or limited wrist arthrodesis. We treated the remaining 19 patients with open reduction and internal fixation. Mean time from injury to surgery was 29 weeks. All patients were men, with a mean age of 27 years. A total of 13 patients had fracture dislocations (group 1); of these, 11 were transscaphoid and 2 were transscaphoid transcapitate fracture dislocations. Six patients had perilunate dislocations (group 2).

RESULTS: Postoperative follow-up averaged 58 months. All carpal fractures healed at an average of 18 weeks. At final evaluation, the average pain scores during rest, daily activities, and manual work on a 20-point visual analog scale were 0, 2, and 3, respectively, with no significant difference between groups. The active extension and flexion of the wrist averaged 39% and 52% of the uninjured side, respectively. Grip strength averaged 87% of the uninvolved extremity. According to the Mayo wrist scoring system, 58% of all patients (69% of group 1 and 33% of group 2) achieved good to excellent results. A total of 18 patients returned to their original work activities; 14 patients (74%) were very satisfied. No patients required secondary procedures.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite late presentation, patients with chronic perilunate injuries can be treated with open reduction internal fixation, with satisfactory results. Patients with lesser arc injuries have less successful outcome. Patients with irreducible dislocations or major articular damage may require wrist salvage procedures.

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