The role of arthroscopy for treatment of perilunate injuries

Guillaume Herzberg, Marion Burnier, Antoine Marc, Lorenzo Merlini, Yadar Izem
Journal of Wrist Surgery 2015, 4 (2): 101-9
Background Open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) is currently the gold standard treatment of acute perilunate injuries (PLIs). Less invasive surgery, including arthroscopic techniques, has recently emerged in the hope that results similar to those of ORIF could be obtained with less tissue disturbance. Our purpose was to review retrospectively a series of selected PLIs treated with arthroscopic assistance over the past 10 years. Materials and Methods Between 2004 and 2014, a total of 135 acute PLIs were surgically treated in our unit. A total of 27 patients were treated with arthroscopic assistance, among whom 18 were reviewed clinically and radiologically. Description of Technique After an initial closed gross reduction, radio- and midcarpal arthroscopy were performed to clean up the debris and assess the cartilaginous, bony, and ligamentous damage. In 22 cases arthroscopy was followed by either radiolunate and lunotriquetral pinning, scapholunate ligament repair, and SL joint pinning or ORIF of a scaphoid fracture through a mini-invasive dorsal approach. In the remaining six cases, fixation of the ligamentous and/or bony injuries was done using arthroscopy alone. Results Arthroscopic findings are presented as well as the clinical results in a subgroup of patients. At final follow-up, visual analog scale (VAS) pain was rated 18/100 on average (minimum 0, maximum 50). If we consider only the patients without reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD; n = 14), the average active wrist flexion-extension was 87° (58% of the normal contralateral side) and the average grip strength was 30 kg (71% of the normal contralateral side). Conclusions Although no statistical comparisons were made, we found that the results were similar to those of ORIF. The results of our study suggest that the use of arthroscopy to treat selected PLIs may be a reliable adjunct either alone or in combination with a dorsal mini-open approach.

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