JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Current Perspectives on Complex Wrist Fracture-Dislocations.

Although perilunate injuries represent only 5% of all carpal injuries, they compose a spectrum of devastating complex wrist injuries. Perilunate injuries result from high-energy trauma to the wrist and may be associated with multiple fractures, dislocations, and ligament injuries. Although the diagnosis of a perilunate injury is made via radiographic assessment, missed diagnosis occurs in 25% of patients with a perilunate injury. Immediate diagnosis of perilunate injuries is critical to optimize patient outcomes. Closed reduction of perilunate injuries is performed to avoid permanent damage to the median nerve and other compromised structures. As swelling subsides, open reduction is performed to restore anatomic alignment, attain stable fixation, and repair the ligaments. Despite optimal management of perilunate injuries, complications, including median nerve dysfunction, complex regional pain syndrome, carpal instability, and late posttraumatic arthritis, may occur. Satisfactory outcomes can be achieved in patients with a perilunate injury via prompt recognition and timely surgical management. Although radiographic signs of arthritis develop in many patients with a perilunate injury, these radiographic signs do not necessarily correlate with functional outcomes. Some patients with a perilunate injury require salvage procedures for the management of persistent complications. Radiocarpal fracture-dislocations are a complex wrist fracture-dislocation pattern. Radiocarpal fracture-dislocations generally result from high-energy trauma and are characterized by a carpal dislocation, which usually involves a small portion of the rim of the dorsal or volar aspect of the distal radius. Neurologic dysfunction and elevated intracompartment pressure may be present in patients with a radiocarpal fracture-dislocation. Wrist fracture-dislocations are associated with a number of complications, including intercarpal instability, later arthrosis, carpal nonunion, and loss of radiocarpal mobility.

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