Perilunate Injury Timing and Treatment Options: A Systematic Review

Mark J W van der Oest, Liron S Duraku, Madina Artan, Caroline A Hundepool, Dominic M Power, Vaikunthan Rajaratnam, J Michiel Zuidam
Journal of Wrist Surgery 2022, 11 (2): 164-176
Introduction  Perilunate injuries are uncommon yet challenging and often missed injuries, representing 7% of all carpal traumas. Two types of injuries can be identified as follows: perilunate dislocations (PLD) and perilunate fracture-dislocations (PLFD). The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to establish which surgical treatment is superior for patients with perilunate injuries and the significance of delayed treatment. Methods  A total of 2056 articles were screened, and 16 articles were included. Risk of bias for case-control series and case series were assessed through the National Institute of Health study quality assessment tool. Qualitative outcomes of clinical scores for hand function were compared between different time points (acute, < 7 days; delayed 7-45 days; chronic > 45 days), open and closed reduction, and PLD and PLFD. Results  Overall, the clinical outcome scores of patients treated within 7 days are good. The results suggest that closed reduction and internal fixation (CRIF) offers slightly better outcomes than open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) for PLFD. Patients treated 6 weeks or more after the initial injury seem to have the worst overall outcomes than patients in the acute or delayed setting. The results suggest that patients with chronic PLD have even worse outcomes than patients with chronic PLFD. Conclusions  Timing of surgery is essential for an optimal outcome. When there is a delay of treatment, the outcomes are inferior to those treated acutely. Early referral to centralized treatment units for perilunate injuries would allow for targeted treatment and facilitate research on this difficult wrist injury.

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