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Revision of Failed Nonanatomic Extensor Retinacular Stabilization of the Unstable ECU Tendon: Surgical Technique and Case Series.

Nonanatomic surgical stabilization of the unstable extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tendon (where the subluxing tendon is re-routed away from the bony groove in the distal ulna) utilizes a flap of extensor retinaculum to create a new retaining sheath that will stabilize the tendon during forearm rotation movements. When this surgery fails, the extensor retinaculum tissue does not regenerate with sufficient structural strength to be used again. Previously, a different approach has then been needed for revision surgery, often using more complex surgical techniques with a substantially greater impact on recovery. We describe a highly reliable yet simple method of using local soft tissue to adequately restabilize the subluxing ECU tendon in cases where an extensor retinacular flap has already been used. We report the results of this technique in 4 patients, all of whom returned to jobs/hobbies where ECU instability was a considerable functional risk.

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