Radiocarpal dislocation damages the radiocarpal ligaments, typically eliminating the possibility for repair. The goals of this study were to create a model for ulnar translation of the carpus and design a soft-tissue reconstruction using the brachioradialis (BR) to prevent ulnar translation of the carpus. We primarily sought to recreate the stabilizing effect of the radioscaphocapitate ligament.
Eight cadaveric upper limbs were dissected, leaving only the BR tendon. The wrist was loaded perpendicular to the long axis of the forearm, and load-displacement curves for ulnar translation were generated. The radiocarpal ligaments were sectioned. Substantial ulnar translation was seen only after complete release of the palmar and dorsal radiocarpal ligaments. Reconstruction was performed with the BR tendon, maintaining the insertion on the radial styloid. The proximal tendon stump was brought distally through a drill hole in the center of the capitate, palmar to dorsal, and secured to the dorsal rim of the radius with a suture anchor. The specimens were then retested after this reconstruction. Qualitative evaluation of graphs plotted, mini c-arm fluoroscopy, and visual observation was also performed.
Comparison of the intact specimens and the specimens after sectioning of the radiocarpal ligaments revealed a significant difference between mean ulnar translation (11.1 mm vs 18.4 mm; p < 0.05). Comparison of the sectioned specimens before and after BR reconstruction demonstrated a statistically significant difference in mean ulnar translation (18.4 mm vs 10.6 mm; p < 0.05). Comparison of the intact specimens and the specimens after sectioning-reconstruction did not demonstrate a significant difference, indicating that the BR reconstruction re-established the stability seen in the intact specimens with regard to ulnar translation (11.1 mm vs 10.6 mm; p > 0.05).
The model consistently produced significant ulnar translation after division of the radiocarpal ligaments. The BR reconstruction was primarily designed to restore the function of the radioscaphocapitate ligament. This biomechanical study demonstrates the ability of this reconstruction to generate a statistically significant restraint to ulnar translation in a cadaver model of radiocarpal dislocation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Injuries of the intrinsic and extrinsic wrist ligaments can lead to chronic wrist pain and carpal instability, while injuries of the triangular fibrocartilage complex are a frequent cause of ulnar-sided wrist pain. Currently, magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography is the preferred imaging modality for the evaluation of these structures, but good results can also achieved with MR imaging without preceding arthrography and computed tomographic (CT) arthrography. Promising results have been published on ultrasonography (US) and sonoarthrography of the intrinsic wrist ligaments and the triangular fibrocartilage complex and on US of the majority of extrinsic wrist ligaments. Visualization of these structures can be achieved by using high-frequency linear transducers. US has the advantages of MR imaging and MR arthrography: lower cost, no known contraindication for imaging, and real-time technique with possible dynamic evaluation. This technique does not require imaging guided intraarticular injection of contrast medium prior to MR arthrography or CT arthrography and does not use ionizing radiation; however, US is operator dependent, which can be compensated for by using standardized imaging techniques. Supplemental material available at http://radiographics.rsna.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1148/rg.e44/-/DC1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the clinical outcomes and radiographic features of surgically treated traumatic ulnocarpal translocation in nine patients (ten cases). All ligament and fracture repairs were completed within 2 months of injury. Seven cases were examined at a mean of 6.5 years, and information in three cases was obtained from medical records at a mean of 13 months after injury. At final evaluation, the mean disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand score was 6 (range, 0-16), and the mean Mayo modified wrist score was 76 (range, 40-100). Ulnocarpal translocation was evident in nine of the injured wrists, six of which showed arthritis, and in four of the uninjured wrists. Ulnar variance measured negative in nine cases and neutral in one case. Pre-existing medial alignment of the carpus and ulnar minus variance may predispose to traumatic ulnocarpal translocation. Early injury repair does not assure restoration of radiocarpal alignment or prevent joint deterioration; however, these changes do not always portend a suboptimal result.
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