Twenty patients with Kienbock's disease were treated with a modification of the Persson ulnar-lengthening procedure to remove compressive stress from the damaged lunate. After an average follow-up of thirty-seven months, relief of pain was satisfactory in eighteen patients who had returned to work (nine of whom had strenuous occupations), and two patients were dissatisfied because they had persistent pain and were not able to return to their previous occupations. Non-union at the site of the ulnar osteotomy occurred in three patients who were treated early in the series and was the result of inadequate internal fixation or insufficient duration of protective splinting. All three of the patients had satisfactory results after replating and bone-grafting. The procedure appears to help to maintain carpal height, prevent further collapse of the lunate, encourage consolidation of the fragmented lunate, and increase grip strength. Except for ulnar deviation, which the procedure may further diminish, the postoperative motions of the wrist were moderately improved.
Copyright 1982 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated