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The Use of Temporary Screw Augmentation for the Treatment of Scapholunate Injuries

Larson, Timothy Brad MD*; Gaston, Raymond Glenn MD; Chadderdon, Robert Christopher MD

Techniques in Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery: September 2012 - Volume 16 - Issue 3 - p 135–140
doi: 10.1097/BTH.0b013e318257595b

Introduction: Injuries to the scapholunate (SL) interosseous ligament can have devastating consequences to carpal stability. The purpose of this study is to provide a technique for screw augmentation to SL reconstruction, while comparing radiographic outcomes to a traditional Kirschner wire fixation cohort.

Methods: A retrospective review of all patients treated by screw fixation for SL ligament injuries was cross-matched to a cohort of patients treated with pin fixation for age and length of time from the time of injury to surgical fixation. Outcomes were the values of SL gap and SL angle on plain radiographs as averaged between 2 independent reviewers, as well as complications.

Results: Seven patients who received screw augmentation had an average follow-up of 8.7 months. When compared with the Kirschner wire cohort, there was improvement of immediate postoperative gap in the screw cohort of 3.1 versus 1.3 mm. There was also better reduction in SL angle in the screw group (22 vs. 10.4 degrees correction). At 4 months follow-up, both the SL gap and SL angle were maintained better in the screw group. There was 1 infection in each cohort, 1 pin migration in a screw/pin combination patient counted in the screw group, and 1 pin migration in the pin cohort.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that temporary screw augmentation for SL ligament injuries results in more effective SL gap and SL angle correction both immediately and in short-term follow-up than does pin fixation. Longer follow-up is needed to evaluate longevity of reduction, and larger, prospective studies with clinical outcomes are needed to show statistically significant benefits to screw augmentation.

*Carolinas Medical Center

OrthoCarolina, Charlotte, NC

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors report no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Raymond Glenn Gaston, MD, OrthoCarolina Hand Center, 1915 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28207. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.