Hand surgery & rehabilitation 2017 05 25() pii S2468-1229(17)30096-8
The goal of wrist denervation is to decrease pain at the wrist, whether caused by an intra- or extra-articular problem or even when the reason for the pain is unknown. It is an alternative to partial or total arthrodesis and proximal row carpectomy. Our hypothesis was that wrist denervation with a two-incision technique was a reliable and efficient way to treat painful degenerative wrists. Thirty-three patients, 48years old on average, were included in this study. Indications were scapholunate advanced collapse (SLAC) in 18 cases, scaphoid nonunion advanced collapse (SNAC) in 10, distal radius fracture sequelae with advanced radiocarpal osteoarthritis in 4, and post-traumatic ulnocarpal impingement in 1 case. At 41 months’ follow-up (12-161), there was a 75% reduction in pain levels, decreasing from 7.1 to 1.8 on a visual analog scale (VAS). There were no modifications related to wrist range of motion or grip strength. The QuickDASH averaged 23 points (5 to 70). Radiographic evaluation showed progression of intracarpal degeneration in 6 patients. All but 2 patients returned to their previous work. Persistent dysesthesia was observed in 7 patients; it resolved in 3 cases and persisted in 4. One patient developed complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). A midcarpal arthrodesis with scaphoidectomy was performed in one patient because of disabling pain 5months after surgery. Wrist denervation with a two-incision technique for post-traumatic osteoarthritis led to satisfactory results in 75% of cases with reduction in pain, preservation of range of motion and grip strength. However, this technique does not stop the progression of osteoarthritis. It can be discussed as a therapeutic alternative to proximal row carpectomy or intracarpal arthrodesis to treat degenerative painful wrists.
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