Background Perilunate dislocations and perilunate fracture dislocations (PLDs/PLFDs) are rare and often associated with poor outcomes. Heretofore, these outcomes have not been evaluated in a high-demand military population.
Questions/Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes in a young, active population after sustaining PLD/PLFD injuries.
Patients and Methods We retrospectively reviewed the U.S. military service members who underwent surgical treatment for a PLD/PLFD (Current Procedural Terminology codes 25695 and 25685) between June 1, 2010, and June 1, 2014 through the Military Health System Management Analysis and Reporting Tool (M2) database, capturing patients with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Patient characteristics and outcomes were gathered; however, radiographic analysis was not possible.
Results In this study, 40 patients (40 wrists) were included with an average follow-up of 47.8 months. The average age was 28.8 years. Twenty-two injuries (55%) were PLFD and 22 (55%) cases involved the nondominant extremity. On initial presentation, 11 (27.5%) were missed and 50% of patients were presented with acute carpal tunnel syndrome. Range of motion (ROM) was 74% and grip strength was 65% compared with the contralateral wrist; 78% reported pain with activity and only 55% remained on active duty status at final follow-up. Injuries to the nondominant extremity were significantly more likely to experience a good to excellent outcome and regained a more ROM. Patients with ligamentous PLD had less pain at rest and were more likely to return to sport.
Conclusion Worse outcomes can be expected for PLD/PLFD of the dominant extremity, transscaphoid PLFD, greater arc injuries, and those undergoing pinning alone. A high-demand patient may expect worse functional results with a higher degree of limitation postoperatively.
Level of Evidence The level of evidence is therapeutic IV.