Percutaneous, Transtrapezial Fixation without Bone Graft Leads to Consolidation in Selected Cases of Delayed Union of the Scaphoid Waist

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Abstract

Purpose

We evaluated clinical and radiographic outcome of percutaneous transtrapezial fixation of the scaphoid delayed union or nonunion using a headless bone screw without bone grafting.

Methods

Sixteen patients with delayed union or nonunion of the scaphoid were included in this retrospective study between 2006 and 2011. All patients had a delayed presentation of scaphoid fracture, and none of them was treated conservatively elsewhere. Patients with bone graft, sclerotic bone debridement, or displacement of the fragment at the nonunion site were excluded. A percutaneous transtrapezial fixation technique was used in all cases. Patients were reviewed until clinical and radiographic union was observed. At the final follow-up, DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) and PRWHE (Patient-Rated Wrist and Hand Evaluation) outcome scores were completed.

Results

Radiographic union was obtained in 15 out of 16 patients (94%) at an average follow-up of 36 months (range: 12-98 months). No complications from the percutaneous technique were noted. The average DASH score was 6 (range: 0-39) and the average PRWHE score was 10 (range: 0-56). No statistical significant difference in range of motion and grip strength was found between the operated side and the contralateral side.

Conclusion

Percutaneous transtrapezial screw fixation for delayed or nonunion of selected scaphoid fractures without bone grafting is promising. At a mean of 4 months, 94% union was obtained with good functional results when there was no sclerosis, minimal osteolysis, and no displacement at the scaphoid nonunion site.

Type of Study

Therapeutic study.

Level of Evidence

IV.

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