Arthroscopic Partial Wrist Fusion

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The wide intraarticular exposure of the wrist joint under arthroscopic view provides an excellent ground for various forms of partial wrist fusion. Combining with percutaneous fixation technique, arthroscopic partial wrist fusion can potentially generate the best possible functional outcome by preserving the maximal motion pertained with each type of partial wrist fusion because the effect of extraarticular adhesion associated with open surgery can be minimized. From November 1997 to May 2008, the author had performed 12 cases of arthroscopic partial wrist fusion, including scaphotrapeziotrapezoid fusion in 3, scaphoidectomy and 4-corner fusion in 4, radioscapholunate fusion in 3, radiolunate fusion in 1, and lunotriquetral fusion in 1 case. Through the radiocarpal or midcarpal joint, the corresponding articular surfaces were denuded of cartilage using arthroscopic burr and curette. Carpal bones involved in the fusion process were then transfixed with K wires percutaneously after alignment corrected and confirmed under fluoroscopic control. Autogenous cancellous bone graft or bone substitute were inserted and impacted to the fusion site through cannula under direct arthroscopic view. Final fixation could be by multiple K wires or cannulated screw system. Early mobilization was encouraged. Surgical complications were minor, including pin tract infection, skin burn, and delay union in 1 case. Uneventful radiologic union was obtained in 9 cases, stable fibrous union in 2, and nonunion in 1. The average follow-up period was 70 months. Symptom was resolved or improved, and functional motion was gained in all cases. All surgical scars were almost invisible, and aesthetic outcome was excellent.

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