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Partial arthrodesis of the carpus indication and technique


, : Partial arthrodesis of the carpus indication and technique. Zeitschrift fuer Orthopaedie und ihre Grenzgebiete 130(3): 175-180

Partial arthrodesis of the carpus has again become a topical method. The technique has been improved and the range of indications has been extended. Fusion of certain areas has indeed been propagated as first-line therapy, for example in lunatum necrosis or as an important additional operation in substitution plastic surgery. Partial arthrodesis of the carpus is intended to eliminate mechanisms which has become pathological whilst preserving the best possible mobility. Partial arthrodesis alters the movement pattern of the individual ossae carpi. Moreover, the pressure in the adjacent joints also rises. The risk of a new pathological process is considerable. Recent publications report on a rapid development of impingement and symptoms. The most frequent partial arthrodeses are discussed. The indications and the direct consequences are critically analysed and explained with reference to examples. Technical details and potential dangers are described. An STT-arthrodesis is indicated for osteoarthritis of these bones. The radio-lunar arthrodesis is recommended for ulnar drifting of the carpus in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Reconstruction of the central axis with arthrodesis of the capitate-lunate is indicated for pseudarthrosis of the scaphoid with carpal collapse. Other combinations are possible, they cause however greater functional deficits. We recommend a critical analysis of the function of the entire carpus before the operation. Caution is called for when an incipient arthrosis is present in the adjacent joint. Partial arthrodesis of the carpus is rather a temporary solution, since it enables time to be gained. Total arthrodesis is the ultimate resort.

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