Background: Three previous studies have investigated the long-term outcome of radial osteotomy in the treatment of Kienböck disease. However, none used patient-based assessment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term clinical and radiographic outcomes of this osteotomy, including the subjective evaluation of the patient with use of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) Questionnaire.
Methods: A DASH questionnaire was sent to nineteen patients with Kienböck disease who had undergone a radial shortening osteotomy, and thirteen replied. The mean age at the time of surgery was thirty-nine years. On the basis of the Lichtman classification, six patients had stage-II, four had stage-IIIA, and three had stage-IIIB disease. Prior to surgery, ulnar variance was positive in six patients, neutral in four, and negative in three. The mean duration of follow-up was twenty-one years. Clinical evaluation, including calculation of the modified Mayo wrist score, and radiographic evaluation were also performed on twelve of the thirteen patients.
Results: The mean DASH score was 8 points (range, 0 to 23 points), and patient satisfaction was high. Compared with the findings in the contralateral wrist, the mean range of motion was 81% in flexion and 82% in extension and mean grip strength was 88%. The mean modified Mayo wrist score was 83 points, and the clinical results were excellent in six patients, good in five, and moderate in one. The DASH scores tended to be worse in patients with Lichtman stage-IIIB disease. Follow-up radiographs revealed that the Lichtman stage had progressed in six of the twelve patients.
Conclusions: Although most patients had mild wrist pain, patient satisfaction and the clinical results were satisfactory following a radial shortening osteotomy. This procedure is a reliable long-term treatment for Lichtman stage-II and IIIA disease and may be a reasonable option for patients with stage-IIIB disease.
Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.