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Comparison of the Findings of Triple-Injection Cinearthrography of the Wrist with Those of Arthroscopy*
ARNOLD-PETER C. WEISS, M.D.†; EDWARD AKELMAN, M.D.†; ROBERT LAMBIASE, M.D.‡, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
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Investigation performed at the Departments of Orthopaedics and Diagnostic Imaging, Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1996 Mar 01;78(3):348-56
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Abstract

Fifty consecutive patients who had a history and clinical findings consistent with internal derangement of the wrist were prospectively entered into a study to compare the findings of triple-injection arthrography with those of arthroscopy of the wrist with use of three portals. Twenty-six patients were men, and twenty-four were women. They had an average age of thirty-six years (range, eighteen to seventy years). The average duration of symptoms in the wrist was eight months (range, one to twenty-four months). The arthrograms of the wrist, which included cineradiographs, were all made and evaluated by the same radiologist. The arthroscopic evaluation of the wrists was performed by two hand surgeons who had previous knowledge of the arthrographic findings.The abnormal findings included in this study were limited to those that should be detectable with both arthrography and arthroscopy. These were full-thickness tears of the scapholunate ligament, the lunotriquetral ligament, and the triangular fibrocartilage. The findings of arthrography were normal in eighteen wrists, demonstrated a single lesion in twenty-one, and demonstrated multiple lesions in eleven. Twelve wrists were noted to have a tear of the scapholunate ligament; fifteen, a tear of the lunotriquetral ligament; and eighteen, a tear of the triangular fibrocartilage. The arthroscopic findings were normal in six wrists, demonstrated a single lesion in twenty-five, and demonstrated multiple lesions in nineteen. Twenty-two wrists were noted to have a tear of the scapholunate ligament; fifteen, a tear of the lunotriquetral ligament; and thirty, a tear of the triangular fibrocartilage. When compared with arthroscopy of the wrist, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of triple-injection cinearthrography in detecting tears of the scapholunate ligament, lunotriquetral ligament, and triangular fibrocartilage, as a group, were 56, 83, and 60 per cent. Although arthrography of the wrist is a well accepted diagnostic modality in the evaluation of pain in the wrist, this study suggests that normal arthrographic findings do not necessarily rule out the possibility of internal derangement of the wrist.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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