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Proximal Row CarpectomyStudy with a Minimum of Ten Years of Follow-up
Michael L. DiDonna, MD1; Thomas R. Kiefhaber, MD1; Peter J. Stern, MD2
1 Hand Surgery Specialists, 538 Oak Street, Suite 200, Cincinnati, OH 45219
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, P.O. Box 670212, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0212. E-mail address: sternpj@ucmail.uc.edu
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The authors did not receive grants or outside funding in support of their research or preparation of this manuscript. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.
Investigation performed at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2004 Nov 01;86(11):2359-2365
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Abstract

Background: Proximal row carpectomy is an accepted motion-sparing surgical procedure for the treatment of degenerative conditions of the wrist. However, there is little information regarding the long-term clinical and radiographic results following this procedure.

Methods: Twenty-two wrists in twenty-one patients underwent proximal row carpectomy for the treatment of degenerative arthritis between 1980 and 1992. Objective and subjective function was assessed after a minimum duration of follow-up of ten years (average, fourteen years).

Results: There were four failures (18%) requiring fusion at an average of seven years. All four failures occurred in patients who were thirty-five years of age or less at the time of the proximal row carpectomy (p = 0.03). The wrists that did not fail had an average flexion-extension arc of 72°, associated with an average grip strength of 91% of that on the contralateral side. The patients were very satisfied with fourteen of the eighteen wrists that did not fail and were satisfied with the remaining four. The patients rated nine wrists as not painful, four as mildly painful, five as moderately painful, and none as severely painful. The average Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score was 9 points. Radiographs revealed no loss of the radiocapitate space in three of the seventeen wrists for which radiographs were made, reduced space in seven, and complete loss of the space in seven. With the numbers available, there was no significant association between loss of joint space seen on radiographs and subjective and objective function.

Conclusions: At the time of long-term follow-up, all patients older than thirty-five years of age at the time of a proximal row carpectomy had maintained a satisfactory range of motion, grip strength, and pain relief and were satisfied with the result. Caution should be exercised in performing the procedure in patients younger than thirty-five years of age. Although degeneration of the radiocapitate joint was seen radiographically in fourteen of the seventeen wrists, it did not preclude a successful clinical result.

Level of Evidence: Therapeutic study, Level IV (case series [no, or historical, control group]). See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    Accreditation Statement
    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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