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Injury. 2006 Sep;37(9):854-9. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

Most scaphoid non-unions heal with bone chip grafting and Kirschner-wire fixation. Thirty-nine patients reviewed 10 years after operation.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St. Olav's University Hospital, 7006 Trondheim, Norway. <>



Many recommend to operate scaphoid pseudarthroses with wedge grafts and screw fixation. These are difficult operations. We have employed a simpler procedure and wished to review our results with regard to healing and long-term clinical results.


We reviewed 39 unselected scaphoid pseudarthroses which had been operated with Kirschner-wire fixation and bone chip transplantation 10 (3.5-12) years previously. Postoperative cast treatment was 15 (11-30) weeks.


Four pseudarthroses failed to unite, one of which was after a trans-scaphoid perilunar dislocation. In another the pins were dislocated by an injury while the arm was in plaster. There were no other complications. All 14 proximal pseudarthroses united. There was no loss of grip strength but some loss of key-pinch strength and wrist mobility. Most patients reported no or little pain and none used analgesics because of wrist pain. The disability of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) score was 2 (0-33). Very few cases of mild arthrosis had arisen after operation. Three patients would not have consented to operation if they had known the outcome in advance.


Kirschner-wire fixation and bone chip grafting of scaphoid pseudarthroses is an undemanding operation with few complications that produces good long-term results. Results are excellent also for proximal pole pseudarthroses.

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