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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2011 Sep;19(9):554-62.

Perilunate dislocation and perilunate fracture-dislocation.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.


Perilunate dislocations and perilunate fracture-dislocations usually result from high-energy traumatic injuries to the wrist and are associated with a characteristic spectrum of bony and ligamentous damage. Radiographic evaluation of the wrist reveals loss of normal radiocarpal and intercarpal colinearity and bony insult, which may be overlooked at the initial presentation. Prompt recognition is important to optimize outcomes. Closed reduction is performed acutely, followed by open reduction and ligamentous and bony repair with internal fixation. Complications include posttraumatic arthrosis, median nerve dysfunction, complex regional pain syndrome, tendon problems, and carpal instability. Despite appropriate treatment, loss of wrist motion and grip strength, as well as persistent pain, is common. Medium- and long-term studies demonstrate radiographic evidence of midcarpal and radiocarpal arthrosis, although this does not correlate with functional outcomes.

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