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Hand Surg. 2012;17(1):49-54.

The carpal stretch test at the rheumatoid wrist.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the radiographic changes of the carpus for rheumatoid wrists in patients who underwent the Sauvé-Kapandji procedure by examining the clinical results and comparing pre- and postoperative radiographic measurements. We studied 43 wrists in 37 patients who showed vertical laxity in the radiocarpal and midcarpal joint on preoperative carpal stretch test. Pain was improved in all patients and the forearm rotation angles of the wrist were significantly improved after the operation. The carpal collapse ratio was significantly reduced after the operation. The carpal collapse reduction rate was significantly greater in the group with than that in the group without midcarpal joint vertical laxity on the carpal stretch test. Although the Sauvé-Kapandji procedure was not sufficiently effective in preventing carpal collapse, it did have a protective effect against ulnar carpal shift. The results of our study showed that vertical laxity of the midcarpal joint was the risk factor of the carpal collapse after Sauvé-Kapandji procedure.

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