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J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2013 Jun;38(5):530-41. doi: 10.1177/1753193412468543. Epub 2012 Dec 4.

Effect of wrist position on the measurement of carpal indices on the lateral radiograph.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


The purpose of this study was to find out whether the carpal indices measured on lateral radiographs with a slightly malpositioned wrist are the same as those measured in the true neutral position. Lateral radiographic views of 25 wrists were taken with 5° intervals from 20° of flexion to 20° of extension. Most carpal indices measured in the flexed or extended position were significantly different from the wrist in zero flexion-extension, except scapholunate angle at 5° of extension and scaphocapitate angle at 5° and 10° of flexion. Starting from the flexed position, there was an average of -4.0° change in radioscaphoid angle, -1.0° in scapholunate angle, -1.0° in scaphocapitate angle, +3.0° in radiolunate angle, and +2.0° in lunocapitate angle for each 5° of extension with linear trends. The results from this study suggest that even minimal degrees of flexion-extension can affect the measurements of carpal indices on lateral radiographs.


Wrist; carpal indices; flexion-extension; lateral radiograph

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