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J Hand Surg Am. 2013 Oct;38(10):1913-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2013.07.021. Epub 2013 Sep 8.

Effect of pisiform excision or pisotriquetral arthrodesis as a treatment for pisotriquetral arthritis: a biomechanical study.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY; Institut Kaplan, Barcelona, Spain.



To determine whether flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) forces and tendon displacements change after pisotriquetral arthrodesis or after pisiform excision.


Nine cadaver wrists were moved through 4 variations of a dart throw motion, each having an oblique plane of motion, but with different ranges of motion and different antagonistic forces. The FCU tendon force and movement were measured in the intact wrist, following pisotriquetral arthrodesis, and following pisiform excision. Changes in force and tendon movement were compared using a repeated measures analysis of variance.


After excision of the pisiform, a significantly greater FCU force was required during the 2 variations of the dart throw motion having a larger range of motion and during the smaller motion having a larger antagonistic force. Pisotriquetral arthrodesis did not cause a significant increase in the peak FCU force. Excision of the pisiform caused the FCU tendon to significantly retract during all wrist motions as compared to the intact wrist or after pisotriquetral arthrodesis.


Greater FCU forces are required to move the wrist when the pisiform with its moment arm function has been removed. This occurs during large oblique plane wrist motions and also in a smaller motion when greater antagonistic forces are applied. Excision of the pisiform also allows the FCU to move proximally, again because its moment arm function has been eliminated.


Excision of the pisiform requires greater FCU forces during large wrist motions and during motions that include large gripping forces such that excision may be a concern in high-demand patients with pisotriquetral arthritis. Although pisotriquetral arthrodesis does not alter the mechanical advantage of the FCU, its use in high-demand patients with pisotriquetral osteoarthritis cannot yet be recommended until the effects of that arthrodesis on midcarpal kinematics are further clarified.


Pisiform; pisotriquetral arthritis; wrist forces

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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