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J Hand Surg Am. 1985 Jul;10(4):482-91.

Distal ulnar recession for disorders of the distal radioulnar joint.


Thirty-six wrists of 35 patients were treated with distal ulnar recession for pain and limitation of motion associated with chondromalacia of the ulnar head, triangular fibrocartilage complex tears, ulnocarpal impingement, and instability of the distal radioulnar joint. Contributing factors were positive ulnar variance in 31 wrists, fracture of the distal radius in five, sprains in 14, premature closure of the distal radial epiphysis in five, and lax ligamentous habitus in five. The ages of the patients averaged 33 years. Clinical findings were local tenderness, crepitus, and instability evident by a positive "piano key" effect. Roentgenographic findings were positive ulnar variance (29 of 36), zero ulnar variance (four), negative ulnar variance (three), positive arthrogram (11 of 19), and "forme fruste" Madelung's deformity (two). The surgical procedure is a modification of the Milch cuff resection with the use of a dynamic compression plate. Recession ranged from 2 to 13 mm (average of 4 mm). Findings at surgery included chondromalacia of the ulnar head (19), tears of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (11), and excessive mobility of the ulnar head (10). At an average follow-up of 24.5 months, results were excellent in 7 wrists, good in 21, fair in four, and poor in four. Poor results in two wrists were upgraded to good after osteosynthesis of a nonunion in one and recessional osteotomy of the radial sigmoid notch in the other. Ulnar recession offers a less destructive alternative to disorders of the distal radioulnar joint than the Darrach resection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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