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J Hand Surg Am. 1994 Jul;19(4):604-6.

Scaphoid shift in the uninjured wrist.

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Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.


To determine the prevalence of a positive scaphoid shift in an uninjured population, 100 patients presenting with symptoms unrelated to trauma or wrist instability underwent physical and radiographic evaluation. On physical examination, the scaphoid shift maneuver was performed bilaterally, and generalized ligamentous laxity was assessed using standard criteria. Standard x-ray films were inspected for carpal abnormalities, and the radiolunate and scapholunate angles were measured. The prevalence of a positive scaphoid shift was 32%; the shift was painless in all patients. Fourteen patients had a unilateral scaphoid shift. Patients with a positive scaphoid shift had increased generalized ligamentous laxity manifested by a decreased average thumb-to-forearm distance and an increased mean flexion-extension arc. A positive shift was not correlated with radiographic carpal malalignment.

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