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J Hand Surg Am. 1994 Mar;19(2):313-8.

Incidence of ligament lesions and associated degenerative changes in the elderly wrist.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610.


The scapholunate, lunotriquetral, and triangular fibrocartilage of 62 cadaveric wrists were examined to determine the incidence of pathologic changes in asymptomatic elderly wrists. A scapholunate ligament lesion was noted in 18 wrists; the majority of defects were incomplete and involved the central portion of the ligament only. Lunotriquetral ligament defects were noted in 20 wrists; eight were partial defects, most of them were central ligament lesions. Triangular fibrocartilage defects were present in 33 wrists and consisted of two distinct patterns: a central oval pattern with actual tissue loss and a linear defect running in the dorsal anterior direction 2-3 mm ulnar to the radial attachment of the triangular fibrocartilage. X-ray film evaluation showed few significant degenerative changes with no pronounced collapse deformities. Defects involving the scapholunate, lunotriquetral, or triangular fibrocartilage were very common, with the presence of at least one of these ligament defects in wrists. These ligament defects occur as a process of aging and behave in a manner quite different from traumatic lesions of these same structures in the younger population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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