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A retrospective review of 55 patients with post-traumatic radioscapholunate ligament disruption suggests that rupture of this ligament can be treated successfully if certain guidelines are followed. If the rupture is seen within 4 weeks, an anatomic reduction maintained in plaster for 8 weeks leads to good results. Ligament ruptures that cannot be held in reduction or that are diagnosed after 4 weeks do poorly with immobilization only. Results after ligament reconstruction have ranged from good to fair but appear to have been sufficiently successful to warrant continued trial rather than resort to arthrodesis, proximal row carpectomy, or similar reconstructive procedures. Patients with degenerative joint disease associated with radioscapholunate rupture are not candidates for ligament reconstruction. Radial styloidectomy or some variety of wrist arthrodesis or wrist arthoplasty should be considered in these instances.


A K Palmer, J H Dobyns, R L Linscheid. Management of post-traumatic instability of the wrist secondary to ligament rupture. The Journal of hand surgery. 1978 Nov;3(6):507-32

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PMID: 556479

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