Clinical Outcomes of Scaphoid and Triquetral Excision With Capitolunate Arthrodesis Versus Scaphoid Excision and Four-Corner Arthrodesis

R. Glenn Gaston, Jeffrey A. Greenberg, Robert M. Baltera, Alex Mih, Hill Hastings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the clinical outcomes of scaphoid and triquetral excision combined with capitolunate arthrodesis versus 4-corner (capitate, hamate, lunate, triquetrum) intercarpal arthrodesis. Methods: We retrospectively identified 50 patients with scapholunate advanced collapse wrist changes who had 4-corner arthrodesis. Thirty-four patients were able to return and complete all follow-up evaluations. Patient demographics were similar between the 2 groups. Follow-up evaluation included radiographs, wrist range of motion (flexion-extension, radial-ulnar deviation, and pronation-supination); grip strength; visual analog scale (VAS); and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) questionnaire. Complications of nonunion, hardware migration, conversion to wrist arthrodesis or arthroplasty, and pisotriquetral arthritis were recorded. Results: Sixteen patients had capitolunate arthrodesis, and 18 patients had a 4-corner arthrodesis. There was no statistical difference in radial-ulnar deviation, pronation-supination, grip strength, VAS, or DASH scores between groups. There was a slight increase in flexion-extension in the 4-corner group. There were 2 nonunions in the 4-corner group and none in the capitolunate group. Five patients in the capitolunate group required screw removal secondary to migration. Three patients in the 4-corner group required a subsequent pisiform excision. Conclusions: Capitolunate arthrodesis compares favorably to 4-corner arthrodesis at an average 3-year follow-up in this series with respect to range of motion, grip strength, DASH scores, and VAS. Advantages of capitolunate arthrodesis include a lessened need for bone graft harvesting while maintaining a similarly low nonunion rate, easier reduction of the lunate following triquetral excision, and avoiding subsequent symptomatic pisotriquetral arthritis. Screw migration, however, remains a concern with this technique. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1407-1412
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Arthrodesis
  • capitolunate
  • fusion
  • limited
  • wrist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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