J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2021 Feb;56(1):51-60. 10.4055/jkoa.2021.56.1.51.

Comparison of the Outcomes according to the Injury Type of the Short Radiolunate Ligament in Fracture-Dislocation of the Radiocarpal Joint

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea


Radiocarpal dislocation (RCD), which is caused by high-energy trauma, often involves radial styloid fractures and short radiolunate ligament (SRLL) injuries. Although SRLL injuries may occur as a simple rupture at the attachment site of radius, it may occur with a relatively large avulsed-fragment in the volar rim of the lunate facet of the radius. This study aimed to differentiate the injury type of SRLL and assess the differences in the treatment results depending on the treatment methods that have been applied in RCD with radial styloid fractures.
Materials and Methods
Eighteen patients managed surgically with RCD were enrolled in this study. The patients were classified as Group 1 and Group 2 by using the Dumontier method. In this study, Group 2 was subdivided into 2A (purely ligamentous or small avulsion fracture of the volar rim of lunate facet) and 2B (large avulsed-fragment enough to internal fixation) according to the injury type of SRLL. Groups 2A and 2B were treated with direct repair and screw fixation, respectively. Pain, range of motion of the wrist joint, grip strength, and complications on final radiographs were examined. The outcomes were evaluated using patient-rated wrist evaluation (PRWE), and modified Mayo wrist score (MMWS).
All patients were Group 2 (six and twelve patients in 2A and 2B, respectively). The mean flexion to extension arch recovered 79%,and the mean grip strength was 72.9% of the uninjured side. Group 2A showed better recovery in extension, flexion and pronation than Group 2B, but there was no difference in radial deviation, ulnar deviation, supination, grip strength and pain. No differences in the PRWE and MMWS were observed between two groups. Complications included traumatic arthritis in seven patients and residual instability in five patients.
When the SRLL was injured, the involvement of a large avulsion fracture on the anterior plane of the radiolunate did not affect the test results. On the other hand, it should be observed cautiously because avulsion fractures tend to disturb the joint’s reduction through rotation or displacement. In addition, anatomical reduction and sturdy internal fixation are important for restoring the function of the SRLL.


radiocarpal joint; radiocarpal joint; dislocation; dislocation; fracture; fracture; radial styloid process; radial styloid process; short radiolunate ligament; short radiolunate ligament
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