Early Outcomes of Scapholunate Injuries With Concomitant Distal Radius Fractures

Nicholas C. Duethman, William R. Aibinder, Nathaniel L. Robinson, Steven L. Moran, Sanjeev Kakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is limited literature regarding the treatment of concomitant scapholunate ligament (SL) injuries in acute distal radius fractures (DRFs). We hypothesized that surgical treatment of SL injuries in adult patients with DRFs leads to improved functional outcomes. Methods: A retrospective review was made of 42 adult patients who underwent surgical treatment of a DRF with a SL injury between 2005 and 2013. In all, 39 of the 42 patients sustained an intra-articular DRF (AO B or C). SL injury was diagnosed by SL diastasis > 3 mm on posteroanterior (PA) radiographs, magnetic resonance imaging, or with wrist arthroscopy. Patients were divided into 3 groups: 23 had a SL repair and were treated within 21 days of injury (acute), 8 underwent SL repair greater than 21 days from injury (subacute/chronic), and 11 did not undergo repair (non-operative). Median overall time to clinical follow-up was 5.1 years. Mayo Wrist Scores (MWS) and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scores were used to evaluate functional outcome. Results: Clinical outcomes measured by the MWS at final follow-up (6 months-12 years) showed no significant differences between the 3 groups. Of patients treated acutely, 17.3% had good to excellent MWS. MWS at 1-year follow-up was 68.4, 70, and 64 in the acute, subacute/chronic, and non-operative groups, respectively. DASH scores were 16.7, 14.3, and 11.8 in the acute, subacute/chronic, and nonoperative groups, respectively, at a mean of 7.8 years. Conclusions: At mid-term follow-up, all 3 treatment groups had similar DASH scores to the general population. There were no statistical functional differences between any of the groups based upon MWS or DASH scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-656
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • concomitant distal radius fractures
  • distal radius fractures
  • outcomes
  • radius
  • scapholunate injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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