[Comparative outcome assessment of the wrist joint--mediocarpal partial arthrodesis and total arthrodesis].Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir. 2000 Nov; 32(6):369-74.HM
Total wrist fusion still represents the main treatment for severe posttraumatic disorders of the wrist due to longstanding scaphoid nonunion (SNAC-wrist) or scapholunate dissociation (SLAC-wrist). During the last decade, midcarpal fusion has become more and more popular as it preserves motion. The question, however, remained if the preserved motion is of real benefit from a patient point of view, as complete pain relief is rare following this type of limited wrist fusion. The purpose of this study was to compare the outcome of both treatments with the modified Cooney wrist score and the DASH questionnaire. Between 1993 and 1997, 138 patients with progressive carpal collapse were treated either by midcarpal fusion (97) or total wrist fusion (41). Overall satisfaction was high in both groups with 86% (midcarpal fusion) and 84% (total wrist fusion). The traditional wrist score (70 versus 52 points) and the DASH questionnaire (33 versus 45 points) revealed the superiority of midcarpal fusion. The correlation between the wrist score and the DASH was statistically high (p < 0.001), demonstrating the specificity and validity of the DASH questionnaire. Midcarpal fusion is preferable to total wrist fusion for treatment of progressive carpal collapse (SLAC- and SNAC-wrist). The DASH represents a sensitive tool to evaluate the outcome of salvage procedures for treatment of disorders of the wrist.