Four-corner arthrodesis and proximal row carpectomy are motion-preserving salvage solutions for the scapholunate advanced collapse wrist. We compared both procedures in a non-randomised, retrospective study of 30 cases with a mean follow-up of 3(1/2) years. Pain relief and functional gain were equal in both treatment groups. However, the complication rate was higher in the four-corner arthrodesis group, partly because of the need for internal fixation. The higher incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome following four-corner arthrodesis is intriguing. We also found significant differences in the duration of hospital stay and of postoperative sick leave in favour of proximal row carpectomy. If the cartilage on the capitate head is well preserved (Stages I-II), we prefer proximal row carpectomy because of the socio-economic benefits, the lower complication rate and the ease of the procedure. Degenerative changes following proximal row carpectomy may be a concern in young manual labourers, but have not been observed.