Scaphoid Malunion Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes at a Minimum of 4 Years Follow-Up
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PURPOSE: To evaluate the radiographic and clinical outcomes of patients with scaphoid malunion after acute fracture at a mean of 7 years after injury. METHODS: Patients with scaphoid malunion were identified from a departmental database of acute scaphoid fractures. Patients with a scaphoid height-to-length ratio greater than 0.6 on final follow-up computed tomography (CT) scan were considered malunited. These patients were contacted to return for CT imaging and clinical assessment. A total of 22 patients were included (4 females and 18 males). Average age of the group was 41 years (range, 16-64 years) and average length of follow-up was 7.4 years (range, 4.4-11.8 years) after injury. RESULTS: Ten patients who underwent CT imaging demonstrated arthritic changes at the radial styloid, scaphoid fossa, or scaphotrapeziotrapezoid joint(s). Despite this, patients had good clinical function that was not significantly different compared with the uninjured side. Patients reported minimal pain and disability based on patient-reported outcome measures, and there was a moderate correlation between passive range of motion and height-to-length ratio. CONCLUSIONS: Nearly half of all patients with malunited acute scaphoid fractures demonstrated radiographic findings of early arthritis on CT imaging but overall good clinical results on midterm follow-up. TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic IV.
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