Results of the modified Bunelli tenodesis for treatment of scapholunate instability: a retrospective study of 19 patients.


  • Chabas Jean-François
  • Gay A.
  • Valenti D.
  • Guinard D.
  • Legré R.

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PURPOSE: Management of chronic scapholunate (SL) instability without osteoarthritis remains controversial. In order to recreate an SL interosseous linkage, some surgeons opt for a limited wrist arthrodesis, whereas others use soft tissue stabilization. The purpose of the current study was to review and assess the therapeutic benefit of the modified Brunelli tenodesis that used the flexor carpi radialis tendon to replicate the stabilizing ligaments of the scaphoid. METHODS: Between 2001 and 2005, 19 tenodesis procedures have been performed to correct dynamic or static SL instability without osteoarthritis. On average, patients had surgery 15 months after injury. The mean follow-up was 37 months. RESULTS: After surgery, 15 patients had no to mild pain with a mean visual analog scale score of 3 of 10. The average wrist motion was 50 degrees extension, 41 degrees flexion, 24 degrees radial deviation, and 29 degrees ulnar deviation (75%, 73%, 68%, and 86% of the uninvolved wrists, respectively). The grip strength was 78% of the uninvolved wrists. On radiographs, the mean static SL distance was 2.4 mm (2.8 mm before surgery). There was no widening of the SL gap compared to the immediate postoperative gap. The SL angle improved from a mean preoperative value of 61 degrees to 53 degrees immediately after surgery and rose again to 62 degrees at the time of the review. One patient developed a scapholunate advanced collapse wrist stage 2. CONCLUSIONS: Ligament reconstruction using tendon grafts gave satisfactory results to correct reducible chronic SL instability without osteoarthritis. This repair technique achieved a relatively pain-free wrist, with acceptable grip strength and normal SL distance but with a loss in the arc of motion and a loss of correction of SL angle. TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic IV.

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