Purpose: To report the functional and radiographic outcomes of a cohort of patients treated for ulnar impaction syndrome with a single technique of ulnar shortening osteotomy.
Method: We performed ulnar shortening osteotomy on 18 consecutive patients over a 10-year period by using an oblique osteotomy and compression plating technique with an AO compression device (Synthes, Paoli, PA). There were 11 men and 7 women in the series, with an average age of 32.7 years. All patients were graded before and after surgery with the modified wrist grading system of Chun and Palmer.
Results: All 18 osteotomies healed over an average of 6-8 weeks. There were significant improvements in pain, function, strength, and range of motion at an average follow-up of 3 years. Thirteen wrists were graded excellent, 3 good, and 2 fair. There were no postoperative complications, however, 8 patients ultimately required plate removal for local discomfort.
Conclusions: This study showed that ulnar shortening osteotomy using an oblique osteotomy and an AO compression device is easy to execute and is associated with satisfactory outcomes. Healing time is rapid and postoperative cast immobilization is not required.