Injuries to the scapholunate joint are the most frequent cause of carpal instability and account for a considerable degree of wrist dysfunction, lost time from work, and interference with activities. Although it is insufficient to cause abnormal carpal posture or collapse on static radiographs, an isolated injury to the scapholunate interosseous ligament may be the harbinger of a relentless progression to abnormal joint mechanics, cartilage wear, and degenerative changes. Intervention for scapholunate instability is aimed at arresting the degenerative process by restoring ligament continuity and normalizing carpal kinematics. In this review, we discuss the anatomy, kinematics, and biomechanical properties of the scapholunate articulation and provide a foundation for understanding the spectrum of scapholunate ligament instability. We propose an algorithm for treatment based on the stage of injury and the degree of secondary ligamentous damage and arthritic change.
Copyright © 2012 American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.