Spectrum of carpal dislocations and fracture-dislocations: imaging and management

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2014 Sep;203(3):541-50. doi: 10.2214/AJR.13.11680.


Objective: The objectives of this article are to discuss the imaging of carpal dislocations and fracture-dislocations and to review the ligamentous anatomy of the wrist, mechanisms of injury, and routine management of these injuries.

Conclusion: Perilunate dislocations, perilunate fracture-dislocations (PLFDs), and lunate dislocations are high-energy wrist injuries that can and should be recognized on radio-graphs. These injuries are a result of important sequential osseous and ligamentous injuries or failures. Prompt and accurate radiographic diagnosis aids in the management of patients with perilunate dislocations, PLFDs, and lunate dislocations while assisting orthopedic surgeons with subsequent surgical planning. CT may better show the extent of the injury and help in treatment planning particularly in cases of delayed treatment or chronic perilunate dislocation. A CT examination with coronal, sagittal, and 3D reformatted images is ordered at our institution in cases in which the extent of the carpal injuries is poorly shown on radiographic examination.

Keywords: Mayfield classification; lunate dislocations; perilunate dislocations; perilunate fracture-dislocations; transcapitate; transradial styloid; transscaphoid; transtriquetral; transulnar styloid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carpal Bones / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carpal Bones / injuries*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / diagnostic imaging*
  • Joint Dislocations / therapy*
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Wrist Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Wrist Injuries / therapy