Range of motion and stability are important outcome parameters to assess function of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ), in particular pronation, supination, and weight-lifting capacity. The DRUJ semiconstrained implant developed by Scheker et al is intended to reproduce all the functions of the triangular fibrocartilage complex and the DRUJ. The aim of the study was to investigate the subjective, clinical, and radiographic results in 10 patients after primary implantation of the semiconstrained DRUJ arthroplasty following DRUJ derangement and painful instability, with an average follow-up of 3 years with a special focus on the complications. Standardized preoperative and postoperative evaluation included assessment of pain by a visual analog scale, radiographic examination, range of motion measurements, lifting capacity, and grip strength. The patient-perceived function was investigated using clinical score charts. Compared with the preoperative status, range of motion showed little change, while grip strength, lifting capacity, pain score, and patient-perceived functions improved significantly. One patient developed an ulna stem loosening, while two patients had to be reoperated because of an irritation of the extensor tendons and the superficial radial nerve at the first dorsal compartment of the wrist. In this study, arthroplasty of the DRUJ using the semiconstrained DRUJ arthroplasty was found to result in satisfactory outcome. Level of evidence: Level IV.
Keywords: arthroplasty; distal radioulnar joint; semiconstrained implant.