Comparison of Treatment Options for Chronic Scapholunate Interosseous Ligament (SLIL): A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis

Eplasty. 2023 Jun 14:23:e33. eCollection 2023.


Background: The scapholunate interosseous ligament (SLIL) is an important contributor to wrist stability and functionality. SLIL injury is debilitating and therefore many surgical techniques have been proposed, but the optimal treatment modality remains debated.This meta-analysis reviews the available literature comparing surgical techniques used in the treatment of chronic SLIL to determine the best approach.

Methods: An electronic search of the literature was conducted to identify all randomized controlled trials and cohort studies published before January 2019 that evaluated clinical outcomes of capsulodesis reconstruction, the modified Brunelli technique, and the reduction and association of the scaphoid and lunate (RASL) procedure for treatment of chronic SLIL. A chi-square analysis was performed to identify possible differences between each technique for several outcome measures.

Results: A total 20 studies encompassing 409 patients met inclusion criteria. Average age among patients was 36.7 years, and 68.2% of patients were male. Reductions in visual analog scale pain scale; Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) scores; and increases in grip strength and range of motion were observed for all techniques. Capsulodesis was superior to the modified Brunelli technique regarding preserved range of motion.

Conclusions: No significant differences were observed among any of the techniques for pain, DASH score, and grip strength outcomes. Capsulodesis, modified Brunelli, and RASL surgical techniques for the treatment of chronic SLIL injuries may all be seen as reliable methods of treatment of chronic SLIL injuries. While future trials directly comparing these methods are needed, this study suggests there is no superiority of one technique over another.

Keywords: Clinical; Hand; Ligament; Outcomes; Scapholunate; Wrist.