Bilateral carpal pilon-type fractures due to clenched fist trauma: a case report

Ann Jt. 2023 Jan 5:8:9. doi: 10.21037/aoj-22-25. eCollection 2023.


Background: Multiple carpal fractures or fracture dislocations can be devastating to the wrist. Despite anatomical reduction and ligament reconstruction, reduced function and arthrosis is often observed. Simple fractures without ligament injuries often fare well if anatomy is restored and the fracture heals.

Case description: A 17-year-old autistic man presented with pilon-type bilateral fractures of the carpals after crashing his bicycle in a car with clenched fists around his bicycle handlebars. He had a displaced scaphoid, minimal displaced capitate and an undisplaced hamate fracture on the left side and an undisplaced scaphoid and displaced two-part capitate fracture on the right side. The fractures were reduced and stable fixation with screws performed. He was immobilized for 2 weeks and allowed early active motion. At 8 weeks the fractures had healed, and he obtained good function. At final follow-up after 6 months his nearest of kin reported excellent function, he had returned to his preinjury activity level. Range of motion and grip-strength was excellent and symmetrical. Radiographs and CT scans revealed healed fractures in anatomical position, no sign of ligament injuries, carpal instability or arthrosis.

Conclusions: Multiple carpal fractures are not necessarily prone to reduced wrist function, pain and arthrosis, even in bilateral cases. If the ligaments are intact, stable fixation obtained and early mobilization obtained the fractures reduced and stable fixation obtained excellent hand and wrist function can be obtained.

Keywords: Case report; bilateral; carpal fracture; scaphoid; wrist.

Publication types

  • Case Reports