Wrist Arthrodesis Using a Trapezoidal Wedge Graft from the Distal Radius and a Low-Profile Reconstruction Plate

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Background: Various intramedullary or dorsally based fusions have been utilised to perform wrist arthrodesis. Although the dorsal plate is rigid and well constructed, the standard of care was replenishing the arthrodesis site with an iliac crest bone graft. Due to the high morbidity of the donor site, alternatives such as distal radius bone grafts have gained popularity. In this study, wrist arthrodesis was performed with a locally accessible trapezoidal wedge graft from the distal radius and a low-profile reconstruction plate to evaluate the radiological and functional outcome. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 22 wrists, 14 brachial plexus injuries, 4 post-traumatic injuries, and 4 rheumatoid arthritis patients, with a mean follow-up of 31 months. Union was evaluated on radiography. The functional outcomes were evaluated using a visual analog scale incorporated into a questionnaire. Results: All 22 fusions united successfully, with a mean duration of 12 weeks and a wrist position of an average 17.5 degrees of extension and 6 degrees of ulnar deviation. The aesthetics of the wrist showed the most significant change, and overall satisfaction levels increased. Conclusions: A locally accessible cortico-cancellous graft from the dorsum of the radius is a reliable alternative to an iliac crest or carpal bone graft with high potential for the union. It also serves as a stable strut in our construct, allowing us to use a low-profile reconstruction plate. The Reconstruction (3.5 System) plate can be used safely with excellent results and a low implant prominence or breakage risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1099
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Journal of Orthopaedics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 07-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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