Clinical Outcomes of Arthroscopic One-Tunnel Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Transosseous Suture Repair Are Not Diminished in Cases of Ulnar Styloid Process Fracture Nonunion


      To determine whether clinical outcomes of arthroscopic one-tunnel wrist triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) transosseous suture repair are not diminished in cases of ulnar styloid process fracture nonunion (USPFN).


      Patients who underwent arthroscopic 1-tunnel transosseous suture repair of Palmer 1B foveal TFCC tear (with/without superficial fiber tear; Atzei class 2 or 3 TFCC tear) from 2015 to 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. Group I was the TFCC foveal tear repair group with USPFN. Group II was the TFCC foveal tear repair group without USPFN. In group I, no additional treatment for USPFN was made. Functional preoperative and postoperative outcomes were compared by Modified Mayo Wrist Score (MMWS); Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (Quick-DASH) score; grip strength; pain visual analog scale (VAS); and distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) stability. Wrist posteroanterior, lateral, and both oblique views of the wrist were used to assess the ulnar styloid process before and after operation.


      This study consisted of 66 patients: group I (n = 22) and group II (n = 44). No differences were found between the 2 groups preoperatively in MMWS, Quick-DASH, grip strength, and VAS (MMWS: P = .94, Quick-DASH: P = .23, grip strength: P = .69, VAS: P = .45). No differences were found between the 2 groups with respect to outcome measures postoperatively in MMWS, Quick-DASH, grip strength, and VAS (MMWS: P = .59, Quick DASH: P = .82, grip strength: P = .15, VAS: P = .84). All of the enrolled patients achieved restored function with negative ballottement test and maintained DRUJ stability on follow-up. Of the 22 USPFN cases in group I, 11 (50%) showed spontaneous union after transosseous TFCC foveal repair without any additional USPFN treatment. The proportion of patients achieving a minimal clinically important difference for the Quick-DASH was similar between the 2 groups.


      Although this current study has insufficient statistical power, the available data suggest that patients with TFCC foveal tear combined with USPFNs treated with arthroscopic transosseous repair surgery could experience similar functional improvement compared with those with TFCC foveal tear without USPFNs. The presence of USPFN accompanied by Palmer 1B type TFCC foveal tear may not affect the clinical results, including MMWS, Quick-DASH, grip strength, VAS, and DRUJ stability of patients who undergo arthroscopic 1-tunnel transosseous suture repair.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, retrospective comparative study.
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