January 24th, 2014 , Arthrosc Tech

Arthroscopic wafer procedure for ulnar impaction syndrome

Ulnar impaction syndrome is abutment of the ulna on the lunate and triquetrum that increases stress and load, causing ulnar-sided wrist pain. Typically, ulnar-positive or -neutral variance is seen on a posteroanterior radiograph of the wrist. The management of ulnar impaction syndrome varies from conservative, symptomatic treatment to open procedures to shorten the ulna. Arthroscopic management has become increasingly popular for management of ulnar impaction with ulnar-positive variance of less than 3 mm and concomitant central triangular fibrocartilage complex tears. This method avoids complications associated with open procedures, such as nonunion and symptomatic hardware. The arthroscopic wafer procedure involves debridement of the central triangular fibrocartilage complex tear, along with debridement of the distal pole of the ulna causing the impaction. Debridement of the ulna arthroscopically is taken down to a level at which the patient is ulnar neutral or slightly ulnar negative. Previous studies have shown good results with relief of patient symptoms while avoiding complications seen with open procedures.