Chen, Alvin Chao-Yu MD; Chao, En-Kai MD; Hung, Shuo-Suei MD; Lee, Mel Shiuann-Sheng MD, PhD; Ueng, Steve Wen-Neng MD
Background: The technique of percutaneous screw fixation, with increasing popularity, has been successfully conducted in non-displaced, stable scaphoid fractures resulting in shortened immobilization duration and prompt functional retrieval. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the surgical technique and to explore the potential benefits of using percutaneous screw fixation in unstable scaphoid fractures.
Methods: Eleven of 97 patients with scaphoid fractures surgically treated between 1994 and 2002 were enrolled in this study. All were acute unstable fractures and underwent closed reduction and percutaneous screw fixation. All the records were meticulously reviewed and reported, including the complete radiographic examination before and after operation, time to fracture union, wrist motion, grip strength, and time of return to work, as well as overall patient satisfaction at the time of the most recent follow-up.
Results: Eleven fractures in an equal number of patients were followed up for a mean period of 1.6 years. All fractures acquired radiographic union in an average of 10.6 weeks. The modified Mayo Wrist score averaged 88.2. The functional result was ranked as excellent in 6 patients, and good in 5 patients. All returned to work or the pre-injury level of activity, and were satisfied with the surgical outcome.
Conclusion: The technique of percutaneous screw fixation was successfully used to treat 11 unstable scaphoid fractures. The encouraging outcome of this treatment option and the prompt functional recovery deserve further investigation. Further randomized prospective studies to explore the specific indications and ubiquitous benefits of the technique presented herein are recommended.
Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care. 59(1):184-187, July 2005.