The objective was to investigate the clinical and subjective outcomes of patients after 4-corner arthrodesis (FCA) for scapholunate advanced collapse (SLAC) or scaphoid nonunion advanced collapse (SNAC) and to analyze complications. Furthermore, we compared the long-term results of a first-generation nonlocking plate (Spider) and a plate with a locking screw design (Flower plate).
In a retrospective cohort study, we included 39 patients with stage II or III SLAC or SNAC who underwent FCA. Twenty wrists were treated with a nonlocking plate and 19 with a locking plate. Patients completed the Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation (PRWE) and the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire (MHQ). Active range of wrist motion, radiological signs such as impingement, and signs of implant loosening and nonunion, as well as postoperative complications, were assessed.
After a median postoperative follow-up time of 4.1 years, the PRWE score was 18 and the total MHQ score 79. Patient-reported and clinical outcomes were similar for the 2 plate types. Wrists fixed with the nonlocking plate had more dorsal impingements and loosening than wrists fixed with a locking plate. One nonunion was noted in the nonlocking plate group, and a single case of implant failure was seen for each plate type. A total of 5 patients with a nonlocking plate incurred postoperative complications that required further medical treatment.
FCA for patients with stage II or III SLAC or SNAC yields positive clinical and subjective outcomes. Based on the high complication rate following FCA with a nonlocking plate, we no longer use this implant and recommend fixation with a locking screw plate.
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