PURPOSE: To virtually assess nonunions of the scaphoid waist using 3-dimensional computed tomography (CT) reconstruction for the amount of displacement of the distal fragment and the postfracture reduction position using the intact opposite scaphoid for reference.
METHODS: We generated 3-dimensional reconstructions for 11 nonunions of the scaphoid waist and the contralateral intact scaphoids based on CT. The mean age of the patients was 25 years and the time from injury to the CT scan was 2.4 years. We used the mirrored 3-dimensional model of the healthy scaphoid to guide virtual reduction of the nonunion and calculated the amount of displacement of the distal pole fragment from prereduction to postreduction. We compared the results with the intrascaphoid angles calculated using single CT slices.
RESULTS: The scaphoid nonunions showed a mean flexion deformity of 23°, an ulnar deviation of 5°, and a pronation deformity of 10°. Mean translation was 0.9 mm volarward, 0.2 mm radialward, and 3.3 mm distalward. After reduction, all scaphoids showed a bony overlap on the dorsoradial side; the mean volume of this region was 3% of total bone volume. There was no correlation between the degree of displacement and the intrascaphoid angle measurements.
CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative planning for scaphoid reconstruction is usually performed using conventional radiographs and single CT slices. However, by synthesizing the information from the CT into a 3-dimensional reconstruction, an exact analysis is possible. This method also allows quantification of prosupination displacement. The postreduction area of dorsal bone overlap may be due to appositional callus formation.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Simple volar opening of the scaphoid allows correction of angulation deformities but results in lengthening of the scaphoid. Correct reduction of the scaphoid fragments is often only possible if the dorsal appositional callus is resected.