Results of ulnar shortening osteotomy in patients with ulnar wrist pain. A retrospective study


ulnar shortening osteotomy ; ulnar wrist pain ; ulnocarpal impaction

Published online: Dec 31 2019

Jonas Declerq, Wim Vanhove, Szabolcs Benis, Nadine Hollevoet

From the Ghent University Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology


The aim of the study was to find out if ulnar shortening is effective to treat ulnar wrist pain and which factors influence outcome. Thirty-seven patients were evalua- ted with a mean follow-up of 4.5 years. Thirty patients (81%) would undergo the same operation again although 21 (57%) had residual ulnar wrist pain. Mean disabilities of arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) score was 22 and mean patient rated wrist evaluation score (PRWE) was 33. DASH and PRWE scores were better in smokers, in patients operated on the non- dominant side and when follow-up was longer. PRWE score was worse in posttraumatic cases. Age, gender and type of osteotomy did not influence outcome. Three patients (8%) needed an additional operation for nonunion and in 17 (46%) plate and screws had to be removed. It can be concluded that ulnar shortening can be proposed to treat ulnocarpal wrist pain, but complete pain relief cannot be guaranteed and additional surgery may be required.