Dorsal Spanning Plate for Perilunate Dislocations

Duc M. Nguyen, Allison L. Boden, Megan K. Allen, Tamara John, Greg M. Knoll, Seth D. Dodds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare radiographic outcomes in patients treated with the traditional method of open reduction, internal fixation (ORIF) and casting as compared with those treated with ORIF and dorsal spanning plate (DSP) fixation. We hypothesized that the application of a DSP to augment the repair of perilunate dislocations would maintain carpal stability while also allowing early loadbearing through the carpus. Materials and Methods This is a retrospective radiographic review of patients with a perilunate dislocation, who were treated with ORIF and casting or ORIF with a dorsal spanning plate between 2012-2018. Scapholunate (SL) and lunotriquetral (LT) intervals were measured immediately after the index surgery and after scheduled hardware removal. A total of 28 patients met inclusion criteria, including 13 cases with traditional treatment and 15 cases with dorsal spanning plate fixation. Results Comparison of the change in SL interval and LT interval between the 13 patients in the traditional treatment group and the 15 patients in the DSP group did not yield any clinically relevant variation after statistical analysis. Both groups demonstrated minimal change in the radiographic markers of carpal stability from postoperative radiographs obtained immediately after the index repair and after the removal of hardware. Conclusion DSP fixation placed at the index surgery with early loadbearing for the treatment of perilunate dislocation is not inferior to the current mainstay of treatment consisting of cast immobilization without loadbearing and does not confer any increased carpal instability in comparison to ORIF and casting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Wrist Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • carpal injury
  • dorsal spanning plate
  • limited temporary arthrodesis
  • perilunate dislocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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