Joint leveling for advanced Kienböck's disease

Ryan P. Calfee, Marlo O. Van Steyn, Cassie Gyuricza, Amelia Adams, Andrew J. Weiland, Richard H. Gelberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose The use of joint leveling procedures to treat Kienböck's disease have been limited by the degree of disease advancement. This study was designed to compare clinical and radiographic outcomes of wrists with more advanced (stage IIIB) Kienbck's disease with those of wrists with less advanced (stage II/IIIA) disease following radius-shortening osteotomy. Methods This retrospective study enrolled 31 adult wrists (30 patients; mean age, 39 y), treated with radius-shortening osteotomy at 2 institutions for either stage IIIB (n = 14) or stage II/IIIA (n = 17) disease. Evaluation was performed at a mean of 74 months (IIIB, 77 mo; II/IIIA, 72 mo). Radiographic assessment determined disease progression. Clinical outcomes were determined by validated patient-based and objective measures. Results Patient-based outcome ratings of wrists treated for stage IIIB were similar to those with stage II/IIIA (shortened Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score, 15 vs 12; modified Mayo wrist score, 84 vs 87; visual analog scale pain score, 1.2 vs 1.7; visual analog scale function score, 2.6 vs 2.1). The average flexion/extension arc was 102° for wrists with stage IIIB and 106° for wrists with stage II/IIIA Kienbock's. Grip strength was 77% of the opposite side for stage IIIB wrists versus 85% for stage II/IIIA. Postoperative carpal height ratio and radioscaphoid angle were worse for wrists treated for stage IIIB (0.46 and 65°, respectively) than stage II/IIIA (0.53 and 53°, respectively) disease. Radiographic disease progression occurred in 7 wrists (6 stage II/IIIA, 1 stage IIIB). The one stage IIIB wrist that progressed underwent wrist arthrodesis. Conclusions In this limited series, clinical outcomes of radius shortening using validated, patient-based assessment instruments and objective measures failed to demonstrate predicted clinically relevant differences between stage II/IIIA and IIIB Kienbck's disease. Given the high percentage of successful clinical outcomes in this case series of 14 stage IIIB wrists, we believe that static carpal malalignment does not preclude radius-shortening osteotomy. Type of study/level of evidence Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1947-1954
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Joint leveling
  • Kienbck's
  • Lunate
  • Osteotomy
  • Radius


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