Isaacs, J., MD, Howard, S., OTR/L, CHT, Gulkin, D., MD
Abstract: Extra-articular ulnar shortening osteotomy, in principle, is an accepted treatment option for symptomatic degenerative and traumatic triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tears. Despite the benefits of this surgical approach, potential disadvantages include risk of nonunion, soft tissue irritation, and the need for future hardwar removal. A recently introduced low profile ulna shortening system was designed to decrease these potential complications. A single-surgeon prospective study was performed to evaluate this system. Ten consecutive patients undergoing ulna shortening for ulnar-sided wrist pain compatible with TFCC pathology participated in the study. Subjective, objective, and radiographic assessments were performed preoperatively and up to 24 weeks postoperatively. Based on visual analog scale (VOS) ratings (0 to 10), pain socres significantly improved (p<0.05) and average patient satisfaction was 8.7. DASH and PRWE scores improved at three month follow-up (p<0.05). Osteotomy healing time averaged 10.3 weeks, and there were no nonunions. Average discomfort associated with palpation of the plate at final follow-up was 3.3 (using VOS), and one patient requested removal of the hardware. In this short-term follow-up study, the assessed ulna shortening system appears effective and, in general, well tolerated.