Strain-gauge evaluation of lunate unloading procedures

Victoria R. Masear, Elvin G. Zook, David R. Pichora, Murali Krishnamurthy, Robert C. Russell, Jack Lemons, Martha W. Bidez

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42 Scopus citations


A biomechanical study was undertaken to determine which procedure(s) most effectively relieve load from the lunate. Strain gauges were mounted on the lunates of 20 preserved cadaveric limbs. Three types of procedures were performed: scaphotrapeziotrapezoid arthrodesis, capitohamate arthrodesis, and ulnar lengthening. Load testing was performed both before and after the simulated fusions and ulnar lengthenings. Ulnar lengthening of 3 mm was the most effective method of lunate strain reduction. Capitohamate arthrodesis decreased compressive strain but increased shear strain. Scaphotrapeziotrapezoid fusion significantly increased both compressive and shear strain in the lunate. Of the three procedures that were tested, ulnar lengthening to create a neutral variance is the most reliable means of unloading the lunate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-443
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1992
Externally publishedYes


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