Effects of a scaphoid waist osteotomy on carpal kinematics

D. K. Smith, K. N. An, W. P. Cooney, R. L. Linscheid, E. Y. Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of a scaphoid osteotomy on the kinematics of the carpal bones were determined in five cadaveric wrist specimens. Minute radiographic markers were inserted into the distal radius and selected carpal bones through limited arthrotomies between the intercarpal ligaments. Simultaneous biplanar radiographs were obtained in neutral and the extreme wrist positions of extension, flexion, radial deviation, and ulnar deviation, both before and after a scaphoid waist osteotomy. The positions of each of the carpal markers and their corresponding carpal bones were digitized for each wrist position, and a computer‐assisted motion analysis was performed for each specimen before and after transverse scaphoid waist osteotomy. Following the osteotomy, there was a tendency for the scaphoid osteotomy to collapse into a dorsally angulated or “humpback collapse” deformity during each extreme wrist position. There was also multiplanar osteotomy site motion as well as complex collapse deformities of the midcarpal joint associated with loss of the mechanical tie‐rod function of the scaphoid. These findings reveal the importance of the scaphoid in maintaining normal kinematics and the inherent instability of these fractures with loss of scaphoid integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-598
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Fracture
  • Kinematics
  • Scaphoid
  • Wrist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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