Diagnosis and Arthroscopic Management of Dorsal Wrist Capsular Impingement.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Dorsal wrist capsular impingement (DWCI) is characterized by pain attributable to impingement of dorsal capsular tissue during wrist extension. The diagnostic criteria and management algorithm for this condition have not been well established. The aims of our study were (1) to retrospectively review the clinical presentation and arthroscopic findings of patients treated surgically for DWCI and (2) to evaluate the outcomes of arthroscopic debridement for this condition. METHODS: A total of 19 patients were treated with arthroscopic debridement for isolated DWCI from 2006 to 2015 by two surgeons (M.J.R. and D.S.R.) at a single institution. A chart review was performed to gather information on clinical presentation, radiological findings, operative details, and outcomes including numeric pain scale rating, range of motion, Mayo wrist score, and Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score. Patients were contacted at the time of the study for final telephone follow-up. RESULTS: Symptoms were present for a median of 12.5 months (range, 3.5-124.4 mo) prior to surgical intervention, and all patients had pain localized to the dorsal and central wrist with passive terminal wrist extension (100%; 19 of 19). We obtained magnetic resonance imaging in 66% of patients (12 of 19). Diagnostic arthroscopy yielded evidence of infolded, redundant dorsal capsular tissue in all cases (19 of 19), and there was no evidence of concomitant wrist pathology. Compared with preoperative values, postoperative improvements were seen in average numeric pain scale rating (6.0-1.9), Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score (45.8-4.8), and Mayo wrist score (50.0-87.8). These improvements were sustained at 41.6 months after surgery (range, 11.9-73.8 months). One complication of superficial cellulitis occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Dorsal wrist capsular impingement is a clinical diagnosis; magnetic resonance imaging may be helpful in evaluating for other pathologies. Diagnostic arthroscopy yields evidence of redundant dorsal capsular tissue, and arthroscopic debridement of this tissue offers a safe and effective treatment to improve pain and functional scores. TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic IV.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Matson, AP; Dekker, TJ; Lampley, AJ; Richard, MJ; Leversedge, FJ; Ruch, DS

Published Date

  • March 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 42 / 3

Start / End Page

  • e167 - e174

PubMed ID

  • 28259281

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1531-6564

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jhsa.2016.12.012


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States