Radioscapholunate Arthrodesis and Distal Radioulnar Joint Arthroplasty for Rheumatoid Wrist Arthritis: A Surgical Technique

Richard Samade, Nikhil Adapa, Austin J. Roebke, Hisham M. Awan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: We describe the treatment of rheumatoid radiocarpal joint and distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) arthritis with radioscapholunate (RSL) arthrodesis and DRUJ arthroplasty in 2 patients with 2 years follow-up. The RSL arthrodesis utilizes nitinol staples and local distal radius autograft to fuse the scaphoid and lunate to the distal radius. Materials and Methods: One patient was treated in their nondominant extremity, and the other patient had bilateral procedures. A constrained endoprosthesis was used for the DRUJ arthroplasty portion, using the same dorsal approach to the wrist as the RSL arthrodesis. Results: Before his procedures, this first patient-reported a Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (QuickDASH) score of 66, which improved to 16 at 2 years postoperatively. He also reported a Visual Analog Scale score of 6/10 at rest in both wrists preoperatively. Following his procedures, Visual Analog Scale scores improved to 3/10 in the right wrist and 0/10 in the left wrist. Active wrist range of motion was measured to be a 60-degree arc on the right and a 47-degree arc on the left. Our second patient reported an improved QuickDASH score from 97 preoperatively to 68 at 2 years postoperatively and had a 70-degree arc of left wrist range of motion. No postoperative complications or reoperations were encountered in the cases. Discussion: The benefit of this technique is to allow simultaneous treatment of radiocarpal joint arthritis with RSL arthrodesis, permitting wrist flexion and extension through the midcarpal joints, and DRUJ arthritis with DRUJ arthroplasty, preserving pronation and supination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalTechniques in Orthopaedics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 22 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • arthroplasty
  • distal radioulnar joint
  • radiocarpal fusion
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scheker procedure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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