Scapholunate Ligament Injuries

Scapholunate Ligament Injuries


These injuries are remarkably common and frequently missed or underestimated . The scapholunate ligament is the equivalent of the ACL (‘Cruciate ligament ‘) of the knee. It’s job is to take load, so activities such as lifting and press ups can be difficult if this important ligament is not functioning properly. Certain everyday activities can be become problematic

if the ligament is incompetent. If the injury is neglected , premature arthritis is a possibility.

After scaphoid fractures, scapholunate ligament injuries  are probably one of the most commonly missed injuries with potentially dire consequences for the patient. The severity of injury is important.

If diagnosed early (approx. within 6 weeks) then a repair is possible as opposed to a complex reconstructive procedure if the diagnosis is  delayed. Early diagnosis is key and this is achieved through a  prompt, comprehensive examination by a wrist specialist, and an urgent MRI scan.

Surgery is usually followed by 4-6 weeks of splint protection and often removal of wires at 6 weeks (a relatively minor procedure ). Intensive rehabilitation is thence required to regain strength and movement. It takes at least several months for patients to feel the benefit of surgery.

The procedure is one of the most technically demanding operations in wrist surgery so surgery performed by a specialist is essential. Your surgeon will talk through the relevant technical details, risks , benefits and rehabilitation involved