Acute Carpal Instability

  • Ian A. TrailEmail author


Instability of the carpus can range from predominantly simple inter-carpal ligament injuries e.g. scapholunate or lunotriquetral, to a complete fracture- dislocation, e.g. transcaphoid perilunar. As such, there is a spectrum of injury. The former often form part of a differential diagnosis of a scaphoid fracture, usually occurring as a result of a fall on an outstretched wrist, whilst the latter will require a more forceful injury which results in significant ligament dislocation, as well as a potential for fracture. In addition, predominantly isolated interosseous ligament injuries are often missed until symptoms become chronic and, as such, present late for definitive treatment. The pathogenesis and treatment of chronic instability will be covered in the chapter by Marc Garcia-Elias. It is, however, important to remember that these injuries almost always occur acutely and early treatment is ideal. The major disruptions are obviously easier to diagnose and should be treated as an emergency.


Carpal fracture/dislocation Early diagnosis/investigation Complications Early management Rehabilitation Salvage 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Upper Limb Research DepartmentWrightington HospitalWiganUK

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