The Treatment of Ulnar Impaction Syndrome: A Systematic Review of the Literature


Ulnar impaction syndrome is a common cause of ulnar-sided wrist pain that is thought to be a result of abutment between the ulna and the ulnar carpus. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to determine the effectiveness of different treatment options in managing ulnar impaction syndrome. PubMed, the Cochrane database, and secondary references were reviewed to identify all English language articles with reported results on the treatment of ulnar impaction syndrome. A total of 16 articles met the criteria for review. Three procedures were identified as the most commonly used in treating this syndrome: ulnar shortening osteotomy, the wafer procedure, and the arthroscopic wafer procedure. Mean time to union and percentage nonunion for the osteotomy group was 10.3 weeks and 1.7%, respectively. The overall complication rate for patients in the ulnar shortening osteotomy group, the wafer procedure group, and the arthroscopic wafer group was 30%, 8.8%, and 21%, respectively. The authors were unable to determine a single best treatment option based on the available studies, mainly due to the variability in the reporting of subjective outcome measures. Ulnar shortening osteotomy was associated with a higher complication rate than other procedures. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 19(4):218–222, 2010)

SKU: JSOA-2010-19-4-W5 Categories: , Tags: ,

David I. Katz, MD, John G. Seiler III, MD, and T. Christopher Bond, PhD