We conducted a review of 144 consecutive patients who underwent proximal row carpectomy from 1967 to 2010 for the diagnosis of wrist arthritis. At a mean follow-up of 13.4 years, patients experienced good pain relief with preservation (but not improvement) of wrist motion. A total of 17 patients (12%) required revision surgery at an average of 44.6 months. Improved pain, function, and survival outcomes were seen in those who underwent proximal row carpectomy after the age of 40, had a preoperative diagnosis of Kienbock's disease, who underwent a concomitant neurectomy procedure, patients who were non-labourers, and patients who underwent surgery after 1990. Although 45% of patients developed moderate to severe radiocapitate arthrosis postoperatively, these findings did not correlate with clinical outcomes or risk of revision surgery. Patients with type II lunate and type II and III capitate shapes had higher rates of postoperative radiocapitate arthrosis.
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