Muscular control of scapholunate instability. An experimental study

M. M. León-López, M. García-Elías, G. Salvà-Coll, M. Llusá-Perez, A. Lluch-Bergadà

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: As long as the neuromuscular stabilizers are intact, a lesion of the scapholunate ligament may or may not progress to a carpal instability. The mechanisms by which the muscles compensate this defect are not very well known. We designed an experimental study with the aim of clarifying these mechanisms. Material and method: Using 10 fresh wrists, with no pre-existing lesions, we studied the movements of the scaphoid, triquetrum and capitate produced by the isometrical loading of the muscles which move the wrist, each of them isolated or combined, before and after cutting off the scapholunate ligaments. To do this, we placed sensors in each of these bones and used the Fastrack system to record these movements. Results: The simultaneous loading of the muscles of the wrist produce rotational movements in flexion and supination of the proximal carpal row. After cutting off the scapholunate ligaments, the scaphoid rotates in pronation and flexion, while the triquetrum rotates in pronation and extension. In this situation of a scapholunate lesion, the muscles that worsen the carpal dexasation are the extensor carpi ulnaris and flexor carpi ulnaris. On the other hand, the isolated loading of the radial muscles reduce the scapholunate diastasis, thus improving the carpal alignment. Conclusion: In dynamic scapholunate instabilities, isometric contraction of the ulnar carpal muscles must be avoided, as it promotes the scapholunate diastasis. The rest of the muscles have the opposite effect, stabilizing the carpus when primary stabilizers have failed. © 2013 SECOT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
JournalRevista Espanola de Cirugia Ortopedica y Traumatologia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Biomechanics
  • Carpus
  • Kinetic
  • Propioception
  • Scapholunar
  • Stability


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