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Wrist & Hand

Arthroscopic bone graft and fixation for proximal scaphoid nonunions

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This study aims to report the outcomes in the treatment of unstable proximal third scaphoid nonunions with arthroscopic curettage, non-vascularized bone grafting, and percutaneous fixation.


This was a retrospective analysis of 20 patients. All cases were delayed presentations (n = 15) or failed nonoperatively managed scaphoid fractures (n = 5). Surgery was performed at a mean duration of 27 months (7 to 120) following injury with arthroscopic debridement and arthroscopic iliac crest autograft. Fracture fixation was performed percutaneously with Kirschner (K)-wires in 12 wrists, a headless screw in six, and a combination of a headless screw and single K-wire in two. Clinical outcomes were assessed using grip strength, patient-reported outcome measures, and wrist range of motion (ROM) measurements.


Intraoperatively, established avascular necrosis of the proximal fragment was identified in ten scaphoids. All fractures united within 16 weeks, confirmed by CT. At a mean follow-up of 31 months (12 to 64), there were significant improvements in the Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation, Mayo Wrist Score, abbreviated Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score, wrist ROM, grip strength, and the patients’ subjective pain score. No peri- or postoperative complications were encountered.


Our data indicate that arthroscopic bone grafting and fixation with cancellous autograft is a viable method in the treatment of proximal third scaphoid nonunions, regardless of the vascularity of the proximal fragment.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2022;104-B(8):946–952.

Correspondence should be sent to Bo Liu. E-mail:

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