Carpal Dislocations

      Carpal dislocations are rare injuries. They most often occur from high-energy trauma such as motor vehicle accidents, falls from a height, or industrial-related accidents. Usually occurring in young males in their twenties or thirties, these injuries may be missed initially because of concomitant injuries. A thorough understanding of the carpal anatomy, injury patterns, and treatment options is critical for proper management of these rare but significant injuries. In this article the authors address the five main categories of carpal dislocations, the associated anatomy, and their diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessPDF Download and 24 Hours Online Access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribers receive full online access to your subscription and archive of back issues up to and including 2002.

      Content published before 2002 is available via pay-per-view purchase only.


      Subscribe to Hand Clinics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Taleisnik J.
        The ligaments of the wrist.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1976; 1: 110-118
        • Mayfield J.K.
        • Johnson R.P.
        • Kilcoyne R.F.
        The ligaments of the human wrist and their functional significance.
        Anat Rec. 1976; 186: 417-428
        • Berger R.A.
        The ligaments of the wrist: a current overview of anatomy with considerations of their potential functions.
        Hand Clin. 1997; 13: 63-82
        • Cooney W.P.
        • Bussey R.
        • Dobyns J.H.
        • et al.
        Difficult wrist fractures: perilunate fracture-dislocations of the wrist.
        Clin Orthop. 1987; 214: 136-147
        • Herzberg G.
        • Comtet J.J.
        • Linscheid R.L.
        • et al.
        Perilunate dislocations and fracture dislocations: a multicenter study.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1993; 18: 768-779
        • Mayfield J.K.
        • Johnson R.P.
        • Kilcoyne R.F.
        Carpal dislocations: pathomechanics and progressive perilunar instability.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1980; 5: 226-241
        • Tolo E.T.
        • Shin A.Y.
        Fracture dislocations of the carpus.
        in: Trumble T.E. Hand surgery update 3. ASSH, Rosemont (IL)2003: 192-193
        • Johnson R.P.
        The acutely injured wrist and its residuals.
        Clin Orthop. 1980; 149: 33-44
        • Witvoet J.
        • Allieu Y.
        Lesions traumatiques fraiches [Acute traumatic injuries].
        Rev Chir Orthop. 1973; 59 ([in French]): 98-125
        • Siegert J.J.
        • Frassica F.J.
        • Amadio P.C.
        Treatment of chronic perilunate dislocations.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1988; 13: 206-212
        • Dobyns J.H.
        • Swanson G.E.
        A 19 year-old with multiple fractures.
        Minn Med. 1973; 56: 143-149
        • Linscheid R.L.
        • Dobyns J.H.
        Treatment of scapholunate dissociation.
        Hand Clin. 1992; 8: 645-652
        • Sotereanos D.G.
        • Mitsionis G.J.
        • Giannakopoulos P.N.
        • et al.
        Perilunate dislocation and fracture-dislocation: a critical analysis of the volar-dorsal approach.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1997; 22: 49-56
        • Green D.P.
        • O'Brien E.T.
        Open reduction of carpal dislocations: indications and operative techniques.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1978; 3: 250-265
        • Minami A.
        • Kaneda K.
        Repair and/or reconstruction of scapholunate interosseous ligament in lunate and perilunate dislocations.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1993; 18: 1099-1106
        • Hildebrand K.A.
        • Ross D.C.
        • Patterson S.D.
        • et al.
        Dorsal perilunate dislocations and fracture-dislocations: questionnaire, clinical, and radiographic evaluation.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 2000; 25: 1069-1079
        • Brunelli G.A.
        • Brunelli G.R.
        A new surgical technique for carpal instability with scapho-lunar dislocation: eleven cases.
        Ann Chir Main Memb Super. 1995; 14: 207-213
        • Mueller J.J.
        Avascular necrosis and collapse of the lunate following a volar perilunate dislocation. A case report and review of this complication in dislocations of the wrist.
        Orthopedics. 1984; 7: 1009-1014
        • Shin A.Y.
        • Battaglia M.J.
        • Bishop A.T.
        Lunotriquetral instability: diagnosis and treatment.
        J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2000; 8: 170-179
        • Dunn W.A.
        Fractures and dislocations of the carpus.
        Surg Clin North Am. 1972; 52: 1513-1538
        • Moneim M.S.
        • Bolger J.T.
        • Omber G.E.
        Radiocarpal dislocation-classification and rationale for management.
        Clin Orthop. 1985; 192: 199-209
        • Dumontier C.
        • Meyer zu Reckendorf G.
        • Sautet A.
        • et al.
        Radiocarpal dislocations: classification and proposal for treatment. A review of twenty-seven cases.
        J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2001; 83: 212-218
        • Mudgal C.S.
        • Psenica J.
        • Jupiter J.B.
        Radiocarpal fracture-dislocation.
        J Hand Surg [Br]. 1999; 24: 92-98
        • Nyquist S.R.
        • Stern P.J.
        Open radiocarpal fracture-dislocations.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1984; 9: 707-710
        • Garcia-Elias M.
        • Dobyns J.H.
        • Cooney III, W.P.
        • et al.
        Traumatic axial dislocations of the carpus.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1989; 14: 446-457
        • Garcia-Elias M.
        • Bishop A.T.
        • Dobyns J.H.
        • et al.
        Transcarpal carpometacarpal dislocations, excluding the thumb.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1990; 15: 531-541
        • Minami A.
        • Ogino T.
        • Mamada M.
        Rupture of extensor tendons associated with a palmar perilunar dislocation.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1989; 14: 843-847
        • Schwartz M.G.
        • Green S.M.
        • Coville F.A.
        Dorsal dislocations of the lunate with multiple extensor tendon ruptures.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1990; 15: 132-133
        • Maki N.J.
        • Chuinard R.G.
        • D'Ambrosia R.
        Isolated, complete radial dislocation of the scaphoid. A case report and review of the literature.
        J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1982; 64: 615-616
        • Cherif M.R.
        • Ben Ghozlen R.
        • Chehimi A.
        • et al.
        Isolated dislocation of the carpal scaphoid. A case report with review of the literature.
        Chir Main. 2002; 21 ([in French]): 305-308
        • Frykman E.
        Dislocation of the triquetrum. Case Report.
        Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg. 1980; 14: 205-207
        • Soucacos P.N.
        • Hartofilakidis-Garofalidis G.C.
        Dislocation of the triangular bone. Report of a case.
        J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1981; 63: 1012-1014
        • Bieber E.J.
        • Weiland A.J.
        Traumatic dorsal dislocation of the triquetrum: a case report.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1984; 9: 840-842
        • Goldberg B.
        • Heller A.P.
        Dorsal dislocation of the triquetrum with rotary subluxation of the scaphoid.
        J Hand Surg [Am]. 1987; 12: 119-122
        • Aieren J.
        • Agnes A.
        • Muller J.M.
        Isolated dislocation of the hamate bone. Case report and review of the literature.
        Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2000; 120: 535-537
        • Levante S.
        • Ebelin M.
        Traumatic dislocation of the pisiform bone: a case report and review of the literature.
        Chir Main. 2002; 21 ([in French]): 264-268