Long term results of the Sauvé-Kapandji procedure in the rheumatoid wrist

Published online: Dec 30 2013

Miklós PAPP, Levente PAPP, Balázs LENKEI, Zoltán KÁROLYI

From Borsod County Teaching Hospital, Miskolc, Hungary


This retrospective long-term study evaluates the clinical and radiological results of the Sauvé-Kapandji procedure in rheumatoid wrists. Fourteen patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had undergone a Sauvé- Kapandji procedure were examined 10 to 16.5 years after surgery. Range of motion and grip strength were measured. The patients’ complaints related with instability of the ulnar stump, the residual pain in the wrist, and the function of the operated hand were assessed. The review also included a radiological examination.
Pain was found to have decreased and the gripping strength of the hand to have increased in all the patients. The range of wrist rotation was significantly improved. On radiographs, there were no signs of increased ulnar translation of the carpus. We noted no instance of subluxation or dislocation of the ulnar stump.
In this long-term evaluation, the Sauvé-Kapandji procedure was found to provide long-term improvement of the function of the wrist-hand complex, by eliminating the distal radio-ulnar joint which is a major source of pain in the rheumatoid wrist.