AIM: The scaphoid resection with four-corner fusion is an effective procedure for treatment of postraumatic and degenerative wrist osteoarthritis. Few studies that evaluated the functional and workers compensation results are available in the literature. We presented the results of 4-corner fusion on active heavy labour workers.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A prospective study to evaluate 38 patients (37 male and 1 female) who underwent 4-corner fusion, between 2002 to 2005, with an average of 24 months of follow-up (range, 12–48 months) were made. The mean age of the patients were 32 years (range, 25–48 years). All patients were heavy-labour workers. The aethiology in 77% of the patients was SNAC wrist. Dominant limb was involved in 65% of the patients. All patients were immobilised in a cast for 4 weeks after surgery. Patients were assessed clinically and radiographically. Functional analysis of grip and pinch strenght were performed.

RESULTS: Consolidation was obtained in all cases at 10 weeks. Pain evaluation score was 77 at pre-op and 19 on post-op time. The range of flexion – extension movement postoperative was 57°. Average lost of pinch strength was 25%. All patients return to work, 80% to the same activity level and 20% to a different work performing less strenuous activities. After surgery, the range time to return to work was 160 days.

CONCLUSION: The four-corner fusion allows an effective stabilization, maintaining the bone stock and eliminate wrist pain. This technique permit a fast return to work with a great level of satisfaction and preserve a functional range of motion with a minimum lost of force in heavy labour workers.


  • Correspondence should be addressed to Ms Larissa Welti, Scientific Secretary, EFORT Central Office, Technoparkstrasse 1, CH-8005 Zürich, Switzerland