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Perilunate Dislocation

Perilunate dislocation is a dorsal dislocation of the capitate in relation to the lunate bone, which may sometimes be dislocated anteriorly at the same time. It may occur in association with a dislocation or fracture of the scaphoid and is caused by forced dorsiflexion or axial compression of the wrist.

Symptoms and diagnosis

– Changed contour is visible on the dorsal aspect of the wrist.
– Swelling and tenderness are present.
– Movements are painful and restricted.
– X-rays show the posterior dislocation of the capitate.


The athlete should:
– cool, compress, and elevate the wrist;
– consult a doctor immediately.

The doctor may:
– verify the diagnosis by X-ray;
– operate to reduce the dislocation and hold it in position with Kirschner wires;
– in addition, repair the torn ligaments.

The lunate can dislocate both posteriorly (in a dorsal direction) and anteriorly (in a palmar direction). This injury is really just a continuation of the perilunate dislocation and scapholunate dissociation. With increasingly severe trauma, the injury progresses from scapholunate dissociation to perilunate dislocation and then to true lunate dislocation.

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