International Orthopaedics

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 1215–1220 | Cite as

Wrist arthroscopy in children and adolescents: a single surgeon experience of thirty-four cases

  • Sebastian FarrEmail author
  • Franz Grill
  • Werner Girsch
Original Paper



The purpose of this study was to report our experience of wrist arthroscopy in children and adolescents with chronic wrist pain in a retrospective single surgeon series. Therefore, technical differences or obstacles compared to standard wrist arthroscopy in adults, and complications were highlighted.


A retrospective data review of all patients undergoing wrist arthroscopy between 2002 and 2011 was performed. The basic inclusion criteria was chronic, therapy refractory wrist pain for more than three months in children and adolescents aged 18 years and younger. In total, 34 arthroscopies in 27 girls and six boys were reviewed. The mean age at time of arthroscopic exploration was 14.6 years (range, 9.8–17.9 years).


A total of 28 wrists showed a triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tear (82.4%). In 26 of 34 (76.5%) inspected wrist joints additional pathologies besides TFCC tears were documented. As a consequence, 14 arthroscopic TFCC resections, two arthroscopic TFCC repairs and seven open resection arthroplasties were performed. Other concomitant procedures (e.g. ulna shortening) were performed in 25 patients (26 wrists) because of predisposing malformations. No intraoperative or postoperative complications related to the arthroscopies were observed. No relevant technical differences to wrist arthroscopy in adults were experienced apart from cases of major anatomical malformations.


Wrist arthroscopy has been shown to be a safe procedure to detect and treat paediatric wrist disorders. Nevertheless, we believe that this procedure should only be carried out by well-trained, experienced hand surgeons.


Wrist Joint Wrist Pain Chondromalacia Concomitant Procedure Resection Arthroplasty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Supplementary material

Online Resource 1

Intraoperative video of a Madelung deformity offering deep insight into the altered anatomic situs showing (1) the sloping radial plateau and (2) an accompanying synovitis in the ulnar compartment (MPG 17536 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric OrthopaedicsOrthopaedic Hospital Vienna–SpeisingViennaAustria

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