Treatments for Kienböck disease: what the radiologist needs to know

Carissa White, Prosper Benhaim, Benjamin Plotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The etiology of Kienböck disease, or avascular necrosis of the lunate, is controversial, and there are a myriad of treatments aimed at correcting the various hypothesized pathologies. Interventions to reduce mechanical stress on the lunate have been used for decades, including radial osteotomy with or without radial shortening, ulnar lengthening and metaphyseal core decompression procedures. However, these procedures require preservation of lunate architecture. Newer procedures to revascularize the lunate bone have emerged in the last 10 years, such as pedicled corticoperiosteal vascularized bone grafting. Once there is collapse of the radiocarpal joint or midcarpal arthrosis, the conventional treatments have included proximal row carpectomy and complete or partial wrist joint arthrodesis. Newer salvage procedures such as lunate excision with autologous or synthetic interposition grafts are now being used when possible. As this disease is relatively rare, radiologists may not be familiar with the expected post-operative radiologic findings and complications, especially of the newer treatments. The goals of this paper are to review the available treatment options and their expected appearance on postoperative imaging, with discussion of possible complications when appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-540
Number of pages10
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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