J Wrist Surg 2019; 08(03): 186-191
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1677536
Scientific Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Radiographs Detect Dorsal Scaphoid Translation in Scapholunate Dissociation

Kevin Chan
1   Spectrum Health, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Emil S. Vutescu
2   Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York
Scott W. Wolfe
2   Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York
Steve K. Lee
2   Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

27 August 2018

03 December 2018

Publication Date:
18 January 2019 (online)


Background Dorsal translation of the proximal scaphoid pole onto the rim of the distal radius is a late finding associated with chronic scapholunate instability. Dorsal scaphoid translation (DST) has been identified by magnetic resonance imaging in patients with scapholunate dissociation (SLD).

Purpose The authors proposed to determine whether DST can be reliably detected on radiographs using two different measurement techniques.

Patients and Methods Lateral radiographs of 20 patients with operatively confirmed SLD were compared with 20 uninjured patients in blinded assessment. DST was assessed using the concentric circle and dorsal tangential line methods. Reliability was calculated using intraclass correlation (ICC) values.

Results Using both techniques, the scaphoid demonstrated increased dorsal translation in patients with SLD. Inter-rater reliabilities for the concentric circles and dorsal tangential line method on radiographs had ICCs > 0.80. Similarly, intra-rater reliabilities had ICCs > 0.90.

Conclusions Both the concentric circles and dorsal tangential line techniques had excellent reliabilities, but the dorsal tangential line method is clinically more practical.

Type of Study/Level of Evidence This is a Level III, diagnostic study.


Investigation was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, New York, New York, 10021.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval was obtained from our Institutional Review Board.

Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (e.g., consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, and patent/licensing arrangements) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.