Assessment of scapholunate instability and review of evidence for management in the absence of arthritis.
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Scapholunate ligament tear is a common wrist injury and may lead to degenerative arthritis of the wrist in the long term. We review the assessment and classification of scapholunate instability and discuss the findings from our search for evidence for the management of scapholunate instability in the absence of arthritis. Strong evidence (level 1 or 2) for management is lacking and published recommendations are largely experience-based. The choice of procedure in the absence of arthritis depends on the extent of the tear, quality of the ligament remnants, and reducibility of the joint. Prospective, randomized studies with validated outcome measures are needed to establish the efficacy of intervention on symptoms and function and its effect on the risk of future arthritis.