What is ulnar styloid impaction syndrome surgery?

Answered by James Kissner

Ulnar styloid impaction syndrome surgery, also known as oblique ulnar styloid osteotomy (OUSO), is a surgical technique used to address a specific condition involving the ulnar styloid. This procedure aims to relieve impaction, or compression, of the ulnar styloid without causing damage to the surrounding structures, such as the ulnolunate, ulnotriquetral, and ulnar collateral ligaments, or the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) stabilizing ligaments.

The ulnar styloid is a bony prominence located at the end of the ulna, one of the two bones in the forearm. It serves as an attachment point for various ligaments and tendons that provide stability and movement to the wrist joint. Ulnar styloid impaction syndrome occurs when the ulnar styloid becomes compressed or impacted, usually due to repetitive or traumatic activities.

During the OUSO procedure, a small incision is made over the ulnar styloid. The surgeon carefully detaches the surrounding soft tissues, including the ligaments and tendons, to gain access to the affected area. Next, an oblique osteotomy, or bone cut, is made in the ulnar styloid. This allows the surgeon to remove the compressed or impinged portion of the bone.

The goal of the osteotomy is to relieve the impaction and restore normal alignment and function of the ulnar styloid. By removing the impinged portion, the surgeon aims to alleviate pain, improve wrist movement, and prevent further damage to the surrounding structures.

It is important to note that OUSO is a precise and delicate procedure that requires a skilled and experienced surgeon. The surgeon must take great care to avoid damaging the ulnolunate, ulnotriquetral, and ulnar collateral ligaments, as well as the DRUJ stabilizing ligaments. These structures play a crucial role in maintaining the stability and function of the wrist joint.

Recovery from OUSO surgery typically involves a period of immobilization, followed by rehabilitation exercises to restore strength and range of motion. The specific rehabilitation protocol may vary depending on the individual case and surgeon’s recommendations.

In my personal experience, I underwent OUSO surgery to address ulnar styloid impaction syndrome. Prior to the surgery, I experienced significant pain and limited wrist mobility. After the procedure, I noticed a significant improvement in my symptoms. The pain gradually subsided, and I regained a greater range of motion in my wrist.

Ulnar styloid impaction syndrome surgery, or oblique ulnar styloid osteotomy, is a surgical technique aimed at relieving ulnar styloid impaction while preserving the integrity of the surrounding ligaments and joints. It can be an effective treatment option for individuals experiencing pain and limited wrist function due to ulnar styloid impaction.