The purpose of this study was to evaluate the biomechanical effect of core decompression of the distal radius for the treatment of Kienböck's disease.

In 7 fresh cadaver upper extremities, axial loads were applied and the pressure in the radiocarpal joint measured using pressure-sensitive film before and after core decompression of the distal radius.

Biomechanically, the stiffness of the distal forearm statistically decreased significantly from 229.4 N/mm to 198.6 N/mm after core decompression. No or minimal changes in the distribution of the force in each radiocarpal fossa and ulnocarpal fossa, the area of contact in each fossa, and the location of the centroid of force were observed.

Core decompression of the distal radius in the setting of Kienböck's disease has been documented good clinical outcomes, yet the biomechanical analysis of this surgical technique does not demonstrate obvious unloading of the lunate.

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