Impingement between the radial styloid and the trapezium can occur after a proximal row carpectomy (PRC). We hypothesized that a PRC with primary radial styloidectomy reduces the risk of radial impingement, without affecting clinical or functional outcomes. In this retrospective cohort study, 120 patients were divided into two groups: PRC with or without primary radial styloidectomy. Patient-related outcome, strength and range of motion after proximal row carpectomy were measured in a subgroup. The occurrence of radial impingement was significantly lower in the group with primary radial styloidectomy versus those without (p = 0.002). Five patients in the latter group were subsequently treated by a secondary radial styloidectomy, as compared with one patient who underwent primary radial styloidectomy (p = 0.034). There were no significant differences in range of motion or patient-related outcome observed between the two groups. From our study, a radial styloidectomy is recommended as a routine part of the PRC procedure to prevent radial impingement without negatively impacting on function.Level of evidence: IV.