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2017 | 76 | 2 |

Tytuł artykułu

Capitate-trapezoid synostosis: analysis of an Early Bronze Age case and review of the literature

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Background: Carpal synostoses are congenital defects characterised by complete or incomplete coalition of two or more carpal bones. Although most of these defects are discovered only incidentally, sometimes they become clinically manifest. Among the different types of carpal coalition, the synostosis between capitate and trapezoid bones is quite rare, with only sparse data available in the literature. The aim of this report was to describe a case of capitate-trapezoid synostosis (CTS) observed in an ancient human skeleton, as well as to scrutinise the pertinent literature in order to assess for the characteristics of this type of defect, including its potential relevance to clinical practice. Materials and methods: We studied the skeletal remains of an Early Bronze Age male warrior affected by incomplete CTS. Macroscopic and radiological examination of the defect was carried out. We also performed a comprehensive PubMed search in the Medline and other specialty literature databases to retrieve and analyse data relevant to the subject under consideration. Results and Conclusions: The present case is the most ancient CTS ever found. In those literature-reported cases accompanied by careful anatomical description, such as the present one, incomplete coalition invariably occurs between the dorsal surfaces of the two bones, this characteristic emerging as a distinctive morphological trait. Literature analysis further suggests that the true prevalence of CTS is likely to be higher than estimates based on data gathered from radiology series, and that this defect may be associated with pain and carpal bossing more frequently than generally thought. (Folia Morphol 2017; 76, 2: 149–156)

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  • Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Section of Anatomy, University of Udine, Italy
  • Department of Medical, Surgical and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy
  • Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Section of Anatomy, University of Udine, Italy
  • Department of History and Preservation of the Cultural Heritage, University of Udine, Italy
  • Department of Diagnostic Imaging, University Hospital of Udine, Italy
  • Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Section of Anatomy, University of Udine, Italy


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