Wrist Arthritis – The Options



by J.R. Rogers


When arthritis in the wrists have reached the level of “bone on bone” then more serious options have to be considered. At this juncture, there is little one can do except have surgery. If surgery is being considered, there are three possibilities.

When we talk about this type of surgery we are talking about a fusion of some degree. That is, the joining of bones that are making contact with one another. Let’s look at the three possibilities.

A partial wrist fusion

In this case, we are talking about a patient who is relatively active but has one or two bones that are coming into contact. The surgeon has to fuse the offending bones with wire or metal. Then, he or she fills in the spaces that remain so that they will grow together. Overall, this is not too serious.

Proximal Row Carpectomy

In this instance, the patient is generally older and is not necessarily going to need much use of their wrists in terms of movement. To explain this, you have to understand the anatomy of the wrist. There are two rows of bones in your wrist. One is close to your fingers and the other is closer to your forearm. In this surgery, those bones closest to your forearm are removed. So, your new wrist has a flex point closer to your fingers. The last surgery is a little more serious.

A total wrist fusion

If those procedures don’t relieve the patient’s pain, a total wrist fusion can be considered. Once your wrist is fused, you can no longer bend your wrist. What you can do is move your wrist in a manner that allows you to turn your palm up or down.


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