Arthritis of the Wrist


Total wrist replacement

Arthritis of the wrist results in pain, swelling around the joint and difficulty in gripping. Patients with acute inflammation or bone spurs can experience tingling and numbness of the fingers caused by irritation of the nerves surrounding the joint (see carpal tunnel syndrome). A major cause of pain and decrease in wrist function is rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers commonly have inflammation of the finger joints as well as arthritis of the wrist.

Treatment

Our wrist arthritis treatments range from lifestyle modifications, splinting, heat applications, anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections that treat inflammation.

Surgery is not a typical option, but can be performed in severe cases in which other treatments do not provide relief, surgical procedures include:

In Wrist Fusion, we secure the bones of the forearm to those of the wrist and hand. The loss of motion can preclude some activities but provides predictable relief from pain. The preferred procedure is a partial wrist fusion, which allows some movement of the wrist. If all the joints of the wrist are affected, however, a total wrist fusion may be the only option.

Proximal Row Carpectomy removes three small bones from the wrist joint to diminish pain while allowing some motion. This procedure is only an option for some types of wrist arthritis.

Wrist Replacement, a procedure that replaces damaged bone with a metal and plastic implant, is used in situations in which the entire wrist is compromised by advanced arthritis. Pain relief with motion is the desired outcome. This option is best in individuals who do not undertake heavy labor or sports.