Wrist arthrodesis

Specialty of Orthopaedic surgery

What is wrist arthrodesis?

Wrist arthrodesis is a surgical intervention that aims to artificially fuse the joints of the hand. It is done under general or local anaesthetic.

Why is wrist arthrodesis performed?

Wrist arthrodesis is recommended when joint wear, arthrosis, trauma, malformation or degenerative disease affect the wrist, causing pain or loss of mobility.

Wrist arthrodesis aims to:

  • relieve pain
  • slow down the development of the disease
  • correct the deformities it causes
  • provide stability to the joint

Wrist arthrodesis is generally only recommended when conservative measures have failed to relieve the pain in the wrist.

How do you prepare for the procedure?

There is no specific preparation required for wrist arthrodesis, but you will have a consultation prior to the procedure to determine whether you are allergic to any anaesthetic.

What happens during wrist arthrodesis?

Arthrodesis involves making a small incision in the back of the wrist to avoid any blood vessels. The damaged cartilage is then removed and a bone graft put in its place. The surgeon fixes a metal plate to the bone graft to hold it in place and fuse it with the surrounding bone. Finally, the wrist is stitched up.

The metal plate remains in the wrist unless it causes further problems.

Post-operative care

After the operation you will be given medication to treat any pain caused by the operation. You will also be given advice on any complications to watch out for, bleeding, infection, or nerve injury.

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