Fair Oaks Orthopedics

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Wrist Ligament Surgery Recovery  

Wrist arthrodesis, also known as wrist fusion, is a surgical procedure aimed at eliminating pain and instability in the wrist joint by permanently fusing the bones of the wrist together. This procedure is typically considered for patients who have severe wrist arthritis, instability, or failed previous surgeries that have not provided adequate relief.

Wrist arthrodesis may be recommended for patients with the following conditions:

Severe wrist arthritis: This includes rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and other degenerative conditions that cause debilitating pain and limit wrist function.

Wrist instability: Chronic ligament injuries, failed previous surgeries, congenital abnormalities, or certain traumatic injuries can lead to instability in the wrist joint, making arthrodesis a viable option for stabilizing the joint.

Failed wrist joint replacement: In cases where a wrist joint replacement has failed or resulted in persistent pain and dysfunction, arthrodesis may be considered as an alternative treatment. Joint destruction due to tumors.

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Wrist fusion, also known as wrist arthrodesis, involves permanently joining the bones of the wrist joint together to eliminate pain and instability. There are several types of wrist fusion surgical procedures, each with its own specific indications and surgical techniques.

A wrist fusion surgery involves part of your wrist or the entire wrist. In either case, the goal is to reduce pain and increase the strength of your grip.

Read below to learn more about the different types of wrist fusion surgery and what happens during the procedure.

Radiocarpal Fusion:  involves fusing the radius bone (one of the forearm bones) to one or more of the carpal bones (the small bones in the wrist joint). This type of fusion can be performed to address severe wrist arthritis or instability involving the radiocarpal joint.

Midcarpal Fusion:  involves fusing the bones in the middle of the wrist joint, specifically the proximal row of carpal bones (scaphoid, lunate, and triquetrum) to the distal row of carpal bones (trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate). Midcarpal fusion is often used to treat midcarpal arthritis or instability.

Radioscapholunate Fusion: involves fusing the radius bone to the scaphoid and lunate bones. This type of fusion is typically performed to address scapholunate dissociation, a condition with abnormal separation or instability between the scaphoid and lunate bones.

Scaphoidectomy with Midcarpal Fusion: In cases of severe scaphoid nonunion or avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to lack of blood supply), the scaphoid bone may be removed (scaphoidectomy), and the remaining carpal bones are fused together to stabilize the wrist joint.

Total Wrist Fusion: Total wrist fusion involves fusing all the bones of the wrist joint together, including the radius, ulna, and carpal bones. This procedure is reserved for cases of severe arthritis or instability that cannot be adequately addressed with partial fusion procedures.

The specific type of wrist fusion recommended depends on factors such as the underlying condition causing wrist pain and instability, the location and extent of joint involvement, the patient’s age and activity level.

Wrist fusion surgery is typically considered when non-surgical treatments have failed to provide adequate relief or when the underlying condition is too severe to be effectively managed with non-surgical interventions.

Here are some of the conditions that wrist fusion surgery can treat:

Severe Wrist Arthritis: including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis, can cause significant pain, stiffness, and loss of function in the wrist joint. Wrist fusion surgery may be recommended when non-surgical treatments such as medications, splints, or injections fail to alleviate symptoms.

Wrist Instability: Chronic ligament injuries, failed previous surgeries, congenital abnormalities, or traumatic injuries can lead to instability in the wrist joint, causing pain, weakness, and difficulty performing everyday tasks. Wrist fusion surgery can stabilize the joint and reduce pain by eliminating excessive motion.

Failed Wrist Joint Replacement: In cases where a wrist joint replacement (arthroplasty) has failed or resulted in persistent pain, instability, or implant loosening, wrist fusion surgery may be considered as an alternative treatment option to provide pain relief and restore function.

Severe Wrist Trauma: Traumatic injuries to the wrist, such as fractures involving multiple bones, severe ligament injuries, or crush injuries, may result in irreparable damage to the joint structures. Wrist fusion surgery may be necessary to stabilize the joint and promote healing.

Chronic Wrist Pain: Persistent wrist pain that does not respond to conservative treatments and significantly impacts daily activities may warrant consideration for wrist fusion surgery to alleviate pain and improve function.

The goal of wrist fusion surgery is to provide pain relief, stability, and improved function for patients with severe wrist conditions that cannot be effectively managed with non- surgical treatments.

Wrist fusion, also known as wrist arthrodesis, offers several benefits for patients with severe wrist pain, instability, or dysfunction that cannot be effectively managed with conservative treatments. While the decision to undergo wrist fusion surgery should be carefully considered in consultation with a healthcare provider, the procedure can provide significant improvements in pain relief, stability, and function. Here are some of the key benefits of wrist fusion:

Pain Relief: One of the primary benefits of wrist fusion surgery is alleviating chronic wrist pain. By eliminating motion at the affected joint and stabilizing the bones in a fixed position, wrist fusion can reduce or eliminate the pain caused by conditions such as arthritis, instability, or trauma.

Improved Stability: Wrist fusion surgery stabilizes the wrist joint by fusing the bones together, preventing excessive motion and reducing the risk of further damage or injury. This increased stability can improve grip strength, enhance hand function, and reduce the risk of complications associated with wrist instability.

Restored Function: While wrist fusion limits motion at the fused joint, many patients are able to adapt to the loss of wrist motion and achieve satisfactory function for activities of daily living. With proper rehabilitation and adaptation, patients can perform tasks such as grasping, lifting, and manipulating objects with the fused wrist.

Reduced Risk of Complications: Wrist fusion surgery can help reduce the risk of complications associated with chronic wrist conditions, such as arthritis progression, joint deformity, or nerve compression. By stabilizing the wrist joint and eliminating painful motion, wrist fusion can improve overall joint health and function.

Long-term Solution: Wrist fusion surgery provides a permanent solution for individuals with severe wrist conditions who have not responded to conservative treatments. Unlike some other surgical procedures that may require revision or replacement over time, wrist fusion creates a stable, durable joint that can provide lasting pain relief and function.

Improved Quality of Life: By reducing pain, improving stability, and restoring function, wrist fusion surgery can significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals with severe wrist conditions.

Patients often experience improvements in their ability to perform daily activities, participate in recreational activities, and engage in work or hobbies without debilitating pain or limitations.


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Fair Oaks Orthopedics

For over 30 years, Virginia Board Certified Physician, Dr. Stephen W. Pournaras, Jr. has provided excellent healthcare and treatment for his patients. As a multi-specialty orthopedic practice, offering the best for you medically to treat, heal and lead you to optimum recovery. We are dedicated to using state-of-the-art technology while building nurturing relationships with each of our patients.

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