Treatment Decisions for Advanced Wrist Arthritis"Be content in the moment." A wise saying, but this may be hard to do when you have advanced arthritis of the wrist. Middle-aged men in the prime of their lives are affected most often. A previous wrist injury is a common factor.
Joint replacement isn't always a good option for active adults. Other ways to save wrist motion are presented in this article. Removing one of the two rows of wrist (carpal) bones is one treatment. This is called a carpectomy.
Fusion (called arthrodesis) of the wrist joint is another option. The decision between carpectomy and arthrodesis is made jointly by the doctor and patient. The patient must know the possible complications of each procedure.
The authors of this report describe in detail each method and the uses of each treatment. They outline for the doctor and patient the results reported in other studies for both carpectomy and arthrodesis. They suggest trying other (nonoperative) treatment first. Splints, drugs, or injections are possible choices. The patient can always have surgery later if pain continues.
John D. Wyrick, MD. Proximal Row Carpectomy and Intercarpal Arthrodesis for the Management of Wrist Arthritis. In Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. July/August 2003. Vol. 11. No. 4. Pp. 277-281.
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