I was in a fight and smashed my hand up pretty bad. I ended up having several bones removed. Now it looks like I need a wrist fusion. I work in heavy construction. Will I be able to go back to my old job?
Wrist fusion, also known as wrist arthrodesis is often used to reduce pain and improve hand function. Most of the hand function lost after trauma is related to pain and stiffness.
According to a recent study, many patients are able to return to manual labor after a wrist arthrodesis. Return to work may depend on the type of work you do.
For example, using a jackhammer or sledgehammer to break up concrete isn't advised. Operating heavy machinery, digging, and lifting some things is possible. Most patients find a loss of handgrip and wrist strength after fusion. Depending on what you do, this may interfere with your job.
Lauren Adey, MD, et al. Health Status After Total Wrist Arthrodesis for Posttraumatic Arthritis. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. September 2005. Vol. 30A. No. 5. Pp. 932-936.
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