Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ

Question:

Years ago my wrist and hand were smashed in a work accident. I have had lots of rehab and several surgeries. My wrist hurts constantly. I am thinking about having it fused. What do other patients say about the results of this operation?

Answer:

Studies of long-term results from wrist fusion report the following:
  • More than half the patients still have some pain
  • Daily activities require some adaptation
  • The most difficult things to do are: wiping after toileting, using hand in small places, cutting food, lifting heavy objects overhead, writing
  • Grip strength is reduced by 20 percent compared to the other hand and wrist
  • It's worth it to sacrifice wrist motion in order to decrease pain
  • It would be nice to have an operation that could restore motion without pain Like you, many patients had numerous operations and therapy before having a wrist fusion. Most were happy with the final results but say there's no substitute for the real thing. 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.

    *Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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