Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ


My mother is going to have her bones fused in her left wrist where her arthritis is just horrible. Does this mean her hand will be straight all the time now?


When someone has severe rheumatoid arthritis in a wrist, it becomes not only very painful, but difficult for them to go about their daily activities. One treatment for severe arthritis in the wrist is arthrodesis, or bone fusion. This type of surgery straightens out the wrist, cleans out the joint and sets it so it is stable. Unfortunately, the drawback is the bones are fused and range of motion becomes limited. However, if someone's wrists are bad enough to consider such surgery, it's very likely that their range of motion is quite limited already so the difference before and after surgery may barely be noticed in some people. Guillaume Herzberg, MD, PhD. Management of Bilateral Advanced Rheumatoid Wrist Destruction. In Journal of Hand Surgery. September 2008. Vol./ 33A. No. 7.

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