Your Wrist Can Get Arthritis Too

Arthritis is a painful, debilitative condition that attacks the joints of the body. More than 50 million Americans have arthritis. Most cases happen in the knee, hip, spine, and shoulder. However, many Americans suffer from wrist arthritis as well. Wrist arthritis can cause pain and stiffness, but a wrist joint replacement may be necessary if the condition moves to advanced arthritis.

newport center surgery Can You Have A Wrist Joint Replacement Treatment For Advanced Arthritis

Beware of advanced arthritis

There are different forms of arthritis, with osteoarthritis and RA the most common kinds. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage covering joints to wear away. The bones now rub against each other, causing pain and stiffness. Advanced arthritis is the most severe form of osteoarthritis. When joint pain progresses to advanced arthritis, the cartilage has worn away completely. The bones will frequently rub together, become swollen, and have bone spurs. At this point, joint replacement surgery may provide the best solution.

All about wrist arthritis

Wrist arthritis is quite common, especially since the hands go through constant use over the years. The wrist contains 8 carpal bones that connect to the bones in the palm. Each carpal bone forms a small joint with the adjacent bone, including the radius and ulna. Thanks to osteoarthritis, the cartilage in each of these joints can wear away. Wrist arthritis causes pain, stiffness, and loss of motion, especially when in use.

When should you have a wrist joint replacement?

After a doctor diagnoses advanced wrist arthritis, there is a range of treatments that can help. These include NSAIDs, wrist splints, and lots of rest. Advanced treatment includes physical therapy, exercise, and steroid injections. Joint replacement may help if these techniques fail to bring relief. Advanced arthritis can completely clear away the cartilage and cause bone spurs. So if a doctor sees severe damage on an x-ray or MRI, going straight to surgery might help.

What to expect during joint replacement

The goal of wrist joint replacement is to remove the damage caused by advanced arthritis. By replacing the wrist bones with a prosthetic joint, the patient should have improved function. There are some cases where total wrist arthroscopy can help, but surgeons may use open surgery. The patient will be placed under anesthesia, and the surgeon will make incisions to access the diseased joint. Some or all of the carpal bones are removed. The surgeon then drills a hole in the radius and fits the new prosthetic. Sometimes, an additional prosthetic connects the bones to the palm. With the prosthetics in place, the surgeon tests the joint’s Range of Motion before closing the incisions.

Enjoy the benefits of joint replacement

Wrist joint replacements are becoming more commonplace and have positive outcomes. Note that total wrist arthroscopy can take 4 to 6 months to heal fully. A combination of pain management, exercises, and physical therapy can restore flexibility. Total wrist arthroscopy works in cases of advanced arthritis or where non-surgical treatment failed. While the benefits are great, there are some risks as well. Speak with a doctor about addressing wrist pain due to advanced arthritis once and for all.

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