Features March 2019 Issue

Wrist Surgery Options

At the wrist, eight small bones in two rows connect the hand to the forearm.

Wrist Surgery Options

When arthritis in the wrist becomes severe enough, surgical options are to fuse, remove or replace.

Joint replacement seems appealing because it retains, and may even improve, range of motion in the wrist. "The problem is durability of the implant," says Dr. Shapiro. With wrist replacement, bones are removed and an implant composed of metal parts and a plastic spacer is inserted. These implants are not as predictably long-lasting as implants for other joints, such as hips and knees. And complications can be particularly challenging to treat.

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