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.