Wrist Replacement Surgery Specialist Q&A
If you are having issues with your wrist and feel you may need a replacement, seek the medical help of The Orthopedic Group. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online, for quality Orthopedic Care. We have convenient locations to serve you at Leesburg VA, Lansdowne VA, and Stone Springs VA.
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A total wrist replacement is performed when arthritis pain is severe and has not responded well to other treatments. Both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis can cause pain and affect your fingers and hand’s strength, making it difficult to pinch or grab items. The primary candidate for wrist replacement would be someone that has severe arthritis but does not place a lot of stress on their wrist.
Wrist replacement is a surgery that will remove the damaged wrist joint and replaces it with an artificial joint. The replacement, which is called a prosthesis, is typically made of metal, with a plastic spacer. A wrist replacement is manufactured to work as a normal healthy wrist.
Your wrist is a very complex joint that contains many small bones. Your wrist connects your hand and forearm (the lower half of your arm, from your elbow to your hand).
Your wrist helps you bend, straighten and rotate your hand. It is also used every day during many activities, such as waving, washing your hair, typing, or picking something up. If your joint becomes severely damaged or stiff, this can make daily tasks painful.
Although replacing the wrist will reduce the pain and restores your strength. However, a synthetic wrist, which is made of metal and plastic, will not be as strong as your wrist before. In a patient with severe arthritis in both wrists, replacing one wrist and fusing the other is highly recommended. With this method, the replacement wrist offers a good range of motion, while the fused wrist provides enough strength to handle any stressful activities.
The first step in total wrist replacement surgery is making an incision on the back of the wrist. Tendons are then moved aside, and the joint capsule surrounding the wrist joint is cut into. To make room for the synthetic wrist, some of the wrist’s carpal bones are removed. Special rasps boreholes in the hand bones and in the forearm’s radius bone to accommodate the metal stems of the prosthesis. After fitting the stems as tightly as possible, the prosthesis is put in place and the range of motion is checked. If the results are looking good, the metal stems are cemented into place. After the tendons are put back in place the incision will be closed and completed the wrist replacement.
With total wrist replacement maintaining itself then it will provide good pain relief and functional motion in over 80% of all cases and in 97% of resurfacing implants.
After the surgery, your wrist is usually put in a bandage-covered splint. A drainage tube will be put in and is usually only in for a day, this is to remove excess blood and prevent swelling. Within 5 to 7 days, the patient will see the surgeon to have the wrist checked and ensure that it is healing. Within 10 to 14 days, the stitches will be removed. The recovery from the replacement can be painful, and pain medication is provided when it is necessary. To avoid any swelling and throbbing the hand is to be kept elevated while the patient is sleeping or sitting.
Recovery from a wrist replacement will usually take about 6 to 12 weeks in total. After the cast is removed, you will need to wear a splint.
Your orthopedic surgeon will encourage you to do exercises to help strengthen your wrist. Although it may hurt at first, the movement will help and will become less painful over time. Your surgeon may also recommend physical or occupational therapy to help you recover better. We serve patients from Leesburg VA, Lansdowne VA, Stone Springs VA, Dulles, VA, Ashburn VA, Sterling VA, Aldie VA, South Riding VA, Herndon VA, Winchester VA, Reston VA, and Chantilly VA.