Our highly experienced staff at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital is known to always use the newest techniques and tools to help the patient’s recovery before and after the surgical procedure.
The bones and cartilage in the wrist can become damaged because of injuries or diseases. If this happens, movement may be severely restricted and the patient may feel a lot of pain in the joint. If taking the prescribed medication doesn’t alleviate the condition, surgery of the wrist may be required.
The wrist is one of the most complex joints in the human body. It is the joint formed by the carpal bones and the radius. The wrists help the hands flex in several different positions and play a fundamental role in our everyday lives. The ends of the bones are covered in an elastic tissue known as cartilage. Because of it, the bones can glide smoothly over each other. Because of various injuries or diseases, the cartilage can be destroyed which will make joint movements rigid and painful.
Wrist reconstructive surgery, also known as wrist arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which the doctor cuts parts of the diseased bones and cartilage and replaces them with a prosthetic.
Firstly, the patient is put under general anesthesia. After this is done, the surgeon will make an incision on the back of the wrist.
After finding his way to the joint, he will use a special tool to cut and remove the diseased parts of the radius and the carpal bones.
After this, holes will be made in the bones in order to fit the prosthesis, which is made out of metal and plastic.
When the prosthesis is fitted in and glued with bone cement, the surgeon will put the joint back together and test if the range of motion of the wrist is normal.
If nothing is wrong, he will close the wound by stitching it, finalizing the surgery.
These are the benefits of this procedure:
- The patient will regain motion in his hand and wrist
- The patient will not suffer from constant pain anymore
- Most activities which were previously enjoyed can be resumed
- Day-to-day comfort will significantly increase
Wrist reconstructive surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home on the same day as the surgery. Because the hand and wrist are such sensitive areas, the recovery time is a fairly long and hard one. After the surgery, the arm will be put in a cast for about 5-6 weeks. After this, the cast will be taken off, but the patient will have to wear a protective splint for 6 more weeks. The patient will have to do physical therapy for some weeks to ensure that his muscles will strengthen and that he regains his lost mobility. Although the patient will get rid of the constant pain and stiffness of his old wrist, with the implant it is recommended that he doesn’t lift heavy or play dangerous sports as this can damage the prosthesis.
As this procedure entails that bones are cut, there are a number of risks attached to it. Although the chances are low, the wound can get infected and this infection can spread to the artificial wrist. If this happens, a new surgery will have to be done, as the body will be unable to fight off the infection on its own. A common complication is that the prosthesis will loosen up which will cause pain in the wrist. This will require a second surgery in order to better attach it. In some cases, blood vessels and nerves can be damaged, resulting in numbness in the