Wrist replacement is surgery performed to help relieve pain and improve mobility and function in severely damaged wrist joints. The conditions that can be treated with hip replacement are:
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Post-Traumatic Arthritis, and Osteoarthritis.
The procedure consists of removing the damaged sections of the wrist joints. They are replaced by implants and orthopedic instruments made of metal alloys, ceramics, and special high-grade plastics.
The physician can suggest a variety of prosthetics, taking into account the patient's age, weight, activity level, wrist size and shape, and general health.
Before the procedure
To determine if a wrist replacement is right for you, an Orthopedic Surgeon will perform a series of exams, where they will ask what medications you are currently taking and medical history.
He will examine the wrist, evaluating the range of motion, stability, and strength in the muscles around it. The doctor will order blood tests and diagnostic imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans. The preoperative examination is the best time to ask and resolve doubts about the procedure.
Unlike knee or hip replacement surgery, wrist replacement surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure, and you can choose between local or general anesthesia. The Orthopedist may also suggest using a nerve blocker, which is injected around the nerves or joints, to help block pain after surgery.
During the procedure
The surgeon makes an incision in the back of the wrist and cuts through the layers of skin. Subsequently, the lower arm bone portions are removed, and the first row of carpal bones can sometimes be removed.
The prosthesis's radial component is then inserted into the center of the radius bone on the outside of the lower arm and held in place with bone cement. The carpal prosthesis (upper limb found at the wrist) is then inserted into the central hand bone, or screwed into the remaining row of carpal bones.
Usually, a spacer is used between the metal components of the prosthesis. Wrist replacement surgical techniques are continually evolving, allowing the procedure to be less invasive, reducing recovery time and pain.
After the procedure
You will need to use plaster for a few weeks. When it is removed, the wrist will be covered with a protective splint for six to eight weeks. Pain may decrease considerably at this stage of recovery. Regular exercise is necessary over the next several weeks to reestablish movement and strengthen endurance and regain strength in the wrist.
Although this surgery can improve wrist mobility considerably, the amount of weight lifted may be limited. Prostheses can last between 10 and 15 years, and it is essential to go to follow-up appointments with your doctor every year or two to review the prosthesis condition and its general function.
Am I a candidate for this procedure?
If you have one or more of the above symptoms, you may be a candidate for wrist replacement surgery. Book an appointment with your Orthopedist to receive a proper diagnosis, and clear all your doubts about the procedure.
When consulting with your Orthopedist try to record your pain with a detailed description of the symptoms, duration, and what you think triggered them. Also, mention any medications you are taking.
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