If non-surgical treatments are ineffective in relieving symptoms wrist replacement surgery may be considered.

The surgery is performed under general or regional anaesthesia.

An incision is made over the back of the wrist. Some small bones from the wrist are removed and then metal prostheses are placed within the wrist and are secured using bone cement. A plastic spacer is then fit between the metal components.

After wrist replacement surgery

Your arm will be in a brace for the first few weeks after the surgery and you will be prescribed medications to control any pain. Elevating the wrist on a pillow above heart level while sleeping or sitting will help reduce swelling and discomfort. Physiotherapy will also be advised to restore movement to the wrist joint.

Wrist replacement risks and complications

Although wrist replacement surgery is considered safe, there are certain risks and complications associated with any type of surgical procedure. Some of the risks and complications include infection, fracture of the wrist bone, dislocation of the wrist, damage to the nerves or blood vessels, blood clots (deep vein thrombosis), loosening of the implants, wear of the implant, and failure to relieve pain.

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