Wrist replacement surgery is performed to replace bones of the wrist injured or damaged beyond repair with artificial joint components.
The need for wrist replacements include traumatic injuries or severe osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The surgery will restore wrist motion for activities of daily living and non-contact sports.
- An incision is made on the back of the wrist.
- The surgeon moves the tendons that extend over the back of the wrist out of the way to reach the joint capsule on the back of the wrist joint. This capsule is opened to expose the wrist joint area.
- A portion of the carpal bones and the end of the arm radius and ulna are then removed to allow room for the new artificial wrist joint.
- Holes are drilled into the bones of the hand and the radius so that the new joint can be secured.
- The stems and the rest of the artificial joint components are fitted into the opening.
- After obtaining a proper fit, the surgeon verifies the range of motion of the joint to ensure that it moves correctly.
- The surgeon cements the two sides of the joint.
- The tendons are placed back into their proper position.
- The wound is closed.
Following surgery, the patient's wrist, hand, and lower arm are placed into a bulky bandage and a splint.
- A small plastic tube may be inserted to drain any blood that gathers under the incision to prevent excessive swelling. The tube is usually removed within 24 hours.
- Sutures may be removed 10–14 days after surgery.