Arthritis of the wrist

Hello everyone, I have a few things wrong with me at the moment, I'm sure I'm not alone.

Since April last year I have been through the steady progress of getting my wrist repaired, it's bone on bone. I initially went through to speaking with the surgeon who would be operating on me, which took many months, however, he has not done many ops on moveable wrists, his expertise is in fusing. I am now at the beginning of the process to see another surgeon in London, who does specialise in wrists that move. My appointment is in June. In the meantime I am using a splint to immobilise my wrist as much as possible and only taking painkillers when absolutely necessary, has anyone been through this situation and could they offer any information or advice?

15 Replies

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  • I'm afraid I have no knowledge of this- it may be worth seeing if there is an orthopaedic health unlocked - this bit deals mainly with eye problems

    hope all goes well for you

  • Hello Joyfualice, sorry about your wrist and while I've no relevance experience for your information, you seem to be progressing in the right direction. Good luck with the new surgeon.

  • Thank you Footworks, it's kind of you to reply.

  • Like the other responses I have nothing tangible to offer but may well be asking you questions in the near future as I have just been diagnosed with arthritis in my wrist. I didn't even know I had it! When I consulted the doc it was about a finger joint and my hip. 😳

  • Thanks Rennatk, yes, a bit like you, I would like to know what to expect after the op. I suspect physio is necessary. In your case perhaps your wrist ins't chronic but as it's due to wear and tear try to immobilise your wrist as much as possible, I wear a wrist splint when it's practical. Good luck with your finger and hip though.

  • hello joyfulalice. Yes I have experience of both having Wrist Fusion in my non dominant hand and a Total Wrist Replacement of my dominant hand. Ops were 18mths apart with the Wrist Fusion being done first. I had a really good experience of both ops. The fusion is strong but as you'd expect it has no bend and I'm only able to turn the hand over and back. Nevertheless you do adapt and it is still very useful. The Wrist Replacement has limited movement but enough to manage most tasks. I had the replacement op in 2012 and the joint was still being developed. I'd imagine some improvement has been made since then. I had both ops done in Glasgow by the same surgeon. Please let me know if I can help you in any way!

  • Hello jorcas dorcas,

    Thank you so much for your helpful reply. Yes it is just my dominant hand (at the moment) that needs an op. I drive quite a bit and I used to produce items for craft fairs. Would it be feasible for me to consider returning to needle work after surgery? Did you have physio after your ops? No more questions and again thanks for your help.

  • I'm very happy to help so please ask about any aspect of the surgery or post-op rehab following surgery....as many questions as you like a as I know how worrying the prospect of surgery might be. Yes, I did have physio from a specialist hand physiotherapist which I found really helpful. The cast is removed after one week when stitches are also removed and a lightweight moulded prosthetic fitted to support the new joint. Physio starts at this point and additionally you are given exercises to do with the prosthetic off twice to the times a day. Feels very vulnerable but you soon get used to it. I was able to drive again after 8 weeks but it does depend on the individual progress and healing. Although I didn't recover a huge amount of wrist movement it is better than I had previously so definitely a win win as far as I'm concerned. I have full dexterity and finger movements and can sew including tapestry work. I was told t that the replacement joint can last for a year, two or ten years depending on the stress you put it under so heavy lifting is out of the question. When or if the time comes when my joint no longer works then a Wrist Fusion is the only alternative. I am very happy with both my left wrist fusion and my right wrist total replacement . Both are pain free! I personally would recommend having these surgeries... they are life changing. X

  • Thank you Dorcas for your very informative reply. All the details you sent are so helpful. I suppose it's common sense that you must treat the new joint with a certain amount of care if you wish it to last, but I hadn't given it a great deal of thought, I'm generally lifting heavy pots about while gardening, I certainly will have to be less independent and delegate and that goes for all activities. The 8 weeks of no driving will not be a problem but again, one to bear in mind. In 2012 I had an Achilles' tendon repair, and that left me fairly immobile at least I can get about with the wrist. I am seeing the specialist next month and thanks to your input I will be able to ask questions that will be au fait. My thanks once again

  • Hello Dorcas,

    Please bear with me, I typed a reply in detail, the phone rang and I don't think I submitted it. It certainly isn't recorded here. Will do this again.

  • you're very welcome joyfulalice! If you do go ahead with the op I think I've kept notes on how to manage with one hand. 😉 so I'll search for them if you'd want me to. Best wishes and good luck with your consultation. X

  • Dorcas you are a gem, the notes would be very useful but please, not too much searching. Thank you for your kind wishes, I won't stretch your kindness too much but I'll briefly let you know the results of the consultation, if I may. In the meantime all the very best. x

  • please do! We handy people need to stick together. LOL 😁 meanwhile I'll look for those notes....x

  • Hello Dorcas,

    I hope you are well. I have seen the specialist at the Trauma Hand Clinic and he was very informative. I am trying to type this message to you but the keyboard blocks my view, I'll get back to you.

  • Hello Dorcas,

    I hope you are well. I saw the surgeon who will be performing any op. on my wrist. He was very informative. There are 4 options, the first would be the least invasive, an assessment, to test if an injection into the nerves will leave the wrist fully operational but pain free. He is going ahead with that, probably in August. I won't bore you with the other options, you probably know of them anyway, I'll cross those bridges, if necessary, when the time comes. Just as a footnote, how are you enjoying this weather? We came back from Ireland on Tuesday, it rained for 15 days!!! Ah well, you don't go to Ireland for the Sun.

    Take care. xx

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