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Hello. Having RA ( for 7 years now).

Lots of tablets: sulfasalazine ; leflunomide; humira injection.

My main problems are my hands and wrists.

My left hand and wrist is really bad (I am left handed): I can't move my left wrist at all ( my hand stay straight and I only move my fingers) I had x Ray done and it says:

Joint space narrowing in the carpus; cartilage degeneration and secondary subluxation ( not that it means anything to me..)

I wear a wrist splint day and night.

Also I can't straighten my little finger when I bend the other fingers.

Anyway I was wondering what they can do about my wrist: bone graft, tendon repair for finger...

Every time I see my rhumatolog he gives me steroid injection in wrist and hand but it make no difference at all.

I'm sure I don't have to spend the rest of my life in a wrist splint.

Any idea what they might do? Do you have same problem?

Thank you

8 Replies

Maybe ask to to be referred to see orthopedic specialist through your rheumy or GP


Hi, I can't help you about the fingers but I had lots of problems with my wrist and ended up wearing a splint all of the while. Eventually I had no cartilage left in it and therefore injecting it was a waste of time, so my rheumy consultant referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon.

The decision was made to fuse my left wrist (arthrodesis), I had it done in Sept 2008 and its the best thing that I could have had done. I'm left handed as well and it hasn't really effected me in any major way.

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Hi thanks for your response.

It seems similar to me then, every time I see my rheumy I get some injections in wrists which are useless.

Can you now move your wrist and use it? Are you not wearing splints anymore?



Hi, when the wrist is fused they put a metal plate in it and scrape the bones so they think they've been broken and calcify together

I can't move my wrist at all, so no need for splints. I'm left handed and it hasn't effected me at all. I can still do everything I used to do but without the pain.

He did consider a wrist replacement but because I have horses he said I would ruin it very quickly because of the lifting I do.

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Hi i have had a few operations on my hands some good some not so good.I had my wrist fused 10 years ago which helped a lot i also had my thumbs done to try and give me a bit more grip that did not help much and no my wrist do not bend but work ok and helps with the pain so it was worth doing hope you get some relief.I dont wear splints

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Hi, I'm right handed and had a right wrist replacement back in 2009 and it was the best thing I did. I refused a fusion as being right handed I needed to be able to bend my wrist. I can only recommend that you ask about a wrist replacement. Fortunately my RA consultant was really good and set up a joint case with Orthopaedics though it did take some time to get there. Good luck

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Hi thanks for your reply

I thought wrist was too complex to do replacement and that only fusion was available? Saw my rhumatolog last week and he only talked about fusion!! I would also prefer replacement.


There may be a number of factors they consider before offering a replacement, age, lifestyle etc. I suppose another factor may be having surgeons with the necessary expertise in your region may be a factor also. I was in my early thirties when I had mine done and I'd already had an op on my left wrist (darrachs procedure). I was told the life span is only 10-15 years so not idea if you do a lot of lifting or anything what would put excessive strain on it. I was offered a fusion first which I turned down, I think it was when I asked about other options that the wrist replacement was mentioned. Perhaps may be worth doing some research then asking if you can be considered.

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