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Wrist replacement surgery

Hello, I've never written a post before but I am so unsure what to do. I have RA have had it for 25 years. I've had my left elbow and my knuckles on my right hand replaced. I have been having terrible pain in my right wrist and have been seen by the surgeon. He has offered 2 options either a wrist replacement or a fusion. I don't want to have the fusion as it is almost entirely fused already but I am really quite frightened by the prospect of my wrist being replaced as you need your hand for everything. The surgeon has said it would help with pain but obviously there is never any guarantee. Has anyone had a wrist replacement and if so can you please tell me what you would advise? Many thanks

7 Replies

Sit down with your surgeon and ask him what it entails,will you have full use of your wrist and hand and how long will it take to do the op and how long will it take to recover. Then ask him if you can meet others who has done it on and ask their opinion and then make your own mind up. The more questions you ask the better informed you will be.xxxxx


Thank you Sylvi, I asked those questions at my appointment. It takes a long time for the op itself probably 4 to 5 hours then recovery around 6 months with lots of physio but as with all operations there is no guarantee, it's just such a difficult decision. Thank you for your quick response much appreciated.

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I had a right wrist replacement when I was in my early forties. It does take some time to recover , but it is a good excuse to not do what you don't like doing. It was a complete success and I still have good movement in that wrist even though I am now in my seventies. Follow the rules about exercise etc. and do your physio when it comes and you won't regret it. It is easily as mobile as my left hand that has never been a trouble,


Thank you so much for your reply. It really is good to hear that your wrist has been so successful and makes me more inclined to have the operation. Much appreciated.


If your wrist is almost entirely fused is there the chance that it will completely fuse itself? Mine did just that (I also had the options you were offered).

The surgeon said that if I could bear it for a while longer it would self-fuse and so that meant in the future I would be able to have a wrist replacement if needed. (If I had it medically fused I wouldn't be able to have a wrist replacement at a later date.) best wishes.


Thank you for your reply. My wrist is almost fused with no movement, just pain, which is why I wouldn't really think about the fusion. I think I'm just needing some reassurance and everyone on this site is so very understanding. Thank you.


Update after surgery. I went into hospital expecting a wrist replacement, unfortunately after surgeon had reviewed my latest X-Ray's he felt it was too dangerous to do it. I have small wrists and as my wrist had completely fused and my bones too brittle he decided to do an ulnar head resection and replacement. It was 3 weeks ago and the constant gnawing toothache in my wrist has gone, obviously still sore but that is post op pain. Thank you for all the support


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