wrist operation Stanley pin

hi all could any body help??? i recently went to see the hospital surgeon about R,A pain and swelling in my ankles and wrists and deformed feet (18 YEARS WITH RA),, The surgeon said he could clean them up and straiten the toes, he decided to do my,,,, left wrist first... Then I went to the pre opp and the nurse explain everything, but as she was reading the surgeons notes she mentioned a Stanley pin???. now i still have some movement in my wrists and don't want them locked,???? is that what the surgeon is thinking of doing ???? or is it a flexible pin has any one had this done and what was the results thanks rog

8 Replies

Hello Roger

I don't know what the operation does, but online info on a Stanley Pin says that "it is a wrist fusion pin to eliminate pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and to correct instability of the wrist. The pin is intended to stop extension, flexion and deviation of the wrist but will not prevent rotation of the forearm. The instruments are designed so that only a small incision over the middle knuckle is required. This is effective and leaves minimal scarring".

So it does sounds as if you'll be able to turn your wrist but not wave your hand up and down. If others on here can't describe the op from their own experience maybe you should speak to the nurse again?


Roger, I had an operation last year on my wrist and they completely removed my wrist bone, I think it was a terrible mistake as now my wrist is completely unstable and very weak as the ulna has nothing to support it.not to mention that it looks very weird. That was the final nail in the coffin for operations for me..( I've had a few) I have now changed specialists and surgeons and for now am managing on injections to improve pain and my specialist changed all my drugs except mtx and I feel like a new person. I was down to have my feet straightened early this year but now they no longer give me pain I will postpone any surgery. I feel that your surgeon should have explained to you what he wants to do in detail, If mine had then I would have refused the op.

Jan xx


thanks to both comments, i had my knee cap snap and had to have a peace removed and the joint cleaned. so when the surgeon said he could clean the other joints i was happy, I had discussed locking the wrists with my old rheumatoagist (he retired ), he said only have this done if the pain is unbearable, so it came as a shock when the Stanley pin was mentioned by the nurse at the pre opp she was not sure what it was, so i looked on utube , and it looked and sounds like he is going to lock my wrist . my reaction to any opp is no but some are necessary, My feet are so wide from the joints swelling and toes twisting, i cannot where shoes all the time, and i suffer from athletic foot a lot, this is the reason for wanting the feet operation . my feet don't cause me to much pain, should i cancel all the opps ????? will i be better or worse ???? it feels like a lucky dip, lol ,,roger


Hi roger-s

Arthritis Research UK have quite a lot of information about wrist surgery on their website that you may find interesting:

I have also found a little information about use of the Stanley Pin in wrist fusion:

The decision to have surgery is a very personal one, but if you have any concerns or questions it may be best to ask your surgeon who may be able to put your mind at ease.

Kind regards

Sarah Kate

NRAS Helpline


Roger, You got my attention!! I am right there with you..both feet and ankles, distorted, displaced toes,, and both wrists

and fingers sore, stiff even painful when I am doing nothing!

I am desperate for answers, what should I do? Not sure I want the stanley pin! I wear a brace on my rt wrist and hand that keeps it level, so I can't move it up and down, but I can take the brace off if I want or need to. Movement I can handle, but it's the constant ache and piercing pains I want to get rid of. And what damage more will there be??

I do hope we get some answers.

Wouldn't it be great if some Ortho Surgeons would get on here and read what we are concerned about!!

Good luck to us all, Rog, thanks for being here!


I just checked into the sites Sarah Kate sent. Lots of info on the first one. and the second site is a detailed description of a fusion, and the situations that can develope and require further surgery.

I can see why my friendly Rheumatologist doesn't recommend the fusion surgery!


thanks for the comments, I feel lucky after reading through some of the blogs and wonder if i should postpone opps for a few years, I can still manage my wrist pains , i suppose i would still be in some pain even with a Stanley pin/wrist lock.. I was told by my old rhumey that the wrist joint would weld/lock its self eventually , When i am in real pain i do where a firm leather splint/sock thing made at the hospital but its so big and bulky (but it helps), I will look at the sites sarah mentioned thanks to you all. up until now i have tried to ignore my problems but i am feeling more depressed and wondering what life is about and why do we have to suffer ?????? in some ways i i dont want to know how bad others are because I then know what to expect in the future EVEN MORE PAIN TO COME this disease effects us mentally, physical and socially ???? IS IT WORTH THE STRUGGLE I ASK MY SELF??

thanks to all rog


i had a appointment for next Monday 16 for a Stanley pin to be fitted to my wrist, but i cancelled it , i am terrified that i might be worse of than i am at the moment, will the pin break if i fall over,, at the moment i have muscles in the wrist but they will fade with no use???


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