Wrist fusion surgery may be an option for patients with pain due to wrist arthritis, especially those with badly damaged wrists, according to the Klasinki Clinic. The wrist arthritis may occur from general wear and tear, inflammatory arthritis or trauma. Wrist fusion surgery may be a better choice for patients than total wrist replacement if the wrist is likely to experience a lot of wear and tear after the operation, such as completing heavy labor, adds The Center for Orthopedics.
Wrist fusion surgery involves inserting a pin or plate into the wrist bones and allowing the bones to solidify. A surgeon generally performs a wrist fusion procedure by placing the patient under general anesthesia, confirms the Klasinki Clinic. The surgeon removes the damaged surface of the joint before connecting the bone with a metal plate or a rod and screws.
After the procedure, the patent is unable to move the wrist up and down, but the lack of movement eliminates pain, states the Klasinki Clinic. The patient may need to stay in the hospital for several days following surgery, and he should protect the wrist with a lightweight cast for up to two months. Even with a cast, the patient is still able to perform light activities with the fingers, such as writing or holding a fork.