Artificial Joint Replacement of the Wrist Essex Junction VT

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Robert Danl Monsey, MD
(802) 656-4690
PO Box 1063
Burlington, VT
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Wa Sch Of Med, Seattle Wa 98195
Graduation Year: 1986

Data Provided By:
Martin Hans Krag, MD
(802) 656-4472
95 Carrigan Dr Fl 4
Burlington, VT
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Yale Univ Sch Of Med, New Haven Ct 06510
Graduation Year: 1975
Hospital
Hospital: Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt

Data Provided By:
Tucker Andrew Drury
(802) 656-3806
95 Carrigan Dr
Burlington, VT
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Patrick Joseph Mahoney
(802) 862-3983
6 San Remo Dr
South Burlington, VT
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Andrew Stone Kaplan, MD
6 San Remo Dr
South Burlington, VT
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Columbia Univ Coll Of Physicians And Surgeons, New York Ny 10032
Graduation Year: 1987

Data Provided By:
Paul Herbert Reiss, MD
28 Park Ave
Williston, VT
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Case Western Reserve Univ Sch Of Med, Cleveland Oh 44106
Graduation Year: 1979

Data Provided By:
James Gregory Howe, MD
95 Carrigan Dr Fl 4
Burlington, VT
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Vt Coll Of Med, Burlington Vt 05405
Graduation Year: 1973

Data Provided By:
Claude Elmer Nichols, MD
95 Carrigan Dr Fl 4
Burlington, VT
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Temple Univ Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19140
Graduation Year: 1979

Data Provided By:
Douglas Murray Campbell, MD
(802) 862-3983
6 San Remo Dr
South Burlington, VT
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Mi State Univ Coll Of Human Med, East Lansing Mi 48824
Graduation Year: 1981

Data Provided By:
John F Lawlis
(802) 862-3983
6 San Remo Dr
South Burlington, VT
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
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Artificial Joint Replacement of the Wrist

A Patient's Guide to Artificial Joint Replacement of the Wrist

Introduction

The wrist joint is replaced with an artificial joint (also called a prosthesis) much less often than other joints in the body, such as the knee or the hip. Still, when necessary, this operation can effectively relieve the pain caused by wrist arthritis. When severe arthritis has destroyed the wrist joint, artificial wrist replacement surgery (also called wrist arthroplasty) can help restore wrist strength and motion for many patients.

This guide will help you understand

  • how the wrist is constructed
  • what parts of the wrist are replaced
  • what to expect after surgery

Anatomy

What parts of the wrist are involved?

The anatomy of the wrist joint is extremely complex, probably the most complex of all the joints in the body. The wrist joint is actually made up of many joints and many bones. These joints and bones let us use our hands in many ways. The wrist must be extremely mobile to give our hands a full range of motion. At the same time, the wrist must provide the strength for heavy gripping.

The wrist is made up of eight separate small bones, called the carpal bones. The carpal bones connect the two bones of the forearm, the radius and the ulna, to the bones of the hand. The metacarpal bones are the long bones that lie mostly underneath the palm. The metacarpals are in turn attached to the phalanges (the bones in the fingers and thumb).

One reason that the wrist is so complex is that every small bone forms a joint with the bone next to it. This means many small joints make up the wrist joint. Ligaments connect all the small bones to each other, and to the radius, ulna, and metacarpal bones.

Articular cartilage is the smooth, rubbery material that covers the bone surfaces in most joints. It protects the bone ends from friction when they rub together as the joint moves. Articular cartilage also acts sort of like a shock absorber. Damage to the articular cartilage eventually leads to degenerative arthritis.

Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Osteoarthritis of the Wrist Joint

Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Wrist Anatomy

Rationale

What conditions lead to wrist joint replacement?

The main reason for replacing any arthritic joint with an artificial joint is to stop the bones from rubbing against each other. This rubbing causes pain. Replacing the painful arthritic joint with an artificial joint gives the joint a new surface, which lets it move smoothly without causing pain.

Many operations are used to treat problems in the wrist. A fusion surgery can get rid of pain and restore strength in badly degenerated wrist joints. Fusion surgeries make the wrist strong again, but they greatly reduce the wrist's range of motion. This makes fusion surgery a poor choice for some people.

Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Wrist Fusion

Arthritis caused by systemic diseases, such as rheumatoid a...

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