Arthritis of the Wrist

Usually a consequence of fracture that occurs years earlier, arthritis of the wrist can be debilitating. Whether in the dominant or non-dominant hand, arthritis of the wrist can prevent one from any strenuous manual activity. Sharp pains in the wrist can make one lose one’s grip; things can drop out of your hand. Musicians, craftspeople, laborers and housewives can all find themselves unable to perform their daily activities with severe wrist arthritis.

As with all painful arthritis, rest, immobilization and anti-inflammatory drugs including steroid injections may be helpful. However in advanced cases, surgery may be necessary. Surgery may consist of removal of the arthritic bone surfaces and fusion of the adjacent bones (fusion is when we surgically make two adjacent bones grow together. This eliminates motion at the joint, but usually provides good pain relief), or joint replacement. A metal and plastic joint is available for the wrist, and is useful in many circumstances.