Wrist Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 27. March 2017 10:05

Wrist is a complex joint, it is made up of two bones from the arm (radius and ulna ) and eight carpal bones. Cartilage tissue present between these bones is responsible for their smooth and gliding movement. Growing age and many other factors may deteriorate these cartilages and lead to severe inflammation in the joints. This condition is referred to as Wrist Arthritis. With its progression, the wrist bones start to rub against each other leading to irreparable damage.  It is commonly observed in elderly people.

Causes -

  • Previous wrist injuries
  • Conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis

Symptoms -

  • Constant pain
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty in gripping objects
  • Stiff wrist in the morning

Diagnosis -

The wrist doctor may begin by conducting a thorough physical examination of the wrist. He may try to bend and rotate it to see the range of motion. For a complete diagnosis and better understanding of the condition, the doctor may recommend certain imaging tests like X-ray and MRI Scans.

Treatment -

Non-Surgical Treatment -

  • Modification in routine activities – Depending upon the severity of the condition, the doctor may ask patients to bring certain changes in their daily routine and avoid activities that cause pain.
  • Immobilization - In order to provide support and reduce stress on the wrist, the doctor may ask the patients to wear wrist splints.
  • Medication – Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines may also be prescribed by the doctor to alleviate affliction and swelling.
  • Rehabilitation Exercise -  Certain muscle strengthening exercises to increase the range of motion and restore the functionality of wrist.

Surgical Treatment -

In case no relief is experienced with conservative treatment, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend a surgery. Based upon patient's symptoms any one of the following surgeries can be conducted -

  • Proximal Row Carpectomy - In this procedure, the orthopedic surgeon may remove first row of carpal bones. This moves radius and ulna close to other bones leading to the formation of a new hinge joint which reduces pain and friction.
  • Fusion – If pain occurs only on moving the wrist, the orthopedic surgeon may suggest a fusion surgery. In this, he may remove the damaged cartilage and then use pins, screws and metal plates to hold the bones together. This allows the bones to fuse together and stop from rubbing against each other.
  • Arthroplasty (Total Wrist Replacement) – In most severe cases, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend complete replacement of the wrist joint. In this procedure, he may remove all the damaged bones as well as cartilage tissue and replace them with artificial metal or plastic joints.

If you are looking for an effective treatment of Wrist Arthritis, contact, Dr. Knoll. She is a board certified, hand and wrist specialist serving the patients in Frisco, TX. To schedule an appointment with the hand surgeon, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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