Wrist arthritis commonly occurs post traumatically or from chronic and repetitive wear.
Wrist arthritis commonly occurs post-traumatically or from chronic and repetitive wear. Symptoms generally occur as pain and swelling in the wrist, along with decreased range of motion, ultimately effecting the patient’s overall function. The exact type and degree of wrist arthritis is best diagnosed with radiographs which can help pinpoint the joint surfaces and bones that are most involved. Management begins conservatively with bracing, NSAIDs, and cortisone injections. If the pain persists despite conservative management, the patient may be a candidate for surgery. Surgical intervention consists of fusing specific joints in the wrist or hand. Removing certain carpal bones may be indicated as part of the procedure to eliminate the associated pain. A total wrist fusion, a partial wrist fusion, a four corner fusion, or a proximal row carpectomy are some of the options available depending on the exact location and severity of the arthritis. Our orthopaedic hand specialists will determine which, if any, procedure would be best to treat your wrist for your lifestyle and needs.
Scaphoid nonunion advanced collapse (“SNAC wrist”) occurs after sustaining a scaphoid fracture that goes undiagnosed or does not heal. After some time, the scaphoid nonunion causes collapse of the scaphoid bone and subsequent radiocarpal arthritis, that may progress to midcarpal arthritis, occurs. Patients may present with a history of an old injury with complaints of wrist pain, stiffness, and weakness. Diagnosis is often made with radiographs that show a scaphoid nonunion and the progression of the collapse. Treatment of this condition begins conservatively with bracing and cortisone injections, but definitive treatment requires surgery.
Scaphoid lunate advanced collapse (“SLAC wrist”) usually occurs as the result of a chronic scapholunate ligament injury. Loss of stability between these carpal bones causes the scaphoid to go into a flexed position and the lunate to be extended. Over time these abnormal forces and instability lead to arthritic changes between the radiocarpal and midcarpal joints. Patients may present with a history of an old injury and complaints of wrist pain, stiffness, and weakness. Diagnosis is often made with radiographs that will show scapholunate widening, radiocarpal and/or midcarpal arthritis, and a DISI (dorsal intercalated segment instability) deformity.
Every patient receives an in-depth consultation to devise a treatment plan that is right for their problem. Our specialists prefer non-operative and non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy, medications, and/or injections. When we require surgery, we will then use minimally invasive surgical techniques to fix your problem, whether it is fixing a broken bone or repairing a tendon. Our goal is always to get you back to living your life normally as soon as possible.