What is Total Wrist Fusion?
Total wrist fusion is predominantly performed for severe wrist arthritis. A total wrist fusion stops all movement at the wrist joint, so it is not an operation to undertake lightly. However, it provides welcome relief for patients who are unable to use their hand due to wrist pain and instability.
The severe arthritis that leads patients to a total wrist fusion can be the result of a number of conditions. Sometimes damage to the wrist ligaments as a young adult sets up changes in wrist biomechanics that lead to progressive arthritis. Sometimes rheumatoid arthritis is the underlying cause.
There are also other uncommon reasons patients may undergo a wrist fusion – when part of the wrist has to be removed due to cancer or infection, or when there is paralysis of the wrist or hand.