May 2nd, 2007Wrist fusion has, for years, been the gold standard for treatment of the painful Rheumatoid wrist. This has not changed over the past several decades because technology has not met the biomechanical demands of the wrist. Fusion, by contrast, has provided a painfree, albeit stiff wrist.
Over the past 5 years, however, my colleagues Brian Adams, at Iowa, and Bill Cooney, at Mayo Clinic have provided compelling eveidence that shows that the current status of wrist replacement in patients with Rheumatoid wrist arthritis is not only that it is feasible, but also efficacious.
I have been committed to learning the pearls regarding this procedure and am excited to be able to offer this procedure as a viable, motion-preserving alternative to a wrist fusion.
A short period of cast immobilization is required after surgery, and then therapy is started. The operation can be performed under a regional anesthesia as an outpatient or with an overnight stay in the hospital.
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