FOLLOW US

Wrist Replacement

If you are considering having a wrist replacement or have just had one, know that surgery is just the first step. Your surgeon may have done a fine job, but this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to use your wrist as you did before. Physical therapy is important for complete recovery, strength, and a full range of motion once your wrist begins to heal. Our physical therapists are excited to help you achieve this in the shortest time possible. Contact us today and request an appointment with one of our physical therapists.

What is Wrist Replacement Surgery?

In wrist replacement or wrist arthroplasty, the damaged parts of the wrist bones are replaced with artificial parts (prosthetics). Wrist replacement is effective for treating severe pain and weakness of the wrist. It’s not as common as hip or knee replacement.

What is Wrist Replacement Surgery?

In wrist replacement or wrist arthroplasty, the damaged parts of the wrist bones are replaced with artificial parts (prosthetics). Wrist replacement is effective for treating severe pain and weakness of the wrist. It’s not as common as hip or knee replacement.

Know Your Wrist

Your wrist is made up of 8 small bones (carpals) that connect to your forearm bones (the radius and ulna) and your thumb and fingers. The carpals are in two rows, with four bones at each row. The upper row of the carpal connects to your thumb and fingers, while the lower row connects to the forearm bone. An elastic tissue known as cartilage covers the end of the bones. This protects the bones and enables them to move easily without friction.

Causes of Wrist Replacement

The major reason for wrist replacement is arthritis. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage wears out either as a result of age, disease, or infection, the bones begin to rub against each other resulting in pain. This, also causes the ends of the bones to wear out.
Osteoarthritis This form of arthritis is common in persons from 40 years of age most especially women. It can also occur in younger people.
Rheumatoid Arthritis This happens when your immune system attacks your joints. The synovial membrane covering the joints becomes inflamed. This can damage the cartilage and lead to stiffness and pain in the wrist.
Post-traumatic Arthritis This begins to develop after a wrist injury, where fractures and tears may damage the cartilage.

Who is Wrist Replacement Right For?

Ideal candidates for wrist replacement are those who don’t perform work that requires heavy lifting, as this can shorten the lifespan of the implants.

Before and During Surgery For Wrist Replacement

Before the surgery, a complete physical examination will be carried out to ensure you are in good health, and that replacement is actually what you need. Once you and your surgeon have made the decision for wrist replacement, then it’s time to go prepare for your surgery. It is important to make changes to your home and have someone to support you after surgery. This is because you won’t be able to use your wrist for a couple of weeks. A general anesthetic will be given to you to keep you asleep or sedated during the procedure which will only take few hours. Surgery may be done on an inpatient or outpatient (same-day surgery) basis.

Recovery for Wrist Replacement Surgery

After the surgery, be ready to feel some pain, this is normal for a while. Your doctor may prescribe pain killers for a period to help with the pain. Once your pain begins to subside, stop taking the meds. Your arm will be put in a cast for at least 4 weeks. Once the cast is removed, you will need to wear a splint for another 6 – 8 weeks. Post-operative rehabilitation is very crucial after surgery. This guarantees that your wrist heals faster, and is restored to its normal functioning. Polygon PT offers post-operative rehab for wrist replacement surgery. Through therapeutic exercises, physical therapy will restore flexibility to your wrist. Don’t rush the recovery process, it will take a couple of 3-6 months for complete recovery. Implants are expected to last for 10-15 years. However how long they last depend on the physical demands placed on them.

Get Started With Physical Therapy and Rehab for Wrist Replacement Today

For quick and complete recovery to your wrist, well-structured rehab treatment is essential. Contact a physical therapist today at Polygon PT to get started. Regain full use of your wrist!