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Wrist Arthritis

What is Wrist Arthritis?

Wrist arthritis is a condition where the smooth cartilage lining of the two bone ends that make a joint becomes worn and damaged. The two bones no longer glide smoothly over each other; instead when they rub together it can cause pain. Over time bone spurs can form around the joint as part of the arthritis process. These spurs can physically prevent the joint from moving a normal amount. The joint pain and the bone spurs together can result in the affected joint losing most, if not all of its normal movement.

Symptoms of Wrist Arthritis

Wrist arthritis can be the result of inflammatory conditions (such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis), a result of previous injury (such as a ligament rupture or a fracture) or it may arise with no obvious cause (primary osteoarthritis). 

There are several bones that join together to form the wrist. Different patterns of arthritis can occur depending on the bones affected and the underlying cause.  The exact nature of a person’s symptoms will depend on the pattern of arthritis that they have. In general, people with severe wrist arthritis usually have significant pain when they try and use their hand to grip objects or to push and pull on things. 

Treatment for Wrist Arthritis

A patient with wrist arthritis that is affecting their day to day life may benefit from surgery such as total wrist fusion, partial wrist fusion, excisional arthroplasty or joint resurfacing.  

At the Melbourne Shoulder and Elbow Centre, Mr Clitherow can assess your wrist arthritis and advise on the treatment most appropriate for your circumstances.