Partial Wrist Fusion

A partial wrist fusion/excision is needed when the wrist suffers painful, arthritic damage that prevents it from functioning normally. Because the wrist joint is comprised of so many bones (namely the scaphoid radius, lunate, trapezium and hamate bones), there are several different kinds of partial wrist fusions performed by a wrist surgeon in NYC.

In addition, the pattern of degenerative/arthritic changes in the wrist may determine whether someone is eligible for a partial wrist fusion. Essentially, very arthritic wrist joint bones will need removed or fused while healthy joint bones can remain intact during a partial wrist fusion procedure.

Facts about Partial Wrist Fusions

  • Since the delicate process of bone fusion is involved in this type of surgery, recovery may take as long as six months. Your wrist may be in a cast for six or seven weeks. Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss recovery tips for a partial wrist fusion with you.
  • Occasionally, bones may not fuse properly, and repairing a damaged wrist joint may require other treatment options. However, risk of failure to fuse is higher in smokers and for people who do not follow post-operative instructions provided by your wrist surgeon in Staten Island.
  • Partial wrist surgery allows you to enjoy some wrist movement. This means you may continue to experience minimal discomfort even after surgery.
  • Partial wrist fusions change the physics of wrist biomechanics, which increases the load on your remaining wrist joints. In some people, this biomechanical alteration may put them at risk for suffering arthritis in the wrist at some point in their life.

Fusing wrist bones involves your wrist surgeon in Jersey City removing cartilage between bones in order to fuse the bones. During the fusing process, your wrist bones will be held together with wires, screws or staples. Bone grafts further increase fusion rates, with grafts usually taken from your hip bone.

Types of Partial Wrist Fusion Procedures

Scaphocapitate Fusion

Performed to treat scaphoid instability, mid-carpal instability or Kienbock’s disease, this partial wrist fusion technique helps strengthen the wrist and prevent bone death by facilitating blood flow to the wrist.

Radiolunate Arthrodesis

If your wrist surgeon in Jersey City or New York diagnoses you with rheumatoid arthritis of the wrist, you may need radiolunate fusion surgery to repair degenerating bones and restore partial movement to your wrist.

Radioscapholunate Arthrodesis Wrist Fusion

Wrist arthritis accompanied by distal radius intra-articular fractures affecting the proximal row of carpal bones (but not the mid-carpal joint) is often treated with this type of partial wrist fusion technique.

STT Fusion (scaphotrapeziotrapezoidal fusion)

STT fusion is indicated when osteoarthritis affects wrist functioning. If your wrist surgeon in NYC decides to perform an SST fusion, he will fuse three of your wrist bones together—the scaphoid, trapezoid and trapezium.

Four-Corner Fusion (fusion of the hamate, capitate, lunate and trapezium bones with scaphoid excision)

If the scaphoid bone is damaged and does not heal, your wrist surgeon in New York City may recommend a four-corner fusion procedure that removes the scaphoid bone while the remaining bones are fused.

To learn more about partial wrist fusion surgery, please contact iOrtho today to schedule an appointment with one of our wrist surgeons.

If you suspect you have pain in any of these areas, it's important to consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate management.