There are several different forms of arthritis that can affect the wrist joint. The most common form is osteoarthritis. Cases of rheumatoid arthritis are becoming much less prevalent due to more successful medical therapy to prevent the degeneration of joints.
Patients may develop arthritic change after previous trauma or fractures around the wrist.
Treatment options are based on patient’s perceptions of pain and limitation. Patients will usually have simple non-operative measures initially such as regular paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medication to try and control the symptoms. If patients reach the point of being unable to cope with day-to-day activities due to pain, there are surgical options that can be considered. In cases of significant degenerative changes in the joints, a partial replacement may be considered or more commonly a fusion of stiff painful joints may be recommended.