[Wrist joint arthroplasty: results after 41 prostheses].

The advantage of wrist arthroplasty remains controversial, primarily due to the high complication rate. For this reason it seems sensible to monitor the results of different types of prostheses even with small numbers of cases. We were particularly interested to see if wrist joint arthroplasty is a useful alternative for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and which of the types we used shows the best results.
In our hospital, 41 wrist joint prostheses (15 Meuli, 16 BIAX and 10 Universal 2) were implanted in 36 patients from 1992 until 2005 (follow-up 1 to 14 years, mean 5.3 years). 33 patients had rheumatic destruction of the wrist, two had osteoarthritis following fracture of the scaphoid, and one pseudarthrosis after failed arthroplasty and arthrodesis for Kienböck's disease. Mean age was 54 years, ranging from 34 to 73 years. 14 patients had had surgery on this wrist before. The patients were sent a questionnaire including the DASH score, and a clinical evaluation and X-rays were performed.
33 patients with 38 wrist arthroplasties answered the questionnaire, 34 wrist joint prosthesis of 29 patients could be evaluated.
6 prostheses had to be removed because of complications (3 arthrodeses were performed after removal, 3 prostheses were exchanged). There were 4 dislocations (3 times with the Meuli type, once with the BIAX type). There was one case of CRPS type I. But subjectively, in answering our questionnaire, 31 of 38 patients claimed to be very satisfied or satisfied with the result of the operation, only 6 were less satisfied or not satisfied at all. An improvement of pain was found by all but one patient. An increase in strength or range of movement was found more rarely. The mean postoperative DASH score was 61 points. Mean wrist joint mobility was 50 degrees for extension/flexion, and 20 degrees for radial- and ulnar abduction.
The result of total wrist joint arthroplasty depends very much on a careful patient selection. A preoperative bony malposition of the wrist and a tendon dysfunction seem to be responsible for a bad result. High expectations with regard to range of movement and strength should be avoided. A good reduction of pain can be achieved but the risk of complication is still higher than in arthrodesis.
AuthorsS Strunk, W Bracker
JournalHandchirurgie, Mikrochirurgie, plastische Chirurgie : Organ der Deutschsprachigen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Handchirurgie : Organ der Deutschsprachigen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Mikrochirurgie der Peripheren Nerven und Gefässe : Organ der Vereinigung der Deutschen Plastischen Chirurgen (Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir) Vol. 41 Issue 3 Pg. 141-7 (Jun 2009) ISSN: 1439-3980 [Electronic] Germany
Vernacular TitleHandgelenksendoprothetik: Erfahrungen nach Implantation von 41 Prothesen.
PMID19189248 (Publication Type: English Abstract, Journal Article)
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid (radiography, surgery)
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement (methods)
  • Device Removal
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Prosthesis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis (radiography, surgery)
  • Osteonecrosis (radiography, surgery)
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Complications (etiology, radiography, surgery)
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Pseudarthrosis (radiography, surgery)
  • Range of Motion, Articular (physiology)
  • Reoperation
  • Wrist Joint (radiography, surgery)

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