Favorable results after total wrist arthroplastyMichel E H Boeckstyns, Guillaume Herzberg & Søren Merser
Background and purpose During the past 40 years, several attempts have been made with total wrist arthroplasty to avoid fusion in severely destroyed wrists. The results have often been disappointing. There is only modest clinical documentation due to the small number of patients (especially non-rheumatoid cases) and short follow-up times. Here we report a multicenter series using a third-generation implant with a minimum follow-up time of 5 years.
Methods In 2012, data were retrieved from a registry of consecutive wrist operations at 7 centers with units specialized in hand surgery, between 2003 and 2007. The wrists had been reviewed annually and analysis was done on the latest follow-up data.
Results 60 patients had been operated (5 bilaterally), 5 wrists had been revised, and 52 were available for follow-up (with the revised cases excluded). The pain scores, QuickDASH scores, ulnar flexion, and supination for the whole group were statistically significantly better at follow-up. There were no statistically significant differences between the rheumatoid and the non-rheumatoid patients except for motion, which was better in the non-rheumatoid group. The motion obtained depended on the preoperative motion. Implant survival was 0.9 at 5–9 years.
Interpretation The clinical results in terms of pain, motion, strength, and function were similar to those in previous reports. The implant survival was 0.9 at 9 years, both in rheumatoid and non-rheumatoid cases, which is an important improvement compared to the earlier generations of total wrist arthroplasty.