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Wrist Arthrodesis

Wrist arthrodesis (fusion) is currently used in patients whose radiocarpal joint has been damaged by trauma or arthritis, and where the patient has severe pain. Plate arthrodesis is used in patients with post traumatic or osteoarthritis, while pin arthodesis is used in rheumatoid patients.

Both techniques are a means to allow the bones to fuse at the radio-carpal, mid carpal and carpo-metacarpal joints. After this procedure no movement is possible at the wrist, while movement in the fingers is preserved.

Post Operative Physiotherapy:


  • Drain and dressing is insitu
  • Wrist is supported in volar POP slab
  • Hand and wrist is elevated, with regular observations

Day 1:

  • Dressing is reduce and drain removed
  • Mobilisation of un-involved joints is encouraged
  • New cast/ splint is applied
  • Oedema management

The patient is usually discharged either day 1 or day 2 post op.

Day 10 – 14:

  • Dressing reduced
  • Removal of sutures
  • Reapplication of cast
  • Encourage finger, elbow and shoulder movements

Week 6:

  • Cast removed
  • X-ray
  • Mobilise fingers
  • Start light activities

Month 3:

Check x-ray – if united discharge



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