Total Wrist Replacement

Total Wrist Replacement

Total wrist replacement surgery is carried out to treat patients who have severe arthritis of the wrist. The procedure involves replacing the degenerated parts of the bones with artificial components made of metal and polyethylene. These artificial implants form a new ball and socket joint which provides much improved wrist function for patients suffering from arthritis.

Alternatives to total Wrist Replacement

For selected patients total wrist replacement is now a viable alternative to wrist fusion. Wrist fusion is still used in cases of severe arthritis. Total wrist replacement differs from this procedure as in wrist fusion, the actual carpal bones in the hand are permanently fused with a metal plate to the inner bone of the forearm. Wrist fusions are more limiting to a patients wrist movements so tasks that require dexterity of fingers, such as playing musical instruements or writing are often more difficult. The design of the implant used at Spire Murrayfield Hospital for total wrist replacement provides much more dexterity and range of motion than wrist fusion.

Left - Picture of the implant. Right - close up of implant surface.

The Motec® Wrist joint replacement has been designed specifically for active patients, with the objective to provide a strong, stable, mobile and pain free wrist, enabling the patient to retain natural unconstrained movement. It combines innovative design, proven technology and years of clinical excellence to provide the patient with an implant that closely mimics their own natural anatomy and multiple size combinations complete this bespoke solution for each individual patient.

The Motec Wrist Joint Prosthesis is completely modular in its design to give the surgeon maximum flexibility in matching to your individual anatomy. The primary fixation in bone is achieved by threaded implants which are available in different sizes. The head component is available with several different neck lengths to enable fine tuning of the joint tension which is slightly different in each patient.

Time in hospital

The procedure takes approximately 1.5 hours in theatre, after this time you would return to your private room to recover. Typically, patients remain in hospital for either one or two nights and then return home. Once home you will need to rest your wrist for around a week and should be able to return to normal activities, such as household cleaning and driving after two weeks.

Previous surgery

For patients who have previously had surgery for wrist conditions and have seen loosening in an alternative wrist implant, the Motec implant may be suitable as a salvage procedure.  If you are experiencing loosening of an implant, it may be advisable to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss whether the implant would be beneficial for you.


The cost of the procedure is £9,500.

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