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First Total Wrist Replacement takes place at Spire Murrayfield

03 December 2014

Spire Murrayfield Hospital has carried out its first total wrist replacement - in fact, the procedure is the first to be carried out in the east of Scotland.

Total wrist replacement surgery is carried out to treat patients who have severe arthritis of the wrist. The procedure involved 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 that provides much improved wrist function for patients suffering from arthritis.

Alternative surgery, which is still used in cases of severe arthritis, include wrist fusion. Total wrist replacement differs from this procedure as 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 patient's wrist movements so tasks that require dexterity of fingers are often more difficult - total wrist replacement provides much more dexterity and range of motion than wrist fusion.

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.

Orthopaedic surgeon Mr Chris Oliver, who led the operation, said, "For selected patients total wrist replacement is now a viable alternative to wrist fusion. The patient who we treated on Saturday is recovering well and returned home the day after surgery. Once their recovery is complete, I see no reason why they wouldn’t have pain-free motion once more."

Mr Chris Oliver can be reached on Twitter at @Hand_Surgeon.