Wrist surgery is an option for people with pain or mobility issues in the wrist joint. The most common type of wrist surgery is wrist arthroscopy. This minimally-invasive procedure allows the surgeon to diagnose problems and operate on the wrist through a series of tiny incisions made around the joint. Wrist surgery can be used to treat wrist fractures, chronic wrist pain, ganglion cysts, ligament tears, and inflammation caused by arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Arthroscopic wrist surgery usually only requires regional anesthesia. This means that your arm and hand will be numb during the surgery, but you’ll be awake. You will feel no pain. Most wrist surgeries are done as outpatient procedures. Recovery takes two to four weeks. However, this can vary depending on the type of wrist surgery you have.
Are there alternatives to wrist surgery?
If your doctor tells you that you need wrist surgery, it’s usually because you’ve tried non-surgical options without success. Wrist arthroscopy is a common way to treat wrist problems, but certain conditions may be too large or complex to be treated with arthroscopic surgery. If that is the case, your doctor might recommend one of the following surgical options.
- Open repair — Your physician may advise open repair when a direct view of the wrist joint is necessary. This can be the case in complex wrist fractures that may need bone realignment, and in certain carpal tunnel release procedures. The recovery time for open repair surgery is typically longer than that of arthroscopic surgery.
- Wrist fusion — Wrist fusion is an option for patients that suffer from arthritis pain. In this surgery, the surgeon removes the surfaces of the joint affected by arthritis. Then, they join the bones of the wrist to the bones of the hand. This procedure can eliminate wrist pain but greatly decreases wrist mobility.
- Wrist replacement — Wrist replacement, also called wrist arthroplasty, is an option for patients with severe pain caused by damaged bones in the wrist. During this surgery, the surgeon cuts away the damaged bones and replaces them with a metal or plastic prosthetic. Wrist arthroplasty can reduce wrist pain while keeping wrist mobility. However, the surgery is uncommon due to the complexity of the joint.
The type of procedure you get will depend on your personal health and your doctor’s recommendations. Feel free to ask your doctor why they’re recommending any procedure. If you’re unsure about their recommendations, feel free to get a second opinion.
How much should you pay for your wrist surgery?
If your doctor has recommended surgery for your wrist joint pain and mobility issues, you may have more options than you think. Doing research before your procedure can help save you money on your wrist surgery. New Choice Health has gathered cost data from healthcare facilities around the country to provide you with the most accurate wrist surgery pricing information. Visit the New Choice Health wrist surgery cost information page to find out how to make sure you’re getting a fair price for your procedure.