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Medical Breakthroughs: Hand specialist working on new wrist replacement surgery

Medical Breakthroughs: Hand specialist working on new wrist replacement surgery
4 weeks 21 hours 19 minutes ago Friday, June 14 2024 Jun 14, 2024 June 14, 2024 5:03 PM June 14, 2024 in Health

Wrists can move any which way. They’re made up of 10 small bones, and three joints — and when one of those bones or joints goes bad, people can be left in pain.

But until recently, doctors could do little to help.

“The way we would treat this is, we would remove that bone and, literally, throw it away,” Midwest Orthopedics hand specialist John Fernandez, MD, said. “Then, we would pray that the connection between these two bones would be restored, but it really would never be truly restored.”

Fernandez is now one of the few surgeons in the country to replace the distal radial ulnar joint with a metal implant.

“It's like putting the hinge back on the door,” Fernandez said. “So now, the door can open properly. What's most remarkable is, you see these patients two weeks later, they have no pain. These are patients who have been in pain for literally 20 years — they’ve had five or six failed surgeries."

And the best part? No rehab.

“There's none because you haven't touched the muscles, you haven't touched the tendons,” Fernandez said.

Within two weeks, patients are back doing what they love, without pain. 

The only restriction is no heavy lifting. 

If you are younger or have a job doing heavy work, wrist replacements may not be a good option. 

Doctors are now working on how to replace the other main joint in the wrist, which is the radial carpal joint.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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