New process permits for larger motion than bone fusion whereas nonetheless decreasing ache

Greater than one million Britons have sought remedy for osteoarthritis within the wrist. 

Clive Moore, fifty eight, a transport planning supervisor from Shoeburyness, Essex, had a brand new gadget implanted in every wrist, as he tells ROGER DOBSON.


For years I suffered from niggling pains in my proper wrist, however I wasn’t too apprehensive as they might come and go.

The actual issues began after I used to be in a automotive crash in 2012. I collided with one other automotive however my airbag did not inflate. 

I used to be gripping the steering wheel very arduous on the time and the influence actually jolted my wrists.

X-ray of two broken arms. For years, Clive Moore suffered from niggling pains in his proper wrist, however he wasn’t too nervous as they might come and go

My proper wrist turned very painful. Motion in any path, particularly rotation, was agony. 

So a couple of weeks later, nonetheless in ache and with my wrist swollen, I used my personal medical insurance to see orthopaedic surgeon Greg Packer.

An X-ray revealed I had not solely fractured my wrist however there was injury because of put on and tear: bone was rubbing on bone, inflicting ache.

I used to be informed that the traditional remedy was to fuse the bones within the wrist collectively so the ends don’t rub. 

However whereas this offers with the ache, it leaves you with little motion within the joint.

I’ve all the time been a eager motorcyclist and I needed to go biking and be lively with my son William, now 18, so a fusion was not very best.

Mr Packer then advised me a few new implant which might substitute my joint and provides me a larger motion than fusion. I had the op a number of weeks later, in November 2012.

The process took about one-and-a-half hours underneath common anaesthetic. Once I awakened, there was a big dressing on my wrist.

The joint was swollen and stiff however I might transfer it. I began physiotherapy as soon as every week and did workouts day by day.

Clive Moore (not pictured) says he has all the time been a eager motorcyclist and needed to go biking and be lively together with his son William, now 18, so an peculiar fusion was not ultimate

After six weeks I might confidently maintain a cup of tea, and as we speak I’ve virtually full rotation and no ache.

Up to now few years my left wrist has begun to deteriorate and grow to be painful so a month in the past I had the identical process on that one.

I’ve been advised I’m solely the tenth individual worldwide to have this implant in each wrists.

It’s nonetheless swollen however I can now open a jar, wash my motorcycle and do gardening and DIY.


Greg Packer is a advisor orthopaedic surgeon on the Spire Wellesley Hospital and Southend College Hospital.

The wrist could be very complicated, as it’s made up of numerous small bones and a collection of joints.

It’s shaped the place the 2 bones of the forearm — the radius (the bigger bone on the thumb aspect of the arm) and the ulna (on the little finger aspect) — meet the eight small bones (the carpal bones) within the wrist.

Regular joints are lined with cartilage and lubricated with somewhat little bit of fluid that’s regularly renewed. 

However put on and tear may cause the liner of the joint to skinny, resulting in bone rubbing on bone, which could be painful.

Greg Packer is a advisor orthopaedic surgeon on the Spire Wellesley Hospital and Southend College Hospital

Till just lately, sufferers who developed arthritis of the wrist have been confronted with having the bones fused collectively or having a complete wrist alternative. 

In a alternative, the bones within the hand are completely bonded with a metallic plate to the inside bone of the forearm.

Whereas this helps ache, a wrist alternative — like fusion — vastly restricts motion.

Lately, nevertheless, we began providing a brand new implant, referred to as Motec. 

Developed in Sweden, it’s designed to offer sufferers a secure, cellular, ache-free wrist and a variety of motion.

It’s principally a ball-and-socket joint to exchange the unique one, and is coated with a biologically lively materials that encourages the floor of the metallic implant and the wrist bones to bond.


As with all operations, there’s a danger of bleeding or an infection.

There’s a danger of swelling or bruising.

X-ray of a standard metal implant within the wrist. As with all operations, there new process presents the danger of bleeding or an infection

There’s a small probability that the implant might loosen or want changing. A research instructed 10 per cent of instances had loosened or wanted revising within the three to 5 years after insertion.

‘The complication fee for wrist alternative is far greater than for hip alternative, and the life expectancy of such a alternative might solely be ten to fifteen years if issues go nicely,’ says Roger Hackney, a marketing consultant in orthopaedics and trauma at Leeds Common Infirmary.

The operation is out there on the NHS. It prices round £10,000 privately.

That is to make sure that the implant is held firmly in place. The ball-and-socket joint has two ‘arms’ radiating out on reverse sides. 

The longer one goes up into the hand, the opposite down into the forearm.

These arms be sure that the ball-and-socket joint stays in the fitting spot. Every of them additionally has a thread to make sure a safe reference to bone.

There are a number of sizes obtainable — we use scans to pick the correct one. 

Within the process, an incision 8cm to 10cm lengthy is made within the wrist. This exposes a few of the eight carpal bones.

Three of those — these nearest the forearm — are eliminated.

We then drill holes into the capitate, the most important carpal bone, on the base of the palm, and the metacarpal, the lengthy bone of the little finger.

One other gap is drilled into the radius — the bigger of the 2 lengthy bones of the forearm. 

A information wire is used to seek out the best way down the centre of the bones. 

A screw is inserted into every of those holes and they’re related collectively by the ball-and-socket gadget.

As soon as the whole lot is in place, the incision is closed with stitches.

Sufferers keep in hospital for one or two nights and have to relaxation the joint for a few week whereas it heals.

They need to have the ability to return to regular actions, together with driving, after a fortnight. The wrist stays in plaster for about ten days. 


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