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Wrist Fracture Surgery Risks -- Chronic Pain and Loss of Motion

Clip Number: 21 of 33
Presentation: Distal Radius Fracture Surgery
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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If chronic pain or limited range of motion develops following this procedure, it is most often related to your type of fracture. Fractures that involve the joint and damage the cartilage are more likely to develop pain and cause lack of motion over time. This occurs because the damaged cartilage is not as durable and the irregularity that results speeds up the wear and tear on the articular cartilage, which leads to arthritis. Arthritis can cause pain and loss of motion.
If this occurs, your doctor will recommend treatment options. Very rarely, a repeat surgery with fusion of the bones is necessary to control the pain. Fusion involves placing hardware across the wrist joint to permanently eliminate movement of the joint but still allow for reasonable hand motion. Occasionally, surgical removal of the area with the most arthritis can produce good results.

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