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Proximal row carpectomy

This operation has not been that popular in the UK but has been more so on the continent particularly in the Nederlands and Belgium, where they have long term studies showing that it is a procedure with a consistent outcome. Prximal row carpectomy (PRC) involves removing the first row of the carpal bones which consists of the scaphoid, lunate and trquetrum.

proximal row carpectomy

The wrist is immobilised in a cast for six weeks after the surgery and then physiotherapy is started. In my experience it can take several months to regain strength and stamina but the advantage is that it preserves some movement. In contrast a total wrist arthrodesis (fusion) results in a completely stiff wrist and therefore probably more power and stability, but the lack of movement can be a real disadvantage for many people.

As technological developments in wrist joint replacements progress, this procedure will become more common with the confidence that it will have a long survival rate and minimal risks or complications.