Ask Trevor CHT: fused wrists

Ask Trevor CHT Fused Wrist Hand surgery Osteoarthritis Rheumatoid Arthritis Wrist Arthroplasty

Woman in blue sweater holding her left wrist

Rachel asks:

"I have rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. My hands are very painful and I have several joints replaced over the years. I have little movement in my wrists and am considering getting them fused.

Is it safer to let them fuse naturally or fuse them surgically now?"

Certified Hand Therapist Trevor says:

" 'Safe' is tricky term.

Technically, letting them fuse naturally would be safer just because any surgery carries inherent risks that would be best discussed with your surgeon.

Letting your joints fuse over time may not be the more successful option though just because it's difficult if not impossible to successfully predict the course any arthritic change is going to take.

Some people may experience fusing in the matter of a few years, some people may never get their joints to fully fuse.

Another option you can discuss with your surgeon might be a wrist joint replacement, known as a total wrist arthroplasty."

*This content is presented for informational purposes only, and should not be seen as any kind of health, nutritional, medical or legal advice. You should consult a licensed medical practitioner if you are experiencing pain and/or discomfort or have a medical issue or suspect that you have a medical issue. If you choose to rely on the information presented in the Grace & Able LLC website, blog or social media posts, you do so at your own risk.*


Trevor Petrie, Certified Hand Therapist

Trevor Petrie is a Certified Hand Therapist with a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Washington.

He has been helping people with hand and upper extremity pain and injuries since 2012.

Over the course of his career, he has treated hundreds of people with chronic pain stemming from a myriad of causes including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel, and tendinitis. No two people experience these issues the exact same way, so Trevor strives to find the best evidence-based approach that works for each person’s individual needs in order to get back to living their best lives.

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