This handout explains the follow-up care after wrist fusion (arthrodesis) surgery. The wrist has been fused to eliminate pain at the arthritic joint, which will allow for improved function. In order to stabilize the wrist fusion, a metal plate has been used that spans the length from the forearm, or radius bone, to the hand, or metacarpal bone. You will have a drain in place to remove fluid from around the surgery site and to decrease the risk of infection. Please continue to take the antibiotics you were prescribed until the drain has been removed. We can schedule removal of the drain at the office 2 days after surgery or the nurses can instruct you on how to remove this at home, if you prefer. The splint is there for your protection. You may unwrap & rewrap the ace bandages if you feel that the splint is too tight.
If the skin around the incision is red or if there is drainage coming out of it, please call us right away. The phone number is at the bottom of the page. Go to the emergency room if this occurs at night or on a weekend. Please do not lift with the operable hand until instructed to do so after starting therapy. You will be scheduled to begin a therapy program the week after surgery so that we may make a more comfortable splint & new liner once your swelling has decreased.