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Wrist Injuries

Wrist arthroscopy – Diagnostic and therapeutic

Wrist pain can be caused by a wide variety of problems.   Diagnosis often requires physical examination as well as X-rays and, in some cases, advanced imaging modalities such as MRI.  However, none of these diagnostic techniques are 100% accurate all of the time.  As such, the cause of a patient’s wrist pain may not always be perfectly clear.  Dr. Master has gained extensive clinical experience with wrist arthroscopy (looking inside the wrist joint with a small camera).  The benefit of this technique is that it allows for direct visualization of many structures inside the wrist without making large incisions.   Wrist arthroscopy can often shed light on a diagnosis which has remained unclear.  In addition, this technique can also allow for treatment of the identified problem with a minimally invasive approach (i.e. without "open" surgery).  


Wrist arthroscopic assisted reduction

Dr. Master also has an extensive experience with wrist arthroscopy (looking inside of the wrist joint with a camera).  This technique can also be used during the treatment of complex wrist fractures.  The benefit to patients is that it allows Dr. Master to directly visualize portions of the wrist bone which can not typically be seen during surgery.  This added visualization allows Dr. Master to make small adjustments to the bones to make sure they are lined up perfectly.

Wrist fracture treatment with fragment specific fixation

Dr. Master has gained significant experience with the operative treatment of complex distal radius (wrist) fractures with “fragment-specific internal fixation”.  The majority of wrist fractures which need surgery can be treated adequately with a single plate.  However, more complex wrist fracture patterns can not always be controlled with this technique.  In these cases, Dr. Master will use more than one device to hold each portion of the wrist bone in the correct position while it heals.  The benefit of this technique to patients is that it can decrease the risk of their wrist bones healing in the incorrect position (malunion). 


Wrist vascularized bone grafting

The scaphoid bone is bone inside the wrist which is commonly injured when patients fall onto their outstretched hands.  In some cases, people may injure their scaphoid but not realize that they have the injury.  As a result, the bone does not heal and they develop what is called a non-union of the scaphoid.  Scaphoid non-unions can be very difficult to treat effectively.  Dr. Master has gained extensive experience with vascularized bone grafting to treat scaphoid non-unions.  In this technique, Dr. Master takes a piece of bone from another location in the wrist and transports it to the site of the scaphoid non-union.  During this process, Dr. Master maintains the original blood supply to the transported bone so that the new bone will help the scaphoid heal.  The benefit to patients with this technique is that it may increase the chance of the scaphoid healing and, therefore, potentially decrease the need for additional surgeries.


Wrist ligament treatment

There are many ligaments in the wrist which can be injured and lead to significant pain.  These injuries are often difficult to detect and treat.  Dr. Master has gained extensive experience with wrist arthroscopy (looking inside the wrist joint with a small camera) which allows him to identify these ligament injuries.  In addition, Dr. Master also has learned a variety of minimally invasive techniques that he can use to treat the ligament injury. He has significant experience using a small heat probe to shrink the ligaments as well as using pins to hold the wrist bones together while the ligaments heal.  Finally, Dr. Master has also learned a multitude of techniques to reconstruct damaged wrist ligaments if they are too damaged to be repaired.  


Wrist TFCC treatment

Many patients have pain along the ulnar side of their wrist (i.e. the side of the wrist closer to the small finger).  This type of pain can be caused by an injury to a cartilage disc inside of the wrist joint known as the TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex).   Dr. Master has gained extensive experience in the non-operative and operative treatment of this injury.  For patients who require operative treatment, Dr. Master has learned a cutting edge technique to repair the TFCC through only small, percutaneous (2-3mm) incisions.  The benefit of this technique to patients is that they typically have less pain than with formal "open" surgery.


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