The total replacement of wrists affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has had mixed outcomes in terms of failure rates. This study was therefore conducted to analyse the biomechanics of wrist arthroplasty using recently reported implants that have shown encouraging results with the aim of providing some insights for the future development of wrist implants. A model of a healthy wrist was developed using computed tomography images from a healthy volunteer. An RA model was simulated based on all ten general characteristics of the disease. The ReMotion ™ total wrist system was then modelled to simulate total wrist arthroplasty (TWA). Finite element analysis was performed with loads simulating the static hand grip action. The results show that the RA model produced distorted patterns of stress distribution with tenfold higher contact pressure than the healthy model. For the TWA model, contact pressure was found to be approximately fivefold lower than the RA model. Compared to the healthy model, significant improvements were observed for the TWA model with minor variations in the stress distribution. In conclusion, the modelled TWA reduced contact pressure between bones but did not restore the stress distribution to the normal healthy condition.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/muralimalligaraman/17/