A Croydon woman is the first ever patient to receive a total wrist replacement at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
Julie Richardson, 43, was the recipient of a surgery which is said to be more complex then a hip or knee replacement due to the complicated structure of the wrist joint.
Mrs Richardson was suffering from Kienbock’s disease, a condition which put her in constant pain. A surgical team of 10 led by orthopaedic surgeon Shamim Umarji and assisted by plastic surgeon Sonja Cerovac worked for four hours to complete the surgery and insert an artificial metal joint.
Mrs Richardson said: “I’m delighted with the result and I’m so grateful to Miss Umarji and the whole team at St George’s who were involved, for years I struggled to do everyday tasks so to have a wrist I’m able to move again is really life changing.”
Suffering from the pain for around five years Mrs Richardson first noticed something was wrong when her wrist became swollen and stiff which made every day tasks like doing buttons up or picking things up incredibly painful, but the new wrist joint now in place can last up to 15 years.
Shamim Umarji said: “Traditionally the only surgical option available has been to fuse the wrist, which removes the pain but restricts the movement, it is excellent that we’re able to offer this type of surgery at St George’s allowing Julie to use her hand again after years of pain.
“We are really thrilled with the outcome, after just 10 days post-surgery it was fantastic to see Julie moving her wrist again without any pain.”
Becoming the fist ever person to receive the treatment at St George’s was not a worry for Mrs Richardson due to the trust she had in all the staff there.
Mrs Richarson said: “The consultants explained to me that it was going to be the first-ever time they’d carried out this type of procedure but it didn’t worry me at all – I trusted them and knew they wanted it to be a success just as much as I did.”