What is DRUJ Arthroscopy?
The DRUJ is the joint formed by the radius and ulnar bones of the foreman in the wrist. DRUJ (Distal Radioulnar Joint) arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to diagnose and treat pathological problems in the DRUJ using an arthroscope, a thin, flexible scope with a camera on the end.
What are the Indications for DRUJ Arthroscopy?
Unexplained pain in the wrist and instability of the DRUJ may be indications for the procedure. Furthermore, the procedure is performed for the evaluation and treatment of joint pathologies causing ulnar-sided wrist pain (i.e. the side of the wrist below the small finger).
What are the Benefits of DRUJ Arthroscopy?
The benefits of DRUJ arthroscopy include:
- Allows better visualization of the joint
- More accurate than standard X-rays and MRI
- Permitsthe detection of certain types of DRUJ injuries that may not be easily detected by other diagnostic studies
- Possible treatment of certain types of DRUJ injuries using specialized instruments during the arthroscopy itself
How do you Prepare for DRUJ Arthroscopy?
You may be asked to follow a pre-operation protocol as with any other surgery. Your doctor will advise you on food, medication, etc. prior to the procedure. The procedure is performed under general or regional anaesthesia.
How is DRUJ Arthroscopy Performed?
During the procedure, the doctor may perform the following:
- Create 2-3 small puncture incisions (portals) on the back of the wrist close to the DRUJ
- Guide the arthroscope to the DRUJ through the portals
- Observe the DRUJ surfaces as well as surrounding structures for any abnormality
- Perform debridement or repair utilizing the arthroscope and other specialized surgical tools
What are the Risks Associated with DRUJ Arthroscopy?
The procedure is technically demanding and requires extensive training. Other risks include:
- Injuries to tendons
- Nerve damage
- Delayed healing
What Precautions should be Taken as You Recover from DRUJ Arthroscopy?
You may be asked to keep the operated area (wrist) immobilized in a semi-circular ulnar-sided cast for 1 week and avoid heavy lifting for 4 weeks.