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Wrist & Hand

A randomized controlled trial comparing two modern total wrist arthroplasties

improved function with stable implants, but high complication rates in non-rheumatoid wrists at two years

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To analyze the short-term outcome of two types of total wrist arthroplasty (TWA) in terms of wrist function, migration, and periprosthetic bone behaviour.


A total of 40 patients suffering from non-rheumatoid wrist arthritis were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial comparing the ReMotion and Motec TWAs. Patient-rated and functional outcomes, radiological changes, blood metal ion levels, migration measured by model-based radiostereometric analysis (RSA), bone mineral density (BMD) measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), complications, loosening, and revision rates at two years were compared.


Patient-Rated Wrist and Hand Evaluation (PRWHE) scores, abbreviated version of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (QuickDASH) scores, and pain improved similarly and significantly in both groups. Wrist motion improved significantly in the Motec group only, and forearm rotation in the ReMotion group only. Cobalt (Co) and chromium (Cr) blood ion levels were significantly higher in the metal-on-metal (MoM) Motec group than in the metal-on-polyethylene (MoP) ReMotion group. Mean total translation was 0.65 mm (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.26 to 1.12) and 0.27 mm (95% CI 0.14 to 0.47) for the ReMotion carpal and radial components, and 0.32 mm (95% CI 0.22 to 0.45) and 0.26 mm (95% CI 0.20 to 0.34) for the Motec metacarpal and radial components, respectively. Apart from dorsal and volar tilts, which were significantly higher for the radial ReMotion than for the Motec component, no significant differences in absolute migration occurred. BMD around the radial components never returned to baseline. Almost one-third of patients required reoperation due to complications. Two ReMotion implants were revised to Motec TWAs due to carpal component loosening, and three Motec MoM articulations were revised to metal-on-polyether ether ketone due to painful synovitis.


Both implants provided matched function and were stable at short-term follow-up, but with a high complication rate. This procedure should be restricted to specialist centres undertaking prospective analysis until its role is clarified.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2022;104-B(10):1132–1141.

Correspondence should be sent to Trygve Holm-Glad. E-mail:

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