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PRC – An Explanation

PRC – proximal row carpectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a row of small bones in the wrist. In reality, the surgeons change a complex joint in the wrist to a simple yet workable hinge. One good part about a PRC as compared to other wrist surgeries is that it has the least amount of recovery time. I have created a small video that explains the procedure as I understand it to be. There are many reasons why a PRC is performed and I am certain that everyone is unique. In my case my lunate bone had not received blood circulation for a very long time and had cracked while I was changing a spark plug on my Vespa GTV 300. There is no other option but a PRC or a complete wrist fusion. Have you had a PRC? If yes, please take 10-seconds and complete our survey so others may know the statistical outcome. (Click Here).






CT Scan – 4 Months After Surgery:


Video 1 of 2


Video 2 of 2



More to Come…

  1. Josh Huffman permalink

    I’m 33 I work on a drilling rig and I’m about to have that surgery next week I’m scared to death that I won’t b able to work anymore after I have it …same problem as u artery was damaged to the lunate and it’s collapsing …how’s the strength in ur wrist ? Can u tell any difference ? Please any input would help me thank u

    • I can do most of the things I did before but I am a computer guy and I ride a motorcycle. I think shocks like a hammer or chain saw would irritate it. But it is not yet a year. I will be posting an update shortly with a video of things I can do. Am I happy about the surgery? Heck no. Is there worse things in life? Heck yes. I think the lifting would be an issue.

    • Tracy permalink

      I am not certain you will be able to do your same job as gripping strength and flexion are reduced. I am only 6+ weeks post surgery so this is only a limited observation.

  2. Harold woods permalink

    I had the PRC done in June of 2011 @ kutch and Kleinert here in Lou key was in a cast for 6 weeks but was using my fingers and thumb after only a couple days only off work a week but was back on light duty . After having the cast removed I didn’t do very much PT and went back to full duty. Has been great. Before surgery every time I hit my hand on anything the pain was terrible I was getting cortisone shots every 3 mo. For almost 2 years . Very glad I finally did it it’s changed my life . I’m 56 and mine was from osteoarthritis

  3. Paul permalink

    I too am awaiting my decision to do the PRC. Much of what I read says it’s not all that special in the lo0ng term.
    Glad to find this update post. Each day the pain is worse, but I’m not sold yet. I’m a real active 68 and don’t do well when sedentary.

  4. George Eversole permalink

    Had the procedure done on my left wrist about 9 months ago by a plastic surgeon whose specialty is hands. One of the bones was badly deteriorated from arthritis. I was in constant and extreme pain; and if I hit my hand on something, the pain would go through the roof. Now, only occasional pain if I happen to twist the wrist in some not-every-day way, and even then the pain is momentary and much, much less and more dull. I have equal range of motion with my right wrist; although strength is not quite what it used to be, it’s been less than a year and I have seen constant improvement since the operation. I was very skeptical, wondering how I’d get along without those 3 bones, but I couldn’t be more satisfied. I had no physical therapy, and was instructed to not purposely exercise the hand/wrist, but just use it naturally. GHE, Phoenix, 2-27-14

    • Paul permalink

      Geroge Eversole, I’m at the stage described in the first 4 lines of you post. I’ve read so many follow ups and this thread that I real hesitant to do It. I’ve been buildong a new home for the past year & a half and think it’s better to work in pain than not finish the project. I’m 68 and can’t understand why this should happen to such a young guy.
      I’ve read some long term studies, like 10 years , that say no improvement!. Then I follow this thread and wonder if it’s the answer?

  5. Rob permalink

    Guys……. had PRC in both wrists due to Osteoarthitis. Right wrist only 12 weeks ago and doing well. My experience with left wrist is excellent. Have regained much oif my strength and grip and 80 % pain relief. Some aching but well worth the Op

  6. Sharon permalink

    What you all have that involves the lunate bone (only lunate) is called “Kienbock” disease. It is somewhat rare and oftentimes not diagnosed properly since only expert orthopedists catch it. My daughter has it. Hers was caught before the complete death of the lunate and so an amazing hand surgeon in Seattle shortened her radius bone and plated that and then did a “live” bone graft from living bone tissue to what remained of the lunate bone to stop the necrosis. It would not regenerate the lunate but in theory would help keep it from dying completely if the graft worked and the lunate started receiving blood supply again. This condition is often caused by an elongated radius bone. Most of the time it is not caught until it is too late and the lunate is completely dead and crumbling or is almost there. It is usually only on one side but can be bilateral in some people. Just Google “Kienbock” disease or syndrome and you will get some info on it. My daughter was in high school when she was finally diagnosed. At first the pain in her wrist/arm/hand just was thought to be overuse or a sprain/strain since she worked at a job where she did lifting. Not the case though. Her surgery was successful. She is a lot weaker on that wrist/hand and it gets real cold during the cold damp winter months with that metal plate in the wrist but the lunate necrosis has stopped and she won’t have such bad arthritis in her older years because that bone will still be in place. She does not have the aching and pain that she once had. Good luck everyone!!!

  7. Does your hand look different? The xray and video are just like my hand. I’m having the surgery in 10 days.

  8. Chet permalink

    I use to golf a lot then only a few times a year after developed Kienbock in my left wrist from a fall, Haven’t golfed in about 5 years because the pain after a round wasn’t worth it. The golfing was with a neoprene wrist brace and after a few swings pain would develop. It’s my left wrist the power wrist in my swing. As I near retirement I would really like to start golfing again and was wondering if after the PRC surgery would I be able to golf once or twice a week pain free. Thanks

  9. Maria permalink

    I am so glad that i found your blog! I found out that I have Kienböcks disease when I was 21 (I’m now 23). I’ve already had 2 surgeries, but none of them worked. So know my doctor suggested the PRC.
    Can I ask you about the movement in your hand after the surgery, did you get it back (or at least the 50% back)? I was told that you might not even get that much movement back..
    And can you put some weight on it, can you for example do a push up?


    • Hi, You can get up to 50 % bend of the original. I was not so lucky but I find that I am not that much limited since the body attacks chores from a different angle, your arm and shoulder often compensates. However, you will not be able to do push ups because your hand will not bend that way. You may be able to do them with a closed fist and wrist straight. Depends how heavy you are, I guess and how well your wrist heals. Not something I can do. My goal was to ride a motorcycle again and I am hoping to reach that this summer (as soon as the snow goes).

      I wish you luck with your procedure and please keep us informed about how it goes and send us some updates :)

      • Maria permalink

        Thanks for your answer!

        It makes me really sad that there is no better answer to these problems, and that you loose so much movement in your hand. Are you worried about not be able to ride your motorcycle again, your wrist is not fully healed yet? I hope you will succeed in that! :)

        I am having my surgery in maybe 6 months or so (in Finland you have to queue up to 6 months to get your surgery) so I still have time to consider whether to really do this surgery now, or just wait a few years until my wrist gets unbearable and do this surgery later. I don’t like the idea of loosing so much movement..

  10. lori permalink

    My husband had this surgery 9 months ago due to the screw in his wrist bone backing out. He is still in a great amount of pain and we are going back to the doctor later this month. He did have physical therapy after and did all the heat and cold treatments. He is a cabinet maker by trade and we have had to close our business after 25 years. He says he has some strength back but very painful to write, brush teeth and push lumber thru his saw. Anyone have any information on their pain level and how long it took to disapate

  11. Barb L permalink

    My lunate was just diagnosed and it is stage IV, completely dead. Would this PRC work on my, right now they are saying I have no option except surgery to remove the dead bone and then fuse the entire wrist so I would have no movement in it at all.

  12. Christina S permalink

    I am grateful to find your blog, as I was diagnosed today. I have systemic schlerderma ( an autoimmune disorder). My immune system thinks it needs to make new skin cells (that I don’t need) so it has attacked my left wrist and dissolved the cartilage to get enough collegan to make these skin cells. So all my small bones are floating around in my wrist with no cartilage to hold them into place and the pain is over the top, when one of puppies hits or pinches a nerve. This surgery is my only option. I’m hopeful my bounce back from this surgery is as easy as some you. I’m quite nervous, so thx for listening.

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