I have arthritis on the thumb-side of my wrist, and my doctor is planning to operate. He said one of the side effects of the surgery is that I won't be able to move my hand as much afterward. Are there any medical developments that can help?

One of the downsides of surgery to fix one or more of the small joints in the wrist is that wrist mobility may be reduced. Researchers in Australia came up with a way to combat this problem when the radius and scaphoid bones are fused together. They removed a piece off the end of the scaphoid after stabilizing the wrist joints of five cadavers.

After the stabilization procedure, wrist movement up and down dropped 58 percent. But after taking out the tip of the scaphoid, movement improved considerably. Movements to each side also improved, though not as much.

Taking out part of the scaphoid "releases" the mid-section of the wrist, allowing more wrist movement. The procedure still needs to be tested on live human models. Nevertheless, the results look promising so far.