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Man Receives 1st Total Wrist Replacement Decades In The Making

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Hip replacements, knee replacements, even shoulder joints are replaced these days with generally excellent results.

But not so much with the joint you probably use the most -- your wrist.

That may be changing, as CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reports on a total wrist replacement decades in the making.

Throwing a ball, taking a drink and most everyday activities involve your wrist, but you won't realize it until it starts to hurt.

"I noticed that when I was playing golf, that I had a pain in one spot. I noticed when I was turning the steering wheel in the car in a right turn," wrist patient Mark Eisen said.

That pain got progressively worse and debilitating for Eisen, but the only thing doctors had to offer was fusing his entire wrist.

"You won't have any pain, but you won't be able to move your wrist. And I said, well that doesn't sound right to me," he said.

Lots of research led Eisen to Dr. Scott Wolfe at the Hospital for Special Surgery, who for 20 years had been developing, along with Trey Crisco, the first total wrist replacement that truly replicated and allowed the complex motions of the human wrist.

In April, Eisen became the first patient to receive the Kinematx wrist implant. It's the first one that allows natural motion between the radius arm bone and the key one of the eight bones in the wrist, which will prevent the loosening that has plagued other artificial wrists.

"I'd like to just be able not to have pain the rest of my life and certainly for it not to get worse, and be able to do a lot of things that I've been prevented from doing," said Eisen.

Eisen lives in Atlanta. We're told he's still doing his physical therapy and slowly getting back to full function. We'll know for sure when he tells us he's back on the golf course.

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