The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of using the proximal fibular graft for partial wrist arthrodesis or arthroplasty after the resection of giant cell tumours of the distal radius. Between February 2006 and August 2010, 14 patients (seven males, seven females; average age, 35.7 years) with grade II and III giant cell tumours of the distal radius were treated by tumour resection and autologous proximal fibular grafts to reconstruct the wrist in our hospital. Seven patients each were treated by wrist arthroplasty and partial wrist arthrodesis, and were followed up for 2.2–6.8 years (average, 3.9 years). All patients achieved primary healing. No tumour recurrence was observed during follow-up in any of the patients. No statistically significant difference in forearm rotation was observed between patients undergoing the two different treatments. However, wrist flexion-extension activities were significantly better and the wrist grip strengths were significantly worse in the arthroplasty group than in the arthrodesis group. The Musculoskeletal Tumour Society score did not significantly differ between the groups. Overall, joint arthroplasty remains a favourable treatment with regard to the functional outcome for giant cell tumours of the distal radius; however, some of these patients may have a weaker grip strength. In comparison, partial wrist fusion appears to provide a durable and stable wrist with good long-term functional outcome.