If you can spend time increasing rep PRs in the 6-10 rep range it will be easy to move on to 3-5rms and 1rm, just don't make huge increases in intensity from week to week. Spend a few weeks with heavy sets of 3-5 before you attempt anything even close to a 1rm.
If I was in your position with joint issues I wouldn't bother with any heavy low rep maxes for now, on top of high reps you can also do lots of low reps sets with light weights (like sets of 3-5 with 70-75%), that will help to improve your technique more than high reps and should be even easier on your joints although it won't do as much in terms of hypertrophy. Doing most of your volume with either variations of the comp. lifts or even just bodybuilding-type stuff should help your joints recover as well because you won't be stressing the same joint angles.
Also, if your wrists hurt it could have to do with holding the bar too deep in your palm (closer to you knuckles rather than closer to your wrist) and having your wrists cocked back. I was doing something like that and I was getting some shoulder pain too, changing where I hold the bar fixed both my wrist and shoulder. Wear wrist wraps on anything somewhat heavy if you don't already.