- Broken Scaphoid causing wrist stiffness?
I broke my scaphoid about 15yrs ago, and thought it had healed OK.
In the last few years though I’ve had a patch of skin on my wrist that feels “odd” and my wrist is becoming increasingly stiff.
It doesn’t seem to hurt too much when I’m on my bike, but hurts when my wrist is twisted.
Doc has done blood tests for athritis (negative) and I’ve just been for an X-Ray (results in 10days).
I just want them to tell me whether to rest it, take lots of drugs, or exercise more (powerball?)
anyone any experience
btw: Right wrist, and I’m left handed before the gags start 😉Posted 9 years agoGarry_LagerSubscriber
Did mine about the same time ago and still get the odd bout of pain. Went to see about getting it looked at but the nurse told me there wasn’t much to be done. Gave me a few hand exercises, but his opinion was that if you didn’t rehab it properly at the time then it was too late to make much of a difference. I had mine in a cast – apparently they don’t do that now for a scaphoid break?
I don’t notice it most of the time – seems to be weather related when it comes on bad.Posted 9 years agoOffroadingMember
I’ve done mine 3 times. Twice on the left hand once on the right.
The last time i did it was extremely painfull as i actually broke it into several pieces. It took the Hospital 4 attempts at an X-Ray to realize it was broken into bits, apparently its a difficult bit to scan so maybe take the results with a pinch of salt ? They put it in a stiff cast for months then i had a softer flexible cast.
The Scaphoid though if you dont know is THE bone in your wrist which lets your hand move, so if your getting stiff (ooh er) then it’ll likey be the cause.
Thankfully mine healed but i was off the bike for months and months. If i put pressure on it now it still hurts so things like press-ups are out of the question.Posted 9 years ago
The thing about the scaphoid is that the blood supply runs past it then loops back. (poor design?) Anyhow, a fractured scaphoid is a nightmare injury given that its such a small bone. It heals quite quickly (leaving pain over the site (in line with your thumb at about wrist level) and weakness in the wrist in certain postitions. It can also cause thumb pain.
Problem is, if its healed slightly out of postiion (as fractures have a knack of doing) then it can put pressure on the blood vessels reducing peripheral circulation to the bone its self and areas distal to it. (this is a problem.)
Unfortunately, if it gets worse you can get all kinds of horrible symptoms (including pain, numbness, weakness and spasms), usually treated by corrective surgery.
In the past this fracture has been poorley treated and it is no coincidence that a high proportion of legal cases against A&E units relate to hand injuries which have been misdiagnosed.
Good news that its not arthritis, X-ray may well (hopefully) come back negative, but X-rays don’t tend to show blood vesels too clearly. If the pain keeps on, keep on at your GP, if the pain is specifically over the scaphoid then thats quite indicative… Exercise shouldn’t cause any new problems, but stop if it hurts, load up on Glucosamine and cod liver oil and try wiggling your fingers and keeping them warm (if it is blood flow)
Good luck and hopefully it’ll just go away in a week or two!Posted 9 years ago
Certainly the cold weather has made things worse.
I have a big tub of Tesco Codliver Oil capsules, and I even remember to take them sometimes.
I will happily take Glucosamine too, thought last time I looked I couldn’t see anything conclusive about it doing anything other than wasting money.
I’ll keep on at the Doc. Thanks for the advice!Posted 9 years agoaracerSubscriber
I broke mine years ago. At the time I was told by a specialist that if it did not heal properly I could develop arthritis later on.
Now over 20 years since I did mine. Didn’t realise I had for a couple of years, hence it never healed properly, and I was due to have surgery. However the specialist seemed not to be too keen in the morning (had got as far as spending the pre-op night in hospital), on the basis there were risks to the op, and it had actually settled down by then. Hence I still have a fracture, which is surrounded by cartilage which has grown to keep it in place. Probably better than healing in the wrong place, as apart from a lack of mobility in the wrist it really doesn’t give me any problems at all. It’s my primary hand too. The only difference being that I now paddle a kayak left handed as I don’t have sufficient movement in my right wrist, but made that switch ~18 years ago so it’s not something I’m really conscious about.
Not really sure what my point is, apart from that I was told I’d have arthritis by my early 30s, and am now well past that with no issues.Posted 9 years agorockthreegozySubscriber
Did mine in July, a month into my Alps season! Put in a cast (with a split running 1/2 the way down the middle)
Once back in the UK, a slow process eventually saw the cast removed and a new one fitted (minus split) and then several weeks later cast removed and a splint given out.
Think I was in plaster/splint for about 11 weeks in total, not happy! No physio this time round either..
Both my left and right wrists (broke the right a few years ago) play up occassionally, but nothing severe.Posted 9 years agoDrPMember
Brant – the ‘blood test’ for arthritis is to test for rheumatiod, which isn’t likely given the monoarthropathy (ooh – check out the long words! One joint involved).
The strong chance is that it’s osteoarthritis (OA), or ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. This is more likely give the fact you’ve had an injury to the articulating joint in the past. Think of it like a ill fitted BB – the bearings wear out quicker that one that’s nicely set up.
As paople have said, the blood supply to the scaphoid can be compomised in a fracture, but it’s quite unlikely to be the cause of the pain this far down the line.
An Xray may well show up degeneration in the joint (OA), and the mainstay of treatment is supportive i.e. wrist splints, pain killers etc.
All these thing go hand in hand with your bus pass, ear hair, annoyance of the young, and ‘having your day’……. 😉
DrPPosted 9 years agoDrPMember
Generally it’s activity that would aggravate it, and in some cases can speed up the rate of damage (it really is like the BB!)
However…….life is for living, and probably the best thing to do is to continue doing what you’re keen on, and dose yourself up on painkillers. The wrist support idea isn’t so shabby – there may be ones out there already, albeit not for cycling?
DrPPosted 9 years agorusty trowelMember
Completely destroyed mine 6 years ago, broke end off ulner, radius in bits, bone graft etc. 50% roation (after a few years even wiping yer backside with the wrong hand feels natural!), hurts most days and numb most mornings. Kinda resigned to it now, so just got a good wrist support that isn’t too restrictive when riding (technology in motion can supply off the peg or custom fit) and get on with it. Stopped bmx to minimize crashes, took up mtbing because i thought it might be safer (hmm). Doesn’t cure problem, just hopefully lessens the chances of doing it again.Posted 9 years agokamikazeMember
On this subject: had wrist surgery to unite bits of scaphoid in oct’07 after being initially misdiagnosed (X-rays not taken from all angles…) and correctly diagnosed more than 3 months after the fall that caused it (by which it was too late to attempted to let it heal itself). All is well now (based on X-rays), but there is still a fair amount of metal in/around there. The screw in the bone is generally left in place, but on the outside it also has a wire which could be the cause of the occasional discomfort I have (not just after riding). During a recent check-up I’ve been told I have the option to have this wire taken out. Have not decided yet as there’s pro’s (might reduce pain/stiffness in joint) and con’s – another op and faff after that for a while and perhaps it might still make the bone more robust ? Anyone else on here had a wire put around the bone as well and if so, is it still there or was it removed ? If you still have it, how does it feel after a few years, will it remain stiff/painful over time (or get worse) ? The specialist mentioned the pain could also be scar strain…Posted 9 years ago
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