Recovering from a broken wrist…any tips?

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  • Recovering from a broken wrist…any tips?
  • Premier Icon domino
    Subscriber

    Squeezy ball? I wasn’t offered physio after my scaphoid break but was told to use a sqeezy ball a few times a day by the consultant when I was discharged. I don’t know much about a powerball but wonder if that might help?

    Premier Icon maxray
    Subscriber

    Broke mine in February although yours sounds a bit more nasty, mine was fairly straight forward.

    Still can’t press up of it to get up though the initial healing was very quick from cast to carrying things etc.

    Finally went out for my first ride on the bike this morning, albeit just a commute into work.

    Once the cast came off I started using a Powerball (http://www.powerballs.com/) which I found a great help in terms of strengthening. I think you may be a way off that though.

    Good luck with your recovery.

    2hottie
    Member

    I did this in June last year and then broke it again in sept, you need to keep up with the exercise and be gentle, pushing it too hard will only make it worse. I wear a 661 wrist guard when biking now but still get aches in the bones after a long ride. This is made worse when cold. I play golf as well which requires good wrist strength and now I can play that without any pain. I would suggest a power ball as they aid grip strength. Your wrist will get better but it does take time. As I say I broke mine twice last year so the recovery time was longer. My x-ray..

    ps good luck

    lister
    Member

    i was gutted not to get copies of my xrays…they looked nasty, the whole end of the bone came off where your fracture is ans the 2 bits went down my arm, allowing my hand to ‘fall’ into the gap, no wonder it hurt when i thought it might just be a dislocated thumb and tried to move it…

    i’ve seen powerballs before so might look into those in the future…any help on the more immidiate recovery or just a case of slowly and carefully?

    JonEdwards
    Member

    I bust my wrist doing the Mega last summer. I spent a pile of cash at the quack clinic in Ipswich which may or may not have helped but I spent 5 weeks in a cast (riding for 3 of them), got it cut off 4 hours before I went on a fortnights bike holiday in Les Arcs and then caned the sh!t out of it solidly – 6′ drop 10′ gap stepdown with a dodgy runout on my 2nd day back riding – without any issues, so I think it might have been money well spent.

    I also used a powerball which helped with the flexibility once I was out of the cast and a selection of braces (661 were the best).

    2hottie
    Member

    Slow and careful really. The second break was the place in the pic above. Basically I smashed the new fresh bone out of the way as I went over the bars an now my wrist will never be straight again! The bone will take a while to heal so go easy. I’m scared of tripping up and landing on it as It may snap again!!

    JonEdwards
    Member

    Mine was very similar to 2hottie – although I’d also split it the other way as well – had about 5 loose bits in there. Took about a month before I could do pressups again, although I could only do a few to start off with. Maybe 6 weeks riding in the brace?

    2hottie
    Member

    To be fair to JonEdwards the second break didn’t help as after the first time I was able to move the wrist very well using a powerball.

    Premier Icon seven
    Subscriber

    Mine took 3 operations and loads of physio.

    Start off gently and build up. It was quite quick in the end to return to pretty much full flexibility, but the muscle wastage took longer to rebuild

    enfht
    Member

    I’ve heard that Paraffin wax is supposed to be good at regaining movement. Melt some in a pot place your hand/wrist in and gently excercise. Repeat daily and you should notice a real improvement.

    lister
    Member

    So it’s 4 weeks since I knocked 2 bits of the end of my ulna off and partially dislocated my hand. They plated and screwed me back together, 2 weeks in plaster then 10 days in a splint which I’ve now weaned my self off.

    I can move my fingers fairly well, making a tight fist is fairly tricky though and I have minimal movement of the wrist forwards and back and side to side.

    Physios just suggested gentle movement in hot water and moisturiser on the scar to keep it supple. Thing is it’s really tight and feels like it’s restricting my wrist movement.

    Anyone been in the same situation, any tips that worked for you?

    cheers

    Lister. I had the exact same injury as you. Doctors screwed the ends of the bones back on and then set my wrist in a cast at a really weird angle. It took a while after the cast came off to get any movement back but was offered plenty of physio. Although it hurt like hell at the time I now have 95% movement back and no lasting problems so I would say that lots of physio is the key. Beware though, if you hit the screw head on something you’ll know about it!

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    As above, don’t skimp on the physio. It will ache and the scar will feel tight but unless you do it then you won’t regain all the movement you potentially could.

    geetee1972
    Member

    I can’t believe no one has suggested the obvious yet! What is STW coming?

    chunkypaul
    Member

    can’t believe it took that long!

    Premier Icon maxray
    Subscriber

    JonEdwards, how on earth could you have been ready to do 10′ drops 4 days after having your cast off?!

    Come to think of it not sure how you managed to ride for 3 of your 5 weeks with the cast on either…

    :S

    I broke both my wrists at christmas and had 4 months off the bike in total. One wirst broke, the other exploded in various ways and had to be plated and pinned and now doesn’t really bend backwards. I had physio every day for 2 weeks which was a great help, but all I was basically doing was forcing it to bend whilst putting weight on it and building up the muscles by stretching rubber bands and squeezing putty. I have been using a powerball a bit but find it very hard to hold as due to nerve damage, my fingers on one hand didn’t move for a long time and as such, have absoultly no strength im them. Now that I am out riding regually the are both healing really well.

    stealthcat
    Member

    Barring the advice about the clinic in Ipswich, it may be best not to follow JonEdwards’ recovery ideas – we are talking about someone who tried to ride the Mega with a broken wrist… It also took several x-rays before they could work out what exactly he’d done to it.

    If the physio is only recommending gentle exercise at the moment, there’s probably a reason for it, and you may find the Powerball is a bit too much at the moment. Are you having regular physio? If so, I’d stick with their advice for a bit longer, but make sure they know you’re a mountain biker and tailor the exercises towards that.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    JonEdwards, how on earth could you have been ready to do 10′ drops 4 days after having your cast off?!

    Come to think of it not sure how you managed to ride for 3 of your 5 weeks with the cast on either…

    :S

    It was only a 6′ drop – 10′ out ;-). This is why I think the Physioclinic mumbo jumbo was worth it – its ached occasionally, but other than that no real issues. It was weak as a new born baby’s when I had the cast cut off simply from lack of use – I made the mistake of riding up to the clinic to have it done – the ride back was “interesting”, despite the brace. 10 hours of driving including a couple of Alpine passes woke it up nicely though.

    The riding (commuting mostly) with the cast on was pretty easy – I just had to be careful not to hit any big potholes. When they fitted the assorted casts I made sure that they set in a “gripping handlebar” position and it was tight enough that all the load got transferred straight onto my forearm without my wrist having to do any work.

    Premier Icon maxray
    Subscriber

    “gripping handlebar” position

    ๐Ÿ˜€ inspired! Wish I had thought of that, mine was in afairly good move your gearstick position which was a bit more useful for me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Still cant get over the jumping though so soon after the cast came off, I found I was so vincible when it came off, I had been using the cast to aide me. I didnt have a brace or anything though.

    My weakest movement is still the forward movement trying to point to my elbow (if that makes sense) tho the physio said it hardly ever gets used so its the backwards movement thats loads more important.

    Premier Icon Alphabet
    Subscriber

    Have done both my wrists (though not at the same time thankfully). The first time was a clean break and it is 100%. The second one I really smashed up and have got less than 50% movement back after 2 years. It’s also still very painful when using it in certain ways (e.g. it’s very painful when pushing down on on long and steep descents but fine when pulling up like lifting a heavy suitcase).

    My advice would be to take it slow and make sure you do all the physio exercises as often as you can. Don’t worry about the lack of movement or strength at the moment, as it will (hopefully) come back over the next few weeks/months.

    In both my cases it was several months before I could ride again. You may also need to get over any fear you have when back on the bike. It took me a long time to get over it the first time but I was prepared the 2nd time. Good luck.

    Beveled Edge
    Member

    It’s three months since I broke straight through my radius and ulna, and had a plate put in. I’ve only just got back to gentle road riding. My biggest problem, once I had gotten over the long lasting stiffness in my wrist and elbow, was that I couldn’t get a strong enough grip on the bars and it was I couldn’t use the brake properly.

    The best advice I can give you is to take it slow and let things get better/looser by themselves.

    Broke mine 6 weeks ago last saturday. The big bone, down into the joint. I was supposed to have cast one six weeks, but had it took off after 4 to cycle Scottish Coast to Coast. Mine’s been pretty good, so recon I’ve been lucky, still hurts a bit on rough decsents though. Can’t give any advice I’m afraid, because mine’s not been too bad all along.

    Collar bone I did at the same time is another matter. It overlaps itself about an inch, and they don’t seem at all bothered – just go away ๐Ÿ™

    steve_b77
    Member

    Broke mine about 6 years ago playing footie, cracked the radius straight across and chipped the outter corner off the Ulan (only a small one mind) and to be honest I didn’t actually know until it was about 18months later when I fell over, got the same wrist stuck between me and the ground and then proceeded to rupture all the tendons.

    The X-ray I had then showed the breaks up, by god I wish I’d broken it the second time as the tendons took forever to heal (the nurse & doctor said I would’ve been better breaking it) took my a year to get over and gain full strength in it.

    Premier Icon UpQuickDownSlow
    Subscriber

    Broke mine several years ago. Have a plate in and 4 screws which look like wood screws going all the way through the bone on the X-ray. Details of my recovery are getting a bit vague in my memory, but:

    Only moving it hot water sounds a bit odd, but I’d say exercising it as per physiotherapist’s advice is the most important thing to do. If it doesn’t hurt (a bit) when exercising, you aren’t doing it any good.

    I squeezed an indoor tennis ball when my hand was initially weak, then used a hard foam hand exerciser as it got stronger. Plus the physio’s rotating and flexing exercises.

    I can’t flex my hand back as far as I used to be able to (my consultant expected that I would loose a bit of range), but it seems to flex further than my any of my friends’ wrists do!

    Spankmonkey
    Member

    Just take it easy and dont rush it.. I broke my wrist over a year and a half ago in 8 places and shattered the lot, the specialist surgeon has my xray for training new surgeons it was such a mess, 1 plate, 8 rods and 16 screws….. 1 week in hospital and 3 operations later and I am still feked with loss of movement and feeling! now and then my hand opens for no reason! not great when your holding a baby ๐Ÿ˜• or a pint ๐Ÿ˜› that said I have my hand so im happy!

    rushing it will damage you and your long term outlook, just follow exactly what a physio or the surgeon tells you.. or you can choose the stw collective advice from jon and go for 6ft drops … you choose!

    lister
    Member

    cool, thanks for all the comments folks. atleast if the summer ends up being a corker and you all get loads of riding in then you can all thank me!

    Is Chuck Norris on this forum, masquerading under the name JonEdwards?

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