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Sandracer_uk

broken scaphoid?

34 posts in this topic

I just healed up from a Broken Ulna and I belive it was the scaphoid[bone in wrist]. The arm healed in 6 wks and the wrist took 6 more. Still don't have full range of motion. One benifit from this was that my grip strength went away. Now I don't grip the bars as tight and as a result I don't get arm pump.

Good luck on your healing

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The scaphoid is one of the carpal bones in the wrist. If you bend your thumb like a hitchhiker or the "Fonz" you will see a depression on the side of the wrist created by the tendons attached to the thumb. This "depression" is called the "snuffbox" and if you press on this area with a finger you can feel the scaphoid bone beneath.(this technique plus x-rays help to confirm a fracture)

Scaphoid fractures are serious because of poor blood supply and often difficulty healing. Unfortunately this is a common fracture. Most riders will be able to return to riding however problems with grip strenghth or motion can occur. This is the injury that forced Rick Johnson out of MX.

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Hey DRZ400PA (Doc),

Having had several fractures over the years, my orthopod once told me that it takes about 18 months for a fracture to completely heal. Is that true? Or more of a generalization? Maybe he told me that because I'm over 40, or he doesn't like motorcyclists.

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Didn't RJ fracture his Navicular?? I have fractured both L & R naviculars. I have lost movement in both wrists. My left is much worse than my right.

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Isn't navicular and scaphoid both the same bone just different dictionary. My ortho kept referring to the navicular but when I looked at the skeletal chart it was named scaphoid. Don't know. remember I had to fall down to get in his office.

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The term navicular in the wrist is referring to the scaphoid bone (shaped like a boat). It is also used to desribe a bone in the the midfoot.

Sandracer,

I fractured my scaphoid on my left hand about 10 years ago racing an enduro. It is a common fracture when trying to break your fall and extending your hand/wrist or jamming your wrist on the handlebar from missed timed whoops (thats me) or landing short on a jump. It provides the bulk of the articulation between the forearm amd the hand via the radius and therefore handles a great deal of load.

DRZ 400 is right on the money describing the poor healing properties of this bone secondary to blood supply. It is the weak link of the hand/wrist/forearm chain. Without getting to technical, the severity/location of your break and individual anatomy will in-part determine your healing time. Keep in mind that many of this fractures do not heal and are termed non-union and must be surgically repaired via a bone-graft. That was my route. There are also some M.D's who will try electrical stimuation (bone stimulator) to assist in the healing process. This is painless and amounts to creating a magnetic field over the fracture which has shown to both speed up and heal some stubburn breaks. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is probably the worst thing you can do for several reasons. First, the jarring and pounding from riding off-road is transferred from the bike to your arms through the articulation of the scaphoid / radius, amoung others. The vibration from the bike is damaging to the healing of the bone. Any "get-off" is almost certain to involve the wrist joint in bracing yourself and reinjurying the bone. Myself, being a stubburn Irishman, chose to ignore the pain and ride on. My scaphoid was broken for 2 years before I got it fixed and I am in sports medicine! I can tell you I would not try to do it again. I turned a likely easy to heal fracture into a chronic non-union that required a bone graft from my hip and resulted in a significant loss of wrist range of motion, muscle mass and strength of my left forearm. Not to mention about 3 months in various casts and splints. Don't mean to scare you but I would advise laying off the bike for quite sometime (6-8weeks) unless good union is confirmed via a follow-up XRay. Mention the stimulator to your M.D. to see if it would be appropriate for your break. I would be happy to give you more detail or advise for rehabilitation with more detail of the injury. Good Luck!

Keith.

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WR400ROCK,

In response to your question about how long does it take a fracture to heal, a few things must be kept in mind. Fractures in different locations heal at different rates depending on blood flow.(the scaphoid is a good example)Younger patients tend to heal faster. Underlying medical diseases tend to slow healing (such as diabetes). Most fractures are followed by x-ray evaluation which tends to overestimate the healing. A fracture may appear completely healed on x-ray but tests such as a bone scan can show that new bone formation is still occuring. It is not uncommon for rib fractures to remain "hot" on bone scans for up to two years. Does this mean that the the patient still has a fracture? In a "technical" way yes, but the fracture is most likely 90-95% healed.

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I broke my scaphoid(navicular)bone in my left hand and the styloid prosses of the radius in my right wrist the day after X-Mas 10 weeks ago.Two weeks ago they were not healed fully.

I go in for X-rays tomorrow and hopefully they will be healed. I will let you know.

I CAN'T WAIT TO RIDE!!! But as you read the scaphoid heals slow and doing anything that could mess that up would not be smart.

I've had the cast on the left off two weeks and the one on the right about four and have braces to replace them.I seem to have limited motion in both but I'll wait till I'm healed to really test it.

This really sucks and I'm a carpenter for a living.I hope that 15 mile ride back to the truck from big bear to arrowhead after they broke didn't make it worse.

I gess I'll find out tomarrow.

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thanks for the replys you guys,,

it was funny, last thursday i saw the surgeon,, he said i should have my arm in plaster anything from 12 to 24 week depending on how well it heals...

i asked about the chances of it being operated on as i knew the risks of non union of the bone etc and i also need to drive for my job.

he said he would but his operating list was full for the next 8 weeks then he was off on his holidays so it was going to be 12 weeks anyway,,,,, hmmmmm i offered to pay to go private,,,, amazingly i was booked in the following morning at 8am and was on the operating table by 11;30am,,

ive now had a canulated herbert winkle bolt [ threaded stainless steel bolt ] put into my scaphoid,,, im now told it should be usable in 2-4 weeks,,,[light use]......haha ..which i take to mean,,,, flattish tracks no silly doubles or tripples,,,foam grips and an hydrualic clutch.

hmmmm wonder if he could add the same kinda bolts to all my ''at risk'' bones?,,,,,,save em breaking in the first place....

mind you wouldnt titanium reduce my unsprung wieght?

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thanks for the replys you guys,,

it was funny, last thursday i saw the surgeon,, he said i should have my arm in plaster anything from 12 to 24 week depending on how well it heals...

i asked about the chances of it being operated on as i knew the risks of non union of the bone etc and i also need to drive for my job.

he said he would but his operating list was full for the next 8 weeks then he was off on his holidays so it was going to be 12 weeks anyway,,,,, hmmmmm i offered to pay to go private,,,, amazingly i was booked in the following morning at 8am and was on the operating table by 11;30am,,

ive now had a canulated herbert winkle bolt [ threaded stainless steel bolt ] put into my scaphoid,,, im now told it should be usable in 2-4 weeks,,,[light use]......haha ..which i take to mean,,,, flattish tracks no silly doubles or tripples,,,foam grips and an hydrualic clutch.

hmmmm wonder if he could add the same kinda bolts to all my ''at risk'' bones?,,,,,,save em breaking in the first place....

mind you wouldnt titanium reduce my unsprung wieght?

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Not to scare you, but I broke my scaphoid from a wreck and it took forever to heal. After the wreck it hurt, but not to terribly bad so I didnt go to get x-rays till three days later. The doctor couldn't see and fractures so he thought I just sprained my wrist. In the mean time it was swimming season and I was swimming 10,000 yards a day. After the season I went back for more x-rays and they found the crack. By this time cysts(sp?) had formed between the boned. I had a cast for 3 months and electric stim for 6 months after that. I opted out of surgery, probably not the wisest move. It not longer hurts with regular use, but a full days riding will make it tender. The moral to this story is get it fixed as soon as possible and rest it. This means no riding.

Nick

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[sorry about the 2 posts]

hell sounds like a bugger of a bone to break,,,,, im planning on about 8 weeks before i try to ride again,,, then only gently.

most events i suspect will be cancelled here for a while cus of f + m anyway

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snap racer

what are you like. you infected the pigs to get out of an enduro & now this for a birthday bash.

good luck & keep the titanium coz i know one or two applications that you can use it for!

Taffy

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To up date you on my first reply I saw the doc today and got X-rays.They are healed!! The radius still has one spot that isn't 100% but the scaphoid look good.Now just some physical therapy and I'm good to go.

So to answer you're question 10 weeks +pt if you don't do anything stupid .

sandracer I don't think the bolt was a good idea.I've heard they come lose later , risk of infection is high and the bone doesn't heal all the way.I hope you don't have any of that though.

Well good luke to all you broken people.

As it says on the cast

" Heal fast and ride hard "

also "go big or go home"

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DRZ400PA: Obviously, you are very knowledgable about these types of injuries( I found that wrist bone from your description). My question is about ribs. 5 weeks ago I took a spill during a race and landed on my right side....a few degrees more towards my back than perfectly on my side...and fractured(cracked) two ribs. Evidently, the way I landed was that my ribs were forced slightly forward and tore some muscles away from where they are attached to my ribs just below my shoulder blade. Not only did I have excruciating pain at the fractures, but now, the torn muscles are what lingers. At 47 years of age, what would you suggest I do to get beyond this? Should I go to the gym and do light weight lifts? Stretching only?

At this point, I'm feeling pretty good(5 weeks)..but still have some soreness and stiffness. I am SO ready to ride again...but haven't been on the bike yet.

[This message has been edited by Boit (edited 03-08-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Boit (edited 03-08-2001).]

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I'm interested to hear what he says.I heard it from my freinds and my doc (not an ortho) agreed that those are risks.

I can't believe he didn't say any thing,maybe the "bolt" is a new design.The suff I heard was usually referd to as a screw or a pin.

Let us know what he says if you talk to him.

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yep willdo

im a bit concerned now,,, concidering his speed at which he booked me in when i mentioned money, the docs here get a lot more money for private work then for NHS stuff.

his only comment was,,there is a small risk with any surgury,, but having and open reduction , the oucome is a lot more predictable,,,,,im seeing him on the 19th so ill see

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Any surgery has potential risks; bleeding ,infection, or even death. The surgeon should have explained this before obtaining your consent. This information must be made available to all patients independent of the type of surgery. This said, the surgery you had was performed under sterile conditions in a OR setting and aside from the small skin incision no hardware is in contact with the outside enviroment. Unless he spit on the site or used his pocketknife for the surgery, your risk of infection is next to none. Keep the site wrapped and clean until you follow-up.

The Herbert screw is unique to this type of fracture and unlike any other screw someone or someone's freind's uncle's sister had for their operation. The screw is threaded at it's end and head only. The middle of the screw has no threads. The pitch of the threads (distance between each thread) is different at each end. The purpose of the screw is to provide COMPRESSION of the two fracture fragments rather than just fixation. The Herbert screw will not "back out" like conventional screws.

Sleep well and drink your milk.

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