Broken Wrist

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2/6/2020 6:00 PM

So hopefully I can get an answer here. I ended up breaking my scaphoid the other day and I’m getting surgery. They’re putting a screw through the bone to get it back together. But I’m getting some conflicting answers on recovery and all that. Has anyone here had this surgery? What was you’re recovery time? How quickly were you back on the bike? I know everyone is different but just trying to get a baseline.

Thanks in advance.

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2/6/2020 6:19 PM

me!

How old are you? I broke mine when I was about 40. I didn't do much of anything for 12 weeks. I had a cast after the screw. I didn't try riding again for a while. It was not a dirt bike wreck that caused it.

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2/6/2020 6:24 PM

I broke my scaphoid in a '+' shape. The biggest problem is the blood flow as it it takes an odd route through the bone. If your bone dies even with surgery the recover is elongated quite some time. I was lucky and it didn't. I spent 6 weeks in a full arm cast to stabilize the bone and then another 6 weeks in a wrist cast. It took some time (a few weeks) to get mobility back after being held in the same position so long. I was back on the bike after that without any further issues.

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2/6/2020 6:33 PM

Do You know Billy Schlag? Talk to him

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2/6/2020 7:07 PM

Im 27 and the break was not displaced. So I’m hoping that it isn’t too terrible

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2/6/2020 8:33 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/15/2020 2:41 PM

Mine was displaced 4mm, had the screw put in and it was a non union and the piece started dying. That wasn’t good news, doc started talking fusion and I said no way. He gave me 8 weeks and by some miracle calcium was growing across the fracture and the almost black (dead) bone came back to life, it took me damn near a year from surgery to release and PT! That isn’t normal and I believe the technique has improved I would expect 3-6 months to be realistic... don’t rush it!

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Never try to argue with idiots; they will only bring you down to their level.....and being more experienced, they will beat you at their own game!

2020.5 KTM 450 SXF FE
2006 KX250

2/7/2020 1:01 PM

I broke mine when I was 16 years old and they didn't bother with surgery as it wasn't displaced. They just put a wrist cast on me, and they doc was cool and formed it around a grip I brought in so I could still ride with the cast.

About 6 weeks later I was riding, crashed, and broke my other wrist (radius and ulna) while still in the cast for the scaphoid. The docs cut off the scaphoid cast so I could function and casted up the other arm.

8 weeks later I was all healed up and started riding again, but the scalfoid wasn't fully healed and I eventually broke it again. They did surgery that time and put a screw through it. It eventually healed in a few months and all has been OK since.

Good luck, it's a crappy bone to break with the slow recovery time!

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Billy Wight
Luxon MX
@LuxonMX
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Precision Engineered Motocross Components

2/7/2020 1:28 PM

I broke mine several years ago. Went to ER and followed with that Doctor. He kept saying well it's not healing much. After several weeks, I went to a hand specialist. He immediately put me under and took an artery with a piece of bone from above my wrist and used a screw to tie it together. Healed normally (time wise) after that. I have not had a problem since. I am afraid of what may have happened had I not gone to the specialist. Good luck with it.

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M3 Racing EKS Goggles Shock Sox Decal Works

2/7/2020 1:38 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 1:39 PM

I broke mine going over the bars mountain biking a couple years ago when I was 27. Wasn't displaced so they had me do nothing for 3 months to see if it would heal on it's own. At the 3 month mark they found out that there was no blood flow so it didn't heal. Got it screwed together a month later and recovery from surgery was another 3 months or so.
I have a little bit less range of motion now and it still hurts from time to time.

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2017 YZ450F
IG-TheRJP
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2/7/2020 2:14 PM

10 weeks, screwed together, 90% range of motion, I was 21.

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2/7/2020 2:22 PM

I broke mine back when i was 23. I didn't have insurance at the time, so i didn't go to the doctor. Fast forward 2 years after the break and I finally went in. They ground off all the bone spurs and arthritis that had grown and put in what they called a spider plate. Looked like a quarter sized plate with screws going in each direction. I only got about 40% range of motion back, but Im sure that was because i waited so long to get it fixed..... Had to change how i ride a bit to compensate for the lack of motion since mine was throttle hand.... Also if i do push ups, i have to do them on my fist on that side.... Good times.

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2/7/2020 2:26 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 2:27 PM

I thought mine was a sprain so I waited a few weeks until it stopped getting any better.... so I’m hoping for the best. Thank you everyone for all the responses. It is looking like ~2.5-3 months is what I’m looking at post surgery according to everyone’s responses. Fingers crossed it goes well. Doc even said I just broke the wrong bone. Most others would have been 4 weeks in a cast and good to go....

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2/7/2020 2:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 2:38 PM

I've broken my scaphoid twice. I ended up with avascular necrosis (dead bone) which resulted in a bone graft. They took a chunk of bone out of my hip and replaced the dead bone in my wrist.

This will most assuredly happen to you if you do not follow the doctors orders and let that bone heal properly. It takes a long time. Do not rush it.

You should not be receiving conflicting information. If you broke it and it requires screws you need to probably wait 6-8 weeks, if not longer, before it's even out of a cast/splint. 3 months before you're riding again.

Don't rush it. Do exactly as your orthopedic surgeon instructs.

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2/7/2020 2:49 PM

6 weeks and I told him no surgery even though he insisted. Healed perfectly broke it at age 37, six weeks should be plenty depending how you broke it. I had a clean break through , one break. I’m sure if it’s in multiple breaks , it’s a whole different story. 7% separation though with one crack and six weeks was plenty and take your own cast off and save a buck.

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2/7/2020 4:01 PM

Broke mine when I was 25. Screwed together. Believe I was off the bike 6-8mnths. Was in a cast up to my shoulder for a few months, then small cast, then soft cast. Took forever to heal! Have roughly 80% range of motion. Very time consuming. I don’t wear a brace when I ride. But rough tracks, the following day from riding.... hand and wrist is really sore. But I also blew out some cartilage during my spill.

Don’t push the recovery. Will be back riding.

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2/7/2020 4:09 PM

Broke mine when i was 20, there is a doctor down in miromar, CA that specilizes with it. he has delt with a bunch of injuries from pastrana. Split it clean in half with no displacement. Was on a mountain bike in 2 weeks in a splint and a dirbike in 4. If you have the right doctor it helps a lot.

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2/7/2020 4:26 PM

Muffin69 wrote:

Broke mine when i was 20, there is a doctor down in miromar, CA that specilizes with it. he has delt with a bunch of injuries from pastrana. Split it clean in half with no displacement. Was on a mountain bike in 2 weeks in a splint and a dirbike in 4. If you have the right doctor it helps a lot.

I’m in Maryland so riding injuries are not super common to these guys I would imagine.

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2/7/2020 6:08 PM

TheRookie wrote:

I’m in Maryland so riding injuries are not super common to these guys I would imagine.

Dude, it's the luck of the draw on that injury.
It's the injury that ended me chasing the dream.

No pin, 16 weeks in a cast with the right hand in the wide open position,
Then about a year getting maybe 80% rom back.
Which came from hurting it like heck playing tennis.

It's gonna take time.

Pasadena eh? The land of pleasant living.
Gibson Island to Richie Highway, Stony Creek to Severna Park.
Where do u guys ride there nowadays?

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2/7/2020 6:13 PM

Muffin69 wrote:

Broke mine when i was 20, there is a doctor down in miromar, CA that specilizes with it. he has delt with a bunch of injuries from pastrana. Split it clean in half with no displacement. Was on a mountain bike in 2 weeks in a splint and a dirbike in 4. If you have the right doctor it helps a lot.

TheRookie wrote:

I’m in Maryland so riding injuries are not super common to these guys I would imagine.

motogrady wrote:

Dude, it's the luck of the draw on that injury.
It's the injury that ended me chasing the dream.

No pin, 16 weeks in a cast with the right hand in the wide open position,
Then about a year getting maybe 80% rom back.
Which came from hurting it like heck playing tennis.

It's gonna take time.

Pasadena eh? The land of pleasant living.
Gibson Island to Richie Highway, Stony Creek to Severna Park.
Where do u guys ride there nowadays?

We gave a bunch of Private tracks around we have been riding, but Budds and Tomahawk are the two most frequent for me. Injury actually happened in California and has ruined my upcoming Florida trip.... but so it goes.

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2/7/2020 6:40 PM

You sure you need surgery? They cast me from my finger tips to my bicep at a 90° angle for 7 weeks, no surgery. My doc said the key to healing it was to completely isolate it from any movement. As someone else mentioned, blood flow is the problem. Might want to get a second opinion from an older ortho, my experience is they are less likely to operate.

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2/7/2020 6:40 PM

TheRookie wrote:

I’m in Maryland so riding injuries are not super common to these guys I would imagine.

motogrady wrote:

Dude, it's the luck of the draw on that injury.
It's the injury that ended me chasing the dream.

No pin, 16 weeks in a cast with the right hand in the wide open position,
Then about a year getting maybe 80% rom back.
Which came from hurting it like heck playing tennis.

It's gonna take time.

Pasadena eh? The land of pleasant living.
Gibson Island to Richie Highway, Stony Creek to Severna Park.
Where do u guys ride there nowadays?

TheRookie wrote:

We gave a bunch of Private tracks around we have been riding, but Budds and Tomahawk are the two most frequent for me. Injury actually happened in California and has ruined my upcoming Florida trip.... but so it goes.


My advise, get a boat, explore the bay, take a year off and let that thing really heal up.

Long term, mine was never the same really. Never got full rom back,
But I still kick it as far as work goes. The more u use it the more it will come back.
Squeaked top 10 dist 7 Senior class 25 years after I did mine.
It's not the end of the world.


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2/7/2020 8:12 PM

I don't have full range of motion. Washing my hands forcefully with bar soap will make me wince. I'll never be the same.

Take your time. You may live a long time. You will always be as good as you can recover.

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2/7/2020 10:27 PM

I got lucky and broke my ulna and radius just below my growth plate. Crashed in some rollers. 6 weeks full arm cast. 6 weeks slightly smaller cast. 5 weeks half arm cast. Was told I’d only have at most 50% mobility after physical therapy. Off bike for close to 10 months. Can’t tell any difference from before to after. Worth the wait to be able to use my hands pain free.

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2/8/2020 3:59 AM

Broke mine when I was 18. The doctors missed it so I had a PT do an excellent job taping the wrist up for the next 3 weeks of racing, then went back to the doctor and that’s when they found it was broken. It was broken diagonally across the bone and slightly shifted. Doc said it was too late for surgery (he said he would have performed surgery when I initially broke it had they not missed it) so they put me in a cast from the elbow up around the hand and to the tip of my thumb. Stayed in that cast for around 4-5 months. I have limited movement backward and it hurts if I bend it to its limits. I’m 53 now and just live with it inside my limits.

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2/8/2020 4:15 AM

Broke mine in 2017, didnt need surgery but was in a cast for 8 weeks, and 2 without (didnt know it was broken at first)
Photo

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5/15/2020 5:12 AM

Update for those who may be in a similar situation. 4 Months out of surgery, healing is god awful slow, have been doing PT for the last three weeks(Has helped a ton, highly recommend). Went riding for the first time in 5+ Months, feels like someone tied an anchor to me. Still cant find said anchor though. But it sucked, no strength, wrist sore AF. Need a little more time it seems.

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5/15/2020 5:53 AM

lumpy790 wrote:

Do You know Billy Schlag? Talk to him

That dude was fast... did that end his racing career?

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5/15/2020 6:10 AM

Rookie, you just need to be patient with it, and there is hope. If PT is an affordable option, I am sure that will be very helpful to build back up your strength, but this type of injury takes time. I feel I am an expert, as I have broken mine in my left wrist twice! The first time was clear back in 1988. I went over the bars and dislocated my wrist, broken scaphoid and crushed carpal tunnel. Back then, they put two temporary pins through the scaphoid that would later had to be removed. It was supposed to have a 2 month healing process, but I started having complications with the one half of my scaphoid bone was lacking blood and started dying. My doctor was contemplating going back in and doing a bone graft from my hip, or worst scenario of fusing my wrist solid! This was after being painfully in a cast for 5 months...so as you can imagine, I was devastated! I had a buddy I raced with that broke his scaphoid, and his doctor gave him a EBI bone healing system that you wear over your cast. It creates an electronic magnetic field over your bones to help draw blood to them, so I borrowed it from him. After using it for one month (with out telling my ortho doctor), it actually helped the dying bone and they felt comfortable to take my cast off! I asked why in the hell didn't they recommend the EBI bone healer, and they said most insurance companies will not pay for them. I couldn't believe it! After 6 months in a cast, my wrist had very little movement and was extremely weak and very sore. I worked that entire winter on my own to try and build it up, and then started racing again with a brace on it the summer of '89. I really struggled riding as it was so sore and I had very little wrist movement that affected everything in my riding, but I made it thought the year healthy. I sucked it up and kept working on it, and then in the spring of '90, at the first race of the year, I low-sided on a fast sweeper in the mud, and ended up breaking it again! This time i got a different doctor at the same Ortho group, and he claimed that it broke again because it never totally healed the first time. He decided to go with a new technique of placing screw in the bone vs. pins. I was only in a cast for 2 months this round, and the bone healed better than the first time. I worked hard again to get it built up again, and started riding after 6 months of healing. I only was left with about 20% of my normal wrist movement, and it honestly took 4-5 years for it to not hurt for 3-4 days after I rode. I have adapted over the years on my riding style, my gripping of the bars (and even trying different bar bends to help my comfort) to overcome so I could continue my passion for motocross. Here I am 30 years later at 53, still riding/racing with this jacked up wrist, and enjoying dirt bikes! My wrist still gets tender now and then, but it is just a part of my life now. I know this is long story, but I can relate and have been dealing with this since 1988. I wanted to let you know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Even though your wrist will probably never be the same as it was, don't give up and don't let that get you down. I decided to adapt and overcome, and went on to win many races, championships and am still riding to this day. Good luck to you!

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5/15/2020 7:19 AM

Photo

Compound, 6 months off
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5/15/2020 7:45 AM

I broke mine last year (right scaphoid). Had a screw put in with a bone graft and cast for 6-7 weeks. After going through PT, regular working out, and stretching, it took a while to get my almost full range of motion back (4 months roughly). I bought a Mobius wrist brace to help me get back out riding. I had it so tight for support that I could only turn the throttle 1/4-1/2 way before I had to chicken wing it. Still better than not riding!

What little riding I've done this year, my wrist feels normal prior to breaking it. I stopped wearing the brace altogether as well. Just take the time to condition it back to shape before hurting it again.

Just like STP said..."take time with a wounded hand, because it likes to heal."

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