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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

Author
Broken Wrist | Recovery Experience

Teeds
24-Feb-2009
1:15:14 PM
I recently broke my wrist in 4 places riding my MTB to work and are currently looking down the barrel of a drawn out recovery.

I was wondering what experience people have hand at coming back from breaks given the use of skeletal strength during climbing.

Trying to manage some expectations, tips, dos and do nots.

Thanks,
IT

IdratherbeclimbingM9
24-Feb-2009
1:34:37 PM
Broke a wrist once, but not as badly as yours sounds. Took 6 weeks till plaster came off and was still tender for at least a fortnight after that. I found manpulative exercise helpful tracing the alphabet (imaginarily in the air) with the hand concerned assisted with range of motion.
General rule was "if it hurts, then don't do it".
Arm strength was kept up while in plaster by doing chin ups.

All this was many years ago. Modern treatment may be different/better.

evanbb
24-Feb-2009
2:24:46 PM
I've broken the shiit out of both wrists and both forearm bones in my right hand. I've also done some horrible industrial-degenerative things to my wrists as well. They don't work all that great these days.

First of all, the scaphoid (sp) which I've broken a few times. It mostly healed well, despite some chronic, but not too bad, pain. I've had it plastered twice and has set well both times. I think there's potential for that bone to go badly, but mine's been fine.

I also broke, more bent really, radius and ulna falling over at school years ago. The doctor, literally, grabbed my elbow and wrist and bent the bones back to roughly where they should be, by pulling my arm against his knee. I watched it bend. Then he plastered it and it all healed good. Young bones are awesome. Don't take that sentence out of context.

Long term, I haven't had much trouble, except I can't use a mouse with my right hand. Having plaster come off is extremely weird, and makes your arms very skinny, hairy and smelly. It took me about 6 weeks to start using it properly again, and another 6 for full confidence. I strongly recommend a good physio for this bit. It hasn't hindered me much climbing, except for feeling a bit weird in contorted jams, feels like the underlying architecture is a slightly differenet shape these days, so the tendons pull a bit differently. Nothing a good forced stretch can't fix.

rodw
24-Feb-2009
2:32:08 PM
My brother broke his wrists years ago about two weeks b4 a caving trip to Bungonia. I still remember him jaming the plaster into cracks using it as a portable chockstone climbing about the caves, Dr wasn't to impressed on the Monday when he turned up needing a new plaster though.

rolsen1
24-Feb-2009
5:22:35 PM
I broke my wrist about 5 years ago see the thread

http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=Display&ForumID=5&MessageID=737&Replies=8

Mine was a badly commuted fracture of the radius, left wrist. At first I couldn't pull the brake lever on my bike, but it steadily improved in strength and range of movement. Streno underclings took about a year.
bl@ke
24-Feb-2009
6:48:26 PM
i broke my left hand (i know its not my wrist) about 2 years ago riding my mountain bike and it only took 2 weeks to heal it wasnt a very nasty break. it was only a half cast so i could take it off for a good scratch and wash : ) i was obsessed with drinking milk, i drink shite loads, im not sure if it did anything but it had to be better than nothing. all of this was before i started climbing but i couldnt imagine how i would cope not being able to climb for that long. i feel sorry for anyone who has broken anything and missed out on climbing for a while.

Eduardo Slabofvic
24-Feb-2009
9:56:00 PM
I broke my wrist in several places (end of Radius boke off in three bits, end of ulna broke off in two bits,
and the metacarples broke into halves and threes), requiring surgury to realign everything. 2 months in
plaster, a month or so of range extention physio, and about 6 months to get the strength back from all the
muscle wasteage. I have lost some movement in the joint, and it tends to go "crack" every now and then,
but ultimately has had no effect on my climbing

dougal
24-Feb-2009
11:45:24 PM
Collegue recently broke (badly) his wrist - I was VERY impressed at the level of function he had after only 2 months. He used one of these -

http://www.powerballs.com/?gclid=CP214eyW9ZgCFRwwawodbBaq1Q

The collegue is a lecturer in neurology in Sydney.

Hope this helps.
Wendy
25-Feb-2009
7:11:55 AM
I'm impressed at how many bung wrists we have as a community!

I broke a scaphoid 10+ years ago. I highly reccomend half casts (more statements not to be taken out of context ...), they mean you can wriggle and stretch the joint and thus don't loose movement. Scaphoids apparantly do have high rates of poor healing, but mine is fine. For some time I couldn't do nasty pinch grips with that hand (the scaphoids are under your thumb and are the classic thing to do when you fly off something and stick your hands out to catch yourself and using your thumb afterward isn't much fun), but I don't notice it these days.

tmarsh
25-Feb-2009
8:07:42 AM
Your age is going to have a lot to do with it. Breaks in your teens and 20's are, in my experience, plaster for the minimum time, a couple of weeks' rehab and then back to normal. Breaks in your late 30s and beyond. That's a whole different story.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
25-Feb-2009
9:57:12 AM
On 25/02/2009 Wendy wrote:
>I'm impressed at how many bung wrists we have as a community!

Climbing community or general community?

I strongly suspect most climbers who break a wrist do so while not climbing.

Eduardo Slabofvic
25-Feb-2009
11:03:54 AM
Add up all the injuries you've had in your entire life and you might find there is very little left in a pristine
state. E.g. if I start at the tip of my right-hand ring finger and go up to my neck, then I have injured every
joint (soft tissue) and most of the bones. Left arm shapes up not so bad, as there are two joints that I
haven't injured (yet?). Add to that knee surgery, broken toes, curved spine, being an ex-smoker, asthma,
allergies, heavy alcohol consumption, having a job that requires me to sit in front of a computer all day
whilst listening to people whine and complain, exposure to excessive noise/sun/chemicals/etc, and a
chronic case of grumpyoldkuntitis, it's a wonder I can get out of bed in the mornings. The human body
can be frail, but remarkably resilient.


....oh, hang on a minute, I usually don't get out of bed in the mornings. Now I understand.
widewetandslippery
25-Feb-2009
12:00:39 PM
I hear you ed, it all starts going downhill once you start going to bed at night and not the morning.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
25-Feb-2009
12:18:55 PM
On 25/02/2009 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>Add up all the injuries you've had in your entire life and you might find
>there is very little left in a pristine
>state. E.g. if I start at the tip of my right-hand ring finger and go
>up to my neck, then I have injured every
>joint (soft tissue) and most of the bones. Left arm shapes up not so
>bad, as there are two joints that I
>haven't injured (yet?). Add to that knee surgery, broken toes, curved
>spine, being an ex-smoker, asthma,
>allergies, heavy alcohol consumption, having a job that requires me to
>sit in front of a computer all day
>whilst listening to people whine and complain, exposure to excessive noise/sun/chemicals/
>tc, and a
>chronic case of grumpyoldkuntitis, it's a wonder I can get out of bed
>in the mornings. The human body
>can be frail, but remarkably resilient.
>
>
>....oh, hang on a minute, I usually don't get out of bed in the mornings.
> Now I understand.

(Strong Yorkshire accent ...) ~> Luxury! Why if you think that's rough, you shoulda bin 'round when I were a lad! Injury was what we craved for! 'cos it let us have a rest from-
etc, etc.
... an' don' get me started 'bout 'avin a job! 'Puters, bah!, thet aian't workin', money fer nuthin' an your-



You need to look after yourself better Ed, or else you will end up with me and Damo.






instead of looking like this!


Eduardo Slabofvic
25-Feb-2009
12:52:04 PM
On 25/02/2009 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>You need to look after yourself better Ed

Where did you get my photo from? How dare you post that on the web, I wanted to remain mysterious.

Teeds
26-Feb-2009
12:10:28 AM
Thanks for the words people.

Hopefully get the plates and screws out Monday, lower arm cast 6wks then removable cast 4 weeks.

Time will tell I suppose. Doc was saying a full year to get back normal. I was hoping to do better then that, didn't want to get my hopes up that was all.

Power ball looks interesting.


prb
26-Feb-2009
12:09:59 PM
I demolished the wrist-end of my forearm: a snapped ulna and comminuted (ie. gravel-ized) fractures
of the radius. Evidently I mangled the soft tissue so badly as well that there was discussion of
amputating the arm below the elbow. As in your case, I had screws in and casts on for about 3
months. A couple of times doctors told me "you won't be climbing on that arm again", but they
probably weren't climbers. Two hours after the final cast had been removed I was at Morialta self-
belaying up grade 9's. I remember I couldn't flick open a krab with my right hand and coiling the rope
was a joke! It seemed to take 12 to 18 months to get the arm back as strong as the left, but some of
that was probably in my mind. The arm's good now with only a little stiffness in the wrist and no
arthritic pain as yet (after 6 years). I reckon the best thing you can do to rebuild bone and tissue and
get flexibility (important to retard arthritis) back is climb and climb hard (but if you've done your
scaphoid and the other funny little wrist bones you may want to get expert advice!)

I agree with the doc that normal after a year would be a good result. It helped me to aim to come back
better than normal and climb harder than I did pre-fractures. Good luck with it Teeds.

Eduardo Slabofvic
26-Feb-2009
12:57:24 PM
On 26/02/2009 prb wrote:
> A couple of times doctors told me "you won't be climbing on that
>arm again", but they probably weren't climbers. Two hours after the final cast had been removed

You got to love advice like this, especially when you're in recovery mode and probably need to keep
morale up. When recovering from my shoulder dislocation, I was having problems with pinched nerves
when I started climbing again due to the whole re-orientation thing. The "surgeon" said, get a quarterzone
injection in the tendon and give up climbing. I did neither.

There are also a number of people who go climbing even though they have had leg(s) amputated.
Although this really gives them a power to weight advantage over those who havenít had the surgery.

ado_m
26-Feb-2009
2:57:13 PM
My girlfriend went on holiday a month ago, and the first weekend i busted my wrist on the MTB. What a c--knuckle time for an injury! When it should have been back to back weekends of trad, i've been sitting at home reading books! Balls! Still in a splinty thing (not a cast), hoping to start climbing next week, but no way with sidepulls or underclings. Crimps are ok.

Teeds
11-Mar-2009
9:25:38 PM
I took Dougal's advice and purchased a powerball. I think it will be a good recovery tool and future workout tool.

I was feeling sorry for myself until I came across this x-ray on a MTB forum



There are 20 messages in this topic.

 

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