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Recovery from a scaiffoid fracture

5:20:13 PM
Chockstoners. I broke my scaiffoid in a nasty unlucky fall. 8 weeks is up, so I'm hoping to get out of the plaster soon. Any advice for recovery and getting back to climbing soon? Will loading the wrist via climbing be bad for it, or good?

Phil Box
9:26:41 PM
I broke my scaphoid ages ago. I got the bone screwed back together and only had to wear a half cast. I climbed an 18 at Redcliffs about a week after the op. Mind you I definitely favoured it and didn't put hardly any weight on it. The climb was a slab so I could keep most of my weight on my feet.

The scaphoid is one bone that you really do not want to mess around with though. If you only had it in a cast and didn't get it screwed then you might have to ease into your exercise regime. The worst thing was not being able to bend my hand back for ages. I almost have full extension now though. If I put my hands together palm to palm and then lift my elbows there's still probably about 5 degrees of difference in the angle.

8:34:15 AM
Ado - I broke my left scaphoid years ago, and agree with Phil, you don't want to mess around with it. My break didn't require surgery, but I was put into plaster for 14 weeks!!!!!

Half of that time I was in a cast from my shoulder to the tips of my fingers. Then after 7 weeks the doctor cut the cast down so that it only went up to my elbow. And all that was for a tiny little bone that looks like a peanut.

As I understand it, the scaphoid bone only receives blood supply from one direction, and when it's broken, the piece of bone furthest from the supply can wither if the break is displaced. Or can be difficult to heal. (Insert all the usual disclaimers here: i.e. I am not a doctor, am not qualified to give medical advice, and besides, have been known to make things up just because they sound good. In other words - please be guided by your doctor).

After being in plaster for so long, my arm looked half dead. (I peeled the dead skin off in sheets). Then I set about slowly building up strength again. It just took some time and patience. But even now, thirteen years later, my left wrist is not as flexible as my right. (Not that it affects my climbing in any way).

I've been going through a much longer rehab process at the moment for something else, and as frustrating as it is, I keep reminding myself not to overdo it. And so far, it seems to be working.

Good luck with it.

10:33:06 AM
I agree with all said. Take it easy and dont rush it. I broke mine almost 15 years ago. It was wrongly
diagnosed as a sprain so not plastered. A while later it was correctly diagnosed but too late. I had
surgery and a K wire fitted but it was all too late and it didnt heal. I now have a permanent crack through
half the bone. I have learned to live with it and adapted. If you are in plaster take it easy even if it feels
ok. Take the time to slowly recover rather than rushing it and best of luck.

5:23:49 PM
I broke my left in an oztag fall about 4 years ago?. Thought I had just sprained it, but the
next morning it was pretty damn painful, so had x rays etc, yep crack right through the
middle. Went into plaster for 6 weeks if I recall correctly.

Came out smelling fuuuuuuunkay, and alarmingly still very sore. There was quite a period
there where I thought it was going to be sore forever, but today I don't notice it at all, I would
assume it has returned to full strength and functionality.

They do say that the scaphoid is very prone to re-injury.
7:25:13 PM
A message of hope! I've boken both my scaiffoi's, both times incorrectly diagnosed and both times took a while to heal. BUT, they've both healed well now and I never notice the initial ache's I used to get when in the cold etc.

I found easy climbing really good for it (and my physios recommended it) to get the blood flowing. But you have to be really careful on streno stuff, bouldering and keep away from anything dynamic. In particular, tight underclings where you're flexing your wrist away from your inner arm can be painful as can palm downs.

Just give it the time it needs - was probably about 6months out of the cast that I was able to start pushing it again.

10:19:22 AM
Thanks for the comments, the general consensus is taking it easy which I shall do in spades. 2 breaks this year, one MTB, one rock climbing, all part of the adventure I supposed, and it has improved my chess game.

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