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Thread: Broken Scaphoid

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    Registered User go2guy87's Avatar
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    Question Broken Scaphoid

    I had surgery and a screw put through my broken Scaphoid (or carpal navicular --a bone right below the thumb connecting at your wrist) a few months ago. Since then I've only been doing some swimming. I would like some suggestions for weight lifting exercises that would not put too much pressure or strain on my wrist, particularly the chest (i.e. because bench pressing and flat-handed push ups really aren't possible). Thank you for any tips or suggestions!

    -M@
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    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    Is it now fully healed??
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    Registered User go2guy87's Avatar
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    it's a long story . . . The first doctor missed it on the x-ray. Months later I got it x-rayed again and second doctor saw the old fracture, however, the bone had "died" due to the loss of a supply (or something to that effect). So I had the surgery about 6 months ago, he put the screw in and now I'm waiting and hoping the bone will regenerate . . . though, it will take a while if ever.
    I'm able to do most things now, e.g. sh-oting a basketball, but I've lost full range of motion in my wrist due to the surgery and shouldn't put too much pressure on it.
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    In for lulz Callaar21's Avatar
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    Go2guy87...... I have had the exact same thing happen to me and there is light at the end of the lonnnnnng tunnel. Short background story, I played football in high school and broke both of my scaphoids. The first 3 doctors did not catch the break in the wrist and wrote it off as a tendon pull. I played the the next 5 games with broken wrists which made matters worse. When i finally did get the surgery which involved a bone graphs , pins , replaces blood vessels and a bone stimulator because like you said , the bone does die and will never heal if not repaired due to the loss of blood flow. i had 9 months each wrist in a cast and once they were off i ran track and did very well so not all was lost.

    It took me 3 years uncasted to be able to handle heavy weights again. They seem to be very slow healing bones and also my range of movement is limited esp when i put my palms vertical. I have been lifting heavy for a good year now and i still get stiff in the wrists during dips and bench press, I think i;ll never be able to do a flat palm pushup again though. Only pushups that I am capable of are fisted pushups which I never did like but it takes all the pressure off the wrist. My advise if your gonna bench is use barbells , it seems to help alleviate the pressure on that lift. The dips hurt midly when i do them but for some reason afterwards the wrists feel great and there is some improvment in the flexabilty.

    If you want to talk about scaphoids and your wrists in general , please feel free , I'm subscribed to this post. Goodluck.
    Last edited by Callaar21; 07-18-2007 at 11:38 PM.
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    In for lulz Callaar21's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Some great chest exercises that dont really put pressure on the wrists are dumbell fly's , cable crossover and of course the pec deck , all 3 will greatly inporve mass in your chest but shouldn;t be sub'd for the bench. If you cant handle the barbells at all then you will have to rely on those 3 for chest exercises and make the best you can of them.
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    A scaphoid fracture is commonly missed and the end result is what you described. The blood vessel through the bone is broken, and the farther part of the bone dies due to no blood supply.

    If the bone does not heal or the bone graft take, there is some instability in the wrist, and often general stiffness and loss of ROM due to the prolonged period of immobilisation.
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    Is it normal for my wrists to click 200 times a day. By click I mean the bones rubbing against each other or something of the sort? There is no pain associated with it though. I have been back to surgeon since the surgery and he says they look as good as they are going to get. Like I said though its been a good 3 years since I have seen him and the clicking never stops. Should I go back ?
    Last edited by Callaar21; 07-19-2007 at 12:19 PM.
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    Hard to say, a painless click can be nothing to worry about. May be a small amount of scar tissue or tightness in the joint.
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    I am pretty sure mine was broken about a year ago after doing some power cleans with some bad form....catching the bar with my wrists instead on my chest....I hurt like hell for about 3 months and I had a big knot on my scaphoid that was swolling up like hell

    I couldn't do a pushup without my hand hurting

    I worked around the injury and it healed up 100%, although I have a painless bump in that area. I never went to a doc, although I was close to going.

    I am scared of surgery since I never been cut on, so that was a last resort for me

    I would say avoid power cleans and straight curls at all costs

    do hammer curls and reverse curls, they work just as good...but bicep work is not mandatory, you can work them doing back work if you get pain from direct bicep work

    Try various grips for dumbell bench press, dumbell incline press, and dumbell shoulder presses...hammer grip...45 degree grip...thick padded lifting gloves may help also

    Hope you get back to 100%, I remember that injury well, but I recovered and I am sure you will recover too
    Last edited by new2lifting; 07-19-2007 at 07:44 PM.
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    I have had the same injury. I broke it and went 4 or 5 months until it was found. I went through physical therapy and it just was not getting any better. Then the therapist asked me about the X ray and I had to tell him that the dr. told me it was just a severe ligament sprain. I was pissed and I was shocked to found out that I had a non union of the scaphoid (complete break) in the wrist. Well long story short i had surgery first time I had ever been cut on, got the heber screw and put in a cast for a good amount of time. Now it is close to 2.5 years later and its not completely healed but I am getting back into lifting, but it hurts like hell sometimes if I get the wrist in a akward position.
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    Hi,
    1st post too pc76, and ur post has intigued me the most. I have just had this surgery 3months to the day- (non-union of the scaphoid) after over 2 years with wrist pain. The doc bone grafted and fastened me. He has told me i will get 95% flex etc back within 6 months.Q is so how could it be taking so long with your injury. Its getting me a bit concerned too hear the time frame . Were there complications? did u re-injure it.. I would appreciate a reply from anyone in a similar position maybe to advise what 'you think would be a hinderance to recovey AND do you think any vitamin/mineral supplementation could help.. Thanks !!
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    That is a shame about the doctor missing it, a simple scaphoid fracture can be diagnosed clinically. If you adduct your thumb away from your hand, you will notice a dip form at the base of the thumb on the hand. This is called the 'anatomical snuff box', pushing in here when the thumb is adducted will cause extreme pain in the scaphoid is broken. So technically, it's quite a hard fracture to miss if you do a thorough hand examination.

    You'll have to be limited to machines I'm afraid, so grip is not an issue. Use the fly machine for you chest, but try to keep your hand relaxed - rest it on your palm.
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    I went to the Dr. about a week ago and he took x rays for the I do know how many times. Still not fully healed but he claims he sees bone growing over one side of the bone. He told me with the range of motion I have and being able to do my pushups on my fists that he does not want to do anything else to the wrist, and only come back if I have problems in the future which is a change from the every 6 month schedule he had me coming in to see him.

    So I guess I am about as healed as he thinks I will get he had told me about fusing the bones in my wrist together but that would take away about 75 % of my rom.

    Since its been going on 3 years I decided that I am going to start taking a joint and ligament supp in my diet and seeing if I can get some help with that. I ordered the orange triad multivitamin supp which contains the two supplements so wish me luck. My lifting has been going really well though been at it for 2 weeks really steady and not missing a day and limited soreness in the wrist. Tomorrow I am feeling kind of ballsy so I am going to try either benching light weights, or trying to bench on the smith machine since that will help stabilize the weight but still give me chest a good workout.
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    Pc76 , also went back to the doc 21st Jan, he also said he noticed some bone 'in the way' or something. My doc is a relaxed type which throws me off a bit. He also reckons 'give it 3 more months' then we'll see. I also started with some supps to aid in flexibility, taking some MSM now, but tried flax seed oil and glucasomine.. no noticable change but it may have helped . I wish you luck with the supps you taking ( btw , what are they?) . Its good to hear you training , im sure it will improve !! i find light exercise helps with the pain. im also thinking of trying this device in a month or so www.powerballs.com to strengthen my forearm ( and maybe grind some unwanted bone outa the way ..
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    I also have a broken scapoid, and some questions for you experienced bodybuilders. So i've been through all the x-rays, and casts, and surgeries and its still not healed. I'm a noob to working out. I've only been training for about 3 months but despite the wrist i have seen some really great improvement in my body. Unfortunately I need to have my wrist partially fused and I will be in a cast for another 2 months.

    The questions i have is what can I do to avoid losing the new gains I have made over the past few months, since I will be unabble to lift for the next 2months. What can I do to stay active? Excessive cardio is discouraged while wearing a cast for 2 months b/c the sweatbuildup can lead to bad odor, irritation, and even infection. Should I make my diet stricter to compensate for loss of lifting? Should I still take my protein etc.?

    So basically, I have 1 months until surgery, then 2 months with a cast, then 3 months to train hard before hockey season begins. What is the best way to go about things from now until then? I just wanna do everything in my power to be in top form for hockey.

    Thanks for your help
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    Healing that injury should be your number one priority. You can train hard, and actually probably harder if you let it heal properly opposed to pushing it and chancing the re-injury of the scaphoid and totally ruining your hockey season.

    When I had my cast on I did cardio alot and then used either a hand dryer, or my wifes hair dryer on cool setting to dry it off best I could. It still smelled fould after a couple weeks though. I had to nautica that damn thing every once in a while since I thought everyone could smell it reaking like crap. Be sure not to get any cologne or anything inside the cast though it will make your skin get very irritated, and the less of that going on the better off you will be.

    Good luck man I hope all heals well and 2 months will fly by I am sure then you can whip yourself into great shape. Healing takes priority in my book plus the fact that you have 90 days to whip yourself into shape which you should be able to swing right back into the routine if you keep your diet habits and cardio habits in check in the meantime.
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    lasherza, its called Orange Triad a multi vit and joint supp together a little pricey for a mult, but with the added joint supplementation added it comes out cheaper then going for mega man and joint fuel. Its from controlled labs which I have read some great reviews for, so in 2 days I should have it.

    I went to the gym and did bench on the Smith machine and zero wrist pain, and then I said what the hell I will do incline too. I had no pain with that either so good on that. I know its not going to be the same or as good as doing a free weight bench press but I really did feel a good burn that I just dont get with dumbells. It felt really great I cant wait until next monday to try it out again.

    Who knows maybe I am progressing with the injury and I am getting the flexibility back I may just have to try some free weight benches in the next month or so. I figure if I get my stabilizer muscles up to par again I should be able to. Although I doubt I ever get back to a 300+ lbs. bench in my life. On the other hand I could not even imagine doing a clean of any sort, that was my favorite lift back in the day I would hate to do that to my wrist though.
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    I broke a bone in a similar place on my right wrist, don`t think it`s the same one though. I smashed the knuckle of my thumb bone where it joins the wrist, smashed it into about 4 pieces and had surgery to scrw a plate to it. I had all this about 5 weeks ago due to a motorbike accident. I haven`t had the cast on for about a wee and a half now and have been exerising it every day and am starting to do upper body exercises with exercise straps, (long rubber bands) and progress is coming along well. The doctor told me to exercise it and move it as much as I can and it will heal quicker. Still have trouble with flat hand push ups though. Guess there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
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    callar that is some ****ed up **** that happened 2 fractures?? omg , the scaphoid is a thing that never heals, doctors should really figure something out to treat this common and vital injury
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    i just found out today (After two months with the injury) that both of my scaphoids are in fact broken. I broke them two months ago while doing my final rep of a hang clean and the bar (with heavy weight on it) bent back on my wrists. I am just wondering what my options are at this point. I play university Football in Canada and do not want to have surgery to fix them before the season. Is there any way i can get away with playing with broken wrists if i mobilize them? Will casting my wrist heal my injures fully?

    any advice would be great, as i am new to the whole broken scaphoid thing, and i am very concerned

    thanks
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    Go see a good hand surgeon and do whatever he recommends. If you don't get surgery, it takes 2-3 months for the cast to come off. And at that point, you still may need surgery. And then physical therapy. Surgery option might take quicker to heal.

    Not worth taking a chance with this injury.
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    Hi All,

    I got a scaphoid injury after falling while doing snowboard.

    I did C.T scans and I had a cast for 3 and half months.

    Now my physician took my cast off but said that I shouldn't start physiotherapy yet. She said I should come in 6 weeks and then decide if I can start physiotherapy.

    She said my bone is healed but it's very very weak and sensitive.

    My question is: Now that the cast has removed can I do some swimming? would it heart my hand any how? Not talking about competitive swimming but something normal.

    thanks,
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    Non union and avascular necrosis to the proximal pole

    Originally Posted by Callaar21 View Post
    Go2guy87...... I have had the exact same thing happen to me and there is light at the end of the lonnnnnng tunnel. Short background story, I played football in high school and broke both of my scaphoids. The first 3 doctors did not catch the break in the wrist and wrote it off as a tendon pull. I played the the next 5 games with broken wrists which made matters worse. When i finally did get the surgery which involved a bone graphs , pins , replaces blood vessels and a bone stimulator because like you said , the bone does die and will never heal if not repaired due to the loss of blood flow. i had 9 months each wrist in a cast and once they were off i ran track and did very well so not all was lost.

    It took me 3 years uncasted to be able to handle heavy weights again. They seem to be very slow healing bones and also my range of movement is limited esp when i put my palms vertical. I have been lifting heavy for a good year now and i still get stiff in the wrists during dips and bench press, I think i;ll never be able to do a flat palm pushup again though. Only pushups that I am capable of are fisted pushups which I never did like but it takes all the pressure off the wrist. My advise if your gonna bench is use barbells , it seems to help alleviate the pressure on that lift. The dips hurt midly when i do them but for some reason afterwards the wrists feel great and there is some improvment in the flexabilty.

    If you want to talk about scaphoids and your wrists in general , please feel free , I'm subscribed to this post. Goodluck.
    I know this thread is old but i am curious as too how ur progressing with ur injury. I have had two surgeries on my scaphoid with two bone grafts, k-wires and a screw and now i have a non union with avascular necrosis tot he proximal pole. It has been 6 months since my second surgery and there is still a clear fracture line and i have minimal movement and a fair bit of pain :-/
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    long term schapoid recovery

    Originally Posted by kayzzz View Post
    I know this thread is old but i am curious as too how ur progressing with ur injury. I have had two surgeries on my scaphoid with two bone grafts, k-wires and a screw and now i have a non union with avascular necrosis tot he proximal pole. It has been 6 months since my second surgery and there is still a clear fracture line and i have minimal movement and a fair bit of pain :-/
    Hi, I am sorry you are having so much trouble with the injury, I know how frustrating this can be.

    I myself broke my schapoid about 10 years ago playing high school football. I got the surgery a few months after the injury and it seemed to be ok months after, just some pain and loss of range that I was able to work around. Now however I have noticed that it has gotten weaker and more sensitive. Its to the point now where I can't really lift weight or even play tennis.

    I saw the doctor and he basically said there isn't anything he can do which kind of sucks.

    However one thing I did start doing was hand exercises. I bough a couple of grip strengtheners off of amazon and have been using them fairy regulary and have noticed some improvement. I figured that in the process of keeping off my wrist and nurturing it I was only making it weaker. I started out with the hand exercisers because I did not want to inflame the wrist further and potentially cause (more?) damage.

    After a couple months with the hand things it does not hurt if I sleep on it wrong or type a lot. I am going to try the next step and get a wrist exerciser and see if I can build more strength to the point where I can start doing some activities again.

    search for gripmaster pro on amazon or something and you should be able to find the hand exerciser. I would recommend getting the heaviest tension.

    I hope these tips can help you out. If you or anybody else has any tips please share them!! goodluck everbody
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    i broke mine in July and have been in a cast since 7/27. The fracture was not displaced so I opted not to have surgery under the advice of my ortho. I "should" be out of the cast next Thursday, if the xray looks good. I plan on grabbing some wrist wraps for stability and and working to get back my upper body strength, while doing some stretching and rehab. I'll can keep this thread updated if it helps.
    There is simply no other exercise, and certainly no machine, that produces the level of central nervous system activity, improved balance and coordination, skeletal loading and bone density, muscular stimulation and growth, connective tissue stress and strength, psychological demand and toughness, and overall systemic conditioning as the correctly performed full squat.
    -Mark Rippetoe
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  26. #26
    Registered User marcusjohnson71's Avatar
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    Scaphoid Surgery Recovery

    I'm coming off of a fractured scaphoid and just had a screw and a bone graft I just got my cast off and now I'm in a brace and doing physical therapy 3x a week I would like to know a few things about the process if someone has been through it??
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  27. #27
    Registered User Torgenator's Avatar
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    Scaphoid ?'s

    I just found this thread, so I apologize for bringing an old thread back to life.

    I broke my left Scaphoid in June 2010. It was fractured all the way through and according to the DR., it needed a titanium pin to ensure the bone didn't die due to lack of blood supply. I had the surgery and it healed up quickly. Now, over 3 years later, I find it difficult to perform regular pushups, so I use the Perfect pushup or use dumbells to relief pressure off the wrist. I have noticed that my wrist cracks quite a bit, most often without any pain, I just find it extremely annoying. I have been considering if it would be a good idea to have the pin removed. I always wonder if that is causing any issues or not. The idea of having a titanium pin in the middle of a bone concerns me in regards to toxicity/arthritis. I have never had to take any pain meds for it, even when I had the surgery for it or my shoulder surgery last year.

    I was wondering if anyone has had any success with wrist exercises/stretches to strengthen grip, improve mobility, and if there is really any hope? I am left hand dominant and don't want to lose the ability to lift weights or write. I just don't know enough about the long term effects of a broken scaphoid. I am currently following a very anti inflammatory diet, use herbal supplements, etc. I take pure MSM and have taken Serrapeptase in hopes to break down any possible scar tissue that may be causing the cracking/stiffness. I use essential oils: Lemongrass and Helicrysum are said to promote connective tissue regeneration. I also use Dr. Christophers BF&C formulas.

    I am able to do most strength training exercises and rock climb, however I just want to keep improving!

    Never give up!
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  28. #28
    Banned Brenden061's Avatar
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    Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000) Brenden061 is just really nice. (+1000)
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    Email your doctors. They will respond.
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  29. #29
    Registered User Bleighda's Avatar
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    Broken scaphoid

    I broke my scaphoid 9/3/2012 i fell backwards playing basketball stuck my hand out my left one, and it was fully extended went to the ortho and was put in a cast for 3 months. After the cast came off I got my workout gloves and headed to the gym. I didn't do
    Much physical therapy or heavy weights but I did do some wrist curls. The wrist didn't hurt that much for the first couple months but now a year later here I am putting up heavy weights but I believe I have tendon problems in that wrist now. It burns like crazy when using free weights or gripping anything. If I just curl a 20lb dumbbell my left firearm down will burn and ache. I have a physical therapy appointment 10/11 cannot wait..
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  30. #30
    Registered User tdt21987's Avatar
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    So i broke my scaphoid in 2007 in the Marines Corpsman denied it to be broken told me it was sprain. Fast forward 2011 got out of service after everything i was told to do while in the service on a broken Scaphoid. Lost complete feeling and control of same hand 2011 went to VA got Xrays took 9 months finally found out it was indeed broken in late 2012 got surgery 2/2013 bone graft and that didnt work so had a follow up surgery Partial Fusion 4/2014. Wondering with the loss of ROM what is there to do lifting wise can no longer do standard push ups only modified ones. Just was cleared to be able to lift in gym again. Got advice anyone?
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