Hand injury, week 34+

This update comes one week shy of 8 months since the accident back in May 2013.

Today, I had an all important diagnosis of a CT scan of the scaphoid (taken only in the days prior).  To my complete shock and happiness the hand surgeon concluded that my scaphoid had not only successfully joined at the fracture site, but there was no signs of avasuclar necrosis at the proximal pole. It has for all intents and purposes, healed. There does appear to be a slight change in density of the bone at the proximal pole, but this is something that he feels will improve anyway. This is an amazing result. I really couldn’t have expected this given an injury whereby my hand was effectively severed and the scaphoid physically displaced in two. This is a happy day, but I feel too numb to appreciate it. Sometimes we dodge a bullet, for me, it feels like such an occasion.

The CT scan also identified a satellite bone (1 cm) that has settled on the top of my wrist at the join. This is superficial and can be removed if it becomes an issue. Also, he noted come calcification of the bones that may cause me arthritis down the track, but this is a long way down the track and even that can be treated at the time should it occur.

As for my hand in general, I feel the last month has brought about a noticeable improvement in the overall feel. A lot of the numbness has subsided and soreness in my knuckles, while still present, has not been as sensitive/painful as prior. There still exits considerable resistance in my hands mobility at critical angles, but maybe the Summer heat is making it hurt less than normal.

I now have permission to mountain bike again, but need a different brace, one that is more strap-up type. For all I know, mountain biking may make my hand ache, I just have no idea and will test on some gentle trails at the outset. But at least now I feel I can live life as I want to.

I am down for another CT scan in 12 months to assess changes from now until then.

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2 thoughts on “Hand injury, week 34+

  1. Man, what a life-changing ordeal! That picture of the crash and all the x-rays with hardware look horrendous. Any good news on your end? It’s been almost 6 weeks since you posted on here. Your mental toughness and good hearted attitude are inspirational. I really feel for you and wish you the best possible recovery.

    I posted on mtbr a few weeks back and you had some words of advice- thanks for that also. I’m 2.5 weeks from surgery (3rd attempt at healing my scaphoid), iliac crest bone graft, distal radius vascular bone graft and 5 screws. I’m struggling mentally to get through this. First, I have no confidence this will actually work and heal this time. Second, either way if it heals or not, I’m most likely looking at months and months of a miserable existence. Both non-unions manifested themselves at 7 months so it would appear I need to take it EASY this time for longer than that. I keep having this thought that if the vascular bone graft takes, the healing time will be greatly reduced. But how will I know it? I mean, both times x-rays and CT scans were used and doc said it looks ‘healed.’ I mean if I’m wrong and try and come back too hard and/or too strong…I won’t be able to cope with this again..

    Sorry, I can’t believe I’m bitching about this to you knowing your horrific wrist injury..

  2. Thanks for your comments Dave. I have been going fairly well considering. I am mtb-ing again, but am using a 661 brace (wrist wrap). My biggest drama is holding myself back and taking it easy. My wrist in general still has an ache to it, but I suppose I mentally switch off from it and accept it. The colder (and wet) days make it feel worse. A mate got me to try glucosamine tablets, one per day. Heard rumours it rivals many arthritic-specific medicine(s), but takes 6 weeks to kick in. hmm, might put that up on my blog!

    In your case, it’s shocking about the recurrence. I can only recommend that you really need to accept a potential “one-year off” from your normal activities that might endanger your hand. In the scheme of things, it’s super critical you give it a really good shot. Even after, revise your lifestyle. I had a fairly boring 8 months, but I did fill it with things I enjoyed. Also, exercise, say walking everyday. On many levels, this was very important. Aids in blood flow, etc. Try and do it daily as soon as you are able. Cant stres this enough. I also found the walking really cleared my head. Take calcium tablets each day too.

    The only thing that would concern me, and to be frank, I’m not convinced I’d do it; is the grafts you mention. Aid in healing aside, I have had numerous people tell me they regretted getting grafts. They say the regions the bone is taken from has caused them no end of grief; minor contact with that site makes them reel in pain. I guess if its highly recommened for you, then maybe its best (I’m no doctor), but I wouldn’t say it’s not without its downsides. If it were me, I’d be getting some secondary advice. If it were me, I’d prefer to have screws only and give that the best shot possible. Only if that fails down the track, I’d go a full wrist fusion.

    Keep in contact and best of luck!

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