/ Broken Scaphoid

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Scrabble - on 28 Mar 2013
I have fractured my scaphoid and in my second week of cast however i am keen to get out on the rock as soon as possible, i was wondering if people had any ideas of how long until i will be able to get back out climbing. Also do a physical job which requires the use of my right hand and need to be back fully operational by august help please! Have read a lot of horror stories about it taking years
sleavesley on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble: let it heal, the scaphoid has a poor blood supply and your follow up visits to fracture clinic will be looking specifically at non-union if its of the waist of the scaphoid.
Listen to the consultants and don't be tempted to get back to climbing too quickly.
Nige M - on 28 Mar 2013
jon freestone - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble:

May be worth giving these a visit:


I'm recovering from broken collarbone that was not healing (12 weeks now) think it started to knit a couple of weeks ago and I paid them a visit on monday - couple of days after things appear to be getting 'solid' so hoping for best. Loads of recommendations on motor bike forums. I had the magnetic field, laser and ultra sound treatments all in one afternoon. Only problem is they are in Ipswich (end of earth).
Good luck!!
Andrew Wilson - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble:
I broke mine when I was 15. Did not even realise for a week, thought it was sprained. Once in cast I proceeded to be clever and vandalise the cast so I could write for my exams and generally ignore what the doctors said. After around 3 successive visits to the consultants, 6 weeks apart, it was decided it was not going to heal. (As already said, poor blood supply to other side of fracture) I then had to have a bone graft operation from my hip to my wrist. This entailed an armpit to fingertip cast for a while.
Long story short it was 12 months in plaster and an emaciated arm, both arms really since there is loads you dont do when one arm is bust.
If I could do it again I would really try and immobilise the affected arm altogether and not use it, rotate the wrist or use the fingers. 6 weeks is not that long. Hope you are one of the lucky ones, you should have the advantage of not being a rebellious teenager like I was!
Banned User 77 - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble: Bad one.. I was 16 weeks in a cast.. I could actually climb quite early on.. but it still hadn't healed. They talked of taking some hip bone and operating.. so I never went again..

It really does not heal quickly at all.
stonemaster - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble: Eek! Good luck with the healing.
I like climbing - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble:
I did that playing football. It hurt and it took a while to heal. Don't rush back, just take it slowly and carefully and get physio too. Good luck.
mikekeswick - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble: It's all about blood supply to the broken bit....I ended up with avascular necorsis and was told that I would likely need my wrist immobalising eg. fuse the bones in a few years....I said 'see ya' to that one! Mine is still screwed after 10 years but hey you get on with things! I have reduced movement but no loss of strength.
jayjackson - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble:
I'm firmly in the "do what your Dr says and give it time to heal" camp...

As others have said, it is a notoriously slow healing injury due to the low blood supply to the scaphoid. I had mine rebuilt with some bone from my forearm, a screw, and nine months in plaster + extra time in a brace and lots of physio. No problems as yet, only have a slight decrease in mobility (although initially there was talk of fusing the wrist), and no decrease in strength.

I don't mean this to be another horror story, more to make the point that a full recovery is certainly possible, however you will probably do very little for your chances if you try to get out on it too early.

My two-pennies worth is to avoid any loading of the hand (you'll never climb as well as you want to whilst in a cast, so why not just wait until it's fully healed and then get back on it, rather than damaging the wrist further and delaying the cast removal?) until your Dr gives you the OK. If you're really worried about work in August, then maybe start researching alternatives now?

Best wishes with your recovery.

Scrabble - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jon freestone: I am intrigued by this. did it honestly feel like it helped the healing process? Drama is its a 6 hour drive/train to ipswich from Northumberland there and back so might wait until the first x ray on return and then see if can get it through work.
Jimbo W on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble:

Sleavesley was spot on. Don't be tempted to use it until it is properly healed because:
a) it heals slowly, but worse than that...
b) non-union of the bone can result in avascular necrosis of the proximal scaphoid (in otherwords, death and resultant loss of part of the scaphoid bone itself), which believe me, you really want to avoid.
Let it heal, and take the doctors advice, don't be tempted back too early, and if your work is quite physical, you may need to get a line too.
jon freestone - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Scrabble:

Yea defo did something. Day after area around break was swollen and ached and with break (collarbone) being very close to surface and not in pot I could feel that some solid bone formed after a couple of days - wont know for sure till get x ray. Worth going just to speak to the physios about injury - learnt more from them than 5 trips to doc. Also very helpful and honest on phone - give them call and see what they say. But even if it does nothing (I can't honestly say any improvement was due to treatment but think it was) worth a try - cost me £285 for all treatments.
I also travelled for 5 hours to get there but considering another trip before getting final x ray (they are threatening op and bone graft if no signs of bone by then and will try anything to avoid!) Before going I spent quite a bit of time wondering if it was worth it and looked on loads of biking forums - all positive and the guy who runs it is know as Brian the bone healer! Think there is some mention of scaphoid in literature that is linked on treatments page.
I dont regret going!

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