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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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can't shake my wrist pain

I was snowboarding back in January & February and there were a lot of times where I would fall and use my arms to catch myself like most people do. After a few trips to the slopes, my left wrist started to bother me. I didn't think much of it at the time so I just ignored it and kept going. A few months later I still had pain (it didn't swell up or turn purple), so I got some x-rays done but they kept coming back negative. I had an MRI too, and all they said was that I had a sprain and sent me on my way.

I changed doctors and went to see an orthopedic surgeon. He told me he doesn't know exactly what's wrong with my wrist but he can go in there with an arthroscopic camera and I guess find out if a ligament is torn or whatever.

I don't know what to do, should I try to get the arthroscopic surgery? Is there a real risk here of totally screwing up my wrist? I've been feeling down the last couple of months because I feel like I permanently ended the fun/exciting part of my life & I'm only 21 years old. Any & all advice is welcome, thanks.

That's where it hurts, I haven't been able to do painless pushups in months and can't bend it the whole way back without pain either.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 12:34 AM
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My scope for wrist and hand injuries is not that vast considering that is not my specialty, but i do have a few questions, when was the last xray? how long between the initial injury and last xray?
Reason I'm asking is the fact that some injuries will show up negative on the xray/MRI/CT first few weeks, then eventually shows up as an 'old' problem weeks/months from the initial injury. Hairline fractures, microtears, avascular necrosis, and spurs are among the few that comes to mind. Is the ortho surgeon a hand specialist? If not, I would suggest seeing a hand specialist. Have you done any occupational therapy? that might be an option also..
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 12:43 AM
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sounds exactly like when i broke my navicular scaphoid (the bone you're pointing to). mine did show up on an xray tho.

mine didn't require surgery although they told my 70% chance of surgery even after 3 months in a cast. surgery would suck, but not healing is worse. if it was me in your position and i had insurance to cover it i'd probably let him scope it. the only other thing you can do is give it more time, and strengthen it with PT. you can also take glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM to help with joints.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-06-2010, 06:24 PM
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You left out a lot of specific information. Here are a couple of ways to isolate and possibly diagnose your injury:
  • can you move your wrist up and down?
  • - when doing the above, what is your flexibility like? (90 degree pressure both ways)
  • can you move your wrist from side to side?
  • grip: can you grip objects?
  • do you have evident decrease in strength due to pain? (it feels like you just can't do it)

From where your pain is most noticeable, i'd put my money on a scaphoid fracture. These things are a SERIOUS pain in the ass, especially if they do not heal.
- My best guess is that the hairline fracture is so small that your doctors cannot see it, otherwise it would have been noticeable.

I'd say do not try anything for a couple of weeks and go get another xray. By then, healing should show up on the scan. do not want a fracture to progress into nonunion, trust. I know this 2 surgerys and 5 years later.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 09:46 PM
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None of us will be able to diagnose your wrist. You should see a better specialist though. Not all orthopedic surgeons are created equal. I would not let an orthopedic surgeon scope my wrist without first knowing the problem. I would go find a top orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the hand and upper extremity and who is fellowship trained in upper extremity and board certified. The Castle Connolly guides are a good starting point for a good doctor rating guide (google it). It sounds like it is likely a TFCC tear based on your description but it could be anything. Get a copy of your MRI and a see a top hand specialist. When I broke my wrist I saw one of the top hand specialists and it was worth it. I am not sure where you are in the country but there are a lot of top hand specialists (orthopedic surgeons) in the country. Good luck.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 10:06 PM
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Like other people have said we cant eval you over the internet. Def go see a MD asap.FOOSH--- Falling onto an outstretched hand (very common in snowboarding)
.... where your pointing is area of a scaphoid fracture.. You had it a while ago so x-ray will be able to pick it up.. but should get an MRI also.
Scaphoid fractures take upto 10 days to show on xray. The bone really heals slowly so surgery is common to fix it secondary to it not healing (non-union).
Im a Doctor of physical therapy not a MD. Go get it looked at
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