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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Old Scaphoid, non-union

    OK here is the deal. When I was 14 I played basketball. Going up for a jump shot I was pushed and fell backwards. I broke the fall with my outstretched arms and ending up breaking both wrists. I will go ahead and make the joke now.....a cast on each arm and no girlfriend while 14 years old and raging with hormones At about 16 years old I started riding mountainbikes. New riders always crash and of course I did. Probably sprained the left wrist a couple times during my bike rides through the years. Fast forward to now and I am 31 years old and been riding pretty much ever since save for a 4 year break for higher education. Usually have a small bit of tenderness at the end of an epic (6-7 hrs) but other than that my left wrist has been fine. The other week I crashed really hard and of course landed on my outstretched left arm. X-rays showed a minor break in the elbow (radial head fracture) and a fracture in the scaphoid (wrist/hand). Had to get an MRI as well and the MRI showed that the fracture was not new, and had been there from a previous break that never healed. Wrist was just sprained. Ortho wants me to heal up elbow first then have surgery on the scaphoid. Surgey invovles a screw through the bone with a bone graft taken from the wrist or hip. Surgery has 80% success rate. Cast for 6 weeks after surgery then 6 weeks of re-hab.

    So my question is should I opt for the surgery or just leave it as is? I know the doctors opinion is what I should listen to but has anyone ever had this break and left it alone and been fine? I mean it has been broken for this long which I didnt even know and I have been fine with really no pain. Also, MRI showed no necrosis of the bone so it is still living. This injury will not keep me off a bike forever so if I happen to crash on it again will the break be worse? If anyone has some insight on this pesky fracture, I would love to here it.

  2. #2
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: Lunchbox362's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Just have it fixed, as you get older and older itll just get worse and worse, you dont want to be 60 and not able to use the left hand.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: karpiel666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Get it fixed and practice falling.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qatarbhoy
    I have to ask for them to do a "Number two" on my head

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Get the wrist fixed. Chronic non-union of the scaphoid bone can lead to significant arthritic changes in the wrist over time. You may be pain-free now, but over time, the arthritic changes can lead to carpal collapse (carpal = wrist bones) and distortion of the wrist's normal anatomic position. If you are interested to know more and to impress your surgeon, Google SNAC (scaphoid non-union advanced collapse) wrist and DISI (dorsal intercalated segment instability).

    Your body will thank you in your old age if you have it corrected now. Severe arthritis is never pleasant - young or old.

  5. #5
    Reputation: oldergoat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Have the surgery

    if you haven't done so yet. My story is similar to yours. I think I probably broke/cracked my scaphoid in a prior fall about 4 years previous to a fall where x-rays showed the fracture. I went through casting and braces for about 1 year before it was decided to have the surgery (screw and cells from my hip). Wrist/hand completely healed about 6 months after the surgery.
    "The most important thing about this instrument is the way the air smells when it comes out of these holes" ~Frank Zappa

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