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Broken Scaphoid - how long to recover

(14 Posts)
magso Tue 02-Dec-14 09:46:04

I fell over 5 weeks ago and injured my wrist. It was very bruised and swollen but mostly functioning ( some numbness in my smaller fingers but that reduced as the swelling reduced), so I didn't go to minor injuries for an X-ray till 2-3 weeks later. It was too late to put it in a cast so I am wearing a splint (brace with a metal bar in it) - which I can remove to wash etc, and need to wear for at least 6 weeks (from X-ray date - not the fall).
Any way how long does it take to heal? Is there anything I can do to assist healing (other than not taking the splint off - which I admit to doing for very delicate tasks at work- I bought a spare so I can wash it regularly). I should have asked more questions at the time. If anything it is more painful now than it was a couple of weeks ago. My little finger is still prone to mild numbness.
I also slightly bruised/grazed my knee (but my tights survived - so a contusion) and that is still sore (difficult to kneel on) and the small scab took 4 weeks to go. A similar injury on healthy young teen ds would have sorted itself in a week! My skin is thin so I bruise easily - probably due to the corticosteroids I had to take whilst critically ill (and still do occasionally with exacerbations - dodgy lungs).
I eat fairly healthily (lower carb) have been taking a good multivit somewhat erratically, with fish oils. I drink milk/eat cheese (calcium)and have soaks in Epsom salts for magnesium.
Any ideas on how long for the scaphoid and what I can do to help things along.

colliewobbles83 Tue 02-Dec-14 10:00:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cathyandclaire Tue 02-Dec-14 10:00:48

Scaphoids are tricky little things because the blood supply can be affected by a break, which can impact on healing, especially if diagnosis is delayed. I'd go and see your doc for more information, as they should probably have talked you through all this at the time.

I'm not an orthopaedic expert but I think the best thing you can do is rest it as much as you can and wait. Avoid taking the splint off whenever possible and don't do anything risky which could result in a fall and re-injury.

DD had this and, like you, found it very painful, she was however totally better in 6-8 weeks (despite the hospital missing it initially on X-ray and there being another fall.) She was a v young whippersnapper with bendy bones though.

magso Tue 02-Dec-14 11:03:08

Thank you collie and cathy. 8 weeks takes me to Christmas. I will try and keep my wrist warm, avoid taking the splint off, except for baths. I suspect I may have had it a bit loose. I was told no exercise, so am only doing stretches that don't involve wrists or hands- or I would cease up I fear (missing my Pilates class). Its my right (dominant) hand and I am the chief cook/cleaner/master of all things domestic at home so it is a nuisance and even worse at work.

colliewobbles83 Tue 02-Dec-14 11:57:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

magso Tue 02-Dec-14 12:33:37

Thanks Collie. I think have not been doing the splint up tight enough. When the nurse put it on it left marks - almost a rash. I have now done it up tighter and it does feel better! What an idiot eh? Yes it does have metal in it - I broke my favourite Pyrex casserole dish picking it up (using my splint instead of my hand on that side) and smashed it! I have been rubbing in ibruprophen or diclofenac cream ( I cannot take either orally) and the swelling is much less. In fact there is now minimal swelling. Come to think of it I used to dislocate my index finger (same hand) easily too - well autistic ds used to give them a hard jerk to make me let go when he wanted to run off, so perhaps not that easily. He still tends to tug my fingers, but is more danger (and yelping) aware, so I simply hide my hands if he wants to tug hard! He is a teen now so all that seems a long time ago.

TortoiseInAShell Tue 02-Dec-14 12:49:01

I broke mine and was put in plaster the same day, so my case is a bit different than yours.

I gather that people who leave it like you did, often have a slower recovery because the best possible outcome (immobilisation and rest) hasn't been followed for as long.

My plaster was removed at 6 weeks but I was advised against using the harms properly for another 6 weeks, and warned if I didn't listen to their advice I would potentially undo the good work and need surgery.

The wrist remained painful, slightly worse after the plaster was removed because it had lost it's support and protection. But as the weeks rolled by I gradually gained more strength and at the 12 week mark could feel no pain anymore.

I would say that my hand hasn't regained full strength but has definitely lost all pain on movement.

magso Tue 02-Dec-14 20:06:00

Thanks Tortoise. I suppose I should try to do less, but as it is my right hand and I'm very right dominant it's not likely to happen! But if I can behave i should be back to normal hopefully by February.

TortoiseInAShell Wed 03-Dec-14 11:14:48

It's really worth trying to limit use because if you don't, you risk life long pain which is avoidable. hmm

magso Wed 03-Dec-14 18:38:53

You are right Tortoise. I will do my best. It doesn't help that ds (who has asd and likes things unchanged) always wants to hold that hand, and dh (who is away a lot and never allows infirmity to hold him back) doesn't believe its properly broken (as its not an arm bone). I have explained the long term issues if it refuses to heal.
Should I not be using that hand at all (I am typing one fingered- can't spread my fingers to type properly)? What about driving? I am learning to do some things left handed (open doors, pour tea, clean up etc). I was told to treat it like a new injury, but not told what that meant. It is better with the splint tighter.

18yearstooold Wed 03-Dec-14 18:44:08

Mine was 6 months i'm sorry to say and still hurts like buggery when it's cold 8 years later

turdfairynomore Wed 03-Dec-14 20:07:17

DS17 broke his playing sport in aug-the only weekend that I've EVER left him and DD20 alone in the house!!! (Don't worry mum, everything's ok, it's just that we are in a&e!!!) It took a while to be diagnosed but was splinted immediately and then redone when hand specialist saw it. DS plays hockey to high level so got referred that way. It stopped him driving-and he'd just started!! He had 6 weeks with no sport and then he stated gradually-his hand would swell terribly initially but it eased off. It might sound daft but the best "Physio" he had was wallpapering!! The team Physio agreed that it would be great exercise! Gentle, not weight bearing-and very useful to his mum!!!

TortoiseInAShell Wed 03-Dec-14 23:37:29

My understanding was total rest for 6 week and then light tasks for another 6 weeks - in short; if it hurts don't do it.

It's hard to follow through but the time soon goes and I am mighty glad I stuck to it (hard though it was) because the idea of long term pain did seem worse.

magso Thu 04-Dec-14 09:24:02

Thanks 18, turdfairy and tortoise. I guess I am past the most important early weeks and may already have messed up recovery by assuming it was a sprain. Complete rest is not possible, but I can mostly avoid anything that hurts! House has deteriorated over the last few weeks - so many household chores need two good hands to be done properly- but I am adapting as you do. I just have to break things down to smaller one handed tasks! So I will be extra careful for the next few weeks.
I banged it this morning (accidently) so I know its still there!

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