Major setback to riding from past wrist injury...any ideas?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by edslittleworld, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. edslittleworld

    edslittleworld n00b

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    Hello all...first post! :)

    About 2 years ago, I suffered a fractured wrist injury to my left wrist (scaphoid break) and underwent surgery to install a bone screw. Although the surgery appeared successful, we have determined that riding my 2014 R1200GS for hours on end may have contributed to the bone screw rattling around and literally stripping out inside my bone. Now after 2 years, I'm looking at a limited wrist fusion and am afraid that riding again may damage that orthopedic hardware. Also, I have noticed my bad wrist becoming extremely stiff after riding a few hours and needs to be stretched out. Otherwise, the bike seems extremely comfortable and I use the cruise control on long stints. I sure hate to give up my newly acquired GS. Has anyone else had this limitation?
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  2. Eric80

    Eric80 Adventurer

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    Sounds like they messed up and forgot to put loctite on the screw.

    Seriously though, when you say "we have determined," do you mean your doctors? If you are in a situation where there is now unrepairable damage I would want to know 1) will riding make it even worse, and if so 2) would PT be helpful in getting additional mobility/strength in the joint.
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  3. edslittleworld

    edslittleworld n00b

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    We determined that my last ride (~300 backcountry miles) was the straw that broke the wrist as I was in pain right after the ride and have been continuously for 3 weeks. My doc didn't disagree on my rationale and he determined that a wrist fusion is in my future. Right now, riding is out of the question for both reasons of pain and further possible damage (according to x-rays). He claims I now have a "non-union" of the bone. Thanks!
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  4. Eric80

    Eric80 Adventurer

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    I see, so the screw didn't do its job long enough to allow the fragments to heal (i.e. non union). If you do end up needing a wrist fusion, I think the fact that it's the left wrist bodes well for future riding. Perhaps they can fuse it in a position that works for riding/pulling the clutch lever?
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  5. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    I find the notion of bike vibration causing so much torque on a bone screw that it not only rotated but stripped the threads ludicrous. But that’s just me.

    Certainly bones can reject the metal and not only refuse to merge with it but also retract from it. So too can too early activity damage a partial fusion.

    Before I went down the fusion path I’d be looking at the numerous other options out there. Even something as simple and crude as a replacement screw the next size up.
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  6. Gone in 60

    Gone in 60 Been here awhile

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    I'm not a doctor, but my wife plays one on TV. I used to be an insurance investigator, and handled plenty of cases of wrist injuries due to repetitive vibration - primarily landscapers who grip lawnmower handles, stuff like that. Part of the therapy included looking at the thing that creates the vibration and mitigating as much as possible. Would padded grips, like Beemer Buddies be a possibility for you?
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  7. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Is wrist arthroplasty (replacement) out of the question?
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  8. edslittleworld

    edslittleworld n00b

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    The recommended surgery (4 corner fusion) is a bit more dramatic than I want to endure at this time. Plus, my main concern: Will extended riding increase chances of orthopedic failure should I elect to have the surgery? (BTW, total wrist replacement is not for younger, more active patients.) Do you think that the lumpy engine vibration from the boxer engine is more excessive than an inline 4 and in a more horizontal pattern? If so, I may consider an S1000XR.
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  9. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    I'd talk with an orthopedic surgeon to see what they have to say. When there is a reason like yours, maybe age has little to do with the decision.

    Maybe they could suggest some kind of wrist brace device to support things if arthroplasty is done. Like maybe some sort of support to minimize shock and unwanted movement.
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  10. cafepronto

    cafepronto Two Left Wheels

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    Is this surgeon a fellowship trained wrist and hand ortho? After 30 yrs as a PT, I've seen a lot of good, and a lot of bad. The wrist and hand are specialty areas. Occasionally an old Doc Sawbones will stick a pin in, slap on an immobilizer, and think "that's all we need" and perhaps it is. But occasionally you need someone who does a lot of surgeries in those areas and has the skills to fix that bone with his eyes closed. My riding is too important to leave in the hands of a well intentioned but under skilled doc. If your surgeon does happen to be a wrist and hand specialist, do a little research on PEMF and fracture healing. Bone also requires lots of vitamin D. Other hormone profiles may tell a different story too. Have you rode with a splint for support?
    Stay after this. Keep doing your own homework (just like you started here). If there is something new out there that offers more hope than never riding again, it'll be up to you to find it.
    (none of these statements are meant to be medical advice teeheehee..)
    Good luck
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  11. RowBust

    RowBust Long timer

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    Broke my scaphoid, right wrist about 40 years ago, in a cast for 16 weeks still hadn't healed but I kept on racing MX and working , carpenter. All of the time lots of pain, about 8 years later while riding in an enduro I hit a log at about 80km/hr, lots of in juries but when they x rayed my wrist they found that the scaphoid had gone all together (think they call it narcrosis) , all of the other bones were misplaced and worn away. They sent me to the top wrist specialist in the world at the time, Timothy Herbert, the screw they put in your wrist is called a Herbert screw, he invented it. He asked if I had health insurance, which I didn't, so he said that he would rebuild my wrist as he was the only person in the world that could do this operation. He said he would do the operation in the public teaching hospital in Sydney and have 2 leading wrist specialists fly over from the USA to watch and learn the technique. 1 week later I was operated on, he built a new scaphoid screwed or wired the other bones together and partially fused my wrist using some bone from my hip. Had it all in a cast for several weeks then lots of physio and was very painful. He sent me his fee, bottle of whiskey. I was back at work in 6 months and have been riding ever since. I've got restricted movement and lots of arthritis, it aches from time to time but not much pain. Don't hesitate to get it operated on, the sooner the better. There would be many surgeons doing this now
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  12. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    Whatever you do, PT and lots of exercise to get blood flowing to the injury site and help the healing can't hurt. One way or another, it will get better. Hang in there, don't despair, and I'll make youa deal: you heal your wrist and I'll heal my shoulder!
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  13. Kshaw

    Kshaw Been here awhile

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    Don’t know jack about wrists... BUT maybe look into grip puppies and fasst flexx bars. Expensive ($350+) but I believe worth it.
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  14. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    I'm no doctor nor do I have a PhD.
    But I would recommend you test a DCT equipped Honda motorcycle.
    If you like the GS, you'll love the Africa Twin. DCT does away with clutching altogether.
    Well designed parallel twin engine; hardly any handlebar vibrations.
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  15. DirtyRooster

    DirtyRooster Been here awhile

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    I broke my Left hand scaffold in 2003. The doc put a screw in it And I remember the post x rays he said “it was a little proud” and into the joint almost. He recommended I get it removed in six months when the bone heals. I haven’t quite gotten around to it.
    If your screw rattled loose I wonder if it was installed incorrectly. I’ve seen others with the same break have terrible scars. I just have the insertion point and a little dot on the top of my wrist that I can barely see anymore.
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  16. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

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    Miata. Maybe Jeep wrangler. Thats my plan when riding becomes painful. Its the getting out there and open air movement not the vehicle type.
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  17. Doug Just Doug

    Doug Just Doug Silly Party Candidate Supporter

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    Fx'd my right scaphoid twice, the second time about 14 months ago, but luckily neither time required surgery. I know from working in a personal injury law practice for 30 years that the scaphoid is troublesome. Low blood flow so healing can be real slow. I'm very fortunate in that it didn't limit me very much either time. Maybe an ortho doc or physiatrist (pain specialist) who specializes in sports medicine would be helpful?
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  18. LDHR1

    LDHR1 Been here awhile

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    FD68B81F-3311-4632-A85E-CE44CF05C8F4.jpeg
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  19. LDHR1

    LDHR1 Been here awhile

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    I would get a second opinion, I got a dozen breaks in this fall. Still carrying a plate and ten screws and still have a non-fusion on the ulnar fractures ( smaller bone). It’s sore but I can still ride, lots of stretching helps. Think hand surfing.
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  20. Liko

    Liko English is my 2nd legume

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    I've mentioned this elsewhere on this site and have opened a big can of stupid as a result, but, I found that apes and foofy grips are where it's at. I popped my ST1300 bars up 2 inches but that wasn't enough and the riding geometry still put my wrists into play too much. So a cruiser style Yamaha, apes (about 1/2 high) and grip puppies or other soft grip worked fantastic.

    I use the Caterpillar O-ring for cruise control and that allows me to put my right arm down when it seemed necessary. Sitting lower allows me to move the bike by shifting my weight (like when you put your arms out and fly like an airplane). The riding geometry in this set up is perfect for me. No pressure on my wrists, I can relax my arms when needed and even pushing the bike around in the garage or parking area is much easier.

    My $0.02 ... on sale, today only, for a nickel.
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