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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
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    4,308

    Question Broken Right Wrist -- BTDT advice?

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    Yesterday I was having the ride of my life, or at least since I started riding about 14 months ago. 102 miles on my new El Mar...first ride where I really started feeling "at one" with him. Riding better on trails an hour from us than I did months ago on my previous bike.

    But after maybe 16 miles I was feeling pretty tired and told DH that I would head back to the car to change while he and friends did a quick spin on the loop that I find the toughest for me.

    Turns out I would never make it to that loop to begin with. I went down on a totally non-technical corner with some loose dirt (overcorrected, I think). I was behind everyone by a bit. At first I thought that I maybe just sprained it, until I pushed up my sleeve. Oops...crooked!

    I started pushing my bike with my good hand. Shortly after DH backtracks and finds me. I told him "hey, I think I may be joining the Ti plate club." He was crushed! He has now been with 3 people this year when they destroyed wrists mtbing.

    We got back to the car and to an ER about an hour away...closer to home. Xrays confirmed bayonet fracture of distal radial and a relatively minor ulna fracture.

    Prior to reduction the ER doc thought it likely that I would need a Ti plate, since wrist fractures tend to not set well. After the fact I got the impression that my fracture was so straightforward and easy to set that maybe it would only need a cast once swelling is down.

    So here's my query: if the ortho doc gives me the choice, which is the wiser route for someone who is likely to fall again in the future? I have read that subsequent falls with Ti plates can make for worse injuries at either end and some folks later have plates and screws removed to avoid this. WWYD?

    BTW, typing one-handed and mousing with my left hand SUCKS!
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,143
    DH broke his right wrist and had a hairline fracture on the left after falling off a ladder. He had pins and screws in the right one for 4 weeks, with a cast and just a sling for the other. The pins came out and he did OT for 6 weeks. This was in August; he started back to riding at the end of September and it was quite painful. But, he's never had any issues since.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    I'm thankful to hear he wasn't out too long. Ugh, ladders. They scare me!
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    510
    That's strange. I thought current wisdom was to leave screws and plates in unless there's a reason like pain or restriction of movement or religious issues (no foreign bodies to be buried at death). My screws and plate in my shoulder stayed in and my sisters knee screws as well. Second surgery carries risks.

    I was told to not to fall on my shoulder again as I could punch the plate and screws through the bone. My vote would be to see if you can avoid metal fittings if you can. Much longer to heal after surgery...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi Stoker View Post

    I was told to not to fall on my shoulder again as I could punch the plate and screws through the bone.
    I think that is the concern...the risk of a more serious secondary injury with screws and plates in place.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    106
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    I think that is the concern...the risk of a more serious secondary injury with screws and plates in place.
    This is true, but it depends quite a bit on the exact angulation of the fracture and what the surgeon feels necessary to properly stabilize it. You don't want to go without hardware and end up with a non union fracture either. More than likely, even if the surgeon gives you a choice he/she will have an option that they feel is more optimal. If that doesn't sound right, then you can always get a second opinion also.

    I still have pins in both my tibias, and have chosen up until this point to keep them in instead of having another surgery for removal. They are very close to the surface though, and it does make me a bit nervous, so I completely understand your concerns.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    583
    Up until my ankle fracture last year, I had never been hospitalized, had never had surgery, and was very distrustful of conventional medicine. I was horrified by the idea of having a foreign material surgically implanted in my body. The horror stories on the internet about hardware contributing to a catastrophic break in the future didn't help. All this contributed to an agonizing decision to have my ankle surgically repaired.

    Over a year later, I feel that I made the right decision to have surgery on my ankle. It sped my healing and gave me the best chance of regaining as much ankle function as possible. I am still very distrustful of conventional medicine but I think that orthopedics is one area in which conventional medicine excels.

    With that being said, I have decided to have my hardware removed now that my ankle is fully healed. This was also a difficult decision but I feel that the relatively small risks posed by this second surgery are outweighed by the additional function that I'll gain after the hardware is removed.

    This post is not intended to influence your decision one way or the other. I simply wanted to point out that many of us have had a good experience with surgical repair of broken bones, (even someone who still doesn't trust most conventional medicine). Don't let the internet horror stories unduly influence your decision. Even if you opt for hardware, you won't necessarily be stuck with it forever.
    LORI
    Pivot Mach 4 / WTB
    Updated Vintage Terry Symmetry / Bontrager InForm RL WSD

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Haven't broken a wrist (or bone, for that matter) but I'm had reconstructive ACL surgery and back surgery. It's my experience that the sooner you have surgery, the sooner you heal with the least degeneration. And fewer chronic problems will result.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Phew...looks like I likely won't require surgery! Have to go back in a week for casting when swelling is down.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    583
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    Phew...looks like I likely won't require surgery! Have to go back in a week for casting when swelling is down.
    The best case scenario!
    LORI
    Pivot Mach 4 / WTB
    Updated Vintage Terry Symmetry / Bontrager InForm RL WSD

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    Phew...looks like I likely won't require surgery! Have to go back in a week for casting when swelling is down.
    Very nice!!!!

    Be careful with it in the meantime.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Yup...but I am bored!!!
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Yay! So glad you don't have to have surgery. Now be good and let it heal. Let your husband fix you some hot cocoa, you need it.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    462
    I hope you heal quickly, but glad you don't have to have surgery. I get where you're at, especially with the boredom. At least casts now come in fun colors. i got this one yesterday.

    2013 Kirk Frameworks JK Special/Selle Anatomica
    2012 Gunnar Sport/Brooks B17
    2001 Calfee Tetra Pro/Selle Anatomica
    1984 Raleigh Sport/Brooks B66

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    I do love the colors. I am hoping for orange. Heal fast, Murielalex!
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

 

 

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