T Nation

scaffoid break

Hello, in April of '99 I broke the scaffoid bone in my right wrist. The injury sidelined me from lifting upper body until Jan '00 and from hitting fullstride until April '00. Anyway, since my injury, I have not been able to do any sort of barbell pressing. I frequently use dumbbells though. The reason dumbbells are more forgiving to my wrist is that the dumbbell resistance conforms to how I hold it. Scaffoid pain is felt down the thumb side of the wrist. Since I can slightly cock my wrist to the outside or simply keep my forearm perpendicular to plane of resistance, I experience less pain. Pronated exercise increase pain as does dips, my former favorite tricep exercise. In fact, I can’t even hold up my right side when trying to dips because of my wrist. Now, I know a couple of others who broke their scaffoids but they had surgery sooner than I did and I broke mine in the worst place (the smallest tip where the blood flow to is horrible.) Has anyone else broke the scaffoid bone? If so, how has it affected your training? I would appreciate any response.

Yes.
It took me six months to fully recover.
How do your x-rays look? Due to the location of the scaffoid bone it is very hard to see. It took several tries for mine to be properly xrayed. The wrist has to be extended thumb-up towrad the xray tube.
Make sure the bone is completely healed before doing any heavy pressing movements. This bone rests in direct line with how you will support the weight.
The most common way that this bone is broken is when the victim fall backward and stretches out their hand to break their fall. It is the tenth most common injury in sports.
Until it is heals focus on Pec Deck, Laterials and areas of weakness (rotator cuff). T-mag is full of them. It is also a great time to focus on your legs.
Patient. After 6 months, I was real to go and had added 2" to my thighs, dropped 2 from my waist (I started running) and had a resting pulse rate of 48.

I broke my scaphoid last May but had the operation to repair it in January. How long did you wait for the surgery guys? Also, can you bench now older lifter and where was your break. Did either of you have a vascularised bone graft or was it just a screw inserted into the bone? These things affect the quality of healing.

I was lucky. No operations. The break was right down the middle. That is why it took so long to heal. Today you can only see a thickening on x-rays. Once the cast was off (after three months), I began a program of wrist exercises and stretches.
Three years later I was bench pressing 405 for 3 sets of 6. Today, I only push about 315 and 50 ;). My focus has stiffed away from how much to how mobile (strenght to weight).
Best of luck with your healing. Again use this time to balance yourself, physically, mentally and spiritually.

The x-rays didn’t show the break until 2 months after I broke it. My doctor claimed the hand specialist wouldn’t see me until I was casted for 3 months. After the 3 month cast and the original 2 months, I finally I had surgery, 5 months after the break. Again, I was put in a cast but this time for 4 months. At this point the doctor gave me a clearance. He said I was as healed as I am I going to get. The problem is my wrist is more sensitive now then it was immediately after he gave me clearance. Since my break I have only 55 degree range for bending my wrist backwards.
I have never been able to barbell press of any sort. It sucks, let me tell you.

I had a screw placed in my scaphoid and graphed bone placed in it. My wrist has probably only healed to a level of 75-80% of its former capacity. The nice thing is I can still do dumbbell presses of any sort and EZ bar reverse curls. Older lifter, were you in a cast the whole time while it healed? If so, how long were you in a cast? What exercises did you do for your wrist? Reggie, I would advise doing the wrist exercises Older Lifter did. My doctor told me there was no rehab that I could really do. Also, try pulling exercises by using cables with the velcro straps. Good luck to you Reggie, I hope your break heals better than mine.

I think based on what you’ve wrote I may be out of luck. My break was a complete fracture, maybe two thirds of the way to the proximal side and more or less vertical. But I waited 8 months to get the op because of a faulty diagnosis. I had a vascularised bone graft and my surgeon is the best available in the UK but based on what you both say, especially Z, I’m worried now. I just hope I get a miracle. As far as wearing a cast I only wore one after the op and will wear it for a total of 6-8 wks.
Thanks for your input guys.

Played football with lots of guys who have broken their scaffoid. virtually all of them have had reaccurring pain and difficulties performing certain excercises and movements. Barbell bench seems to be one of the worst for aggravating it. Good luck, I hope yours gets better. Sorry for the somewhat negative reply.

I broke mine 7 or 8 years ago while skateboarding extremely drunk, luckily it was detected the day after( it hurt like hell picking up anything). I had 3 months cast and didnt do any rehab and during years it hurted whenever the weather changed, curiosly since i started weight training i stoped feeling these pains and all i notice these days is a reduced range of motion in that wrist.
The only time i felt pain during training was the only time i tried to bench press with a thumbed grip, otherwise its fine.

Reggie, hang in there. Dumbbell pressing has its advantages and disadvantages over barbell pressing. The injury does limit other things such as overhead squats, clean and jerks, and dips; but a varied lifting program is easily attainable. It is an inconvience, but a lust for lifting is not insatiable. Good luck and keep us posted.
-Zarathustra

Since I play football I can’t imagine life without benching or the other exercises mentioned. Don’t wrist supports or painkillers help? Before my op I managed to bench using a tight wrist support although my strength was down. I just pray I’ll be able to still perform snatches.

BTW, did any of you guys train whilst recovering from surgery? Would it maybe help by increasing blood supply to the region?

Did anyone experiment with ipriflavone to heal faster?

I guess you can feel the desperation from my end:)