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I know.. This is dumb!
On August 29, 2003 at approx. 12:30am, I fractured my right wrist in 2 places. A Distal-Radial fracture, as well as an Ulna-Styloid fracture. WITH A ONE YEAR UPDATE.
 
 
I fractured my right wrist on August 29th, 2003 while bowling on a late-night league. On the bowl approach, I stubbed my foot on some dirt and it sent me flying past the fowl line to the real slippery polished part of the lane where I promptly fell on my butt. As a natural reaction to falling, I broke my fall with my hands behind me and that fractured my right wrist. I thought at first it was just a bad sprain. Team members came to help with a shirt as a splint and some ice. When I woke up the next morning with a hand 3 times it's normal size, I went to the hospital ER. After the first x-rays, the Dr. said I will NOT have 100% use of my wrist as far as rotating the arm around palm up (supination) to down (pronation), or arm-out fingers up 90 degrees (extension) or fingers down 90 degrees (flexion). Medically, it's a "distal radial, partially comminuted fracture" as well as an "ulna styloid fracture." In other words, fractured in two places. "Comminuted" means there are fracture fragments in the joint area. My wrist was then put into a fiberglass cast and set. This was the better of 2 choices the Dr. had. The other was putting pins in the bone on each side of the wrist and using an external fixator (traction device) pulling things apart, blah, blah, blah. (I later found out that pins and a fixator would cause horrible stiffening) The option to leave it alone for now was made. After the cast was put on and more x-rays taken, the Dr. told me he was not happy with the positioning of the bones and said another decision will be made once the Senior Dr. looks at the x-rays the next morning. He'll call me if there is a difference of opinion.

Much to my horror, the next morning, that ER Dr. called me and wanted me to come back after the Labor Day weekend to have pins and a fixator put into position. He also told me that the Sr. Orthopedic Dr. would call me later in the day to explain further what needed to be done. HE NEVER CALLED!!! Being a baby about this whole medical proceedure, I took that as "well, maybe he changed his mind". I even tried calling the hospital to speak to him but due to the holiday weekend he couldn't be reached.
See my X-Rays. And... you can read technical junk about this kind of injury.

The cast stayed on for 4 ½ weeks.

The cast was cut in half on Sept. 30 and the top half removed and the bottom secured with an ace bandage. After one day, I removed the ace bandage because it was constricting my arm to the point of a lot of pain, and I secured the bottom splint with velcro bands. This felt much better.

On October 7th I started physical therapy. I have to go twice a week for 8 weeks. Hopefully, this will bring back the strength to my wrist and fingers. My fingers are very swollen and that stops me from making a fist or straigtening my fingers. Also, my wrist doesn't bend back or forward any. Nor can it move side to side.

UPDATE: Jan 6, 2004
After the initial 8 weeks @ twice a week therapy, I got a referral for another 16 sessions. Of those 16 I had 4 weeks @ twice a week and now am going once a week for the remainder 8 sessions. I don't think I'll need any more after that. Who knows? Just exercising on my own.

Wrist extension is 80 degrees and flexion is 20 degrees with radial sided pain on flexion. No telling for how long, or if it will ever be normal again. My fingers are not swollen any more and I can make a fist. Grip strength is only 45 degrees. Exercising with putty will improve that. Radial movement, turning hand palm down (pronation) is almost 100%. Turning palm up (supination) needs a little more work. Exercising hopefully will bring that back. It hurts to put weight on the wrist, like lifting heavy things, or supporting myself when, for example, getting up from sitting on the floor.

UPDATE: Feb 5, 2004
At this weeks physical therapy, I graduated to the green elements of excercise. Green elastic band, green putty, etc. I think those are the strongest. Also, my grip strength measured 55lbs. An improvement from the previous measures of 44 lbs. Last week I started bowling in my league again. I wear a wrist band (but then most professionals do) and that helps tremendously. The doctor said just put ice on it afterwards. Doesn't even hurt any more.

UPDATE: Mar 2, 2004
This was my last physical therapy session. All is well with the wrist. The extension is fine and the flexion is slowly getting better. Still may not be 100% but getting better with my own excercising. I will continue my own excercising and hopefully everything will be 100%. On March 9th, I was due for seeing the orthopedic Dr. again but due to the expiration of my referral the day before (after 3 months) I couldn't. But I did get to speak to him in the hallway and he said as long as there's no more pain and I can do everything I used to, there was no need to see him any more. I was also due for 2 more physical therapy sessions but they had to be cancelled too. I'm done. I went to say goodbye to therapists Michael and Marzena. They were all so nice. I will miss them.

UPDATE: Aug 29, 2004 (one year later)
I guess all is great. It's as good as it's gonna get. I am doing everything I used to do with no problem. I assume the flexion of the wrist will never go 100% but I accept that. And come to think of it, just how much do you really do with your wrist in that position? When it rains or when it's damp out, sometimes I feel a bit of discomfort in the wrist ... but then again, I'm 40 something and that's expected of once-fractured bones at that age. I'm in the second season back at bowling. I don't need to wear the wrist band any longer to hold the ball, nor do I need to ice the wrist anymore (haven't really done that much anyway)... And, I'm using my 12lb ball again. This is, and will be the last entry on the subject of my wrist. I thank all those who have written for, or with support. If any further detail is needed concerning fractured wrists from anyone reading this, please don't hesitate to write to me glen@glencharlow.com. I hope if one of those therapists who helped me read this, that they will write to me too.