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busted scaphoid & 2nd opinions

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Back in the begining of Feb. I took a hard airborne fall and broke my scaphoid. 


Went to the ortho....


Xrays... nothing conclussive...


MRI.... show broken scaphoid and put in a splint for 6 weeks.


6 weeks later... more xrays, doc says you are healed surgery not needed.  I complained the pain was just as brutal .  I was told I had arthriits developing and bad bone bruising.


Sent to phys therapy.....12 visits and no improvement, pain and no flex in wrist..


Call the doc again and am told to just take ibuprofen  ( im allergic and this is on my chart)


Back to the doc & he says we will send me for a CAT scan... this shows complete seperation of scaphoid.


I go to a hand  specialist and he states it is clear in all xrays, etc that it was always broken and surgery is needed asap.  Also that I never should have been in therapy as it was always broken.  I brought all my xrays to him and he showed me in all sets where the seperation was cleary viewable.


So had a screw and bone graft last week and casted...


My lesson learned.....  2nd opinions are worth it.....


Cheers  Karl

post #2 of 7

wow karl, that's scary to hear about the missed diagnosis especially when its the scaphoid as i hear they don't always heal super well (my dad the radiologist would be unimpressed).  I follow motorcycle road racing and that's a common injury that is sometimes career ending for racers when its on the throttle hand due to the need for the finite wrist movements.  Glad you followed up with a specialist and hope to hear you're a 100% soon!



post #3 of 7

These are very difficult to visualize on X-ray. there was a study in one of the ortho journals describing the use of MRI for evaluating scaphoid fractures greatly increasing sensitivity. Hopefully you heal well, sorry to hear that your ortho doc missed the signs. At least he sent you to a hand surgeon, albeit a little late.


post #4 of 7
Ortho specialists are important. A guy who makes his living off soft tissue and cartilage on knees and shoulders might well miss something subtle in the bone-packed wrist or foot. Sorry you had to suffer!

Back in college a runner friend had a stress fracture in her foot which the first radiologist ad GP missed because he thought it was just an old healed break and was diagnosed as a soft tissue injury. She hobbled and hardly slept for over 2 months before she went back, saw an orthopedic guy who had a better picture taken, and was properly diagnosed and casted.
post #5 of 7

Studies show that fully 50% of all graduating doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class.


Doc missed my double fracture of the scaphoid and the Capitate fracture that had the head of the capitate broken off and rotated a full 180 degrees so that the end of the capitate was sitting next to the break.nonono2.gif

post #6 of 7

I fractured my scaphoid playing volleyball about four years ago. It hurt bad, but I figured it was just a sprain. Taped it up and went back to playing a week or so later. It was sore and weak a lot. After over two years I went to the doctor. Took X-rays said it was a text book case of scaphoid fracture, and sent me for a bone scan to determine the severity of the fracture. Found out I was allergic to the bone scan dye when I temporarily went blind, passed out, and woke up with temporary deafness. On top of that bone scan came back negative--no fracture. Doc. actually told me he thought it was all in my head (one of his employees later told me the doctor had a tendency to be a d*ck). 


He decided to send me for an MRI anyhow. He told me he was wrong and that it was indeed fractured and sent me to an occupational therapist. The occupational therapist read the report to me and told me not only had a fractured it, I had done so multiple times (it was a miracle the bone didn't collapse he told me), I also had bone bruising on all the carpal bones (still bruised two+ years later), had a micro-tear on the tendon running into my thumb, and had cysts between the lunate and caputate (sp?) bone causing even more swelling. I still tape it up for various sports like walleyball. Finally can play volleyball without it, but if I bend it the wrong way once, I'll end up having to tape it again. This year was the first year I could ski without having pain and swelling from poling. Lesson learned go to the doctor when you hurt things before they get much worse.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I don't know if I should feel good or bad that I am not the only one dealing with this kind of thing...lol
Anyway back for more xray s tomorrow and hopefully just 2-3 more weeks in a cast Yaaaaa!
BTW ... if this ever happens to anybody, ask about a delta cast . It is a hard cast but they split it vertically and then velcro strap it. Allows you to remove for bathing, awesome...

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