The pain is felt along the pinky side of the wrist, in the pinky and index finger, and also impacts the ulnar nerve, which runs along the pinky side of the arm (ulnar side). I have pain in all of these areas. Only over the last few days have I been able to move my pinky without serious pain.
|The small bone highlighted in red is the hamate|
Now, most people might think that getting the news that your wrist is broken is a bad thing, but I was super happy. I would much prefer a broken bone to ligament damage (and surgery). The bone will heal much faster.
|This is not my image, but you can see in this picture the "hook" which has fractured|
However, I'm not completely out of the woods yet. The hamate bone has a real "hook" that's why it's called the hook of the hamate. The hook is generally what breaks. 50% of these fractures do not heal and require surgery to excise the bone fragment (the hook piece) - especially if the fracture was not diagnosed early. The hook also has some ligaments attached to it.
So, for me, when I went to the ER they thought it "might" be broken and I was casted the first week as a precaution. But week 2, I went to see a Sports Med Dr who told me there was no indication of a break on the X-Ray. I was told it was a sprain and the best thing I could do was start "moving" it. This is, of course is the exact opposite of what you do for a break. So during week 2, I took my hand in and out of the splint several times a day attempting to move it, which was extremely painful. After 4 or 5 days of this, I decided on my own, I need to stabilize the wrist, because this was just causing too much pain. However, I was sleeping without the splint for most of this period. I would wrap my wrist, but that was all.
After my MRI, my Dr's advice was to wear the wrist splint 24/7 and I go back in a few weeks for a follow-up. I'm hopeful that it will heal, but I'm thinking the chances may not be that great. However, I did read that the surgery is a rather simple one and many people resume normal activity very quickly. And I will say I've seen notable improvement over the last 3 or 4 days.
Lastly I will leave you with a quick word about a wrist MRI. It IS THE WORST THING EVER!!!! I have had a few MRI's before (unfortunately). Usually the main concern is claustrophobia from being in such a confined space. I am slightly claustrophobic and always get a bit nervous. Claustrophobia was not a concern for this. I wish I had a picture so you could visualize the position I had to get into for this MRI. You basically lie on your stomach in "super-man" position. You know the workout move for your core and back. There is a little donut shaped hole that you put your wrist it. Your shoulder is completely extended and elevated above your head, while you are laying on your stomach. From the moment I got into this position it was uncomfortable, but I wasn't prepared for how painful it would become after just a few minutes. My shoulder and shoulder blade hurt incredibly bad. The MRI took about 35 minutes. Within 10 minutes I was crying. I was terribly embarrassed to by crying. I felt ridiculous. But I was in so much pain and felt completely helpless. I have never cried during a medical procedure before EVER. I didn't even cry when I had the wreck.
If you have ever had an MRI then you know you can't move. If you move then they just have to redo the testing. All I wanted was just to have it done and over with. So I kept enduring it. The technician kept trying to reassure me that she knew it was painful, but I needed to stop moving. ARGH. When I had finally had all I could take, and was about to tell them I had to come out of the MRI she told me to just be patient for 3 more minutes and we were done. So I sucked it up and got through those last few minutes. My shoulder hurt for 3 days after the procedure. I tried to read up about this online and it is a common way to do a wrist MRI, and it indicates it can be very uncomfortable and even painful especially if you have a shoulder injury (which I do to this shoulder). But, I also read that there are many things the technician can do to make you more comfortable and that I likely just had someone unfamiliar with how to prep me for a wrist MRI. I warn you if you ever need one....call around and make sure they know what they are doing, or better yet use a different methodology all together. They don't have to use this method, it just gives them better images.
The good news is if I do need any follow-up images, since it's bone fracture, a CT scan is a better test than an MRI, and the tests are much quicker.
So there's where I am....I'm stilling hoping for a miracle to be able to do my first tri in a few weeks....but I'm facing reality that it is very doubtful. I will be super happy if I can just do the second one I planned at the end of June....that's another full month away.