I was feeling pretty good while I waited at the Fracture Clinic this morning. Seeing people at the start of their fracture recovery reminded me just how well my wrist has mended. So I sat there, reading some notes, then playing Spider solitaire on my ‘phone, while Lorraine talked on the television screen. Occasionally I did one of my wrist exercises.

The clinic was running late. It always runs late so far as I can tell. A notice reminds you that you should allow two hours for your appointment. There is a constant stream of people who have broken bits of themselves and a finite number of staff to deal with them. Still, most seem fairly accepting, knowing that their turn will come. In the early stages there are new x-rays to be taken, the plaster room to provide fresh strapping, the clinic physio to see. Today I was just waiting to see the consultant for the last time.

My turn came about an hour after the appointed time. The consultant was smiley. He looked at my x-rays; said again what a bad fracture it had been – the word smashed was used, not for the first time; he looked at the x-rays of the metalwork. I asked if I could photograph the screen as I am still waiting for my CD.

So here they are. Or at least some of them.

First up, my perfect wrist, x-rayed some years ago before I had surgery for carpal tunnel.

Perfect Wrist

Perfect Wrist

A fine example of delicate bones fitting nicely together to make this wonderfully articulated joint.

Next, my post break x-ray. It is taken from the other side of my hand, so you may want to reverse the image. However, you’ll see how things no longer line up neatly, and one bit of bone is protuding where it definitely does not belong.



Now for the x-ray which the consultants drool over, showing nifty repair work with plate and pins to join things up again and restore functionality. It reminds me of an old broom where most of the bristles are missing.


And finally, the repaired wrist again, but this time in profile. The alliterative shot.

Plate and Pins in Profile

Plate and Pins in Profile

So far so beautiful. But I left the clinic less happy than when I arrived. My bubble deflated, though not entirely burst. The consultant wanted to see my range of movement. I showed off my progress. He was impressed. I glowed proudly.That’s when he dropped, what was to me, the bombshell. He told me that he didn’t expect my range of movement to improve beyond where it is now. That is not in my plans. I want much more range and flexibility and my jaw dropped.

He did say that he would always err on the side of caution when forecasting how well things could go, and he would be delighted if I prove him wrong, also I would not be the first patient to do so. But again, he referred to the extent of the damage and how the cartilage and soft tissue is now also scarred. Basically, he primed me for acceptance.

I am reminding myself that when I was first in A&E they feared there was nerve damage. There isn’t. It could be much worse, but do hope the consultant is wrong, and a year from now I shall have full rotation and the block of wood feeling will be long gone.

Fingers crossed. And yes, I can do that.

27 thoughts on “X-Ra(y)ted

  1. Is that a hand in the top picture? There’s a lot more “floaty” bits in there than I would have imagined. Keep up the recovery. Doctors can be proved wrong by bloody-mindedness. There was a guy on The Apprentice who they told would never walk again (or something) but this only steeled his determination to prove them wrong. And he did.

    • Not just a hand, my hand. Complete with floaty bits.
      I guess doctors have to prepare you for the worst while helping you to acheiev the best. So I have a series of hand clinic appointments with the physios, I need to keep up my exercises, and trust that gradually thigs will improve.

  2. I sure hope you can prove that doctor wrong and get more range of motion and a more “normal” feeling in that area BUT you’re right – the blessing is no nerve damage……we adapt…..thankfully!


    • I am hoping Octavia will comment. I have obviously seen these X-rays a number of times, but usually fairly fleetingly. It is nice to be able to study them.

  3. I’m no expert – I’ve just had wrist xrays explained to me – but are a couple of those screws actually crossing into the joint area? That could account for the range of motion. On that cheery note, eventually the screws can come out if they become bothersome.

    I am quite impressed by the tectonic shift you achieved on your wrist bones with the crash. Isn’t it amazing that the bones heal at all?

    Keep flexing and pushing – I notice continuing incremental range of motion and most importantly strength. Not that I have ever been a fan of push-ups or downward facing dog, but that position is supposed to be the most stress you can put on a wrist. And now we have an excuse to do neither!

    • There was a concern about the screws but a scan showed they are not causing any obstruction. Thank goodness, or that would have been another op to remove them.
      I have never ever manage to achieve a push up!

  4. When I first started therapy, the surgeon’s assistant said I should achieve “70%” of previous mobility. Is that where you are now?

    I’ve gone way beyond that but my break was a small little line in the x-ray and not your fabulous array of damage.

    So happy to hear the screws are not an issue – one of mine is very close and the surgeon’s assistant obsessed about it each visit – requiring more X-rays.

    I would much like to compare and contrast if we make it over to visit later this year. Seems very different health care delivery systems provide the same outcome – but with different inputs from the user. For me it is money and for you it is time.

  5. I’m glad you are determined not to give up. I’m sure you will recover fully, with constant exercising to push your wrist to the edge of its possibilities, day after day.

    • I ache like crazy tonight, but that is three days of driving, and making a start scrubbing the boat’s window frames free from moss and goodness knows what this morning.
      I was amused to see the WordPress post about successful blogging: all numbers!

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