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Thread: broken wrist

  1. #1
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    Default broken wrist

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    I broke my left wrist in a fall while roller skating. The radiologist report is here attached: wrist fracture radiology report-113020.jpg

    The doctor says it will take 4-5 weeks(!) to heal. I will schedule an appointment with an orthopaedist tomorrow, so we'll see what he says.

    I am assuming this means I will have to shut down all pressing and pulling for at least a few weeks. Can I still squat, at least? Any other recommendations? I appreciate any feedback, please.

  2. #2
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    You can squat, but you will probably have to switch to a high bar or safety bar variation. You can also use machines and dumbbells to train the right side of your body. Obviously, you will not be able to do the starting strength program with a broken wrist. Still, you can continue to exercise and progressively overload the other side of your body and legs. Doing this will likely reduce the total amount of detraining your left arm will experience. There are also psychological and habit maintenance benefits.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Nick! Most helpful.

    I would like to try to stick with LBBS if at all possible. Is the concern that I will be pressuring the wrist by putting it into some extension? FWIW, I always wrap my wrists for extra support at heavy weights anyway. Would doing so from the first warm-up on help mitigate that risk?

  4. #4
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    Unfortunately, there is going to be no way of avoiding compression of the carpal bones while performing low bar. It is not necessarily the bending back of the wrist that they are trying to avoid. It is more like force passing through the damaged tissue. You will likely need to use a variation to avoid this.

  5. #5
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    ok, thank you.

  6. #6
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    You're welcome!

  7. #7
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    Nick, I'm relieved to report that I received relatively good news during my follow-up examination with an orthopaedist. The gist is that the fracture iss both minimal and to perhaps the least consequential bone in the wrist. Per the doctor's notes: "Dorsal minimally displaced lunate avulsion fracture." As a result, he says I don't even need to splint or wrap my wrist during day or even during sleep, unless it brings comfort; and that I don't really risk making the injury worse, but that I might hold off just to avoid extending any pain or discomfort further into the future. (Pain right now is almost nonexistent, though my wrist definitely doesn't feel 100% right.)

    He suggests giving it a couple weeks and then easing back into my programming but with lighter weights, progressing based on how it feels and responds. He was especially encouraged by my plan to wear my wrist wraps tightly starting on my warm-up weights, and says biggest thing is to just be sure to keep my wrist neutral and not in extension. He doesn't see deadlifting presenting a problem, though pressing (and probably squatting) might present some discomfort.

    So, I will give it another week or so and then ease back into it. Hopefully, I will be back to full speed by end of the month!

  8. #8
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    This is great news! Thanks for the update. I would just ease back into training slowly in a couple of weeks. I think you are going to be good to go sooner than you think

  9. #9
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    Hi Nick -

    This morning was my first attempt at full workout with still-recovering wrist. I have a high pain threshold, but the low bar squat was just too much, unfortunately. I shifted to high bar squat and that felt much better, even if awkward otherwise. I then tried to bench but decided to quit after 135. My wrist just isn't up to the compressive forces yet, and I don't want an even more significant setback. I finished benching one-armed dumbbell for sets of 10 reps. I also decided not to risk it with deadlifts. Instead, I tried single leg RDLs. A bit awkward working the left leg, but I solved that by resting my left hand on a plate tree for balance. I'm thinking I'll just do this workout every time until the New Year (alternating in single arm DB presses overhead). What do you think? Should the set-rep scheme be different with this unilateral work (and HBBS)?

  10. #10
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    I would keep the reps slightly higher than normal strength training for this type of thing. Say something in the 6-12 neighborhood. I think that 1-2 warm-ups and 2-4 working sets are fine. The goal here is to keep the habit of exercise, reduce the detraining effect to your left arm, keep your mind right, and possibly get a hypertrophy benefit. I would not overthink it or push your limits while it's healing. Prioritize staying consistent.

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