Objective for this article
- In (very rare) case you broke your wrist, this could be a reference while you plan your recovery and do rehab
- There are so many patterns of wrist injury and it would be very serious one, but if you keep your head up
- You can feel some sentiment of person who got injured and doing rehab. The process is not only painful, but the inflexibility after starting playing Pickleball take a toll on players mind, and it takes some time
- At this age, I am becoming so forgettable that I just wanted to keep record of the process 😉
It may sound weird, but I’m glad that I could experience large hospital with serious injury in US, including going through general anesthesia, INSURANCE AND PAYMENT etc.
The situation is described in a reverse chronological order so that you don’t get bored with the old story.
9/26/2022 (6 weeks after the injury) at hospital
- Healing nicely.
I could see an operation surgery for the first time since the surgery. But basically there is an another doctor who takes care the casting and healing processes.
This time, at Sutter Health in Mountain View (at the intersection of 82 and 85), the doctor is super nice lady who I really appreciate from the bottom of my heart.
- I did great rehab.
The goal was 40 degree bending for flexion and extension (I remember they called them “flex/reflex”), but I achieved 40 and 55 respectively.
Flexion side rehab was more painful… so that I sabotage a bit and I didn’t see a lot of progress. Hard (and painful) work matters here..
- I have to wait 4 more weeks to be able to play Pickleball (which I have already started actually…)
The reason is that when I grip the paddle firmly for long time, my wrist gets swollen and it would inflate tissues
-> For this matter, I would take “balanced approaches” in which I cool down my wrist after playing games, I massage it well in bath, drilling dinking rather than banging etc….
-> And the doctor told me to wait for THREE MONTHS three weeks ago. Their advices have been so inconsistent… (I assume there are too much variance for the recovery and it’s very hard to say what is “full recovery”)
- So, in short, my bone is fine now. The issue here is increasing and recovering the range of movement of wrist. It’s rather tendon and muscle issue.
- I might take out the plate from my arm, so that it won’t hinder movements of wrist and especially thumb
I have to wait to playing Pickleball for two weeks after the surgery…
And because my radius (=a long bone on thumb side) will have “holes”, it would be never safe to play games as falling down can break the bone around the holes!!
- Doctor told me that I no longer have to wear a wrist brace anymore!
9/19/2022 (right after the hospital) at Pickleball court in Mitchell Park
- Sorry Doc that I’m not obedient enough!
- Below is right hand base descriptions:
- Actually now I can hit put away/smash, but:
– the wrist is a bit slow than what my brain thinks so the ball tends to go high
– fast put-away was painful and the pain is lingering on the wrist and it is swelling
– backhand put-away is worse
- Still forehand -> backhand shift is slow, as it is a combination of wrist extension and rotation. Slightly painful too.
- Can’t hit lob shots well… painful, fearful and not enough muscle power
- Serve, return, drive shots and dinking are no problem
9/19/2022 week (5 weeks after the injury) at Pickleball drilling wall site
As I have practiced left hand so much and started to play with my right hand a little by little, I found out my backhand & double hand shots (right hand base) are so much better than before!
Pickleball God was with me, all the time!!
9/5/2022 at Pickleball court in Mitchell Park
Won a doubles rec game tournament with 8 players left-handed!
It was more like rec games and anyway left hand was tentative, however, I thought “how Pickleball is fun with other friends and players!“
Our club, Palo Alto Pickleball Club (PAPC) is nothing but awesome community!!
8/30/2022 (2 weeks after the injury) at hospital
It was my first time to know what the doctor did to my arm actually. On the day of surgery, after waking up from coma, since the hospital was too busy, I was pushed out with my wife who have (forced to be) waited there for four hours while I was carried on a wheel chair very quickly.
After taking X-ray, I was like:
Hey, Doc, you told me you would put “a pin or a plate” but for me actually it looks like a “wrench” or “spanner” in a toolbox!! It a was a bit shocking but somewhat funny to me.
There was a “cast room” dedicated for giving casts and braces to patients which I assume we don’t have in Japan. In US, a lot of things are specialized which makes quality of medical treatment so good, but makes things expensive. Pros and cons.
I told them “I want the cast to match my Selkirk paddle color!” and they did it for me. They are pro-Pickleball.
Aside from the joke, shocking thing was the rehab doctor told me that I have to WAIT THREE MONTH BEFORE PLAYING PICKLEBALL.
I was devastated.
8/25/2022 at Pickleball Tournaments website
Applied for a tournament of mixed doubles where I play left-handed.
A life should be a series of new challenges.
8/17/2022 at Pickleball drilling wall in Mitchell Park
- Started left hand drilling
- I couldn’t find meaning of doing it, but I wanted to avoid mental depression and the drilling eased my concerns
8/16/2022 at hospital
- Completed surgery successfully
8/13/2022 (The day I was injured) at Mitchell Park
- During a rec game, I saw a low rob shot coming straight to me
- Always I turn my body 90 or 180 degree to chase a lob shot, but this time it was low and a kind of fast
- I felt I was falling down!
- During the fall, I remembered at instance that I had an experience of hitting the back of my head badly, so I threw away the paddle and put my right hand behind me so that I can protect my head
- My hand was swollen as hell, skewed a bit and very painful…
- Glad that our court and club has icing packs!
- Went to ER driving my Tesla by myself
- Saw the top of my radius (bone) was so much cracked and shattered… at hospital
(You can see a “zigzag” there in X-ray picture..)
- So I got a cast
- Doctor told me it would take 6-8 weeks to be able to play Pickleball again
Mentally, it was devastating for me as I had played Pickleball literally 7 days a week to see improvement
What shall I do…..