View Full Version : Broken wrist - update

02-23-2013, 11:56 AM

Remember how I broke my wrist ice-skating on NYE and was told I wouldn't play an instrument for at least 10 weeks?

Well, after 6,5 long weeks of wearing a heavy, uncomfortable (yet purple and pretty) cast that prevented me from doing any housework (thank God for my lovely wonderfully helpful friends!), and from wearing long sleeves tops, tying up my snow boots and closing my coat during one of the most snowy winters Newcastle has ever had since I moved here, they finally took the cast off a week and a half ago and I finally got to find out which ones of my long list of ever-changing NHS doctors were right about my recovery: the ones who said I'd be back to normal as soon as the cast would be off and recommended I'd play lots of ukulele as finger fitness exercise (whoohoo!), or the ones who banned me from playing any instruments for a couple more months and said it'd take me a whole year to be completely recovered (noooo!!!!).

Turns out... I couldn't move my wrist at all when they took the cast off. Major disappointment. Couple of tears. Physio exercises as prescription and an appointment booked for in a month's time. And that was it :-/

I'm doing my best to do all the exercises I was given and try to make my wrist more flexible. It's improving a bit everyday, but I'm still very stiff and in a lot of pain, even when I'm not moving it at all, and I'm still not able to hold a uke properly. Maybe just a C chord if I lean forward and angle the uke towards my hand. I'm still very bruised and my forearm has zero muscles left. There's a bump on the same side as my pinky finger (where the non-broken wrist bone went off the way), and when I touch it my pinky goes numb. Weird.

Drumming with that wrist is also out of the question, so I'm learning how to do drum-kit patterns one-handed (works pretty well actually, except maybe for paradiddles and jungle beats haha - not fast enough! ... which is annoying when you had just planned on reuniting with your beloved samba band, but hey). No stiltwalking for me this year though. Might try lindy-hopping wearing a wrist-guard on my left hand but I'm a bit scared.

After all the great advices I had gotten from you guys, I am now a music theory expert haha ;) I tried fingerpicking but my cast was scratching the finish on the uke's neck so I stopped.

Haven't tried playing my dulcimer again yet, I feel I've had enough disappointment for a while.

So yeah, stay tuned. More (hopefully positive) medical updates to come in a few weeks!

Meanwhile I've been keeping myself occupied by starting my own business, which is quite exciting, although it will soon very much require me to have full use of both my hands in order to do the work :-S Most of it is completely un-uke-related but there's some top secret project I've got going on that may or may not involve ukuleles but I tell you more about it I'll have to kill you ;)

That's all for now folks!

(Below: me with my cast on right before they took it off, and me getting acupuncture to get rid of the pain and speed up the healing process.)


02-23-2013, 12:08 PM
Ouchie!!! Do you have a wrist brace to put on sometimes? You've probably had enough of immobility but I found it restful to wear one after a very bad sprain and chipped bone. Not all day but when my wrist got tired and I was sick of thinking about how I moved it and so on.

I hope your recovery goes quickly and smoothly.

02-23-2013, 12:18 PM
Aw, I feel your pain. I've broken both wrists at different points in my life. The second time was worse than the first; it was actually an arm bone and had to be reset--that wrist has a bump on it. It can take some time to get strength back and the soreness to go away. Just keep trying to exercise it. My first break was next to my right thumb, which supported the weight of my preferred instrument at the time, a clarinet. It took a while for that to feel better. I know, the cast comes off, it is exciting, but you aren't quite as good as new yet; it can be frustrating.

02-23-2013, 12:20 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your broken wrist! I broke mine about 7 years ago, and I was also surprised that it was stiff. I believe you will be back to normal sooner than you think, and I am able to play the ukulele just fine (as far as my wrist goes, anyway).
My thoughts are with you,

02-23-2013, 12:20 PM
Wishing you a speedy recovery...be sure not to overuse your hands/fingers. Most important you heal fully. Flexibility will return eventually with proper exercise. Watch videos, carefully observe strumming and picking techniques.....one way to learn.....observation, not the same as playing, but learning none-the-less.

02-23-2013, 02:15 PM
Thanks guys! Glad to hear some of you had the same problem and recovered from it. I mean not glad that you had it but glad that it went away or you know what I mean :)

I thought too that they'd give me a wrist brace but one doctor said I had to move my hand through the pain as much a possible and that keeping it still was the worst thing. Then another one said I should take it really easy and not overstrain myself, so I'm confused. It's hard to know which one to listen to, they keep contradicting themselves. "yes uke"... "no uke"... "1 year physio"... "no physio"... Sigh :wallbash:

ukuLily Mars
02-23-2013, 04:16 PM
Aaargh! You must be so frustrated with all those contradictions! Well, since I have absolutely no idea what you should do, I will simply keep you in my thoughts and prayers and wish you a thorough recovery.

I have had good experiences with acupuncture and I'm sure that will help with pain and speed up the healing. And as always, you are exhibiting that positive attitude you are so famous for! That when-everything's-flooded-I'll-buy-a-plastic-ukulele spirit. So... good luck with your new business!

02-23-2013, 06:05 PM
The muscles atrophy and movement is inhibited with a cast. Whenever you get a cast off you will have that experience. Hopefully, you regain some strength and mobility in the next few weeks.:D

02-24-2013, 01:15 AM
Hope so! Holding thumbs / crossing fingers for it to happen.

Lily: merci! I'm actually a rather grumpy person, not sure where you got that positive impression from lol

02-24-2013, 02:10 AM
Sorry to hear about your injury- keep up with the exercises and it'll return!

02-24-2013, 02:43 AM
Oh, so sorry to hear about all this! I somehow missed the news that you'd done it..... do persevere with the exercises and stay positive..... I know you will.....was it a pin and plate op that they did?

02-24-2013, 06:52 AM
Yowza... I've broken my collarbone twice and I know the frustration and pain of not being able to play while you are recovering (I only played guitar at the time). I wish you a speedy recovery, and I hope that you will be able to get back to playing the instruments you love soon!

02-25-2013, 12:11 AM
Thanks, it's indeed quite frustrating. I keep watching uke videos wishing it was me playing in them! :iwant:

Lesley: they talked about doing surgery at first but in the end chose to only use a cast. I had two doctors pulling each side of my arm to put things back into place before that, it was very weird to watch lol

Thanks for the support guys. I feel yous understand the pain of being kept away from the ukulele.

03-14-2014, 01:57 AM
I am surprised the kinda effort you have made even through your wrist was broken,People should get inspired from the sort of stuff you are doing buddy.Glad to read it because it has a lot to do with our health (http://nitinemr360.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/physical-therapy-business-physical-therapy-marketing/).

03-14-2014, 03:19 AM
I hope you make a full recovery, and regain full range of motion and flexibility in your wrist/hand/fingers. I'm glad you didn't require surgery. Slow, patient exercises will do wonders with time.

03-14-2014, 07:39 AM
That sucks, broken wrists are no fun! I'm glad you're on the mend now :)

05-08-2014, 01:54 AM
Hi Lalz,
How did you recover after your injury? Any longterm effects on your playing? Have you got any tips that helped you during your recovery?

I broke my left wrist 10 days ago, it is a non-displaced fracture of the distal end of the radius.

I'm really missing playing my ukuleles :(.

I don't have a traditional plaster cast though, it is an arm brace that can get wet (just need to use a hairdryer on it after showering).

I wish my physio had the pink polka dot version of the brace ;)

05-08-2014, 01:57 AM
You have the greatest incentive there is to healing your wrist..... playing your uke again.


05-08-2014, 02:51 AM

Remember how I broke my wrist ice-skating on NYE and was told I wouldn't play an instrument for at least 10 weeks?

So sorry you have to go through that :(

05-08-2014, 03:30 AM
Try and keep a positive attitude and hit those therapy exercises! I'm down right now with issues that keep me from doing a little more than laying and reclining. Been that way since 4/11. Had to cancel all our gigs (which I live for) or hire someone to replace me. I never been so down in my life. But you have to keep on trying! Things will get better for you if you keep at it!