Goodbye Tennis!

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by john blackman, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. john blackman

    john blackman New User

    Jan 13, 2011
    Just got back from the hand surgeon today with bad news. After the mri, x ray, etc. the result was a torn or damaged scapho/lunate ligiment. Im not sure all the problems are because after she told me what was wrong I didnt listen very well but she said the operation was succesful only 10% of the time and I would have pins in wrist for weeks with a cast and the healing time is 1 yr. I can hit groundies all day long with no problem with pain but the problem is serving. My question to anyone out there is there a devise that can be put on the wrist to keep from moving down when serving. I have tried taping, all the wrist bands out there, changing serve techniques etc all to no avail. Knew I had this problem for year and have hurt wrist trying different methods. Help, if anybody knows a fix. Thanks
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Oct 1, 2005
    Trick = underhand serve
  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida
    Play with your other arm?
  4. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Nov 24, 2004
    Your wrist doesn't need any trauma while healing, and playing with an injured wrist increases the risk of traumatic arthritis because of the altered motion.
  5. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    I'm sorry to hear of your problem.

    Your experience of fogging out on the details is a very common one.
    Once the worry of how serious a condition is, and that surgery is needed, it is almost impossible to concentrate on every word and retain it.
    You may want to request a copy of the assessment from your doctor's office to make sure you have all the details, and you have them straight. (If your doctor dictates all her notes, it may take several days for the transcription to be completed, then for him to review it and it get into your chart.)

    Critical to whether you need surgery is whether there is a gap between the scaphoid and lunate bones of the wrist, as indicated by the red arrow in the x-ray below:


    If such a gap is found, then it indicates that there is a complete (grade 3) tear in the ligament connecting the two bones and that surgery is indicated.

    I found the above at the following hand surgeon's web site from a Google image search, but his explanation of the problem and why and how treatment is carried out seems quite clear and direct:

    Another good site for information appears to be sportsmd

    You may be interested in reading all of this thread on a weightlifting site, but here is one response:

    "Just had this surgery
    I had the same problem as you. I tore the same ligament while deployed last year. It took nearly a year and 6 doctors to get a proper diagnosis and only found it during exploratory surgery. They cut open my hand and repaired the ligament and put in a couple of pins in my hand. I'm in a cast for 2 months and then a couple months of therapy.

    The most important thing is to find the best hand surgeon you can. You will likely regret it if you don't. Mine was the head of the hand and wrist clinic at Vanderbilt University Hospital. I should be able to start lifting again in 6 months. My other option was living with pain and lifting light for the rest of my life. I wasn't even given the other options. This was the only course of action they wanted to take. They expect a full recovery. So, you can try to live with the pain and in 6 months wish you had the surgery or you can take action. Please take my word for it when I say find the best dr. you can. It makes a huge difference. Since it has been 4 months since you posted, maybe you did have something done. If not and you want updates on how well my recovery is going, I'll be happy to let you know.

    God bless!


    I would echo getting a second opinion from a hand surgeon who does a lot of these repairs - likely you will have to go to a major medical center to get this.
    (Maybe your surgeon does do a lot of these repairs - did you ask her?)

    The reason for a second opinion also would be more than just to see someone else who could do the surgery. There might be a chance that an alternative for non-surgical repair is present.
    Finally, you would be going into the office better armed with knowledge and in a better state of mind to have a real discussion and to ask questions, rather than being understandably floored as in your last appointment.

    Another alternative is to reschedule another visit with the hand surgeon you already saw. Again, armed with more knowledge and in a better frame of mind could result in a much different kind of visit.
  6. john blackman

    john blackman New User

    Jan 13, 2011
    There is no doubt about the dianosses. The doctor is the hand spec. for the
    u of Va sports program and she has seen many of these problems and since I know a person at the hospital there was another speciaalist in the meeting to
    confirm her dianoses. As charliefederer indicated with x ray They pointed out
    the exact same spot with the arrow as I had the gap. It actually looked like my xray. I do not have any pain now as its been over 6 months since I hurt it.
    The drs. said play tennis with your small kids or have opr. Again, I can hit off the ground with 4.5 players for hours but they are not going to go with underhanded serves. I need for someone to help me find a device that makes
    me incapable of breaking my wrist downward on a serve. I know Im nuts but want to play without a opr and cast. Sorry for misspelled word and grammer. hanks
  7. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

    Nov 19, 2010
    Learn to serve with other arm, you wouldn't be the first or the last to have to learn this, it is really not a big deal.....unless you make it one.
  8. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    It sounds like you have had expert evaluation.

    It is understandable you don't like what you've been told.

    Give it some time.

    I think you are going to be very frustrated trying to serve with a wrist brace.

    I don't think there is going to be anything that really works.

    Probably the closest is Brad Gilber's "Wrist Assist":

    The problem is that ulnar deviation at the wrist during a serve occurs passively as a result of the powerful forces built up during the swing.

    Wearing such a device is going to really change your serve, and would only provide a limited level of protection.

    Did your hand surgeon mention that continued tennis playing is likely to result in "arthritic changes" along the bones in the wrist, with abnormal rubbing resulting in misshapen bones with ragged edges?

    Once the "arthritic changes" occur, it is my understanding that successful surgery is much more unlikely.

    And the potential for chronic everyday pain also goes up.
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    Couple guys nailed it. Play with your other hand.
    As a guy who's broken 4 clavicals and suffered numerous dislocates and separates of the shoulders, it's easy to learn to serve with the other hand.
  10. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

    May 10, 2012
    How did the injury occur? Hope you find a way to work around it. Add me to the serve with the left hand chorus. Good luck!
  11. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

    Sep 19, 2006
    One of my friends had chronic arm/shoulder issues and spent hours and hours practicing left-handed serves, left-handed forehands and left-handed backhands. His arm/shoulder eventually got better so that he can play normally now but it was pretty painful on the other side playing against someone trying to go to the other arm.

    Yes, it's easy to say but it takes a ton of dedication and work to get your game up to 4.5 with the other hand and your 4.5 friends won't really want to play against you while you're going through that either.

    If I lost my right arm, I suppose that I would try the left but I think that it would take a few years to get near where I play on the right.
  12. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

    Jan 27, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, I may try going lefty just for ***** and gigs in practice. If nothing else it breaks to monotony.
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    Gee, it's really hard to play tennis with my other hand......
    What did you think? You thought you could achieve your current level using the other hand in one year? What? Where you a 3.0?
    How long did it take to get to your level with your good hand? Takes that long with your other hand!
    Or for some people who aren't ambidextrious, never.
  14. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

    Aug 19, 2010
  15. waves2ya

    waves2ya Rookie

    Mar 10, 2005
    Give it some time. Be patient. You may be surprised.

    Maybe not - but you've nothing to lose. I'd watch aggressive remedy here; once they go in its the other side of the looking glass for ya...
  16. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

    Aug 6, 2006
    I strongly suggest against using something to fix your wrist so that you can serve withy our condition. Even if you did, other parts in your arm will compensate, and you will develop other problems.

    There are so many ways to play tennis without serving. You can play baseline points. You can do drills where one is up at the net and you have to pass him. You rotate every 5 points. There is also the Djokovic game (youtube it).
  17. Prodigy1234

    Prodigy1234 Rookie

    Apr 5, 2012
    Try Mizuno Powerlock 5 inch wristbands, they're supposed to keep your wrist from moving.
  18. gully

    gully Semi-Pro

    Feb 22, 2004
    Two guys in my little hometown had to re-learn to serve and play with the non-dominant hand because of accidents; both did pretty well, 4.5 level. It wasn't easy for either of them, but it's what they had to do to play.

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