wrist injury--continue playing???

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by tennismom10, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. tennismom10

    tennismom10 New User

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    My 17 year-old daughter is a senior in high school. She plays at the level of a 4.0 woman. She just started her tennis season, but for a few months her wrist has been bothering her. Yesterday, she had an MRI and the results were a strain involving her meniscal homologue and they suspect a small focal tear of the scapholunate ligament. These are in the TFC area, but the TFC was intact. So here's my question. If my daughter got a cortisone shot and didn't play for three weeks (she hasn't played for two) and reduced the pain, will she cause more damage to her wrist if she played just until the beginning of May? We'll see her doctor on Monday, but I don't really like him, so I'm getting a second opinion on Thursday. I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with playing with an injured wrist. Of course, I would not let her play if playing caused more damage. Thanks--TM10
     
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  2. hewittfan3

    hewittfan3 Rookie

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    hey tennis mom...you should look up tonlars...he is a member on the forum and a friend of mine. He is also a very good player. However, he suffered a wrist injury like 6 months ago and is just starting to play again. Im pretty sure he has learned a lot about his injury and other wrist related injuries. I would really recommend contacting him. First look him up and then e-mail him. I guarentee you he could help you...Hope everything works out
     
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  3. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I play at a high level, with a bad wrist, which will never be 100% again without surgery.

    I listen to my own body, and if it acts up, I will take a couple of days off so a little thing doesn't become a big one.

    You can look into equipment, as well as her strokes for some relief.

    If she is feeling sharp pain, then obviously stop.

    Make certain she warms up easily and stretches well. Don't try to hit hard until she is warm. Ice after playing if sore. Splinting it at night also helps some.

    I personally, wouldn't let anyone within a country mile of my wrist with cortisone.

    Always feel free to ask me anything else, here or send a private e-mail.

    J
     
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  4. tennismom10

    tennismom10 New User

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    wrist injury--continue playing??

    Thanks for the advice!!

    J011yroger--why do you hate cortisone shots??
    TM10
     
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  5. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I am not big on dulling pain at all. I want to know what is going on in my body. If something hurts, I let it hurt. Pain is there because something is wrong, and needs attention to be paid to it.

    The only time I will take something is if I have an important match and my back is stiff/locked up preventing me from serving. Other than that, I would rather hurt.

    Cortisone if overused damages the tendons and ligaments in the body, and is especially dangerous in small areas like the wrist, where the stuff isn't very big to begin with. Your shoulder or back is made of stronger stuff and wouldn't be affected as much. But I think cortisone shots weaken the areas and do more harm than good, unless it is a one time thing to let an injury heal.

    Personally, I think that way too many shots are given out, any time something hurts and the docs are not sure what is going on, they fire up a cortisone shot just to shut you up and make you not hurt anymore.

    Kind of like if I told my wardrobe manager that shirt was wrinkled, and she put a blindfold on me instead of ironing my shirt. My shirt is still messed up, I just can't see it now.

    Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor, but an auto mechanic/tennis player who is not really big on doctors/hospitals on the whole. So my opinions are certainly biased.

    J
     
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  6. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

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    i have heard of mixed opinions on cortisone shots. i think listening to your doctor's opinion would be the smartest (or the second opinion if it is different).

    my question is what will happen if your daughter doesn't play this season? is a scholarship riding on it or something like that? if not i don't see any reason to put her in a dangerous situation. i played through tons of injuries throughout high school (football) and will be paying for it the rest of my life...
     
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  7. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

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    i am kind of like you about the pain thing. don't like to pop pills and would rather feel the pain (to some extent). but you don't want to put your body through too much pain for too long... it isn't healthy. i also know what it is like trying to keep a high schooler from playing a sport they love. but like i said earlier i wouldn't put my kids at the risk of serious injury... a high school sport usually is not worth it.
     
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  8. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    My wrist would probably be a lot better now if I had just stopped playing entirely and kept it in a splint for 3 months instead of trying to play when I couldn't turn a doorknob without nearly passing out from the pain.

    J
     
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  9. tennismom10

    tennismom10 New User

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    wrist injury--continue playing??

    Don't worry, as much as my daughter wouuld like to play, I won't let her play unless her doctor says it is O.K. She does have the opportunity to play in college, so she does need to get her wrist better. Thanks for everyone's advice. TM10
     
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  10. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    Hey there, sorry to hear about the injury. Hewittfan is right, and actually the scapholunate ligament injury is the exact thing I tore so I have a decent idea of the situation. From my experience (and maybe I injured mine much worse than your daughter) I was unable to play at all after the injury occured, due to alot of pain, and instability. The thing was though, It didnt exactly occur all at once, although it did for the most part. I had strained it from catching a backhand volley very awkwardly in October of '06. It hurt quite a bit initially for the first week or 2, but then I continued to play without it bothering me at all when playing for a long time, until my major injury of it in August of '07. It only had bothered me when I would try to lift something heavy from underneath, or really tighten my wrist while extending the fingers out. I suspect I strained it initially in a similar way to which your daughter has. If you could, please tell me more about how the injury happened exactly. Especially, was it gradual, or did it start at a certain point?

    I then injured it in August on a jumping overhead smash, that basically happened because I completely missed the ball which wouldnt slow down my wrist, and from being up in the air I was trying to really send the ball down by snapping my wrist. I got surgery a matter of weeks after that. So from my experience, it sounds like something could happen to her like it happened to me eventually, that would be much more serious. Although she could probably continue to play for a very long time before it happens, at some point she could really hurt it and make it very bad like I did, which could require surgery. If she actually has a ligament tear like that, I dont see how a cortisone injection is the right choice. Unlike JollyRoger, I had 2 cortisone injections for different more minor injuries, and I definitely see them as very useful and really like a miracle, but ONLY in the right situations. Situations such as tendonitis or bursitis to relieve the pain, and then try to heal with physical therapy. Serious injuries like this that can get worse make dulling pain a bad idea as he said.

    You will have to see what the doctor has to say, and definitely get a second opinion. My first opinion from the doctors at the tournament staff was inaccurate. It will probably depend on the extent of the tear. I didnt see anyone when I strained my wrist at first, and maybe there would have been something I could have done at that point to try to fix the problem so I wouldnt have torn it almost a year later making it a much larger problem. I basically didnt hit a ball for 7 months since the injury, and even now although I can hit at moderate pace, I dont have alot of strength there and every shot I hit is a bit painful. I was a very serious player and now I may never be able to play like I used to (but im holding out hope that eventually with time and therapy I can). Do what you can to fix the problem now so it doesnt get torn worse later.
     
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  11. tennismom10

    tennismom10 New User

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    Thanks tonlars--
    My daughter's pain started in December. She started taping her wrist, but I didn't think that it was anything serious. She played a lot of tennis in December, including a week-long camp. She took a couple of weeks off in January--college visits. On February 8th, I took her to an orthopedic hand specialist. He put her in a splint. She started tennis tryouts and stopped playing about two weeks ago. She didn't have anything dramatic happen to her like you did. Her MRI results reads "triangular fibrocartilage appears intact...meniscal homologue likely reflecting partial tear or strain..the scapholunate ligament...suspcious for a small focal tear." I think this sounds like an injury that can heal without surgery, but I don't know how long it would take. Of course, her high school team has a shot at taking the state title. Any chance she can start playing in 3-4 weeks? Thanks again, TM10
     
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  12. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    Yeah, itd be interesting to know if it started hurting after one particular shot, or over time from hitting a certain type of shot. Anyways like I said, after some rest I was able to play with minimal pain after a couple weeks, and after that I played without even thinking about it for a little short of a full year.

    She could very well continue to play, but then again if its vulnerable its just a matter of risk in that eventually she could seriously damage it like I did since it is weak from the strain. It could happen in a couple weeks, a couple years from now, or get lucky and never hurt it like I did. But almost one year after the initial strain like I had, in my opinion, is a long time, so depending on the severity of your daughters wrist it may unfortunately not be an issue of giving it time; it could still happen later.

    If possible, try to do something proactively in treating it. Although to be honest if it were me, on a good team as a senior and with college playing potential, Id probably play out the season and then take a long time off and focus on fixing the wrist by going to a hand specialist. Hopefully something can be done in the meantime while she is still playing. If its not a bad tear, perhaps rest and physical therapy could heal it. Thats why I say, get the doctors opinion and find out more about how bad that tear is and what it all means.
     
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  13. seb85

    seb85 Rookie

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    Although I don't have any experience with wrists personally, I'm gonna chime in and say that I too dislike the idea of cortisone. In someone so young it is very important to find the root of the problem whilst there is still time to heal the injury properly. Cortisone simply masks simptoms so should only be used if you are 100% sure that the injury will heal without rest or intervention. Or, conversely, won't heal. (usually only in older folks)

    I suffered an injury to my shoulder when I was 11 that eventually went away on its own without proper diagnosis. I'm sure that this is the root of a complex shoulder/elbow/nerve problem that i've been having this year (Im now 22). The point is that i will be compensating for the rest of my life (by working out, stretching etc) because i didn't get that previous injury properly sorted out. Children's bodies are brillient at compensating for injuries by modifying movements to use other muscle groups. These modified movements are an evolutionary response in a time when an injury might otherwise have meant death. It should be no suprise that these modified movements are not as efficient as the originals and can cause problems when the body become fully grown.

    Playing through injuries is dangerous and should only be done if you are absolutely sure. It sounds like you are on the right track by getting a second opinion.

    Good luck

    Seb :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2008
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  14. topsltennis

    topsltennis Semi-Pro

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    I have played through some pretty painful wrist episodes. Most recently the swelling got bad enough to where it was actually making a creaking sound. I forged through it and somehow I am now pain free in that area. I also have a sports hernia (a muscle tear in the abdomen) which I continue to play with. It may not be smart, but sometimes you can play through injuries.
     
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  15. steeil

    steeil New User

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    scapholunate tear-need to repair it

    I recently was diagnosed with a scapholunate ligament tear. I am 52 and injured it playing tennis. Long story short, surgeons here not giving me a good prognosis to fix this. One said surgeries out there can't help me go back to playing tennis, thus said ligament gone can't hurt it worse, keep playing and eventually he wants to fuse the bones. Second surgeon says I CAN injure it worse, not to play and immediately have surgery but yes best case scenario is 40-50% ROM. I am determined to make it back to the tennis court, so want to make sure before I have anyone touch my wrist they are the BEST at what they do. Not like a knee where everyone seems to have someone, wrist here is California, nobody I know has known anyone with a wrist injury??? Any help on this would be appreciated
     
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  16. steeil

    steeil New User

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    were you able to repair your tear and return to the tennis court?
     
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  17. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    ice, heat, glucosamine, manganese, gelatin, liquid or powder calcium with magnesium.
     
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  18. ironicqueery

    ironicqueery Rookie

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    I see this is a revived old thread, but I'd love to hear any updates on people with a scapholunate injury and how it went. I had a TFCC injury and surgery, but my wrist is still messed up and the doctor is recommending I go see someone else because he doesn't know what's up. I'm suspecting something with the scapholunate ligament.
     
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  19. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Be aware of this variation of a TFCC injury. The ligament can split parallel to its length and for many years it was missed.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=454753

    There are many long threads with information on wrist injuries in this forum.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455997
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
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  20. moonballs

    moonballs Hall of Fame

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    I don't fully agree with some of the sentiments toward cortison shots. It is not a pain killer. It is very effective if the pain is caused by immflamation. It is really repeated use from re injuries that is bad.
     
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  21. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I wish I understood cortisone better. Most references indicate pain relief but also some risk especially if the injection is too near the injury site. Most of what I read does not indicate that cortisone has a positive effect after a period of time, say, for example, after 6 months. Don't trust my view but do your own research. It's best to find research from neutral sources.

    Have you seen references that indicate you are better off after 3 months for having taken cortisone?

    The subject of inflammation is complicated and I don't understand it. I believe that there is necessary and positive inflammation, particularly in cleaning up the damaged tissue in a new injury, removing blood, torn tendon tissue, etc. For chronic on-going conditions inflammation is probably much more complicated. That research is very complicated. Search 'endthesis' for chronic tendon injuries. I guess there is destructive inflammation that's painful and serves no purpose, but who knows? My impression is that all inflammation is viewed in a somewhat similar way by people with injuries. I don't agree with that.

    In the confusion about injuries and what to do I believe that pain is a very positive thing especially for avoiding stresses in athletics. If I could get a cortisone shot so that my joint injury would feel good for 3 months so that I could play tennis, I see that as a mistake and an increasing risk of chronic injury.

    Recently, I heard a TV announcer talking about a tennis player with an injury during a tennis match. She described taking some common pain killers so that the player could continue after the pill 'kicked in'. No one knew what the injury was. If I had a ligament torn by rolling my ankle I would not want to try it to see how it would do. Maybe they could at least start doing quick sonograms on court to see if something obvious is there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
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