Fractured Hook of Hamate -- The Road To Recovery

mightyrick

Legend
I thought I'd tell this short story.

About three months ago, I was hitting a forehand playing a tennis match and felt an excruciating pain. Extreme pain on the side of the hand (pinky side) where the palm meets the wrist and also pain on the pinky side of the palm. I rested for a few days afterwards and then it felt better. So I went back to playing. After about 15 minutes of playing, the pain started again and got progressively worse. I could only sustain hitting sessions for maybe an hour until the pain was excruciating.

This cycle lasted for a month. The fact that it "got better" only to relapse was very misleading. I went to see a hand specialist. He took X-rays. All showed negative. He suspected a TFCC tear and did not want to do an MRI or give me an injection. He recommended I take an entire month off tennis and then come back to see him. I took the entire month off. Then I went back out on the court because my hand was feeling great. Same thing. Started hurting after 15 minutes. Excruciating after an hour.

I went back to see the Doctor. He ordered an MRI. Wouldn't you know it. The radiologist got a nice picture of a fractured hook of the hamate bone -- with marrow edema in the distal areas of the palm causing pressure and swelling. So I had surgery two weeks ago to have the broken hook removed. Here are a pic of my hand after I just got my cast off today and a pic of my slick wrist brace taking the place of the cast.



Anyways, to all TTW-ers, I wanted to just recommend that if you have any kind of recurring hand or wrist pain at all, GO SEE A DOCTOR. And if possible, GET THE MRI. My doctor was absolutely shocked that I had a broken hamate bone instead of a TFCC tear. They both present with almost identical symptoms. He also told me there are other things (such as Guyon's Canal Syndrome) which present like TFCC tears -- but obviously aren't TFCC-related. But you need an MRI in order to confirm this. So graciously ignore friendly diagnoses from your buddies and go see that doctor.

Here's hoping I get back to 100% in 6 more weeks.
 
Last edited:

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I thought I'd tell this short story.

About three months ago, I was hitting a forehand playing a tennis match and felt an excruciating pain. Extreme pain on the side of the hand (pinky side) where the palm meets the wrist and also pain on the pinky side of the palm. I rested for a few days afterwards and then it felt better. So I went back to playing. After about 15 minutes of playing, the pain started again and got progressively worse. I could only sustain hitting sessions for maybe an hour until the pain was excruciating.

This cycle lasted for a month. The fact that it "got better" only to relapse was very misleading. I went to see a hand specialist. He took X-rays. All showed negative. He suspected a TFCC tear and did not want to do an MRI or give me an injection. He recommended I take an entire month off tennis and then come back to see him. I took the entire month off. Then I went back out on the court because my hand was feeling great. Same thing. Started hurting after 15 minutes. Excruciating after an hour.

I went back to see the Doctor. He ordered an MRI. Wouldn't you know it. The radiologist got a nice picture of a fractured hook of the hamate bone -- with marrow edema in the distal areas of the palm causing pressure and swelling. So I had surgery two weeks ago to have the broken hook removed. Here are a pic of my hand after I just got my cast off today and a pic of my slick wrist brace taking the place of the cast.



Anyways, to all TTW-ers, I wanted to just recommend that if you have any kind of recurring hand or wrist pain at all, GO SEE A DOCTOR. And if possible, GET THE MRI. My doctor was absolutely shocked that I had a broken hamate bone instead of a TFCC tear. They both present with almost identical symptoms. He also told me there are other things (such as Guyon's Canal Syndrome) which present like TFCC tears -- but obviously aren't TFCC-related. But you need an MRI in order to confirm this. So graciously ignore friendly diagnoses from your buddies and go see that doctor.

Here's hoping I get back to 100% in 6 more weeks.
Jeeze ... that happened from tennis? Hope you heal quick ... hope you typed this with your left hand. Then again ... maybe it's PT.
 

mightyrick

Legend
Did the hand specialist do any other physical exam on you besides just ordering X-rays?
He palpated my hand and wrist in several different ways. He did eliminate the possibility of a TFCC tear based on that. But he also ruled out a hamate break based on that, too. His palpation for the Hamate break just didn't hurt me at all. Obviously the MRI proved different.

He did tell me that I was the first hamate break he's personally seen from tennis play. Which was another reason he leaned away from that diagnosis.
 

markm778

New User
So I have the same issue from playing golf.
See the fracture where the pen is pointing?



I cut my diagnose time to 45 days. Thought it was fracture from the get go. 2 weeks of alieve, then Cortizone shots. That brought on a MRI where the fracture was found. Having surgery on February 27to remove the bone.

Hope to be playing golf by May/June.

Please update the thread to let us know how soon you start playing tennis. It will lift my spirits.
 

astromquist

New User
I thought I'd tell this short story.

About three months ago, I was hitting a forehand playing a tennis match and felt an excruciating pain. Extreme pain on the side of the hand (pinky side) where the palm meets the wrist and also pain on the pinky side of the palm. I rested for a few days afterwards and then it felt better. So I went back to playing. After about 15 minutes of playing, the pain started again and got progressively worse. I could only sustain hitting sessions for maybe an hour until the pain was excruciating.

This cycle lasted for a month. The fact that it "got better" only to relapse was very misleading. I went to see a hand specialist. He took X-rays. All showed negative. He suspected a TFCC tear and did not want to do an MRI or give me an injection. He recommended I take an entire month off tennis and then come back to see him. I took the entire month off. Then I went back out on the court because my hand was feeling great. Same thing. Started hurting after 15 minutes. Excruciating after an hour.

I went back to see the Doctor. He ordered an MRI. Wouldn't you know it. The radiologist got a nice picture of a fractured hook of the hamate bone -- with marrow edema in the distal areas of the palm causing pressure and swelling. So I had surgery two weeks ago to have the broken hook removed. Here are a pic of my hand after I just got my cast off today and a pic of my slick wrist brace taking the place of the cast.



Anyways, to all TTW-ers, I wanted to just recommend that if you have any kind of recurring hand or wrist pain at all, GO SEE A DOCTOR. And if possible, GET THE MRI. My doctor was absolutely shocked that I had a broken hamate bone instead of a TFCC tear. They both present with almost identical symptoms. He also told me there are other things (such as Guyon's Canal Syndrome) which present like TFCC tears -- but obviously aren't TFCC-related. But you need an MRI in order to confirm this. So graciously ignore friendly diagnoses from your buddies and go see that doctor.

Here's hoping I get back to 100% in 6 more weeks.
I think I have the same injury and see a hand surgeon tomorrow. After research I plan to push for a CT scan or MRI out of the gate.... what was your outcome?
 

astromquist

New User
So I have the same issue from playing golf.
See the fracture where the pen is pointing?



I cut my diagnose time to 45 days. Thought it was fracture from the get go. 2 weeks of alieve, then Cortizone shots. That brought on a MRI where the fracture was found. Having surgery on February 27to remove the bone.

Hope to be playing golf by May/June.

Please update the thread to let us know how soon you start playing tennis. It will lift my spirits.
Hi - Can you update? I think I have the same injury. How long did it take you to play golf again and how does it feel now?
 

markm778

New User
Hi - Can you update? I think I have the same injury. How long did it take you to play golf again and how does it feel now?
Yep, Started chipping late March and was playing in April, 8 weeks later. I don’t have any pain where the surgery took place however I do have the occasional pain in my knuckles in the palm on my index and middle finger that I assume will never go away. What ever I hit, I hit it good. The only advice I’d give you is make sure the surgeon you use has done the surgery before. It matters. Good luck!
 

mightyrick

Legend
I think I have the same injury and see a hand surgeon tomorrow. After research I plan to push for a CT scan or MRI out of the gate.... what was your outcome?
I am fully 100%. I still play tennis whenever I can and don't have any limitations. I will say that it took me about 9 months to feel totally normal again. But you have to fight through it. There will be scar tissue. You just have to keep putting consistently reasonable demands on your hand and it will respond. Just give it time and be patient. Good luck.
 

astromquist

New User
Great to hear you’re 100%. How soon post op were you back to playing tennis? What were some of your issues before being back to 100%?
 

Goof

Semi-Pro
Had a similar (but less severe) injury in my high school/junior days. Hairline stress fracture in the hamate. Played through it for about 5 weeks for high school tennis, then went a few months in a brace and no tennis. I had recurring issues with it off and on until about 8 years ago when I finally gave up using my Pro Tour 280 and switched to the latest Radical. I haven't had any issues since, other than some pain when I was trying out new racquets recently and was trying some with less power. So: OP, I feel your pain and wish you the best with your recovery, and I strongly recommend using a racquet with more pop when you get back on the court!
 
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