When I broke the scaphoid bone in my wrist in July, I did a lot of research into my specific kind of fracture and it didn’t look good. I am not a doctor and could tell from looking at my x rays and reading a lot of reports on this injury that I was going to need surgery. In fact the NHS doctor who I saw four weeks ago told me “its at the consultant’s discretion whether to operate immediately or whether to leave it.” So of course, they left it to see if it would magically heal.
And guess what? I went back for a check up this week and it hadn’t! Well fuck me; what a suprise! The doctor decided that they would therefore leave it another six weeks… and then he would have another look. And maybe, just maybe, I would need surgery if it didn’t. At which point I would join a waiting list.
After a rant to my mother, she suggested I see someone else as she agreed that I wasn’t getting looked after properly. My new doctor took one look at the x ray and declared “there’s no way that is going to heal itself. Well, there is approximately a five % chance of it doing so on it’s own.” He also told me that the four weeks I’d waited had diminshed my chances of it healing correctly whatever course of action we took. The longer you leave a fracture unhealed, the less chance of a succesful union, so waiting a further six weeks and then transferring to a waiting list for surgery was not a good idea. He scheduled me in for surgery the following morning.
To promote healing after this wait, my doctor took a bone graft from my hip and sandwiched it between my bones. This is held in place with a huge screw and was all done with keyhole surgery. I now have about six to eight weeks before it is healed. I can just about put up with that but the thought of potentially being out of action till next year was too much to bear!
So I should have had surgery four weeks ago and then I would have had the best chance of healing and I wouldn’t have wasted so much time pining for my bike. My fracture went right across the ‘waist’ of the scaphoid. The bone was in two pieces which were at quite some distance from eachother. If you have any choice at all and have a similar fracture, insist on immediate surgery! There are many possible complications with scaphoids and they rarely heal completely succesfully on their own. There is a risk of chronic arthritis if it is not treated properly.
I will be paying back my parents for many years to come but it’s definitely worth it.