Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Injury uncertainty....

I've been having problems with my right wrist / thumb since I did Jersey to France in 2010. It comes and goes, mostly depending on how much swimming I'm doing, but I experienced a real flare-up of the problem while I was away with Swimtrek at the beginning of April, and it's been quite achy ever since. I was starting to get a bit concerned about it as the hard training phase for Catalina approaches, so finally made an appointment to see my local sports physio. He did a whole series of range of motion and resistance tests, and all of them were negative - the only obvious problem emerged when he poked the little square at the side of the wrist, sort of where the thumb ends (the "snuffbox".... named because that's where people would place snuff to sniff), which hurt like hell. He said that when I first told him about the injury, he thought it was maybe de Quervains - a tendon problem, which, to be honest, is more like the kind of thing I was expecting. But since the tests didn't seem to support this, he settled on the notion that it may be a stress fracture of the scaphoid. He is writing a letter to my GP to get me referred for an MRI to check this. But when I posted this tentative diagnosis on Facebook, a couple of people, including a hand surgeon who undoubtedly knows her stuff, said that this was extremely rare and an unlikely cause of the problem. So now I'm not sure what to do or think about all this.

In a way, it doesn't really make any difference, in that it's not (at the moment at least) bad enough to stop me from swimming, so it probably wouldn't change the course of action (rest where possible, try to work on my hand entry problem anyway, and press on with the training). But it's frustrating not knowing what's causing it....and there's always the worry that it will get worse and start affecting my ability to swim.

So, my plan of action for now is to speak to my GP next week (when he's got the letter from the physio), and maybe think about getting the MRI done privately if it's not too expensive if the NHS one is going to take ages.

I've been pretty fortunate overall in terms of injury, so I can't really complain. But I don't like uncertainty, and much preferred my previous strategy of being in total denial about the fact that it was hurting!

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