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Wrist Injury


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Over the last couple of weeks I've been struggling with my left wrist underneath the little finger I wouldnt call it painful but it was uncomforable to swing a club. Early on in my round yesterday I hit a particularly fat shot and it really started to hurt. I finished the round but it wasnt an enjoyable experience. The pain seems to be in the hamate bone and looking at the symptoms I am about 90% sure I have fractured it (I will probably go see my doctor on Friday when I have a day off). So has anyone had this (or anything similar) before and if so what kind of recovery time am I looking at (I was thinking about putting the clubs away for a few weeks anyway because the weather is getting really crappy over here)?
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I have had significant damage and reconstructive surgery on my left wrist over something stupid I did in college (comminuted left distal radius frx + displacement) which required 4 k-wires and they had to cut the bottom of my wrist open to hold the bones together to drill them back in place.

Last November, I was playing in my league's weekly Saturday blitz, and I felt something pop in my wrist, kept playing, and ended up shooting 87 (my worst round in probably 4-5 years).  Dr. said there were two bone fragments that came loose from the original fracture that were causing the pain and that it required another surgery.  Not wanting to lose a summer's worth of golf, I developed a swing where my right hand does all the damage, and the only thing my left hand/wrist does is guide the club.  When excecuted properly, it replicates Harvey Penick's 'Magic Move' where the right elbow moves toward the target during the downswing in conjunction with the weight shift and creates great contact with short irons, even if the shot is hit fat.  The secret is to make sure you finish every swing equivalent with where the club is taken back on the backswing (i.e. if you're using a full swing, you want your wrists to hit the 10:00 position on the follow through after hitting the 2:00 position on the backswing).

The main reason you want to do this is to protect your left wrist and let your right hand/forearm/wrist absorb all the damage done by the club making contact with the ball and ground/sand.  You need to have STRONG forearms in order to make this work - I do 400 reps a day on a power grip along with 125 incline push-ups split up into 25 per rep x5 (I weigh almost 300 lbs, so it's like doing reverse bench-press without having to spring for all the equipment).

You have to change your entire philosophy about hitting the golf ball and allow your right hand to dominate the swing.  By doing this, you can dictate the trajectory of the ball by having your palm open, neutral, or shut at the point of impact - just imagine splashing someone in a pool and where you want the wave to go.  Start out with hitting buckets and buckets of wedges and 8-irons, then slowly work your way up until you're comfortable hitting a driver.

I adopted this approach in February of 2011, and ended up having my best tournament season ever this summer (two top 20's and a top 10 in city tournaments).  I took 7th at the Norfolk City Amateur the weekend of 9/11 and had my second surgery on 9/19 to repair the bone fragments and re-attach part of the TFCC cartilage complex.  Four days after my surgery, I got my pitching wedge, a broken-off graphite shaft I use for a target, and started hitting shag bags worth of one-handed 10-yard chips.  The next week, I started putting with one hand, and became deadly with it (putting with your lead hand forces you to keep your head still during the entire putting stroke).  I kept pushing myself to do more and more through physical therapy, and I've been playing golf again since the end of November.

You probably want to have an orthopaedic surgeon that has specialized training in upper extremity surgery have a look at it - most ortho surgeons have limited knowledge about the wrist (the guy that did mine was fresh out of a surgical fellowship at Vanderbilt - I totally lucked out in getting him).  Good luck.

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