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Another question about gymnast wrist

LJL07

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My 10 year old is supposed to do level 8 this season. In another post, I mentioned she was diagnosed with bilateral gymnast wrist. She had a hard cast on one wrist due to a healing stress fracture. We had her follow up and got the cast off. The ortho cleared her to go back to bars. No back handsprings or impact on the wrists until she is rechecked in another two weeks. I scheduled a PT appt for her too. I’m confused though. The ortho said that ”pretty much any 10 year old with open growth plates doing level 8 and up skills will have the widening at the growth plates due to the very high impact.” My daughter will definitely use wrist guards from now on, but is this true or has anyone heard this before? If this is true, then the only “cure” would be for kids this age to stay off their wrists and do a different sport. Also, I am hearing such conflicting info about how long they should be off the wrists. Some kids have gone back in four weeks, and I’m hearing of other kids who have to stay off of the wrist for 4-6 months. Am I not asking the right questions? I just don’t want to miss something since it sounds like this can potentially be serious. Thanks.
 

doublestrike

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While a common injury, gymnast wrist is certainly not universal. I think your daughter's physician is overstating it that all level 8 gymnasts with open growth plates have it. My daughter and most of her friends did not have it and were certainly pre-puberty at level 8, we certainly know people who had it around that age though.
 

gymjunkie

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As I've said elsewhere, my opinion is that every gymnast over level 6 should wear tiger paws for floor and vault, whether their wrists are hurting or not.

However, as far as I can tell this opinion puts me in the minority among coaches.
I share your opinion. As soon as I made this rule at my past gym we had no more gymnast wrist.
 

LJL07

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While a common injury, gymnast wrist is certainly not universal. I think your daughter's physician is overstating it that all level 8 gymnasts with open growth plates have it. My daughter and most of her friends did not have it and were certainly pre-puberty at level 8, we certainly know people who had it around that age though.
I had not heard it was universal either. I'm trying to sort out if there are certain skills that might up the risk and overtraining those skills--like the yurchenko vault in this age group.
 

amiandjim

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As you know, we are also dealing with gymnast wrist. Our ortho (who has actually given talks on the subject) said around 70% of gymnasts will develop it somewhat, but definitely not universal. He did say all gymnasts will have abnormal looking wrists on X-ray (he said this about her “good” wrist), because their bodies try to make ankles out of wrists. So, they aren’t normal, but not gymnast wrist either...she had no widening of the growth plate on that side.

As for recovery, she did 4 weeks in a cast, and he then recommended 12 more weeks non-weight bearing, with 4 of those being in a brace. It’s a LONG time, but he said that’s how long it takes to heal in his experience. I will say he is pretty conservative as far as I can tell.
 

ldw4mlo

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I had not heard it was universal either. I'm trying to sort out if there are certain skills that might up the risk and overtraining those skills--like the yurchenko vault in this age group.
Over training is the operative words. Once they develope gymnast wrists...... Tiger paws, limit repetitions and rest when needed.

And I would add beam to when to wear wrist supports. Again I can only speak to my kids gymnast wrist experience. Tiger paws on all events except bars.
 

LJL07

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He did say all gymnasts will have abnormal looking wrists on X-ray (he said this about her “good” wrist), because their bodies try to make ankles out of wrists.
Ah, ok. Maybe the ortho meant this ^^, and I misunderstood. He actually did say their immature skeletons are not meant to weight bear that much on their wrists.

Yes, I hear you about the overtraining, so I guess I'm just worried about ensuring this heals properly and doesn't happen again. The crazy thing is that we are now at a gym that is pretty reasonable and doesn't "overtrain" compared to the other gym we were at for a while. I don't think they even do vault at every practice. I am wondering if two years with no wristguards on 6 and 7 could have contributed to this and maybe the wristguards will help.

Is it safe for her to go back to bars? The ortho cleared her for bars, but she was really only off the wrists for about 4 weeks. Both wrists had stress fractures, which have healed (they were already healing by the time she was x-rayed), but it was my understanding that the growth plate widening wasn't "severe" yet. @amiandjim I am hearing that most kids have treatment like your daughter, so I guess that's why I'm confused about resuming activity. No back handsprings or vaulting yet though.
 

doublestrike

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As you know, we are also dealing with gymnast wrist. Our ortho (who has actually given talks on the subject) said around 70% of gymnasts will develop it somewhat, but definitely not universal. He did say all gymnasts will have abnormal looking wrists on X-ray (he said this about her “good” wrist), because their bodies try to make ankles out of wrists. So, they aren’t normal, but not gymnast wrist either...she had no widening of the growth plate on that side.

As for recovery, she did 4 weeks in a cast, and he then recommended 12 more weeks non-weight bearing, with 4 of those being in a brace. It’s a LONG time, but he said that’s how long it takes to heal in his experience. I will say he is pretty conservative as far as I can tell.
Ugh, ankles out of wrists! I’m not sure I can get over that saying. Best of health to your daughter. I have a dancer too and I love it, she was able to enjoy the high school experience more than my gymnast.
 
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amiandjim

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Ah, ok. Maybe the ortho meant this ^^, and I misunderstood. He actually did say their immature skeletons are not meant to weight bear that much on their wrists.

Yes, I hear you about the overtraining, so I guess I'm just worried about ensuring this heals properly and doesn't happen again. The crazy thing is that we are now at a gym that is pretty reasonable and doesn't "overtrain" compared to the other gym we were at for a while. I don't think they even do vault at every practice. I am wondering if two years with no wristguards on 6 and 7 could have contributed to this and maybe the wristguards will help.

Is it safe for her to go back to bars? The ortho cleared her for bars, but she was really only off the wrists for about 4 weeks. Both wrists had stress fractures, which have healed (they were already healing by the time she was x-rayed), but it was my understanding that the growth plate widening wasn't "severe" yet. @amiandjim I am hearing that most kids have treatment like your daughter, so I guess that's why I'm confused about resuming activity. No back handsprings or vaulting yet though.
Yes, I’m not sure why he would clear her for bars, especially upper level. 4 weeks doesn’t seem like much time, but hopefully, he knows what he is doing? Anecdotally, I do know that some gymnasts in our area have gone back to training about 3-4 weeks before our ortho recommends and have done well.
 

LJL07

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Yes, I’m not sure why he would clear her for bars, especially upper level. 4 weeks doesn’t seem like much time, but hopefully, he knows what he is doing? Anecdotally, I do know that some gymnasts in our area have gone back to training about 3-4 weeks before our ortho recommends and have done well.
I totally agree, and that is why I am having so much anxiety about the inconsistent info I'm seeing. Sometimes I think my questions and "research" end up doing more harm than good. :D

She is of course saying she has "no pain," but as you well know, these kids will under report pain because they are eager to get back to skills.
 
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Geoffrey Taucer

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My understanding (based in zero medical expertise so please don't take this as any sort of guidance) is that impact tends to be more of a concern than gripping and hanging. Which makes sense; we're primates, and while our wrists are not well-adapted to handling impact, they are extremely well-adapted for gripping and climbing.
 

ldw4mlo

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My understanding (based in zero medical expertise so please don't take this as any sort of guidance) is that impact tends to be more of a concern than gripping and hanging. Which makes sense; we're primates, and while our wrists are not well-adapted to handling impact, they are extremely well-adapted for gripping and climbing.
My experience also. No orthopedic training just one kid who is a gymnast.

Its the slamming and or placement of the wrist. Not an issue on bars.
 

gymjunkie

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I have never had a kid dx-ed with GW cleared for bars. This surprises me to hear that a doctor is saying this.
 

gymisforeveryone

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I don't want to hijack this thread, but I have some questions to others (coaches or some experienced parents) about wrist placement and how it affects to the risk of getting this condition.

I have a gymnast who doesn't do a back handspring when she tumbles. She does just a round of. And that's why she needs to land the round of feet behind her. She likes to place her second hand on the ground fingers pointing to the direction she's going, so she's turning it completely out, also her arms are wide. She likes this technique and some of her other coaches think it's not a problem. I'm concerned. I think it's worse for the wrist. She does this on vault too, where she does yurchenkos. It's definitely a problem there, because it's hard to land the round off feet under that way. The other coaches can see this and they think it's enough if we try to fix it on vault, but leave it on floor.

So do you know a gymnast that has / has had this technique and how it has affected their wrists?

She has sometimes complained wrist pain but not recently. She likes her technique and I think she prefers to twist the truth sometimes to get away with it, and tell me that it doesn't put any strain on her wrist.

I would like to get rid off this, but currently the other coaches don't see it as a problem.

This gymnast has level 9 / 10 skill level on floor and level 8 on vault.

Any thoughts?
 

LJL07

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I have never had a kid dx-ed with GW cleared for bars. This surprises me to hear that a doctor is saying this.
Right. I have a friend whose daughter was told NOTHING for 4 months. I let my daughter go back to bars since the doctor cleared her, but I am unsure about this. She's not doing release moves. As additional food for thought, I am wondering if the change to the tsuk and yurchenko timer on level 6 and up could be contributing to the gymnast wrist issue in younger children. I am seeing a bunch of questions about GW now in the gymnastics facebook groups and elsewhere. I really don't know what to think anymore. Another girl at our gym was also diagnosed with GW. She is several years older. She does have the discrepancy in length between radius and ulna at this point.
 
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LJL07

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I don't want to hijack this thread, but I have some questions to others (coaches or some experienced parents) about wrist placement and how it affects to the risk of getting this condition.

I have a gymnast who doesn't do a back handspring when she tumbles. She does just a round of. And that's why she needs to land the round of feet behind her. She likes to place her second hand on the ground fingers pointing to the direction she's going, so she's turning it completely out, also her arms are wide. She likes this technique and some of her other coaches think it's not a problem. I'm concerned. I think it's worse for the wrist. She does this on vault too, where she does yurchenkos. It's definitely a problem there, because it's hard to land the round off feet under that way. The other coaches can see this and they think it's enough if we try to fix it on vault, but leave it on floor.

So do you know a gymnast that has / has had this technique and how it has affected their wrists?

She has sometimes complained wrist pain but not recently. She likes her technique and I think she prefers to twist the truth sometimes to get away with it, and tell me that it doesn't put any strain on her wrist.

I would like to get rid off this, but currently the other coaches don't see it as a problem.

This gymnast has level 9 / 10 skill level on floor and level 8 on vault.

Any thoughts?
I don't know the answer to your question, so hopefully someone with more expertise will respond, but I will say that I read that kids using certain hand placements for tumbling and vaulting are more susceptible to developing gymnast wrist.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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I don't want to hijack this thread, but I have some questions to others (coaches or some experienced parents) about wrist placement and how it affects to the risk of getting this condition.

I have a gymnast who doesn't do a back handspring when she tumbles. She does just a round of. And that's why she needs to land the round of feet behind her. She likes to place her second hand on the ground fingers pointing to the direction she's going, so she's turning it completely out, also her arms are wide. She likes this technique and some of her other coaches think it's not a problem. I'm concerned. I think it's worse for the wrist. She does this on vault too, where she does yurchenkos. It's definitely a problem there, because it's hard to land the round off feet under that way. The other coaches can see this and they think it's enough if we try to fix it on vault, but leave it on floor.

So do you know a gymnast that has / has had this technique and how it has affected their wrists?

She has sometimes complained wrist pain but not recently. She likes her technique and I think she prefers to twist the truth sometimes to get away with it, and tell me that it doesn't put any strain on her wrist.

I would like to get rid off this, but currently the other coaches don't see it as a problem.

This gymnast has level 9 / 10 skill level on floor and level 8 on vault.

Any thoughts?
I think hands wide and turned out is preferable when flipping directly out of the roundoff; it makes it easier to get the feet further back on the landing. And I don't think there's necessarily as much pressure on the wrists in a roundoff as in a backhandspring; the roundoff is guided more by the pushoff with the legs than by the block off the wrists.

I don't like it for Yurchenkos, though, for exactly the reason you described.