Anyone dealing with severe wrist/big toe chronic injuries?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by greg1075, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    I have a litany of chronic injuries I work around the best I can. Aside from my low back, the two major ones are my left wrist’s scaphoid non-union (in layman’s terms, a fracture that never healed and the bone remains broken) which causes severe arthritis, limited range of motion and loss of strength; and my left big toe in which what started as turf toe has developed into hallux rigidus (extremely limited dorsiflexion range of motion and severe arthritis). I use a brace for my wrist and tape my toe by using a couple of different methods. From a training limitations standpoint, the wrist means I can’t do let hand posts i.e. no left side hip bumps or technical standups. For crocodile/bear/crab walks, planks or pushup I have to make a fist. The toe problem means I can’t do anything that requires left live toes or left toes dorsiflexion/push off. No left foot outrigger when opening the guard, no shooting left for doubles. Holding a good sidemount can also be problematic when you can’t drive using your toes/ball of your feet very well. Surgical options are not good: either a fusion of the joint in both cases or other procedures that are either not very successful long term or limit range of motion/strength even further. I’m used to training with them, however my right side wrists and toes are also starting to show signs of arthritis, especially my right big toe. If it ends up as bad as the left, it’s going to be extremely hard if not downright impossible to keep training. Imagine trying to do jiujitsu wearing a pair of Japanese wooden sandals.

    Anyone dealing with either injury, especially the toe? How do you work around it? Have you had any surgical procedure done?
  2. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Hi i have arthritis in both my big toes. I was offered the surgery (cut and shut on the middle joint). But I have so far declined.

    I wear wrestling boots on the mat. I avoid running because of the way that force passes through the toes of the standing leg. In warm ups I cyle (no toe clips) or run on the spot. (Force through the toes is different.)

    To manage the day to day stress on the joint- see a qualified medical professional to get fitted with orthotic supports. ( Can make a big difference). I also have shoes with a Rocker bottom this directs forces away from the damaged joints when walking, again ask a qualified medical professional if this might help you.

    I have found that the combination of the correct shoes and orthotics have both reduced daily pain and greatly reduced flare ups. before I got these I had cortozone injections. In three years since getting the shoes and the orthotics. I have not needed an injection.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  3. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    is surgery an option for your ailments? if yes, what's the prognosis and risk factors?

    do these injuries affect your day-to-day life?

    i tore an acl in 1989, and did not correct it with surgery until 1998. it really didn't affect my day-to-day until late, but i wish i would have corrected it sooner. i was doing sin moo hapkido during that period and it was preventing me from performing the full range of kicking techniques--as you can probably imagine.

    feet surgeries i think can be risky. my wife had bunyon surgery and her range of motion actually decreased after the surgery, although the original issue was corrected.
  4. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    For my wrist yes, I’m a surgical candidate. Both options would result in possibly further loss of range of motion and strength. I’ve been living with the injury for a long time and the wrist does not a great range of motion for most day to day activities so it’s not a big hindrance off the mat. The risk for re-injury and ruining the surgery makes it foolish to have any procedure done while still training, so it would have to wait until after my bjj days. As for the toe(s), nothing is sure yet. I’m going to have x-rays done and have my PCP and significant other read them (she’s an ortho) but my guess is the left toe is too damaged (injury is 6-8 years old) to attempt to clean up the joint and shave the likely bone spur that lock it straight. If that’s confirmed, the options would be a toe joint replacement (low success rate and like for the wrist, foolish to have it done while still training) or a fusion that would lock it even tighter. Day to day, the toe is a bit stiff in the morning and walking barefoot results in a bit of a limp but by the end of the day it’s a bit looser and not a problem. Strangely, I can run on it without pain...for now.
  5. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    There are a number of different things tried to manage big toe (MTP joint) arthritis/arthrosis. Fusion has already been mentioned. There are also hyaluronic acid (lubricant) injections that have some potential. Tom's rocker bottom shoes are useful as would be checking your gait to see if there is anything that you are doing that is unconsciously making the big toes more sensitive. Joint implants continue to improve and the one's I saw at a recent Foot and Ankle surgeon's conference appeared to be wearing well and not suffering from the problems that were present in the earlier versions. Here's one that looked particularly promising: An animation On a real patient.

    Just some ideas to look over eh! :' )

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  6. Korpy

    Korpy Whatever Works

    Medical tape is my best friend when it comes to my toes. I always tape my toes up.
  7. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    Yeah I tape them too, at least on the side I have severe turf toe. But my whole body is breaking down. One my knee has been painful for 2 months. My "good" wrist (the other one is permanently broken) painful for 2 weeks. Tough to train with severe arthritis, no range of motion or simply pain on both big toes, one knee, one shoulder, both wrists and my back. My guess is I have 2-4 years of decent training left before I have to stop or risk being constantly in pain when I get older. That sucks.
  8. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    Unless I want to become a drill-only guy. No rolling.
  9. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    pretty much everyone who has been training for ten years has some injuries.

    It sounds like you need to learn how to train smarter.

    Have a few weeks off rolling hard, and get some strength training in.
  10. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    I have no idea how you reached the conclusion that I must not be smart in my training from the info I gave, but ok.
  11. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    If your body is breaking down, then either the amount or the intensity of training is not working for you, if you want things to change, then your going to have to change something.
  12. Cowardly Clyde

    Cowardly Clyde Valued Member

    I've got an arthritic right big toe. I banged it & once the swelling went away the toe was left much larger! I have to buy a shoe size up now.

Share This Page