Charlie Harrison Undergoes Scaphoid Surgery After Leogang Crash

Jun 19, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

Charlie Harrison has undergone scaphoid surgery following an injury picked up in Leogang.

Charlie got off to a flying start to the season with his first ever World Cup podium in Maribor and backed it up with a seventh in Leogang. He actually crashed in his final practice run before finals in Austria but still raced through the pain, thinking nothing of it. Unfortunately his wrist started swelling over the next few days and he missed Crankworx Innsbruck to fly home and get it checked out.

It turned out that Chuck had fractured his scaphoid (a bone in the hand) and had surgery yesterday afternoon to get it fixed. We've reached out to Charlie to see when he may be back to racing but we currently expect him to miss the upcoming World Cup in Vallnord that kicks off in just over two weeks time.

Charlie Harrison sends it to seventh place.

bigquotesNot what I want to be posting... I crashed on my last practice run before racing in Leogang, thought I just tweaked my wrist. Dealt with the pain and raced and didn’t think much of it. Over the following few days, my wrist got more swollen and sore to the point of barely being able to use it, so I flew home to get it checked out. Turns out I had a fracture in my scaphoid. Got surgery this afternoon and now I’m moving forward. It’s a huge bummer, I’ve pretty much worked my ass off my whole career to be at the point that I’m at now, and to take a step backwards sucks. Luckily I’m surrounded by the most amazing people, and I know how to work until I get to where I want to be. I’m going to do everything in my power to be back as soon as possible.Charlie Harrison

We wish Charlie all the best in his recovery and hope to see him back between the tapes soon.

Update

Charlie gave us an update this morning:

"I'm feeling really solid, the doc did a great job and actually got the screw lined up perfectly on the first pass. I'm doing everything I can to be back ASAP. It really depends on swelling and, of course, pain. I've got a follow up on Monday where I get to take my splint off and form there I can start PT and rehab. The wrist is plenty strong now that the screw's in, so it'll just come down to managing the pain so as soon I can ride and I feel that my wrist is strong enough that it's not going to sacrifice my safety while riding. I'll be back!"


48 Comments

  • + 73
 7th with a broken hand! What a boss.
  • + 9
 Borken Scaphoid is a PITA. I did mine in July last year and it took until Feb this year for the doc to sign it off as finally fully healed. At least he had surgery fairly quick - that should help but it could be some time before it heals. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery Charlie!
  • + 1
 Well I guess that depends for each and everyone, I have broken my scaphoid, did not realised straight away and finished 5 min dh track. Recovery was two months after surgery (with plate in) and fully functional 3 months after
  • + 3
 I have broken both mine, everyone is different. Rode all summer with one broken. Both only took 6 weeks to heal. Do these for work, a lot, usually only 6 weeks to heal. Never seen 7 months on one to heal. That’s rough!
  • + 10
 Healing time depends greatly on where the break is. The scaphoid has a notoriously poor blood supply. Arteries enter the bone at the distal end (farther from the body). Distal fractures heal better and more quickly because of better blood supply. Mid fractures heal more slowly and proximal fractures (closer to the wrist) have very low blood supply because there is almost no direct flow and therefore have a worse prognosis and much longer healing times. Obviously the severity of fracture plays into how well it heals but location of fracture is one of the bigger factors.
  • - 3
 @lognar: yes that is correct, but 7 months to heal for most fractures is very rare. That timeline is more common for a tibial or femoral nail fracture or pilon fracture, and even those cases the bone heals within 4 months usually. 7 months is extremely rare for a scaphoid, even a complex one with bone graft (which have a very high non-union rate, and can lead to four corner fusions).
  • + 1
 I did mine years ago... Took 4 months because they wouldn't do surgery... A friend broke his after me, got it pinned and was riding again before me.. Getting it pinned should speed up his recovery time...
  • + 1
 That really sucks! Welcome to the hardware club.
  • + 2
 @Clifflane3: Broke mine a few years ago and had surgery right away, still took 5 months to heal and was in PT for 3 months and ended up having to have a second surgery to remove some bone that had grown into the joint. Like @lognar mentioned, mine was a severe proximal fracture (in the doctor's words from the surgery report the scaphoid had been "pulverized") and had actually been hit so hard it dislocated the lunate (the bone next to it) as well. I know a few other people that have had longer recovery times, and some shorter. Totally depends on the break and the person though. Just my 2 cents
  • + 1
 @Clifflane3: i had a coworker who had 3 surgeries and 1.5 years of dealing with a broken scaphoid. Its all variable and depends on the injury.
  • + 1
 @BallerBoy33: yeah everyone is different, did you have any soft tissue repairs too since you dislocated your lunate? Usually, that means you tore your SL ligaments. Which takes a very very long time to heal.
  • + 1
 @lognar: yeah you're right man, every surgery varies patient to patient. And if there's soft tissue damage with the fracture that is another beast to deal with. The OR I work in we do around 50 or so a year, we must be lucky, but we don't see many revisions unless soft tissue is involved or bone grafting used.
  • + 1
 Mine took 6 months to get signed off to ride again after getting screwed back into place.
  • + 2
 @Clifflane3: Surprisingly no soft tissue repairs, so that was nice. They did clear out a bunch of scar tissue during the second surgery that was caused from not using the wrist after the initial surgery. That doctor had me in a cast for 13 weeks so it had plenty of time to build up...
  • + 1
 @BallerBoy33: That's always a hard decision, surgeons are like salesmen. Clearing scar tissue can create more as I found out but every case different.
  • + 1
 Damn I got lucky with mine. I got a screw put in right away and was back to playing hockey 8 weeks later. That was 10 years ago and still no pain.
  • + 1
 @konarider94: I can predict weather 1-2 days ahead of change.
  • + 1
 Broke mine 3 years ago, thought it was a wrist sprain so I didn't get it checked and kept on riding.
Now it's been 6 weeks since I had to undergo surgery with a bone graft, currently wearing an above the elbow cast.
Sucks so damn hard Frown
  • + 1
 Broke my scaphoid as well in 2017, and also ended up getting a screw placed in there. Since then, if I'm going to be doing jump lines, park, or a race I've been wearing these:

demonsnow.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=337
  • + 1
 I tore my scapholunate ligament last fall and didn't get it looked at until this February because I thought it was just sprained. Turns out it was torn in half. Apparently my bones are stronger than my ligaments cause they tend to go first, which sucks. 3 month recovery time and I was riding Whistler opening weekend. I've had a couple spills on it already which have definitely hurt. I think residual pain is going to be around for a while. I am wearing a Mobius wrist brace on it until I feel comfortable (mentally) to ride without it.
  • + 1
 @krashDH85: Did you get it repaired? I tore my SL when I broke my wrist last year but they didn't treat it when they plated my radius.
  • + 1
 @chriskneeland: Yeah they sewed it back together and even pinned my wrist for those 3 months while the ligament healed. They then went in again a few weeks ago and removed the pins
  • + 2
 Mine took 14 WEEKS TO HEAL when I broke it. Sucked so hard. Missed a whole summer of bikes. Now I always wear wrist guards, life's too short for that shit.
  • + 2
 Ok feel so bad for moaning he didn't start Crankworx DH after I picked him for my team! All the best for a quick recovery. He's definitely going to be regular top 5er soon
  • + 1
 Had this one years ago....surgery the next day of my crash. 12 weeks of full arm cast, elbow included. I hope that technology is faster today. Good luck to him!
  • + 1
 My orthopedist threatened me with that as I didn’t listen to him....
  • + 1
 Don't you hate it when your friends takes pictures of you at the hospital when you're still not fully awake after the anethesia ?
  • - 1
 Was lifting 50lb dumbbells 2 weeks after surgery. He'll be back in a couple songs at most. Glad he didn't do like I did & gave on it for 3 weeks (Mt. Snow, Massanutten & Sugar Mtn...all rocky. But friends have worst case scenarios rising on a broken one and crumbling it over months and months.
  • + 2
 Get well soon. This year was a blast so far...keep pushing!!
  • + 2
 Get well soon Chuck ! You are the man !
  • + 1
 Sorry to hear this Charlie. Remember, broken bones heal and chicks dig scars! You’ll be back with a vengeance.
  • + 1
 I always ride with my Knox gloves that feature a scaphoid protection system. Those tiny hand bones are fragile.
  • + 3
 Healing vibes!
  • + 2
 No kidding Charlie has worked his ass off! Come back strong like bull!
  • + 1
 Bummer... That was a hell of a start of the season. Hope he can recover fast enough to race through the end of the season.
  • + 2
 I hope he does well and that the recovery is speedy
  • + 1
 My Scaphoid injury never healed because I was too eager to ride. Hope he recovers 100 percent.
  • + 1
 what a trooper! healing vibes going out to you, Charlie.
  • + 1
 Everyone breaks that tiny bone including myself . Sucks
  • + 0
 Just a friendly reminder to always keep the rubber side down
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