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Help! I can't use my hand

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  • Help! I can't use my hand

    Hi Doctors,

    Bit of background before my question.

    Professional musician playing guitar in super cheesy cover bands for corporate events. Had an ultrasound then a couple of ganglions drained from my left wrist on Fri July 12. I was told the large swelling on the back of my hand near the thumb was tendonitis and was given a cortisone to relieve inflammation. Hand was sore eight days later (Sat 20) carrying my 2 year old around in the morning then I felt a sharp pain and snap when unlocking a barbell collar during a lifting session. Pain subsided in 30 seconds and I noticed my thumb could not extend but could squeeze the barbell fine.

    I saw a GP yesterday then had an ultrasound today. Prognosis is high grade tear (more than 50%) of the extensor pollicis longus at the level of the first CMCJ. Extensor pollicis brevis and abductor pollicis longus tendons are intact. I've been referred to a hand surgeon and have a consult tomorrow.

    I've been told not to lift and to find a replacement guitarist for the next run of gigs until meeting with the surgeon. Playing the guitar feels fine. Any gripping action feels fine. Trying to move my thumb up and back is agony.

    So, my question - I'm one session away from Week 8 of the Bridge 3.0 and think squatting will be no problem. How I should adapt my programming until I've been given the all clear to push and pull with my hands?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2

    I would do single arm DB work for the pressing and benching variations, sub in a safety squat bar squat (or leg press) for the squats, and skip the deadlifts in favor of hip thrusts or similar.

    I'd also wear a brace to prevent the thumb from getting yanked into a painful position while you're training.

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