Feb 23, 2001
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Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>While testing his factory RC51 Superbike on the tight, twisty Spring Mountain Motorsports Park road course at Pahrump, Nevada in November, American Honda's Nicky Hayden ran off the track and into a concrete drainage ditch. Hayden's crash resulted in serious back pain. It turned out that Hayden did not have a serious back injury, but the back pain masked and distracted doctors from finding a fractured bone in Hayden's left wrist. Just weeks away from the AMA Superbike season opening classic on the high banks of Daytona, Hayden discovered the fracture and must ride the 200-mile Superbike race and 600cc Supersport race in pain. <BR><BR>"It's true," confirmed Hayden in a February 21 phone call. "I just found out a day or so ago. The end of last week, actually. It kept getting worse and worse. I just got it X-rayed like a month ago, in January. It didn't show up. I just thought I was being a sissy or whatever. It kept bothering me and bothering me. It kept hurting worse and worse. It felt like every couple of weeks, the more that I would train, the worse I was making it. So I talked to Dr. Ting. Ting told me to do an MRI when I got home from California. I got home and did it first part of last week, and sure enough, I've got a fractured scaphoid in my left wrist. It's a bone that is a real common injury for motorcycle riders. It's gonna take a long time to heal I guess because there's a low supply of blood in there. When we were testing at Laguna, I knew something was wrong. I should've done something sooner, but I just thought that there was time for it to heal. I wasn't worried about it. That was stupid. I knew something was wrong. I should've gotten it taken care of before now. <BR><BR>"Now they've got me in like a brace that I've been wearing for the last week or so just to give it kind of a rest. Not that it's gonna heal before Daytona. It's just a brace to give it a little break, and I can take it off and still work on my flexibility. Monday, right after Daytona, I'm going to Dr. Ting's to get it fixed right. I don't know what I'm going to miss yet. It depends on how it recuperates after the surgery.<BR><BR>"I don't think it's going to hold me back at Daytona. I'm sure it's going to hurt, but it won't hold me back. It's not too bad. To say that it's gonna hold me back at Daytona, that's just making an excuse. The only thing, they said since it's already cracked that it wouldn't take a lot to break it if I were to fall. But it's been like this for the last couple of months. It's just a little bump in the road. It's one of those things that you just have to deal with."<BR><BR>The scaphoid is a cashew-shaped bone at the base of the thumb. It acts in conjunction with both the proximal and distal carpal rows and is crucial to the intricate function of the wrist. The scaphoid is the most commonly injured bone in the wrist, usually suffering damage in falls with outstretched hands. A fractured scaphoid is commonly misdiagnosed as a sprained wrist. Treatment of a fractured scaphoid, whether surgery is needed or not, is dependent on the attitude of the break. Further complicating matters is the lack of blood supply to the affected area. General medical theory holds that, to heal, a fractured scaphoid must be immobilized completely, checked for adequate healing with regular X-rays, and followed up with physical therapy after immobilization. <BR>