Exostosis

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The little pucker just distal to the wrist on the dorsum of my hand, here. Showed up over the last several days; it’s a tiny bit tender, but nothing to write home about. I give it six weeks or so.

If you look this baby up on the Internet the definitions are scanty and uninformative and make it sound as if bony overgrowth just kind of happens, like shit. Actually, like shit, there is a very good reason for it. In my case, repetitive motion trauma stresses the tendinous attachment to a bone sufficiently that, since tendons and ligaments — I like to characterize them for my clients as “white tissue” — have a crap blood supply, and heal or proliferate sluggishly, the bone itself, glutted with capillaries, decides to expand and hypertrophy so as to provide the tendon a wider purchase.

I had a couple of these puppies when I started in practice, right at the medial radial heads of both forearms, below the thumb. They hurt a bitch if I banged them accidentally because the membrane over bone is full of nerve endings, so when I went into the gym I would tie bandannas around both wrists to avoid bumps. About six weeks went by before the tendons began to fortify and toughen and the bones began to regress. Think about the eight weeks or so that a fracture takes to heal, the callus that forms over it and the eventual sturdification of the region. Like that.

Everyone but me was freaked out. I had almost forgotten it, a quarter century later, but I have been doing this walking with poles thing and the forearm extensors are getting a whacking. Most people who pole walk probably do not also pound bodies on a daily basis, so this is likely to be a rare side effect.

It’s showier than the sesamoid bone I got a while back, but amounts to the same thing. I love metabolism.

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2 thoughts on “Exostosis

    • Remember not to confuse it with a tendon sheath ganglion — which is also common on the wrist, softer and moves under the skin. They can look alike and feel alike until you really poke ’em and detect the springiness of the fluid filled ganglion cyst. The bony projections will remodel more readily, as long as people give it the nutritional raw material — protein, free sulfur, minerals, vitamin D. Ganglions are stubborn. You can see one proximal to my thumb if you look close though the flexed position hides how big it is, and that baby doesn’t look like it ever wants to go away. Though I once had one regress over 48 hours when I overdosed myself with vitamin C, ten grams a day to kill a bad cold. Tried it on this one, but no sale.

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