Odd Wrist Deformity Results from too Much Musical Practice

August 20, 2010

Incessant practice not only helps to fine tune those skills, but depending on your instrument, it can also help to produce some uncomfortable bone conditions if not you're careful.

Musicians listen up!

Incessant practice not only helps to fine tune those skills, but depending on your instrument, it can also help to produce some uncomfortable bone conditions if not you’re careful.

An article in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology highlights one such case of a percussionist developing “percussionist wrist” from overuse.

The article highlights the case of a male patient, 70, who presented with a growing, but painless mass on his left wrist. The patient has also previously had a similar growth on his right wrist; however, it cleared up on its own. While the patient had no recollection of a previous injury to induce the mass, what was known was that he had played as a professional percussionist for 30+ years.

X-rays taken revealed he had a specific type of wrist deformity called scapholunate advanced collapse (SLAC). The injury is a collapse of bones of the wrist joint. The mass was caused by tenosynovitis inflammation of surrounding tissues in the wrist.

Both tenosynovitis and arthritis of the hands are common problems in percussionists.