Chip Fracture: What Is The Injury That Sidelined Aaron Judge?

chip fracture, wrist fracture, what is a chip fracture

Getty Aaron Judge will be out for at least three weeks with a chip fracture in his right wrist.

Aaron Judge had an unlucky break on Thursday.

The All-Star slugger took a pitch to the wrist in the first inning of the Yankees’ blowout win over the visiting Royals. Here’s a video of the incident:

Judge was clearly upset, and jogged to first base. He continued to stay in the game, and recorded an infield hit before being subbed out. He was later transported to a hospital for further testing, and only then was the extent of the injury revealed.

The Yankees Twitter account was the first to release the news on Judge.

A chip fracture of the right wrist. Doesn’t sound good. “Approximately three weeks before swinging a bat in a game situation” is a more worry phrase. But as we dig deeper into the bones of the wrist, three weeks seems like a rushed verdict for Judge.

What Is A Chip Fracture

A chip fracture is a term for break in the wrist, specifically the cluster of bones between the hand and the two major bones in the forearm. It requires immobilization of the wrist for a minimum of three weeks, with a full recovery without surgery estimated to be around six to eight weeks if the wrist heals properly.

But Judge didn’t exactly injure any of the carpals, the cluster mentioned above. Judge’s injury is specifically in his ulnar styloid bone, which is a tad more specific.

The ulnar styloid bone is a nub at the end of the ulnar, one of the major bones in the forearm. So the chip isn’t exactly in the wrist, but rather in the bone closest to the wrist but technically on the forearm. As close as you can get to a broken wrist while breaking a bone in your forearm.

You can see a diagram of the wrist here.

It’s a better outcome than the bones in the carpal, which could be tougher to heal properly.

If you do damage to your ulnar styloid bone, you’ll most likely feel it in your wrist. It’s a pretty common wrist injury, mostly caused by trying to use your hand to stop a fall or eating a Jakob Junis fastball.

The most important part of a healing wrist injury is proper realignment. Judge doesn’t need surgery, and will wear a basic cast for a few weeks to let the bone heal. It is recommended to wait one to two months before resuming physical activity, despite the Yankees saying that Judge could return after three weeks.

The tweet said Judge needed a three-week period “before Judge can swing a bat in a game situation.” Game situation probably doesn’t mean an actual game, so expect Judge to be sidelined longer than the tweet suggests. Judge needs to take his time and let his wrist heal properly to prevent further damage.