Lessons Learned from Jordan Spieth

July 6, 2022
bone chip

PGA pro Jordan Spieth was at the top of his game when he suddenly fell into a multi-year slump, surprising golf fans everywhere. The reason: Spieth has said he hurt himself while lifting weights and chose not to have surgery. He went on to say that the injury caused him to compensate with his grip and swing to avoid pain, changing his game — and not for the better. 

The injury was a bone chip in his left hand. 

“I didn’t think there was a huge deal with it,” Spieth was quoted as saying in Golf Digest. “If I taped it up, it didn’t feel so bad, so I just—you know, I went out each day trying to play the best golf I could play. … I wouldn’t blame anything on it other than that I probably fought changes that would have helped me turn things in the right direction a little bit sooner.”

A bone chip is just as it sounds. It is a piece of bone that breaks away from the main bone — a  kind of fracture, and it can happen to various bones in your body, such as your hand. 

Fractures can cause pain and instability around the area that broke or instability when you use the area affected. There may also be swelling, bruising or numbness.

Bone fractures are often due to trauma, such as falling, twisting or a collision. A medical provider may take images of the area to diagnose your injury and the extent of it. 

The treatment of a bone fracture depends on the kind of fracture and severity of the injury. In the case of a bone chip, surgery may be needed to reconnect the pieces with the help of pins, plates or rods. Without surgery, a medical provider might use anesthesia to decrease a person’s pain while they move the pieces of the bone back into the correction place. 

In most cases, rest and rehabilitation exercises are needed to regain muscle strength and joint motion. 

In Spieth’s case, he says he fought recommendations to strengthen his grip. Because of this, Golf Digest reports that he was forced to use a weak grip to avoid pain, his club face opened and he was forced to flip at impact. This was difficult to sustain over several rounds of golf.  

Spieth says he has now re-strengthened his grip and gotten rid of the pain. His golf game has improved. 

“The lesson here is that a seemingly small injury can become a bigger problem if not treated properly and given time to heal,” says Dr. Mark Lorenze, a Middlesex Health orthopedic surgeon who serves as the health system’s chair of the Department of Surgery. “If you have pain, especially after a traumatic event, it is important to see a medical provider to discuss how to best move forward — even if you are playing in a golf tournament the next day.”

About Middlesex Health’s Orthopedic Surgeons

Middlesex Health’s orthopedic surgeons represent private orthopedic practices in Middlesex County and along the Connecticut shoreline. They treat a variety of orthopedic conditions and use the latest technology to ensure the best possible outcomes. 

If surgery is needed, surgeries are performed in state-of-the-art operating rooms at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown. These operating rooms are specifically designed to accommodate orthopedic surgeries. Some surgeries may also be performed at an outpatient surgical facility, also located in Middletown. 

For more information about orthopedic services at Middlesex Health, click here.


Featured Provider

Mark D. Lorenze, MD

Mark D. Lorenze, MD

Specialties / Areas of Care

  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Joint Replacement


  • Essex, CT
  • Madison, CT

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