I went back to a traditional setup with an ergonomic split keyboard so my wrists were completely straight, and my wrists only slowly recovered.
I'm now on 6 months of not using a computer at all and finally feeling close to 100%
My advice is leave ergonomics up to people who know what they are doing
The reason I'm mentioning protein is that apparently joints are the first place the body looks when we don't get enough protein. I didn't really watch what I ate when I was younger and realize now that I definitely wasn't eating enough protein.
I'm not advocating for some extreme weight training regimen, but maybe it's worth seeing a physical therapist and telling them about the wrist problems you were having and asking them for exercises to help strengthen your wrists.
But since you speculated, I was on 120-150g protein per day, and I am now on 80-100g with 10 hours of hiking (very little wrist exercise, all in one direction) per day.
Both of my wrists were broken in my youth on separate occasions. Since then my wrists would ache when the weather changed, or when I spent too much time typing at the computer, or did certain physical activities like pushups.
The computing pain I mostly ignored, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't interfere with my life as I became increasingly immersed in programming and computers in general. It worried me that as I aged this career path would be a dead end, or one requiring chronic pain medication, because of my wrists.
But in my late 20s-early 30s I became interested in nutrition as my weight had been slowly climbing over the years and it was starting to noticably affect my overall quality of life. After my weight corrected itself with just an improved diet, I had a renewed interest in physical activities because being physical was so fun again becoming the same weight I was at ~17 years old, having lost ~26% of my weight in just a few months. Simple things like standing up had become entertainingly easy, running, jumping, everything was so easy and pleasant that I wanted to go for a run just to experience the ease of it.
The interest in physical activities escalated into a daily exercise routine, becoming curious about improving my performance beyond that of my ~17 year old self. Not wanting to acquire a bunch of heavy and expensive gear I'd have to store and move, I ended up doing just calisthenics and pushups became a major component of my morning ritual. For a year my wrists were the limiting factor in how many pushups I could do. I'd have sharp pains and aches well before any muscles were fatigued in that exercise. But I just kept doing them every day, with the reps slowly increasing as the months went by, adding multiple sets to morning and evening.
At some point, the wrist pain was no longer the limiting factor in my daily pushups and I was limited entirely by muscle fatigue and cardio instead. A nice side effect of this was that my wrists stopped hurting at the computer too.
I'm over 40 now, still doing hundreds of pushups daily, and my wrists have never resumed hurting. It's been really nice! Still ~165lbs too. Pushups have become the core of my daily routine, it's like brushing my teeth at this point. This experience has led me to suspect most sedentary people could achieve a relatively fit existence by just controlling their diet and spending as little as a few minutes every day doing pushups before they shower.
That is very good to know, though, I've updated the post to emphasize that standard keyboards won't work well with this posture.
I respectfully disagree with leaving ergonomics up to the people who "know what they are doing". That said, I just realized my footnote clarifying that I am an ergonomics hobbyist wasn't properly referenced - fixed inhttps://github.com/mgsloan/mgsloan-site/commit/4a3cb2442eaed...
It was wise to take the time off.