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Hospital or not?

bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
edited August 2013 in Training, fitness and health
Hi,

Had my first off in 4 years yesterday. I was on my hybrid and the infamous Edinburgh tramlines caught my front wheel. I went down with quite a thump.

Bike is OK apart form some minor scratches but my forearms are agony. I can't straighten them and getting a shower and socks on this morning needed some Rule V.

I'm not a fan of NHS/Hospitals/GPs/Out-patients dept's etc. Should I just sit this out to see if it is muscular pain due to the shock of my arms supporting my fall or should I go to A&E and get an x-ray?


"I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
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  • declan1declan1 Posts: 2,470
    I would get an x-ray. Better safe than sorry.

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 7,559
    Get yourself checked out mate. I had a similar bike injury and left it too long seeing the doctor, resulting in a small loss of movement from my right elbow.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
    Is it common for any breakages or fractures in forearms with a cycling crash?


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,256
    Bill Gates wrote:
    Is it common for any breakages or fractures in forearms with a cycling crash?

    Stop asking stupid questions, get off the internet and get to A&E.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Get it checked out mate... My recent experiences of the NHS after my own very serious accident is that they are absolutely utterly brilliant and are good at treating 'well' people
  • The not able to straighten arm thing sounds potentially like an elbow fracture. At least, I had that when I did this a while ago. Get to a&e.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Imposter wrote:
    Bill Gates wrote:
    Is it common for any breakages or fractures in forearms with a cycling crash?

    Stop asking stupid questions, get off the internet and get to A&E.

    Don't often agree with Imposter but he is spot on with this, get off and go FFS!
  • verylonglegsverylonglegs Posts: 3,563
    Muscle pain is usually just that, pain when moving. If you can't actually use your joints properly you really need to get it checked.
  • bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
    Just back from A&E, each elbow has a hairline fracture :-(


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • Ride it off.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
    That is the plan, I have two arm slings but I can still get some turbo sessions going over the next few weeks.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Ouch... But at least you have a proper diagnosis. What advice were you given?
  • bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
    Rest (well nothing too strenuous on the arms) for 4-6 weeks, sling for each arm and try to keep at 45degrees. Use painkillers as needed.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • dnwhite88dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    You have to have both arms in slings? That's rough. Hopefully you'll be on the turbo soon but it's a waste of the nice weather
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    if your arms are in slings, who is typing for you or are you using your feet? Hope you get better and back on the bike soon dude
  • bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
    The Doc said to only use the slings when needed, they are not permanently on. TBH, I'm managing without them but would put one or two of them on when maybe sitting for a bit to take the strain off. Bracing with pillows or cushions is also adequate.

    I certainly can't put much body-weight onto my arms just now, that is the frustrating part and the sooner I can get my arms back onto handlebars the better.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • sumitkariasumitkaria Posts: 32
    slightly odd injury (im not sure what a hairline fracture really means). are you being seen in orthopaedic clinic next week??
  • bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
    I think the correct description was "radial head fracture of the elbow". I've to go back in a couple of weeks to the fractures dept for a check-up.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I had a great spill as a kid. Straight over the bars at speed. Put my hands down to take the impact.
    By the time I'd ridden the 15 miles home - my arms had seized.
    I couldn't bend or straighten them from my riding position.
    Got taken to hospital but no breaks. Swelling went down in a couple of days and at least I missed some school :-)

    Unlucky about the two breaks. Heal well.
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    I had a radial head fracture a year ago. Fell off and put my hand down to stop the face plant. It was pretty sore that night ad the next day so I went to A&E. Xray and sling form me too. 3 weeks no driving. Sleeping was difficult for a few nights. I really suggest that once the swelling goes down you get those elbows moving. Early mobilisation is very important if you are to get full range of movement back. Lots of people never get their arms fully straight again after that injury. It took about 9 months for it to be right again but only 3 weeks off the bike :)
  • bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
    Cheers calpol, good to hear that there is recovery to come!

    Sleeping is not the part 'm looking forward to and I drive an automatic for my work so I might try to get driving after a week or two.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 7,559
    Calpol wrote:
    I had a radial head fracture a year ago. Fell off and put my hand down to stop the face plant. It was pretty sore that night ad the next day so I went to A&E. Xray and sling form me too. 3 weeks no driving. Sleeping was difficult for a few nights. I really suggest that once the swelling goes down you get those elbows moving. Early mobilisation is very important if you are to get full range of movement back. Lots of people never get their arms fully straight again after that injury. It took about 9 months for it to be right again but only 3 weeks off the bike :)
    Good advice. You may well need some physio to aid recovery. Get in early if you can, waiting list are loooong unless you go private.

    Good luck Bill
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • Bill Gates wrote:
    I think the correct description was "radial head fracture of the elbow". I've to go back in a couple of weeks to the fractures dept for a check-up.


    i did this after playing 5 a side and being ont he end of a hefty challnege that sent me flying. was told to move the arm as much as possible painwise otherwise i would lose full movement/hyperextension in it, painful, but no big deal long term.
  • bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
    I feel much better today and having time between having the arm slinged and then some stretching videos I found on YouTube. Getting clothes on and some general manoeuvring is tricky but I really don't think it is going to be a long-slog back to recovery.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    If you search on here you will probably find that fractures of the radial head are a common injury. I had one last year. It took about 6 weeks before I could risk riding again. The biggest cause of pain was putting the arm into tension - lifting or pulling.

    Be careful if you start to drive too soon as your insurance may not be valid if it can be shown that you don't have adequate strength to control the car. On a previous injury I was told categorically that my injury was sufficiently bad to impair my control and if asked by my insurance company the hospital would confirm that they advised me so.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,767
    Another radial head fracturee here - twice in 20 months, same elbow, x-rays looked almost identical. Still taking it a bit easy after 10 days, but the nurse didn't bother to give me a sling, as I didn't use one last time, and I said I'd be easing myself back into cycling and swimming, as well as just general "keep it moving and pushing against the limits gently" stuff. I'll avoid weights and push-ups for a bit longer though, as I don't think they'd be a good idea while things are knitting back together. You should find it gets easier by the day, but you'll still get twinges for some time.

    General rule: get yourself checked out at A&E if you're in any doubt at all - my local hospital (Royal Devon & Exeter) is brilliant, and they never give any impression you're being soft for getting it checked after a bike spill - if anything, they really want to know if you might have damaged yourself even more than you think.
  • Wrath RobWrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    Bill Gates wrote:
    Rest (well nothing too strenuous on the arms) for 4-6 weeks, sling for each arm and try to keep at 45degrees. Use painkillers as needed.
    I did one elbow a few years ago, though it was more than a hairline fracture. I was in quite a lot of pain yet when I asked for some painkillers the helpful nurse gave me one 500mg paracetamol and told me to p1ss off. Thanks NHS, you're great! (TBF, every other time I've required emergency assistance they've been great, which just makes this one even worse).

    I was able to ditch the sling afer 3 weeks, drive a car within 4 weeks but inly got a full range of motion a year later. Make sure you know what exercises to do to keep the mobility!
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • bill_gatesbill_gates Posts: 467
    Been doing some of these moves..

    http://youtu.be/e--pI-GnYc0


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,421
    I'd also be spending the time now looking for a physio with, if possible, specific experience of the upper limbs. Also from painful experience, after having my arm immobilized for several weeks following a serious elbow fracture, I developed a frozen shoulder which has hampered my recovery....9 months later I'm still going to physio and doctors. Things have now improved since the early days but being on my own, I lived on coco pops and takeaways for several weeks and piled on lots of weight (thankfully now shifting it but still got a way to go). Just another few things to be aware of :(
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    When I did my radial head I went to A&E. They Xrayed me twice and concluded that it was soft tissue damage. It was only my insistance that there was more than just bruising/ligaments - "I know my body and this arm has a break." - which forced them to get a specialist down to check the Xray. He looked at it and showed the general doc where the crack was. Treatment - sling and a strong paracetemol and then go to my local General Hospital when I get home.

    Eventually got an appointment at Edinburgh Royal. Another Xray. Confirmed hairline fracture. Traetment?

    Use sling when it is sore. Come back in 6 weeks IF it is still sore and/or you haven't got full range of movement otherwise use it as much as possible.

    Discharged.

    Never went back.
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