Broken elbow advise..

davoj
davoj Posts: 190
edited December 2013 in Road general
Hi guys,

I broke my elbow on Saturday when a dog did a hit and run on me and had surgery and pins inserted on Sunday, so I was wondering from fellow cyclist who broke a simaliar bone was how long was it before ye actually went back cycling on the road?

I'm not in a rush back but just would like an idea, I don't have a cast so maybe the trainer in a few weeks once I check with doctor, it might interesting to see how some cyclist dealt with a similar injury.

Thanks

Comments

  • hypster
    hypster Posts: 1,229
    I broke the same bone on 27th December 2012 when I went through a water-filled pothole that was about 200 mm deep and went over the bars. I also broke my collar bone in the same crash and damaged my shoulder.

    My daughter is a physiotherapist and under her guidance I started light training with an elastic strap and mobility exercises almost as soon as the cast came off. My email records showed I started some light weight training in the gym including work on the static bike in early February 2013. I went for my first actual road ride on 18th February 2013.

    Because I couldn't face risking going over on the elbow again for any reason I used an MTB elbow pad that I already had and purchased some of the lighter G-Form elbow pads which I still use on every ride because the elbow is still very sensitive to even light knocks.

    http://www.g-formuk.com/

    I think the key to quick recovery is keeping the joint mobile even though it hurts like hell when you start. It does loosen up though but you do have to grin and bear it for quite a while before you start to see results. Be guided by your doctor though.

    Hope that helps.
  • davoj wrote:
    Hi guys,

    I broke my elbow on Saturday when a dog did a hit and run on me and had surgery and pins inserted on Sunday, so I was wondering from fellow cyclist who broke a simaliar bone was how long was it before ye actually went back cycling on the road?

    I'm not in a rush back but just would like an idea, I don't have a cast so maybe the trainer in a few weeks once I check with doctor, it might interesting to see how some cyclist dealt with a similar injury.

    Thanks
    I did the same thing about this time last year ,hit a dog and bang one broken elbow.
    Mind you it does not seem as bad as yours , no pins etc , I was off the road for 3 months , which at this time of year was a bit of a blessing , i commute most days and I would have been tempted to tough it out and ride in weather that was not safe.
    As soon as I could change gears I was on the turbo , about 4-6 weeks i think ,when I could pull the brake levers and clip and un clip I went on the road . I ran every other day to keep my fitness up and my weight down.
  • The key is getting the swelling down. If you do not have a cast then I would have an ice pack on it for 20 minutes every couple of hours.

    Physiotherapy: things they do not tell you.
    Cold limbs don't move. therefore warm your arm up before the physio and take painkillers an hour before physio.
    Physiotherapy causes swelling! therefore take an icepack to the physio session and apply it the moment you finish the physio.

    Pain hurts, so take the pain killers.

    you can exercise the rest of your body straight away. Start Pilates, go walking, don't just sit around.
    Chris
  • rnath
    rnath Posts: 176
    Follow your doc's advice, but I'd say keep it reasonably mobile. I bust my elbow a few years ago and suspect it was in a cast too long, and probably poor physio afterwards. Now I can't fully extend it so can't "lock" the joint to help with extended weight bearing. Not the end of the world, but best avoided!
  • Initialised
    Initialised Posts: 3,047
    I snapped off my funny bone when I was 14, surfing speed bumps in a shopping trolley, I'm 35 now and it was playing up all through Autumn this year.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I broke my wrist on the 1st of October and had a plate put in, no cast. First cycle (and driving) was six weeks later but I find anything over an hour makes it a bit sore so I do shorter, faster trips. I'm surprised how fast it's been healing. After 8/9 weeks it's 99% in normal use, just a bit weak.
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  • I broke my elbow at the end of the summer following a tumble. I was back running after 3 weeks and did for go a spin on the bike, although that was probably too early. By 6 weeks I was fine, but obviously this is different for everyone.

    I'd definitely reitterate what other people have said about keeping it moving; the downside of a broken elbow is that you can lose movement in the joint. I made a point of giving the joint a move regularly throughout the day and also iced it early on.

    Good luck and I'm sure you'll be back in the saddle before long!
  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,494
    rnath wrote:
    Follow your doc's advice, but I'd say keep it reasonably mobile. I bust my elbow a few years ago and suspect it was in a cast too long, and probably poor physio afterwards. Now I can't fully extend it so can't "lock" the joint to help with extended weight bearing. Not the end of the world, but best avoided!
    Same here. I know it hurts like hell now but get started on mobility and physio as soon as you're able. Otherwise expect a few degrees loss of movement. I think the bicep contracts and tightens if the elbow is stuck in a 90 degree angle for too long.

    Good luck.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,494
    Doesn't anybody else's damaged elbow click now, or is that just me?
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • bigjim
    bigjim Posts: 780
    I came off in Mallorca. Got home, went to A&E. Told it was not broke and leave it to heal. Three weeks later no improvement. Back to A&E. Told them I'd sue if they did not xray it. Xrayed and told there were three breaks but healing had started and nothing they could do. Given consultant appointment.
    Consultant never turned up at two further appointmants. Stand-in consultants agreed about break and now cannot fully straighten arm. At last saw my Consultant for 30 seconds where he arrogantly looked at xray and pronounced there were no breaks though I could see them.
    I eventually had to have surgery to free a trapped nerve behind the elbow. Had physio to no avail and now cannot bend one arm, that can become painful on long rides due I assume to the imbalance. It also clicks.
    Best not come off and if you do, make sure NHS Xrays you. They don't like xrays or scans. Costs money. Your money of course but whatever.
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    bigjim wrote:
    I came off in Mallorca. Got home, went to A&E. Told it was not broke and leave it to heal. Three weeks later no improvement. Back to A&E. Told them I'd sue if they did not xray it. Xrayed and told there were three breaks but healing had started and nothing they could do. Given consultant appointment.
    Consultant never turned up at two further appointmants. Stand-in consultants agreed about break and now cannot fully straighten arm. At last saw my Consultant for 30 seconds where he arrogantly looked at xray and pronounced there were no breaks though I could see them.
    I eventually had to have surgery to free a trapped nerve behind the elbow. Had physio to no avail and now cannot bend one arm, that can become painful on long rides due I assume to the imbalance. It also clicks.
    Best not come off and if you do, make sure NHS Xrays you. They don't like xrays or scans. Costs money. Your money of course but whatever.
    Sue.
  • davoj
    davoj Posts: 190
    Thanks for all the advise and encouragement. I was wondering do most wear elbow pads after even for road cycling?
  • FAO Big Jim.

    I notice like me you are Manchester based. As a matter of interest which hospital did you attend?

    When I broke my collarbone in June I found the care exceptional after I had got through the hell of A&E. There was no skimping on xray's - I had one in A&E and another four(or poss five) at each of my fracture clinic appointments.
    I was dealt with by Wythenshawe and have no complaints - apart from the long wait between A&E and fracture clinic.

    Finally - to the OP - good luck with your recovery.
  • bigjim
    bigjim Posts: 780
    As a matter of interest which hospital did you attend?
    I attended North Manchester General. First time only ever saw a nurse. Second time saw a black foreign doctor who in the middle of the consultation disappeared with my notes in his pocket as one of his countrymen had turned up and needed somebody to interpretate. Never saw him again.
    After being left on an examination cubicle for an hour I kicked off and got a Polish doctor who gave in to the Xray request.
    Every time I have been for an outpatient visit I have been asked if I want a copy of the consultants notes sent to my address. I have replied, yes every time.
    I've never received any notes!
  • It's amazing we could have 2 totally different experiences in Hospitals that must be tops 20 miles apart and probably less than that. Eg when I attended A&E I was seen by triage nurse, doctor, radiologist, doctor again and finally a nurse to clean me up and put my arm in a sling. It all took 3 hours and the doctor was a bit disinterested and not terribly helpful but it was relatively efficient.

    Maybe the fact I went in Lycra-ed and bleeding helped. Whilst the A&E experience wasn't great and I had to wait nearly a week for a Fracture Clinic appointment everything else was exemplary. I even got a physio appointment within a week of referral.

    Sounds like you should be complaining to the relevant person.
  • edten
    edten Posts: 228
    I would get a turbo and get right back on it. Its depressing being broken and exercise gives some feel good factor as opposed to feeling entirely useless. I snapped my arm a couple of years ago and hospitalised for a few days. The day I got out I was on the turbo though could only manage about 20mins. Take it easy of course (especially getting on and off!) but some exercise definitely helps with not going stir crazy. + plenty of skimmed (or semi) milk, D3 & K2 vitamins.
  • Hi there - tried to avoid nearby construction and lost control on my road bike about 4 weeks ago. Broken elbow and lots of blood later I’m healing nicely now and am beginning to use my Feedback trainer. Painful on my injured arm and am told that it will be this way for a couple months. I didnt need surgery. I ride a couple hundred KM per week at a medium to fast pace but think it will be some time before I’ll want to even look at my strava again while I slowly get back into form. What I’ve noticed helps a lot of rest, eating more to assist healing processes, and walking everywhere I go. Your body does miss not just the workout but the rush of endorphins and whatnot so try and keep busy and active without over exerting your arm/elbow!
  • elbowloh
    elbowloh Posts: 7,078
    I broke the end of the bone off at the elbow when I was a teenager playing football. Needed pins and wires to pull it all back together. I was back playing football whilst the cast was still on (with a long sleeve jersey)...which may have been against the league rules, but no one picked up on it.
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