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broken elbow

itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
Looking for some advice really, I came off two weeks ago on some cobbles in London and broke the radial head in my left arm, in itself not that painful most of the time but turns out I've flattened part of the socket enough to prevent straighten or fully bending my arm added to that I can't rotate my wrist.

I had a second xray today and the doctor doesn't think I'll get to much more movement than I have now he also said surgery could leave me more restricted due to scar tissue.

Naturally I'm pissed off but here's the rub I can't get onto the drops plus my arm is so bent my entire upper body is twisted out of shape and I would assume painful to hold in that position for long.

The doctor was a cyclist but I'm thinking I need a second opinion otherwise my cycling is pretty much foobared, anyone else suffered a similar injury and hopefully recovered?
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Posts

  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,086
    On the NHS you are entitled to ask for a second opinion, and I suggest that is what you do. On the NHS you are not entitled to a second opinion, sometimes people are not aware of the distinction.
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,214
    Get a second opinion from an upper limb orthopaedic surgeon, not all orthopaedic surgeons are the same.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    Oh bollocks after a weekend doing stuff my elbow is puffy swollen and sore pkus my wrist hurts like hell.

    Back to A&E I think
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • Get it checked out. I fell 2 weeks ago and was going to man up. Went to A&E to keep the wife quiet.

    I was very surprised to find that I had broken the Olecranon and ruptured Tricep tendons in 2 places. I am one week on from the surgery and a week away from my first physio and update from the specialist. I was told if lucky to expect 6-12 month full recovery !!

    I hope your diagnosis is better !
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    Getting pretty depressed at the thought of being stuck like this for good.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,120
    You need a second opinion from a specialist in this kind of injury - until you get that you don't really know what the prospects are. My experince of the NHS is those that are pushy get better treatment than those who accept the first thing they are told. In the meantime what about physio to regain as much movement as possible?
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  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    I've had a second opinion in fact i've switched hospitals and i'm doing my physio already, using my arm all days in fact as much as possible, problem is the bend in my arm is so pronounced its very distressing and as i been told thats unlikely to go away it just makes me more annoyed and depressed.

    i want a straight arm :evil:
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • I snapped the top off my ulna and tore my tricep in a stupid, low speed crash (to add insult to injury, the x ray was done by my ex's mother) and received similar prognosis to you. I was also told the earliest I could receive any physio on the NHS was 12 weeks by which time, I reasoned,any damage would be permanent.

    Anyway, I ponied up for the physio from my own pocket as soon as the swelling went down and rode the Marmotte, still with a wire in, 6 weeks later. I got complete mobility back, a cool scar and even dated the physio for a time :D

    Stay positive, believe and find a way
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • Feel for you - I trashed my right elbow nearly 2 years ago (silly crash, 1/4 mile from home - looked over shoulder and didn't see pothole...).

    I had an olecranon fracture, and also broke the head of the ulna in 3 places. I had a plate and a couple of extra screws inserted for about a year. Initially prognosis for mobility was poor, but I got both private and NHS physio (on the advice of my surgeon - they approached it in different ways and both helped). Anyway, the main thing was to do LOTS of stretching & strengthening exercises and to follow the physios advice (overdoing it was as bad as under doing it). In the end I got more movement back than expected (its probably about 90%) and they had to take the plate and screws out as the movement meant they were impinging on ligaments and hurting a lot. A year on from that i still have to stretch to keep the full movement, and I am working on strengthening the arm in the gym (triceps are still weak).

    My left arm was knackered in a collision with a car over 20 years ago, and I cannot rotate that wrist - so my position on the bars isn't exactly elegant (think Froome without the saving grace of being able to fly up the hills!).

    So don't give up - even if its not 100% recovery it is early days for you and hopefully it will improve - one thing is the swelling could take weeks, even months to go down - I was still badly swollen in some muscles 3 months after the crash and it was 6-8 weeks before the swelling went down enough to see an improvement in movement.

    Good luck!
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 5,814
    Had a similar crash on my elbow 3/4 years ago and it was very painful. My arm was locked in a bent position for quite some time and like above, took weeks for the swelling to go down. I regained movement and sought physio in the hope of a full recovery but the small gain after each manipulation was lost by the next session. The physiotherapist said I should have had physio earlier but I don't see how that would be possible with my arm in such a state.

    End result, tightness in the bicep and a small percentage loss of movement, the odd twinge and lifting weights/ chin ups etc cause aggravation but there are plenty of elbow friendly exercises.

    Two weeks seems too early to suggest you wouldn't regain much movement (I had trouble turning my wrist as well but that's fine now) Seek physiotherapy ASAP and do the exercises advised by the therapist as often as possible to reduce the percentage loss. I can do everything I did before my crash, riding isn't a problem as the elbow is bent anyway and I generally don't notice or think about it.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. You will get better.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 5,814
    Plus if you bend your good arm as you walk, you'll look really hard, there's always a plus side :D
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • seanoconn wrote:
    Plus if you bend your good arm as you walk, you'll look really hard, there's always a plus side :D

    Quite true - my best mate at uni broke his elbow in a climbing accident and always looked right hard afterwards when he was walking around as he had a pronounced bend - thing is he was actually really, really hard, an ex para who had served in the Falklands, Belfast etc. and scary as hell to go on the p%ss with! It was thanks to him that the night after I got my PhD I was pushed through A&E in a wheelchair shouting "I'm a doctor I can cure anyone" - it didn't go down well with the medics :P
  • 2009 I went over the bars and broke my arm in 3 places, one being the elbow. After 6 weeks in plaster my arm would not move past a 60 degree angle. Took a lot (10 weeks plus) of Physio where I basically had a 14 stone guy using his whole body weight to press down on my arm to straighten it out.. 6 years on and at best 15 degrees from straight and makes awful cracking sounds (i'm assured its just scar tissue as it doesn't hurt) Its a rough place to get a break but, you can through painful manipulation get it near normal or at least good enough to get back on the bike without pedaling in circles.. Good luck and stick with it.. and i can't emphasise enough about finding a good physio.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    thanks for the encouragement, i've decided to take a few days off the turbo and let myself actually rest for a bit. I've been doing about an hour a day since the accident and frankly i'm equally bored as i am tired and hurt.

    my main concern at the moment is how much how soon should i start stretching etc. i have a habit of overdoing everything.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • Too be honest it's something you should be asking a doctor or consultant not a group of like-minded cycling idiots on a bulletin board. I would have let the bones knit (6 weeks) before going mad with the stretching or you might just prolong the injury. If its of any help my arm was royally screwed, couldn't turn my wrist or bend my elbow but, within a few months I was back on my bike. You'll get there but, I would'nt rush it.. Good luck
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    edited February 2015
    Yes I know that trouble is when a doctor says starting moving it as soon as possible and try wrist rotation that to me translates to nail it, stretch bend twist all day long until you're in agony and shattered.

    Even though the very young doctor I last saw was a cyclist himself, we talked about turbo sessions but its hard to know the limit.

    Basically cycling has made me more obsessive.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • ZingzangZingzang Posts: 196
    itboffin wrote:
    I've had a second opinion in fact i've switched hospitals and i'm doing my physio already, using my arm all days in fact as much as possible, problem is the bend in my arm is so pronounced its very distressing and as i been told thats unlikely to go away it just makes me more annoyed and depressed.

    i want a straight arm :evil:
    If it's any consolation you don't need two good arms to do cycling. I permanently paralysed one arm in a road accident many years ago, have limited use in it, and only took up cycling competitively after the accident. You can learn to ride and even race more or less one handed quite quickly, and if amputee riders can get out there and do it, you can too.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    My pain and swelling is increasing which I guess isn't a sign of improvement, in response I've sign up for the Mallorca 312

    That ought to fix it :roll:
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • nichnich Posts: 888
    Chin up :),

    Sat here with broken collarbone, rib and a metal plate holding my olecranon together from a stack 4 weeks ago.

    Looks like Im in the same position as Diamant49 was a couple of years ago :)
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    Drove the car 1 mile today without any problems so I'm going to start driving to the station again next week, hopefully cycling outside the week after.

    Still swollen and painful after four weeks
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    update for anyone interested or finding themselves in the same position.

    after another visit to the hospital today for a check up the doc was pleased with the amount of rotational movement i've regained even though i'm barely able to straighten or bend my arm, he thinks the best way forward would be to put me under a general then force the joint straight :shock:

    i think the clue there is under a general :?

    anyway i'm going to physio this Friday and will continue to push the limits whenever i can, i have also discovered that i damaged my right hip in the crash, enough to prevent me sitting crossed legged or lotus, he recons this could be a tear which might needs surgery if it doesnt improve in a few more weeks.

    FFS
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • leodis75leodis75 Posts: 184
    I broke my humerus and broke a piece of my shoulder ball off in a slow fall in October leading to surgery with some added titanium, its been a long road and I pushed myself until it was obvious I had a part frozen shoulder from the internal bleeding in the socket and now its a waiting game. My fourth commute back, a zombie ped walked out on me and sent me flying so been off the bike again for 6 weeks but new bike arriving this week and back on it soon.

    Just take your time, push yourself and try not to get frustrated and listen to the experts would be my advice.

    24bjaqa.jpg
  • nichnich Posts: 888
    Ouch, thought I'd pop into this thread again.

    Broke my elbow and had it pinned around the same time in Jan this year.

    I've been out of a cast about 2 weeks now, arm felt horrible and weak, but has been getting better day by day, and I can now bend my arm and rotate my wrist to almost normal. I have a fair bit of strength back, but can't put much weight on my arm.

    The thing I'm struggling with now is straightening the arm - about 10 degrees out which isn't all that bad, but the physio thinks she can work on that after my next X-ray.

    Collarbone is a bit poo, decided not to heal in an attractive manner, so a rather horrible lump, and still not that strong.

    Hoping to be back cycling to work in a couple of weeks - reckon I might get outside this weekend for the 1st time. Also back on the motorbike for a bit...just being ultra careful not to fall off :D:D:D
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    yeah thats a good point, i have to admit i'm pretty nervous about another crash atm, its not stopping me riding or changing the way i ride but it is on my mind and i suspect will take some mind over matter when i hit the mountains again next month.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    A month on from my last post I've now ridden two 65 mile rides one semi off road which frankly was a stupid idea and super painful and today 93 miles with minor discomfort at the time, I'm still under the physio and will be going in for surgery in may on the elbow and groin, which I damned at the same time. Pain daily is the norm

    Stay upright and positive :lol:
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • turnstyleturnstyle Posts: 63
    Ughh, wish I hadn't read this now

    Had a crash on the weekend and my elbow is swollen. It doesn't hurt too much to touch but I can't rotate my wrist freely. I thought I may have avoided fracturing it but after reading this, maybe it is broken and should get it x-rayed. I've managed to start lifting things this morning but nothing too heavy. I've just got a dull aching pain from the elbow to half way up my forearm. Is that something similar to what you had?
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    turnstyle wrote:
    Ughh, wish I hadn't read this now

    Had a crash on the weekend and my elbow is swollen. It doesn't hurt too much to touch but I can't rotate my wrist freely. I thought I may have avoided fracturing it but after reading this, maybe it is broken and should get it x-rayed. I've managed to start lifting things this morning but nothing too heavy. I've just got a dull aching pain from the elbow to half way up my forearm. Is that something similar to what you had?

    No the pain i had/have is very clearly not just bruising, its 3+ months on now and i'm still in pain and having physio however i did manage to ride the Mallorca 312 this weekend with zero pain.

    get an xray to be sure
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    just back from the physio where they said there's nothing more they can do and have advised me to go with the arm straightening under a general, in fact i've lost more straight arm movement.

    blah!
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
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