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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    broken radius head

    crashed commuting on my 42+ pound 1988 Jamis Diablo. Broke my elbow. I'll read up here while I heal. I'm sure you guys have some secrets to rapid, complete recovery.

    I'll be in THIS club for about 3-6 weeks I guess.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeiniesRed
    crashed commuting on my 42+ pound 1988 Jamis Diablo. Broke my elbow. I'll read up here while I heal. I'm sure you guys have some secrets to rapid, complete recovery.

    I'll be in THIS club for about 3-6 weeks I guess.
    The radius head is near the wrist. One of my buddies just broke his elbow at the radius too. Hang in there.. you will heal
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  3. #3
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    1 week update:

    range of motion: missing 2 inches of fold and 2 inches of straight.
    swelling is dropping, but my fingers are still chubby. I saw a couple of veins in my arm yesterday evening! (they're gone again today)

    elbow pain is almost gone. Right in the middle of my arm is very sore. I fear my arm is broken as well as the original diagnosis of broken elbow.

    Pain management: I don't need advil anymore. Icepacks are also optional. I found that a small heaating pad on low, wrapped around my arm at night provided support and increased my flexibility in the morning. The best pain mgmt is 2 advil and 2 beers. (had to go to a couple of parties this weekend)

    I go back to the Dr. today.

    Update after visiting the Doc: Progress is outstanding! The pains in my arm are torn muscles, not another broken bone. The self inflicted stretching pain paid off. He reminded me not to be disappointed in the length of time to recover by reminding me how long I was KO'd with a broken leg. I am limited by two factors: pain, and I can't fall on my elbow again. Otherwise, good to go. Next check in 3 weeks. I'll post progress.

    I'm taking a multi-vitamin and glucosamine. Icepacks for the pain. Heating pad wrapped around arm at night help with flexibility in the am. Minimizing use of my hand too.
    Last edited by LeiniesRed; 08-14-2007 at 09:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Team Weak & Feeble
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    I suffered a radial head fracture 4 weeks ago as well as dislocated elbow and seperated shoulder. Elbow fractue is toughest of the 3 injuries. Fracture is still displaced and is making it tough to ride since when you put pressure on the arm it causes significant discomfort. I know how ya feel. It sucks.

  5. #5
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    week 2 update.
    Starting week 2 of recovery. not much news.
    I can straighted my elbow all but about 3 degrees.
    I can bend my elbow all by about 3 degrees too.

    I still suffer a very large amount of pain in my arm. Sometimes, I am unable to push anything stronger than a doorbell without pain.

    No way can I get on a bike, even though my elbow feels good. I can't shift a car either. Sigh. This is the first day I haven't carpooled since the crash.
    The knee scabs are gone. A few more days on the elbow scabs. (tasty)

    I'll work harder on stretching this week. I think tight muscles are are part of the pain I feel.
    Last edited by LeiniesRed; 08-27-2007 at 07:33 AM.

  6. #6
    Team Chilidog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeiniesRed
    week 3 update.
    Starting week 3 of recovery. not much news.
    I can straighted my elbow all but about 3 degrees.
    I can bend my elbow all by about 3 degrees too.

    I still suffer a very large amount of pain in my arm. Sometimes, I am unable to push anything stronger than a doorbell without pain.

    No way can I get on a bike, even though my elbow feels good. I can't shift a car either. Sigh. This is the first day I haven't carpooled since the crash.
    The knee scabs are gone. A few more days on the elbow scabs. (tasty)

    I'll work harder on stretching this week. I think tight muscles are are part of the pain I feel.
    Don't rush the movement. You may increase your recovery time that way. Also, do what you can to keep your circulation up--I walk 2 miles every night.

    I have finally been able to tie my shoes this week, which is the first time since July 8. I have an automatic, so I have been able to drive since my cracked ribs healed.

    Are you working with a PT? I won't get clearance to do that until my fixator is removed.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  7. #7
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    Week 3 update:
    OK, 20 days off-the-bike since my injury.
    Yesterday, I was able to touch my thumb to my shoulder again. That is twice so far! My elbow area still has that jaundice yellow color and is sore to the touch, (deep bruising).
    Last week, my elbow started popping painfully right before it goes all the way straight especially if my arm is over my head like when you put on a shirt.
    Everything is still tight/sore but the pain is dropping off rapidly now.
    I still work hard on stretching exercises and I still have limited mobility, but it is slowing improving.

    I walk at least 2 miles every day after work, and I'm doing most real-world stuff again.

    Things you can do 1 handed include:

    Mow the lawn! Tie a rope around the safety kill switch handle thing. put foot on handle's crossbar, pull rope with good arm and start pushin'! 1 handed mowing slows me down.

    Wash, wax and detail the car! It takes a long time to wax-on and wax-off with the same arm, DanielSan.

    Things I can't do with 1 hand include: Hang a ceiling fan.

  8. #8
    Siddartha Gautama
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeiniesRed
    Things you can do 1 handed include:

    Mow the lawn! Tie a rope around the safety kill switch handle thing. put foot on handle's crossbar, pull rope with good arm and start pushin'! 1 handed mowing slows me down.
    LOL! I broke my thumb on a bike trip out west a few weeks ago and have also discovered that it is possible to mow the yard w/ one hand. Instead of a rope I used a vice grip to secure the safety kill bar.

    Glad to hear you're making progress. I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel also.

  9. #9
    Crash Test Dummy
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    I broke my radius at the elbow and at the wrist in my left arm sometime around June 1st. I didn't get full range of motion back for 7 weeks. I tried the bike at 8 weeks with some discomfort, so I stayed on smooth pavement for 2 more weeks. Now I'm fully healed and working hard to get my fitness back to where it was. Patience is key. Oh, and I had noooo problem paying a neighborhood kid to mow the lawn. In fact, he still has the job!
    It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care

  10. #10
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    Week 4 update

    Well, Here we are at week 4.

    Pain factor: Friday, my entire arm was very sore. I have been working really hard on stretching my arm, and I think that with the day-to-day work stresses was a bit much.

    Visual check: The jaundice yellow on the inside of my elbow is gone now. The road rash is on the third set-o-scabs in one place (1 last piece of gravel came out this weekend) and the rest is just your normal red scar tissue.

    Flexibility: I can touch my thumb to my elbow at will now! It isn't easy, but my arm doesn't need "help" to get there. I can get it within a degree or 2 of "straight." Need a little more work there, but I think it will come in time. I'll keep workin' on it to. The painful joint popping is dropping off. I am starting to be able to move the joint through a range of motion faster.

    Strength: Very little. It doesn't take much to make things hurt, but I keep trying stuff. It is "improving."

    Bike ride factor: Uhg, I'm dyin' here! Riding my bike is my best method of stress management. Without it as the release, I'm having some trouble after 1 month. I was going to ride to work tomorrow, but I'm still at work tonight. If we go much longer, I'll need the extra ride time for sleep. I'm going to aim for an after work ride tomorrow instead and maybe try to ride in on Wednesday.

    Yep, I'll be out of the rider down forum soon.

  11. #11
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    News flash. I rode to work today!

    I took the short way, 11 miles, on the same 45+ pound commuter that threw me down a month ago. (I can't blame the bike!)

    I took it easy with a cadence of about 85. Standing up to pedal isn't good. bumps in the trail are not good and made my elbow, thumb, hand, and arm feel...non-plussed? I rode 1 handed for about a mile after the rough section of trail. My arm still doesn't straighten all the way, so that adds to the effort/pain.

    My fear and trepidation factor is high. Riding through the trail wide mud puddle right before the place I crashed was an anxiety moment. I was able to skirt the mud I crashed in.

    The ride was great. No wind, cool but not cold, Saw a mule deer at 5 feet, rainbow over the fields. Bucolic!

    So great to be back on the bike. I think it is the best possible therapy for me.
    Oh yeah, my sister in-law won a good stationary trainer at euro-bike expo. They already have 2 of 'em so they're gonna give it to us! I can ride stationary for bump-free bike exercise! (I have rollers, but I'm not comfortable riding with a barely healed bone on 'em.)

  12. #12
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    The fact you're back on your bike four weeks from injury

    is pretty amazing. When I broke my wrist I might have probably maybe been able to try to ride sooner than I did but my "fear and trepidation" was overwhelming. It was 10 weeks (I forget, thank gawd) till I rode the simplest of trails. It was 5 months before I could walk backwards without my heart racing. I'm OK now (a year later) so...you're way ahead of schedule I figure!
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  13. #13
    Team Chilidog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    is pretty amazing. When I broke my wrist I might have probably maybe been able to try to ride sooner than I did but my "fear and trepidation" was overwhelming. It was 10 weeks (I forget, thank gawd) till I rode the simplest of trails. It was 5 months before I could walk backwards without my heart racing. I'm OK now (a year later) so...you're way ahead of schedule I figure!
    While I agree with you, I'm still going to warn the OP: go conservative. As much as I'm dying to get back on the bike, it's not worth it to reinjure my wrist and make recovery even longer.
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