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  1. #1
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    Radial Head Injury, any feedback would be nice...

    Keeping simple here, I will most likely need to have surgery; resection (radial head removed). Anyone have this done? What are your experiences?

  2. #2
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    I've had a busted distal radius but what exactly is your injury?

    Quote Originally Posted by aka AK
    Keeping simple here, I will most likely need to have surgery; resection (radial head removed). Anyone have this done? What are your experiences?
    How did it happen? Tell us where all of this is occurring. Don't keep it simple anymore!

  3. #3
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    long version. with one hand

    Couldn't be worse (well maybe), 1st day in Moab, been planning the trip for eeeveer, and boom.

    Went off a small drop off on the wrong spot and my front tire landed on a bunch of boulders, sent me flying, and the impact was taken on my radial head. Had to hike the trail to a connector trail to sand flats road, and then 15 miles of DH w/ one arm (much like me typing right now). ER x-rayed, told me small fracture, not to worry, f/up w/ a doc when I get back.

    Not the case....Orthopedic surgeon in my hometown told me its broken in many pieces, and surgery might be required...can't describe how p-off I am at the er in Moab.

    Two bones in your fore arm, one is the ulna (inside bone palms up) and the radius (outer bone, follow the little knob on your wrist all the way up to the elbow). The top of that bone is called the radial head. It acts like a "socket" in the ball and socket thing, and enables you to pronate and supanate. spelling?

    http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/fact/thr_r...opcategory=Arm

    So, I am getting a 2nd opinion at UCSF this thursday. So far my info from research and the 1st doc. is that people who get surgery to have the bone removed/ cleaned out called recision vs doing nothing, have the same results; fuctionality, strenght, that type of thing. Why go under the knife I ask.

    I am all confused on what to do, don't care how long it takes to get bike on a bike, I just want to be able to ride one day again...

    Anyone with a similar type of fracture, the forums are always open.
    Last edited by aka AK; 06-19-2007 at 01:09 PM.

  4. #4
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    Your problem is at your elbow and mine was at my wrist

    Many ways of focking up a radius yeah? In my case they looked at how displaced the distal end of my radius was, tried to push it back into position (big OUCH). It did sorta go back near where it was but...they called in another surgeon, he looked at the xrays and said if that was his wrist he'd have a plate put in, no question. His point being that maybe the mushed end of my radius might stay in position maybe it'll move--get the surgery and be done with it. I said bring on the knife doc. I had surgery two days later. My story is "Distal Radius Fracture" on this forum. I had second and third opinions given in the same location at the same time, so I guess I was lucky. Anyway...

    I wished I could give you specific advice on your specific injury (but as my pt lady, the next guy's injury is not your injury) and I was always sort of frustrated when someone would post without addressing my specific injury (like this post) but I figure by keeping your thread alive someone is bound to notice it and help out. It's also great to be able to type with two hands!

    And I bookmarked that ortho site--great info for the injured civilian. All I can tell you is I had no option but to get the surgery and I didn't hesitate. My insurance covered most of it which may be something you're having to consider but the peace of mind knowing something was "fixed" and my recovery went on from there (without constantly second guessing if I should have had the surgery) was key to my mental well being.

    You need to actively get opinions from different docs now and not rely on this forum to give you the facts to make the decision on your own. Don't wait too long. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your input xcguy and ray dolor. I will be making a decision this thursday and will post back then...

  6. #6
    J\V
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    Although I, too, broke the radial head (mountain biking) years ago, it wasn't in any way crushed, and I was able to mend without even a cast (sling for a month). I wish I could give you more info, other than to echo comments above about bloodflow being limited to that area, and thus healing can be quite slow. I think it was nearly 18 months before I regained full motion in that elbow, but I also didn't have PT, nor did I really do the stretching exercises very seriously. My father-in-law is a retired orthopedic surgeon, and one thing's for sure, those guys do like to do carpentry. I personally wouldn't hesitate getting the surgery assuming a non-surgical orthopedist was able to convince me it was necessary.

    Good luck, hope it works out for the best.

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  7. #7
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    radial head

    The radius is actually on the thumb side of your arm not the outside.

    I fractured my radial head a few years ago on a biking crash. Usually results from breaking your fall with an extended arm, just as I did.

    My surgery was an hour & a half long. The doctor removed broken pieces and screwed the head back together with a titanium screw. I have permanent damage which I am frequently reminded as I rotate my wrist. The joint is no longer smooth. I lost only a little on extention, maybe 1%, but works pretty good regardless! The doctor told me I will most certainly have athritis to deal with later in life; and that if things get bad, they can cut off the radial head. He opted not to do this during surgery because it is usually best to keep things as normal as you can for better performance (but every break is different).

    So... you will need surgery to remove the shattered pieces and to mend the rest of it. Removing the head isn't always necessary, so discuss this w/ your doctor.


    Quote:

    Two bones in your fore arm, one is the ulna (inside bone palms down) and the radius (outer bone, follow the little knob on your wrist all the way up to the elbow). The top of that bone is called the radial head. It acts like a "socket" in the ball and socket thing, and enables you to pronate and supanate. spelling?

    http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/fact/thr_report.cfm?Thread_ID=227&topcategory=Arm

    I am all confused on what to do, don't care how long it takes to get bike on a bike, I just want to be able to ride one day again...

    Anyone with a similar type of fracture, the forums are always open.[/quote]

  8. #8
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    meant to say

    palms up, and I just edited the mistake. Yeah, the ortho and my gen. prac. did mention arthritis will eventually occur. Hopefully I will be an old fart then.

    Glad to hear that your arm works pretty good. That truely is encouraging. I hope my results are similar; I think it is in lots of pieces, and a plate or screws are not an option though. We will see..Anyways I do really appreciate everyones comments.

  9. #9
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    update

    UCSF rocks and I finally know what is going on. A section of the top of the radial head is displaced by about 2mm and is fractured. Really hard to see with the XRAY.I have intense PT to do between now and July 3rd, my f/up appointment. If I re-gain a good amount of mobilty by then, no surgery, however if not, the displaced portion of the rh. will need to be either removed or screwed back in place. Time will tell...

  10. #10
    J\V
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    That sounds like a much better prognosis than your initial update, and is good to hear. That was basically what they said to me: arm in a sling, if it doesn't get better, look at surgery down the road.

    Good luck!
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  11. #11
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    Surgery & rehab

    Surgery & rehab is nice to avoid if you can because the rehab part is usually lengthy. Nice to hear your news.

    Upload X-rays if they look good!

    Quote Originally Posted by aka AK
    UCSF rocks and I finally know what is going on. A section of the top of the radial head is displaced by about 2mm and is fractured. Really hard to see with the XRAY.I have intense PT to do between now and July 3rd, my f/up appointment. If I re-gain a good amount of mobilty by then, no surgery, however if not, the displaced portion of the rh. will need to be either removed or screwed back in place. Time will tell...

  12. #12
    KSC
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    A little slow to jump on this thread, but....
    I did a major number on my elbow, over the bars, extended hand, etc. Surgery was the only option for me. Anyway, at the time I heard greater than 2mm of displacement they recommend surgery, so it sounds like you're right at the threshold and the advice you've received is probably good. Good luck and go crazy with the PT because the elbow lays down a lot of scar tissue. I would guess your overall prognosis is pretty good even if you end up having to undergo surgery.

    Btw - I've talked with my physical therapist about what happens when they have to remove the radial head and replace it with a prosthetic. Sounds really bad - pain, slow stiff movement, weight restrictions. Good for sewing and that's about it. I think if my radial head starts to go as I age I'll need a lot of pain before I give it up.

  13. #13
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    update

    So I will be working with a PT specialist for 8 weeks, with the goal of increasing mobility. Back to the Ortho in 6 weeks for a follow up. From there, I might need to wear a Forest Gump type of thing on my arm to strech it out. If my mobility is not where it should be in two months or so, then surgery might be the only option.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    Many ways of focking up a radius yeah? In my case they looked at how displaced the distal end of my radius was, tried to push it back into position (big OUCH). It did sorta go back near where it was but...they called in another surgeon, he looked at the xrays and said if that was his wrist he'd have a plate put in, no question. His point being that maybe the mushed end of my radius might stay in position maybe it'll move--get the surgery and be done with it. I said bring on the knife doc. I had surgery two days later. My story is "Distal Radius Fracture" on this forum. I had second and third opinions given in the same location at the same time, so I guess I was lucky. Anyway...

    I wished I could give you specific advice on your specific injury (but as my pt lady, the next guy's injury is not your injury) and I was always sort of frustrated when someone would post without addressing my specific injury (like this post) but I figure by keeping your thread alive someone is bound to notice it and help out. It's also great to be able to type with two hands!

    And I bookmarked that ortho site--great info for the injured civilian. All I can tell you is I had no option but to get the surgery and I didn't hesitate. My insurance covered most of it which may be something you're having to consider but the peace of mind knowing something was "fixed" and my recovery went on from there (without constantly second guessing if I should have had the surgery) was key to my mental well being.

    You need to actively get opinions from different docs now and not rely on this forum to give you the facts to make the decision on your own. Don't wait too long. Good luck.
    I think I completely destroyed mine

    They say "surgery:"
    http://forums.mtbr.com/california-norcal/rider-down-stripes-breaks-paw-316892-post3290612.html (look for the roadkill-74 with x-ray pics)

    The ulna, broken. No surgery.
    The stepoid (?), broken. Surgery.
    Radial head, broken. Definitely surgery.

    Out of work 3 weeks. Out of riding at least 4 months. Second opinion tomorrow.
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  15. #15
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    Sorry about your injury, but it sure happens fast doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by stripes
    I think I completely destroyed mine

    They say "surgery:"
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=3290612 (look for the roadkill-74 with x-ray pics)

    The ulna, broken. No surgery.
    The stepoid (?), broken. Surgery.
    Radial head, broken. Definitely surgery.

    Out of work 3 weeks. Out of riding at least 4 months. Second opinion tomorrow.
    Your radial head injury is somewhat like mine whereas the OPs injury was to his elbow area. Here's a pic of the metal in my wrist which brought things back together. And, as you're heading into surgery take the advice given to me by the neighbor who gave me a ride to the hospital (who'd had numerous big surgeries)--just let go. Surgery is going to happen, just let the pre-op folks and the docs do what they're going to do--just let go.

    And check out my thread "Distal Radius Fracture" that I put on this forum last year for other feedback about injuries to that area of the wrist. Good luck.
    Last edited by xcguy; 06-20-2012 at 05:15 AM.
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  16. #16
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    Hopefully this will work for a view of the xray; I will consider myself such a savy web user if it does.


  17. #17
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    Yes!

    You can see the "step" on the radial head and where it is displaced/compressed. Amazing. Enjoy.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka AK
    So I will be working with a PT specialist for 8 weeks, with the goal of increasing mobility. Back to the Ortho in 6 weeks for a follow up. From there, I might need to wear a Forest Gump type of thing on my arm to strech it out. If my mobility is not where it should be in two months or so, then surgery might be the only option.
    I have to get the Forest Gump thing on my arm, Thursday. Six weeks, then it comes off. Not sure when PT will start.

    Knowing my husband, he'll post pics on the Norcal forum
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  19. #19
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    I have this problem right now. I lost the back end to the right on mud on a MUP. Almost saved it, but got thrown over onto my right side when the back regained traction while sliding perpendicular to my normal, forward inertia. I was rollin' about 14-15 mph.

    Road rash on elbow and knee. helmet is fine. I think I smacked my right elbow on the ground. (Imagine standing up, then simply falling unchecked onto your right side with your hands in FRONT of you.)

    Start date: 6-Aug-2007.
    unable to squeeze the brakes or put pressure on my elbow, so i rode out 1 handed.
    as the day went on, mobility in my elbow joint plumeted. i could only cycle my hand about 1 inch as things swelled up.
    dr. inspected, sent me for painful x-rays. radiologist and dr. concur. broken radius at the head.(broken elbow)
    dr. orders: sling for 3 days, try to reduce swelling, then, start working on range of motion exercises.
    Friday, I'll make an appointment for Monday. (1 week after damage).

    Pain: night 2 was really bad. pain went from locallized to elbow to my entire arm. I'm taking advil. 2 tablets/4hours.

    Mobility: increasing as the swelling goes down. it goes from 90 to 170 degrees right now.

    swelling: My fingers are swollen because my elbow swelling reduces circulation in mt arm and hand.

    I took the first 2 days off of work. (computer network work)

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