"Black Ice" + Gravity = Fractured Elbow
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Thread: "Black Ice" + Gravity = Fractured Elbow

  1. #1
    Administrator Honored Elder jeriddian's Avatar
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    "Black Ice" + Gravity = Fractured Elbow

    Continuation of the thread on TWD's medical travails.

    This is the link to the archived thread: http://www.globaljusticealliance.com...ad76/index.htm
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    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    Update on the Ol' Elbow

    Okay, I went to the doctor yesterday for a follow-up visit. He said I don't need any more surgery or manipulation (that's where they straighten the arm all the way while I'm sedated), because at this point it'd do more harm than good. He told me to continue physical therapy, going only once a week (instead of three times) for six weeks, and we'll check on my progress then. He also had me set up an appointment to see him in eight weeks (although I'm not sure why he couldn't see me in six, to coincide with the end of the new six-week PT schedule). He gave me an order sheet (kind of a prescription, actually) to give to my therapists for my file. Since his office and the PT department are in the same building, I simply walked the order down and gave it to the PT receptionist, who then added it to my other papers.
    Today at PT (after arriving late due to those nasty thunderstorms), my therapist and I discussed the doc's recommendations, and we started a new regime of stretching and weight exercises. She also directed me to reduce the number of times I did my home exercises from three sets a day to only two (which means I don't have to get up extra early to do a set before work! ), and we discussed the details of my new home weight exercises. We're working on what day of the week to schedule my sessions; for the next three weeks, I'l be going in on Thursdays, but then my therapist's babysitter starts classes, and she has to curtail any late-afternoon therapy sessions in order to be at home with her kids. So we're shooting for either Tuesdays or Mondays after that - we'll see when I go in next Thursday.
    All in all, I'm told I've been making terrific progress in recovering from my accident. I may not get full mobility back in that elbow, but if I can get 90-95% flexibility back, I'll be happy. Plus, my therapist told me today that as I work more with the weights and my arm gets stronger, I'll be using it unconsciously for more work (heavier things, too), and that might help me regain still more flexibility. So things are looking up - even if my therapy continues into October, which it looks like it will.
    I said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm very lucky. I could have injured myself far worse when I fell on that ice; so I really can't complain about all this.

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    Administrator Honored Elder jeriddian's Avatar
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    Sounds like you had pretty good result overall, TWD. Congrats!
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    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeriddian View Post
    Sounds like you had pretty good result overall, TWD. Congrats!
    Thanks! I owe it all to a great bunch of therapists, and a lot of diligent exercise! (Not to mention a very skilled surgeon...)

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    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    TWD's latest elbow update:
    I'm still doing my arm exercises on a daily basis, and going to therapy once a week. We got our scheduling conflict resolved so I'll be seeing one of my regular therapists for the next six weeks - her baby-sitting snafu has been straightened out. It's funny, but sometimes when I bend my left arm at the elbow, that joint gets sore even if I don't do any lifting with it. It even hurts when the weather changes - like during the thunderstorms and rain we've been having the last couple of weeks. And when I do try some heavy lifting, it gets sore - today I went to set up my mom's booth at the art fair, and the aluminum frame for the canopy, although lighter than steel, was still heavy. I was able to get the thing out of the minivan and set it up (Mom helped as much as she could), but it still hurt; and I'm worried that any really heavy lifting might aggravate the elbow, injuring it further and causing me more problems. It could be I'm just being paranoid about the elbow, but I can't help it. The last thing I need right now is a crippling injury that puts me out of work for good. I can't afford something like that.

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    Administrator Honored Elder jeriddian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransWarpDrive View Post
    TWD's latest elbow update:
    I'm still doing my arm exercises on a daily basis, and going to therapy once a week. We got our scheduling conflict resolved so I'll be seeing one of my regular therapists for the next six weeks - her baby-sitting snafu has been straightened out. It's funny, but sometimes when I bend my left arm at the elbow, that joint gets sore even if I don't do any lifting with it. It even hurts when the weather changes - like during the thunderstorms and rain we've been having the last couple of weeks. And when I do try some heavy lifting, it gets sore - today I went to set up my mom's booth at the art fair, and the aluminum frame for the canopy, although lighter than steel, was still heavy. I was able to get the thing out of the minivan and set it up (Mom helped as much as she could), but it still hurt; and I'm worried that any really heavy lifting might aggravate the elbow, injuring it further and causing me more problems. It could be I'm just being paranoid about the elbow, but I can't help it. The last thing I need right now is a crippling injury that puts me out of work for good. I can't afford something like that.
    I'm afraid that you will likely always have that problem to a certain degree. With the injury you had, there will always be a certain amount of scar tissue within the joint. The bursa (joint capsule) will always be shrunken down a little compared to the other side, and covered with that scar tissue as well. I don't think you will cripple yourself, but that elbow will always be just a little bit less sturdy than your good one. Over time, it will gradually get better and better in terms of pain when you stress it by carrying stuff as you describe, but it will never quite go back to normal, just very close.

    One good thing though, you now have your own personal weather barometer.:P Joints that have been injured like that are sensitive to changes in weather. Unfortunately, the way it tells you is by aching.
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    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeriddian View Post
    One good thing though, you now have your own personal weather barometer.:P Joints that have been injured like that are sensitive to changes in weather. Unfortunately, the way it tells you is by aching.
    Yeah - the same way my knees do...

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    Registered User Exalted Member kyojikasshu's Avatar
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    Maybe you could consult your therapist about some kind of elbow support for use with some of those tasks? Like an elbow sleeve or brace... (small, lightweight brace, that is). The added support may let you feel a little more comfortable performing conventional tasks like that...

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    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Maybe you could consult your therapist about some kind of elbow support for use with some of those tasks? Like an elbow sleeve or brace... (small, lightweight brace, that is). The added support may let you feel a little more comfortable performing conventional tasks like that...
    You know, Rob, that's not a bad idea...I honestly hadn't thought about it. I'll have to remember that and suggest it to my therapist when I go in for my appointment on Thursday. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    I mentioned Rob's suggestion to my therapist on my visit last Thursday, and she thought a soft neoprene brace would be a good idea - but only while I was doing work that required me to do some lifting (in other words, don't wear it all the time). I'm going to check out the elbow braces at my local drugstore this week, and see what I can find there.
    As for my arm, well, I'm getting stronger each week. I work out on a resistance machine that resembles a giant ice-cream churn turned on its side. My therapist attaches various cranks and handles to this cylinder so I can give my arm muscles a workout doing all sorts of movements - turning wheels; cranking levers; twisting handles - that sort of thing. Each workout lasts for 200 seconds, and the strength I use in each exercise is displayed in bar-graph form on a computer screen attached to this machine.
    This work-out is in addition to the daily exercises I do at home with the therapeutic splint and the 3-pound dumbbells.
    I'm making progress, but my arm still aches when I use it - even when I'm not lifting anything at all. Oh, well...

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