Elbow injury due to hyperextension (I think) (radial head fracture)

by George
(Massachusetts)

While not directly a result of a sports activity, this injury may affect my recreational sporting-- golf, fishing, paddling etc.


I am a 58y/o male. A few days ago I caught a bundle of sheetrock-- two sheets-- by the edge as it dropped about two feet into my left hand. I believe it snapped my arm straight. There was no contact against my elbow, but it felt as if the edge had landed directly on the inside of my elbow joint.

There was no extreme pain but I experienced immediate discomfort and loss of full contraction or extension without great discomfort. It was x-rayed the next day and a small fracture of the radial head was noted. Swelling and bruising appeared along the ulnar side of the arm from the elbow to about 3" above the wrist and it is very uncomfortable (tight and painful) when I rotate my left hand from a flat position, palm down, on a table so that the thumb is raised to a palm-up position.

I iced it the first day or so and was put in a sling by my doctor. It is now very tender to the touch at the point where I imagine the ulnar collateral ligament attaches (medial side). Also the bruising extends about 3" above the elbow joint on the med side with tenderness in this area

Are you familiar with this type of injury? What should I do? I plan a follow-up visit for further x-rays. Is this a common injury? Should I expect a quick recovery?

I am very appreciative of anything you might tell me.

Comments for Elbow injury due to hyperextension (I think) (radial head fracture)

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Jul 07, 2008
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Ice, rest, and patience...
by: Bart - SII

George - sorry to hear about your injury. It sounds like you probably suffered some muscle strain as well as the radial head fracture.

The pain you get with rotating your palm up is most likely due to the fracture - when you rotate your palm, the radial head rotates within the socket of the elbow. This motion also stresses the muscles of the forearm - which you most likely injured when you caught the sheet rock.

Whether you injured the UCL or the flexor muscles, the soft tissue injury should heal well over the next few weeks - the radial head fracture will probably take 4-6 weeks to heal - so I would follow your physicians recommendations with regards to wearing the sling and your activity levels.

You may have some motion loss as your fracture heals, and some type of rehabilitation after you are healed may be beneficial.

It is hard to put a time frame on how long this could take to heal, but I would guess somewhere between 2-3 months.

Hope this helps - comment back if you have other questions.

Jul 14, 2008
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update
by: George

Thanks for the prompt reply. In a follow-up visit with an orthopedic specialist, I was assured that my ligaments and tendons are intact, but that I have most likely suffered a muscle tear, which will heal best if I maintain full use and motion of my arm, rather than supporting it in a sling, which can do more damage to the shoulder joint through inactivity. I'm concerned because the distal body of my biceps appears to be much smaller where the apparent tear is, but I'm assuming this will regain it's shape as the muscle repairs--- another question for the next follow-up. I'll keep you posted-- and again, thanks for the quick and caring reply.

Feb 25, 2009
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similar Injury
by: Anonymous

I sustained a similiar injury to yours and was given pretty much the same instruction for recovery.
I was in a sling for a short time when it was first seen as a stress fracture in my ulna, then during an MRI muscle tear was shown.
So, I worked with therapy bands for a while, still trying to rest and do no heavy lifting. I am a big sports enthusiast, so it was hard not to be able to play sports. I would say my injury was pretty relevant for about 2 1/2 months. Now, even 10 months later I still feel pain in that area from over use. So, take time to heal properly and do as much rehab as possible after recoery to streghten those muscles back.
Best of Luck for recovery.

Mar 11, 2009
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NEED ADVICE ON FRACTURE
by: BRUCEMAN

I HAD A SLIP ON THE ICE, DID GET A RADIAL FRACTURE. BUT THEY MISSED IT ON X-RAY..THEN GOT A C SCAN TWO DAYS LATER MISSED IT AGAIN...I WENT TO PT FOR 5 WEEKS.. DOCTOR SAID SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT...ORDERED MRI AND FOUND THE FRACTURE..HOW COULD IT TAKE 3 TRIES TO FIND THE PROBLEM>>>HELP STILL IN PAIN HAPPENED 12-13-08 NOW IT IS 3-11-09. THANK YOU BRUCE

Mar 12, 2009
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recent fracture
by: Anonymous

i suffered a radial head fracture from a fall earlier this week. er doc found it on the xray, put me in a fiberglass splint with a sling, gave me pains meds and told me to followup with ortho doc. saw ortho doc 2 days later, more xrays which were painful to do, said if was a very difficult to see fracture but it is there. removed the fiberglass splint and sling and started me doing strengthening exercises immediately. hurt so bad i thought i was going to throw up from the pain... 24 hours later i am feeling a lot better. found i could do the exercises while lying in the tub without as much discomfort. there is something to be said or hydrotherapy. i was given execises to do on my own; no scheduled PT outside of that and return in 3 weeks. i will feel like i've accomplished something when i can get the fork back to my mouth again!! i have heard that some radial head fracture do not show up on xrays for 3 weeks.

Apr 02, 2009
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Bi lateral Radial head fracture
by: Anonymous

I am a 54 year old female who has suffered a bilateral radial head facture with my right being much worse than my left, during a trip and fall on a concrete patio. I had immediate pain in both wrists and elbows. Fractures showed up on x-rays at ER and right arm was splinted and both arms were put into slings with instructions to see Orthopedic doctor ASAP. Ortho doctor evaluated x-rays and removed the sling from my left arm and told me to start using it as much as I could. Right required a CT Scan to determine severity of the fracture. CT Scan came back good and doctor removed splint, gave me pain meds and told me to start therapy three times a week for 2-1/2hrs a day plus do excersises. It has been four months of therapy and my left arm has full range of motion and other than muscle stiffness and occassional pain is pretty normal. My right however has approximately 80% of movement both extension and flexion and doctor feels that further therapy will not gain much. Living with the limitation for now to see how my life is affected. Looking at possiblity of orthroscopic surgery on my right elbow and more therapy to improve motion. Not ready for anyone to cut on me yet.

Sep 02, 2009
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I feel your pain!
by: Pam

George,
Sorry to hear about your injury. It is definitely painful. I am currently recovering from a radial head fracture also. It has been 7 weeks. I have been working hard at home doing exercises to regain full extension. I have reached that. Still working on full flexion. I can touch my shoulder now but still painful. I did not go to a therapist. I figured I can exercise at home and not have to pay someone to watch. My orthopedist says the bone is not fully healed from the last x-ray at 7 weeks. I am to continue exercising and being very careful--no lifting with the arm. I go back in a month for another x-ray. Hoping the bone will show fully healed by then. I still have aching on the inside of the elbow and down the arm toward the wrist depending on what I've been doing. Good luck to you for a full recovery. Remember, no pain no gain. It does hurt to get the joint loose again.

Sep 02, 2009
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I feel your pain!
by: Pam

George,
Sorry to hear about your injury. It is definitely painful. I am currently recovering from a radial head fracture also. It has been 7 weeks. I have been working hard at home doing exercises to regain full extension. I have reached that. Still working on full flexion. I can touch my shoulder now but still painful. I did not go to a therapist. I figured I can exercise at home and not have to pay someone to watch. My orthopedist says the bone is not fully healed from the last x-ray at 7 weeks. I am to continue exercising and being very careful--no lifting with the arm. I go back in a month for another x-ray. Hoping the bone will show fully healed by then. I still have aching on the inside of the elbow and down the arm toward the wrist depending on what I've been doing. Good luck to you for a full recovery. Remember, no pain no gain. It does hurt to get the joint loose again.

Sep 09, 2009
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Radial Head Fracture
by: Lynne

I suffered a radial head fracture to my right elbow 3.5wks ago from a fall off my bicycle, for a wk i was sure it was just a badly sprained and bruised elbow as did not swell up but i could not straighten my elbow and was in a lot of pain, when i eventually visited hospital a wk later after hearing and feeling clicking in my forarm and being in excruciating pain it was xrayed and i was told it was a radial head fracture and was put in foam sling for 2 wks and told that i would be referred for physiotherapy. I returned to hospital yesterday for my follow up appointment and consultant just looked at my arm and instructed me to do excercises. I was dismayed that i was not sent for a follow up xray as i am still in a lot of pain and would have liked to have had the chance to compare the two xrays for my own peace of mind. When i asked about referral for physio i was told that i had been told verbally what excercises i needed to do and that i didn't need to go for physio. I was told they would not need to see me at hospital again. I feel totally let down by our NHS and feel that i should not have been discharged so soon. Anyone else had similar experience?

Sep 09, 2009
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Radial Head Fracture
by: Lynne

I suffered a radial head fracture to my right elbow 3.5wks ago from a fall off my bicycle, for a wk i was sure it was just a badly sprained and bruised elbow as did not swell up but i could not straighten my elbow and was in a lot of pain, when i eventually visited hospital a wk later after hearing and feeling clicking in my forarm and being in excruciating pain it was xrayed and i was told it was a radial head fracture and was put in foam sling for 2 wks and told that i would be referred for physiotherapy. I returned to hospital yesterday for my follow up appointment and consultant just looked at my arm and instructed me to do excercises. I was dismayed that i was not sent for a follow up xray as i am still in a lot of pain and would have liked to have had the chance to compare the two xrays for my own peace of mind. When i asked about referral for physio i was told that i had been told verbally what excercises i needed to do and that i didn't need to go for physio. I was told they would not need to see me at hospital again. I feel totally let down by our NHS and feel that i should not have been discharged so soon. Anyone else had similar experience?

Sep 22, 2009
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radial head fracture
by: connie

I am a 57 year old female and fell Friday, had x-rays of my right arm which revealed minimally displaced radial head fracture. I was put in a sling, prescribed vicodin and told to follow up with orthopedist. Yesterday had apt., today he is sending me for a CT T today, talked to me about surgery and putting in 2 pins has anyone had this surgery or know anything about it?
thanks

Oct 08, 2009
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radial head fracture
by: Lisa

I fell on a wet floor on April 2, 2009 and fractured my right radial head. I was put in a sling for two weeks. It was the most excruciating pain I had ever experienced.

After six weeks I started physical therapy. I have had two sessions of PT for 12 weeks. Although somewhat better, I have severe pain across my forearm and in my bicep area still.

I have lost 20 degrees of extension and 10 degrees of flexion. I am not ready to settle for these results.

It has been almost 6 months since I broke it and I just dont think it should still be so painful. Going to orthopaedic doctors again tomorrow for some answers.

Oct 15, 2009
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radial head fracture left arm
by: tj

I fell on my left arm I tried to stop my fall.. (Sept 26) palm of hand was bruised turned black, then fell again...I use to be a good athlete...oh well, elbow was black and blue. I continued to work for 2 weeks. pain was very bad when tuking in my shirt. went for xrays..broken radial head. I was put into a splint and I am now off work..going crazy with nothing to do.. no lifting. I go back in 2 weeks. I hope that this will heal fast. I was told to do small exercises when I take off the splint. does anyone have any suggestions on how long does it take to heal...should I still do exercises when popping noise occurs when rotating arm palm up palm down motion..or will this help in long run.
thanks for time
tj

Oct 15, 2009
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Follow up to my post of March 15
by: Anonymous

Well it has been 7 months now. I have full use of my elbow. I immediately begain doing exercises the WEEK I broke it. It helped to do them while in the bathtub under the water. So if anyone has access to water therapy; it works great. I still have trouble when I vaccuum or turn my arm a certain way. It will hurt and I am fearful of it breaking again. I imagine arthritis will or has developed and that will cause pain at certain times. Good luck to all who are just now going through this..it does get better in time.

Oct 20, 2009
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RHF with surgery
by: Anonymous

I suffered a radial head fracture while trail running. Used a sling for 10days as per order from ER, then saw an orthopedic dr. He ordered a CT scan and from this decided that surgery was necessary. Two sc rews wre put in to line up the bone and prevent problems later such as arthritis. That was a week ago, today is exactly one month since the accident. I am still in pain, and frustrated with the splint. I get the stitches out in a few days and will start PT soon. It's good to hear that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and just want full use of my arm back!

Nov 18, 2009
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Radial Head Fracture/Sheared Capitellum
by: Anonymous

Connie, I had procedure you mention two weeks after you posted. Radial head fracture with sheared capitellum (bone displacement). The displaced bone (along with the cartilage attached to it) were reattached using two absorbable screws or pins. This left a four inch cut on the arm. As an avid canoer, I was very worried about permanent effects of the break. At first I could barely bend the arm at the elbow - my min/max range of motion was between 60/90 degrees from full extension. I gradually decreased the amount of time spent wearing the sling over the first week and a half, trying to extend the arm but not pushing it hard at all. At around nine days I returned to the Ortho and was re-x-rayed. All was well and he told me to spend time stretching the arm using gravity; hold the arm straight out from the shoulder and let gravity pull the forearm down for a minute(works best on the arm of a chair), then bend the forearm back towards the shoulder for another minute. I began to "push" the forearm in both directions for the next four weeks, slowly gaining more and more motion. I tried to take it slow, maybe stretching for 5 minutes 5-6 times a day. I wanted to force it more but was worried about causing damage. Went back at six weeks and got another x-ray. Probably had motion from 10 degrees to 120-130 degrees. I could barely touch my shoulder with my thumb if I twisted my wrist the right way. He told me it was sufficiently healed to start being more much agressive with my range of motion exercises, but wasn't quite ready to start any weight training. I began to seriously stretch out the arm; at first there were a lot of small popping noises(the doctor told me that skin does this some time?) but they went away as I worked it more. When the foream is pushed really hard it starts to shake and does hurt pretty good, but I am definitely seeing improvement after only 2 days since I really started pushing it. I feel confident that I will be able to regain full motion in the elbow. Hope this helps anyone else considering this surgery.

Feb 17, 2010
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Fractured radial head left Elbow
by: Sue

I fell off a horse 3 weeks ago, I landed on my outsreached hands, i badly dislocated my finger and fractured my radial head on my left elbow. I was advised to wear a sling for 10 days. My elbow is still very painful especially at night.As I have MS I thought it may be worse but it seems that I am experiencing the same pain as everyone else. I think you should start Physio as soon as poss.

Feb 22, 2010
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Radial head fracture
by: Saurabh

Hi,

I had a displaced radial head fracture 4 months back and I was told that I would never regain full ROM. But I did not want to settle for this and I decided to go for aggressive physio for 2 weeks. It is quite painful and hence demotivating but the results were great! I used to go to physio everyday and at home I used to do hydrotherapy (stuck my elbow under hot water and exercise)twice a day. I gained my full ROM within 10 sessions of physio.
A lot depends on the physiotherapist.

All the best to all of you guys.


Mar 08, 2010
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I had something very similar happen before
by: Curtis

Well I fell during gym class and my elbow bent the wrong way, I had a radial head fracture, im 14 and it took me 6 weeks to be able to go snowboarding again, so it takes a while.

Apr 11, 2010
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severe break with crushed elbow
by: granny12

i am 59 and had a fall. i broke all three bones in my left arm and totally crushed my elbow. had surgery on it and it has been 8 weeks and i still have a lot of pain in my arm. sometimes just sitting pain will shoot down my arm and now i notice that my arm is getting thick. any suggestions. and by the way went to therapy and also had an elbow brace. dr said that i would never regain full use of my arm. so now go figure i am left handed and that is the arm i broke. cant feed myself right or anything else. how long does it take before this pain of a level of 5 or 6 will go away. i have it daily. have plate and screws so does this effect healing time also

May 09, 2010
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Granny goodluck, Radial head replacement
by: Anonymous

Dear Granny,

Sorry to hear about your pain. You should get back in touch with your ortho doctor. You can not exercise properly if your pain level is so high. I shattered my radial head and had a full radial head replacement in August 2009. I have had 2 manipulations under anesthia and several months of physical therapy at twice a week. The last manipulation was done just 9 days ago. I am back in therapy on a jas splint and a full motion machine for the next 12 days. Pain has to be controlled either by meds or by ice/heat in order to continue the exercises that need to be done over and over sometimes for months. I was told that the elbow is the toughest joint so you will need to be even tougher. You may want to see another ortho for a second opinion before you accept that you will never get motion back.
Good luck, this is not an easy injury and you will need to stay focused. I wish you the best.

Jul 04, 2010
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Radial Head Fracture
by: Jack

I tripped over a chain and fell at Disneyworld halfway through out vacation last Wednesday evening. I didn't have full range of motion and figured it was a sprain. On Saturday, our last day of vacation, I went to an urgent care center and had it x-rayed. It's a small radial head fracture. They gave me a sling. I'll see an ortho this week. My goal is to be able to touch my shoulder again. I'm not as concerned about full extension. I can turn my palm up with pain right now. When I was there I found out my blood pressure was high. Maybe my fall will actually benefit me as a result.

Jul 05, 2010
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A trip will do it!
by: Mary

Hi Jack,
I tripped over my own two feet a couple of weeks ago and also ended up with a radial head fracture. Last week I saw the orthopedic doctor and he removed the splint, re-xrayed my elbow and put me in a fiberglass cast for another three weeks until my next visit. Do not try to rotate your palm unless your orthopedic doctor tells you it is okay; this could cause the fracture to snap further. It is good you found out about your high blood pressure; sometimes elevated blood pressure can be associated with pain, work with your docor to monitor your blood pressure.

Jul 06, 2010
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Radial head fracture question
by: Anonymous

Hi,

I'm a 22 year old male. I fractured my radial head two months ago. For the most part, I don't have any problems doing every day things. My biggest concern is golfing and lifting weights. On my golf swing follow-through, there is some play/movement in my elbow. It not that painful, but annoying. It overall feels weaker than my other elbow also, not too bad though.

Will it just take time for my injury to go from 90% to 100%? I'd sure appreciate some input. Thanks.

Kyle

Jul 06, 2010
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Radial head fracture question
by: Kyle

Hi,

I'm a 22 year old male. I fractured my radial head two months ago. For the most part, I don't have any problems doing every day things. My biggest concern is golfing and lifting weights. On my golf swing follow-through, there is some play/movement in my elbow. It not that painful, but annoying. It overall feels weaker than my other elbow also, not too bad though.

Will it just take time for my injury to go from 90% to 100%? I'd sure appreciate some input. Thanks.

Kyle

Aug 11, 2010
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11 year old daughter with radial head fracture and dislocation
by: JenB

My daughter was pushed down at school by another student in April 2008. Upon evaluation by an E.R. doctor it was determined that her left elbow was fractured and dislocated at the radial head. She underwent emergency surgery that night and had two pins inserted. Needless to say everything didn't heal correctly, and with months of PT under our belt we had to stop. She has had another surgery 6 months following to remove some torn cartilage and to try to repair a divot in her bone. Now 2 1/2 years later she is having a radial head resection in a week and a half. Her range of motion is terrible right now, and the pain keeps getting worse for her. Please don't take this type of injury lightly, as we have spent the last +2 years dealing with this. I am worried about the resection surgery, and would like to know if anyone else has had this procedure done. Good Luck to everyone!!

Aug 11, 2010
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Broke my Left Elbow
by: DMH

I tripped on a step and broke my left radial head 2 weeks ago. I'm 54 yr old woman, so I know my bones aren'tgoing to be as strong heal quickly like those of a child or younger person.

Treatment I've gotten so far-
1. Urgent Care-xrayed arm , diagnosed fracture, gave me sling to wear. Referred me to:
2. Sports Medicine Doc- Got in same day as break, first thing he said was keep my arm OUT of sling as much as possible, try keep muscles relaxed, and told me now to lift anything heavier than magazine. Ordered CAT scan of elbow and after got results referred me to :
3.Orthopedic Surgeon-he scheduled to operate on elbow even before met with me. Saw him this week, discussed CAT scan, he suggested he would do radial head replacement.
I showed him what I could do with arm-11 days after break, basically could take palm up,down, flex, extend fairly well. So, decision to have me do PT exercised on arm at home 4-5times/day, after using heating pad on arm 15-20 minutes to loosen up muscles. Will meet with Physical Therapists next week, and havearm rexrayed in a month.
Also, the Orthopedic and Sports Med. docs both said keep arm out of sling, and use it little bit. NO lifting though.
One other piece of info got this week. The Ortho doc said not to take Advil or any NSAID . The reason is that the process of new bone formation amd bone healing is an inflammatory process. Since ibuprofen and other NSAIDs are anti-inflammatory typed drugs, they could impede the process.

Aug 27, 2010
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pediatric elbow pain please help
by: Anonymous

my daughter was grabbed violently by a large woman who dragged her 40 feet. she was grabbed with the person's thumb on the inside of my daughter's elbow (front arm) the mri and xray show no tears or injury. my daughter is in pain, her right arm makes a popping sound every time she extends her arm it is very loud sound. she cannot lift heavy items and is in pain alot. she states she can feel "something" move against her bone (i think it is her tendon) she was diagnosed intially with a severs contusion and now with Lateral Epicondylitis but it is interesting that she is diagnosed with a repeatative movement diagnosis when she does not use the arm that was pulled. her injury is in her right arm and she is left handed. she was twisted and pulled elbow and shoulder. how can she be in pain when there is nothing showing up on the mri or xray? what should we be looking for? what is wrong with her??? please advise, I can send any additional information you may need.

Mar 29, 2011
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Traumatic radial head fracture
by: Bobby

I was stepping of my deck at our trailer and missed the step. I was told that I crushed my Radial head. Doctor said not many people are walking around with this prosthesis. Proceedure was done June 2010. I continued physiotherapy for 3 to 4 hrs a day, physiotherapist says I have come a long way in Dec. and said I have plateaued and doctor agrees. Now my extension lag of 5 degrees,flexion at 110 degrees, suspination limited to 10 degrees, grip strength 30lbs pressure- 60 lbs on the left and limited both in internal and external rotation ( dominant hand is the injured elbow)and parasthesia of 4th and 5th digit. I feel pain from shoulder to finger stiffness, pins and needles, prickling sensations relating to the ulnar nerve. I have done alot of reading and haven't read this example, mostly people are back to they're work and continue a normal life. So whats up' am I the exception? Does this cicumstance sound similar to anyone take any medicine at all and just caryy on my day the best I can.

Mar 30, 2011
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radial head prosthesis
by: Anonymous

In June 2003, I was on a ladder and it slide out from under me. I shattered the radial head in my left elbow, fractured my left scaphoid and had a t12 burst fracture in my back. I have massive pain from my back and elbow injuries. In spite of being on several narcotics and other pain medication my elbow is really getting to throb especially when I rest. When I had the prosthetic put in I was told they can cause problems and need replaced in 7-10 years. Could this be why it is increasingly throbbing?

Apr 15, 2011
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UCL hyperextension
by: Stormie

I got my arm wrapped in a dog leash while training my dog & got my arm from my elbow to my fingers twisted backwards.I went to ortho e said I had torn the UCL the main ligament in arm.he put my arm in full cast, because he said if it didn't heal right I would have chronic pain in my arm the rest of my life.so if you're still got pain & swelling you may want to see an ortho dr. Hope you get better soon.

Feb 06, 2012
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Baseball- pitching NEW
by: Anonymous

I have just recently hyperextended my arm due to pitching and I feel a very tight pain right above my elbow and forearm but below the tricep on the back of the left arm. I need recommendations on what to do so I can start to pitch as soon as possible!

Apr 21, 2012
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Displaced radial head pinned with 5 screws - limited rotation NEW
by: Ness

I fell down a bank while mountainbiking and badly shattered my right elbow and badly sprained my right ankle.

My elbow was smashed into 4 separate pieces which were displaced half a centimetre. I got surgery on my elbow and they managed to screw all the bits back together then screw that back onto the radius bone - 5 screws in total in a tiny wee area.

I had a cast on for two weeks then was in a sling for 6 weeks (although I rarely wore it as the physio said to let my arm hang.) No lifting or using my right arm at all during this time and no physio as the repair to the bone was so fragile.

I have regained some movement in my elbow - extension at a guess is 30 degrees off straight and flexion about 20 degrees off. However I can't really rotate my forearm AT ALL! Only about 5 degrees rotation. The doctor doesn't know why as it could rotate after surgery... He said it may be due to a screw that has come out slightly or soft tissue has attached itself to the bone which is preventing it from turning. It feels like a mechanical block.
I'm pretty worried I'll never get that rotation movement back. They might need to do surgery again to see what is going on. Has anyone else experienced this?

May 16, 2012
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radial head fracture NEW
by: lori

I fell two weeks ago and was diagnosed with a radial head fracture. Er doc put me in a sling. Knowing the consequences from previous broken bones i started extending and stretching my arm that DAY. The ortho doc is impressed with my range of motion. I found that using gravity and the weight of my own arm helps to improve extension. Then just this morning while taking a shower that the hot water helps me to extend my arm futher. So i went to a friends house and used her hot tub and did some stretching and straightening excersises in there. You would believe the improvement of extension after just 30 min. Give the hot tub a try if you have this injury.

May 16, 2012
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radial head fracture NEW
by: lori

I fell two weeks ago and was diagnosed with a radial head fracture. Er doc put me in a sling. Knowing the consequences from previous broken bones i started extending and stretching my arm that DAY. The ortho doc is impressed with my range of motion. I found that using gravity and the weight of my own arm helps to improve extension. Then just this morning while taking a shower that the hot water helps me to extend my arm futher. So i went to a friends house and used her hot tub and did some stretching and straightening excersises in there. You would believe the improvement of extension after just 30 min. Give the hot tub a try if you have this injury.

Apr 22, 2013
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Radial head fracture NEW
by: Amy

i have the same thing...i was playing around with my dog and when she jumped up on me i got knocked over and i landed on my left elbow, i knew right off that there was something broken i couldnt rotate my arm or straighten it i had also lost all feeling in my hand at the time they put it in a sling for 1 week and when i saw the orthopedic they said i could remove the sling so i did..i have the same bruising about 3 inches up my arm from my elbow on the ulna side and i also have a bruise on the outside of my elbow where i broke...where i broke wasnt painfull at all but now its very tender and i get this very bad feeling of pressure in my elbow and from my elbow to my hand goes numb....did you experiance this?...its been 2 weeks since my injury. should i call my orthopedic and be seen before my next xray...i go back may 3rd

May 21, 2013
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radial head fracture NEW
by: Raelene

I fell on a outstretched arm broke my radial head in 3 peices, sept 2010, had surgery, 3 headless screws, went thru alot of pt. all the while my wrist hurt, had a arthragram a yr later, had 2 torn ligaments, had surgery on that january 2012, had a screw and 2 pins, 6 weeks later they pull the pins out, more pt...I still have pain in my wrist, and elbow, had arthragram on my elbow, which shows that one of the bones had settlment, and thats why it clicks and catches at certain movements, that little piece of bone has also rubbed away my cartledge between the radial head and humerus. The dr says the only way to fix it is a radial head replacement. Im afraid I will end up in a worse situation, I can only take off work 90 max, my dr says I can b back to work by then, I am a fedex courier, and dont wanna lose my job, or become disabled, Any sugestions from others who have had a replacment? thanks

May 21, 2013
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update on my radial head NEW
by: amy

I went back to the orthopedic surgeon may 3rd and they did more xrays and it has completely healed i have full use of my arm and full rotation of my arm...definitely nothing i want to do again tho haha

Sep 25, 2013
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Radial Head progress NEW
by: Anonymous

I fractured my radial head falling off my bicycle while on holiday in Spain. They aspirated the blood out of the joint and cast it. Unfortunately cast was too tight and caused lots of selling and pain in my hand and bicep/tricep, after not sleeping for 4 days I went to a different clinic and they said it was too tight and re-cast it (in a plaster splint not a full one to allow for the swelling). I got panic attacks after the very long stressful time in the trauma unit (nearly 10 hours waiting to find out from the MRI scans if I had head/neck injuries) but I have since read that quite a few people get panic attacks after breaking something/accidents due to the adrenalin rush and the body becomes over sensitised. After the first plaster cast was removed I also got cramping and spasms in my upper arm, right down into my chest, which I was then prescribed muscle relaxants for and medication to help me sleep/help with the panic attacks. I then flew back to the UK which was okay (I was worried it might hurt or swell a lot on the plane but I propped it on a cushion and it was okay). The cast was removed (2 weeks total in the cast) and just used a sling after that. Needed to fly to New York which was okay with medication. I still wasn't sleeping well, because of the anxiety and spasms and at the end of the days my elbow would swell a lot causing pins and needles and numbness down to my hand and fingers an the joint burning and hot to the touch. Icing it helps with this as does lying down and elevating it on a pillow. I am now on week 4 and the improvement has been huge. From feeling like it was uncomfortable and hard not to think about it 24/7 to doing exercises the last 2 weeks (turning palm over, extension, raising arm above shoulder, pumping my fist to ensure blood flow) and 3 physio appointments where they have spent time loosening muscles in the arm and the small hematomas in my bicep that I had got from the original cast being too tight and loosening the shoulder blade and hip flexors which has helped the extension. My anxiety has calmed a lot. I am still concerned with whether I will get full extension but I have been told to stop wearing the sling so the arm hangs more naturally (so I am only wearing it in crowded situations in NYC, like the subway). I am doing a lot of things with my arms now - eating, typing, dressing etc , just being careful not to do anything heavy or too much twisting (I wouldn't open a door with it yet and cant really get it to my face to tie my hair up properly etc.). Anyway, I hope all this helps someone because I found the whole thing quite stressful (probably because I couldn't speak the language at the hospital) but just wanted to report how quick the recovery can start when it had seemed like it was getting worse for a while in the 2nd week. Keep busy, take good care of yourself as it is a shock to your whole system. Best wishes everyone for good recoveries xx

Aug 17, 2014
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Radial head fracture while on vacation. NEW
by: Anonymous

I smashed my elbow off a cement water slide while on vacation nearly 2 weeks ago in Punta Cana. Ortho doc showed me the fracture on X-ray. Was put in a sling and given weird codeine pills. When I got home I went to emerg, got more X-rays and the radiologist said no fracture? I go to the fracture clinic tomorrow and really not understanding why the fracture didn't show up. I have major bruising still and pain. I'm going to bring the X-ray cd done in Punta Cana to show ortho here. The ER doc didn't even want to look at it. P.S I'm in Ontario.

Mar 03, 2015
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Reply NEW
by: Bainz

At your age, I think it should be taken more serious. At this age it may take more time to cure this injury. So it is better to consult a specialized doctor and you should take much rest to cure this injury as soon as earlier. Take care! Pest equipment

Aug 06, 2015
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Radial head replacement, 2 weeks in..... NEW
by: Lisae

happy to find this thread - it's 3.30am & I have been awake all night in pain - too paranoid about accidentally overdosing to take any more pain relief & was looking to see if anyone had tried anything else as this is unbearable.
I had type 4 fracture after falling in the garden, so have had a replacement radial head and ligament reconstruction.
I'm out of the cast & start physio tomorrow (the thought of which is keeping me awake - have hardly any movement in the arm at the moment so I need to get on with it but with pain at the level it's at I am worried)
Not helped by major leg break 10 months ago - feeling pretty crappy about having two major breaks and surgeries in the space of 10 months.........
Questions - any pain advice would be a massive help?
Also supplements for bone strength?
Lastly balance seems to be an issue, anyone got experience or advice - really need to stay upright & stop breaking stuff, I'm only 43!
Sleepless in Clitheroe :-(

Sep 01, 2015
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Avery NEW
by: Anonymous

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Sep 28, 2015
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Elbow injury due to hyperextension NEW
by: Anonymous

I am extremely sorry with your elbow injury, i know how painful is that situation to handle. And to carry with such huge pain is just like a nightmare. I was here to pay for essays online on sports. And feel sad for your fracture. I really wish you to have a sweet recovery.

Oct 02, 2015
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Arabella NEW
by: Anonymous

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Feb 08, 2016
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radial head replacement NEW
by: sima

I had a radial head replacement in april 2015.still going for therapy ,it still hurts and the pain travels down to my forearm and up to my arm. It hurts due to change of weather.
I wish someone would tell me the honest truth about what to do. To make things worse I work in a Deli.

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