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Old 12-28-2014, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Northeastern U.S.
1,416 posts, read 827,757 times
Reputation: 2764

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I fractured my left elbow two weeks ago; it was diagnosed as a radial head fracture. The orthopedic surgeon I consulted, who specializes in hand and arm injuries/fractures, told me I would not need surgery (as the young emergency room doctor had advised), and set me up with a physical therapist, with instructions to see him (the surgeon) again in 4 weeks. The surgeon told me not to wear the sling that they had given me in the E.R., to use the left arm as much as possible (except to drive my car), and not to lift anything heavier than 3-5 lbs.

The surgeon also told me my arm would feel better within 7-10 days, and prescribed pain medication.

I am very concerned because after two weeks, my arm feels no better. I am doing the physical therapy exercises 4 times a day, despite the discomfort that the exercises cause me; and can see no improvement in my range of motion.

I asked the surgeon, via phone, several days ago, whether this was normal, and he said yes.

Does anyone know how long it takes to have some improvement in range of motion after a radial fracture of the elbow, and/or how long a complete recovery can take - I'm not asking for a medical diagnosis (I wouldn't expect that on an online forum), but tips, opinions, guesses, range of possible recovery times would be helpful. I'm tired of the discomfort, miss being able to do everything I could do a little more than two weeks back (like type two-handed without pain). There are also some other consequences that are both emotionally and financially negative...


Thanks.


Regina14
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
23,649 posts, read 22,601,295 times
Reputation: 28929
Seemingly forever. I was in a cast for six weeks--this must have been a different type of fracture. I didn't have full range of motion and did have discomfort for a couple of months after the cast came off.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
13,608 posts, read 11,260,503 times
Reputation: 15454
Be careful, PTs are notorious for asking for too much work before
you are ready (healed more). I mean it. Follow your gut, not them.
Bones get so little blood supply...longer than ligaments that take 6-8 weeks.
So sorry...and yes, please don't chance it and lift anything heavy.
Take care.

Oh, remember to massage the area to increase blood supply.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Northeastern U.S.
1,416 posts, read 827,757 times
Reputation: 2764
I saw my new PT today. My Radial Head Fracture is Type II, which is better than Type III, but not as good as Type I.

Unfortunately, it turns out that all my discomfort from the exercises I have been doing for 2 weeks was wasted, because my elbow has not improved at all. It seems I wasn't doing the exercises properly. (I have always found it difficult to learn exercises from diagrams and one lesson, needing continued instruction and supervised performance to get them right)

To say I am disappointed is an understatement.

When I questioned her, my PT (who is neither cheerful or particularly sympathetic) said that if I did not improve, I might need surgery. She said whether I improve is up to me. She did show me how to do the exercises right; so hopefully I am doing them right now and will improve (they cause even more pain). I will be seeing her 2x a week starting 1/7/15. I must work harder at the exercises; I do not want to have surgery!

Can't help but think that if they had scheduled today's appointment on 12/24 or 12/26, I would have caught this problem sooner; but maybe there were no appointments available.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:26 AM
 
1 posts, read 5,888 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Regina14 View Post
[FONT="Georgia"]I fractured my left elbow two weeks ago; it was diagnosed as a radial head fracture. The orthopedic surgeon I consulted, who specializes in hand and arm injuries/fractures, told me I would not need surgery (as the young emergency room doctor had advised), and set me up with a physical therapist, with instructions to see him (the surgeon) again in 4 weeks. The surgeon told me not to wear the sling that they had given me in the E.R., to use the left arm as much as possible (except to drive my car), and not to lift anything heavier than 3-5 lbs.

The surgeon also told me my arm would feel better within 7-10 days, and prescribed pain medication.

I am very concerned because after two weeks, my arm feels no better. I am doing the physical therapy exercises 4 times a day, despite the discomfort that the exercises cause me; and can see no improvement in my range of motion.

I asked the surgeon, via phone, several days ago, whether this was normal, and he said yes.

Does anyone know how long it takes to have some improvement in range of motion after a radial fracture of the elbow, and/or how long a complete recovery can take - I'm not asking for a medical diagnosis (I wouldn't expect that on an online forum), but tips, opinions, guesses, range of possible recovery times would be helpful. I'm tired of the discomfort, miss being able to do everything I could do a little more than two weeks back (like type two-handed without pain). There are also some other consequences that are both emotionally and financially negative...


Thanks.
[/FONT]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Regina14[/FONT]
Hello,
I know we're not the same person but I recently fracture my right elbow March 19th (Radial Neck Fracture) ... For the first 2 weeks I was in a splint and sling .. Then I stop wearing the splint and was just using the sling. for the 3rd week & 4th week I was doing elbow exercises, straightening my arm(up and down) and trying to turn my wrist/forearm. I can hold items up to 5 lbs. As of today my arm is completely straight and amazing motion but my hand can't fully face palm up. I am on my 5th week now and I've been doing a couple exercises to try and turn it. it hurts every now and then when I'm trying to face it palm up.
Moral of the story is, Try not to use your sling as much as you can. only use it when your out. even when you're out just remove your hand from the sling and stretched at least 20 times every hour.
Idk if it'll help you but it help me.
I HOPE YOU FIND THIS HELPFUL
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:45 AM
 
1 posts, read 5,180 times
Reputation: 10
I broke my elbow 3months ago was in cast for 6 weeks everything was fine and the past 2 days my elbow has been extremley pained. Could bring on such pain?
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Old Today, 12:30 PM
 
1 posts
Reputation: 10
My x-ray showed a radial head fracture. Dr referred me to orthopedic specializing in hand, wrist, and elbow. Not able to get in until the 8th day of my x-ray. x-ray was done the 5th day after the fall. My fault for the delay. I read a lot about the x-ray results. Seems to compare with a fracture II. I have not worn a sling but started wearing an elbow support strap on the 6th day due to keeping my husband up at night.. I would move and would have sharp pains, which had me saying Ouch a lot. Now it's the 10th day since my fall, I c the ortho in 3 days. I have 80% mobility in my arm. cannot lift 5 lbs, without pain, cannot open and shut car door with no injury. Cannot put a lot of pressure trying to open a jar or anything that causes strain. I feel I don't need to see an ortho and it's just going to take time to heal 6 to 8 weeks. Thoughts?
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Old Today, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Southern California
20,935 posts, read 7,008,730 times
Reputation: 14050
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missmydale View Post
My x-ray showed a radial head fracture. Dr referred me to orthopedic specializing in hand, wrist, and elbow. Not able to get in until the 8th day of my x-ray. x-ray was done the 5th day after the fall. My fault for the delay. I read a lot about the x-ray results. Seems to compare with a fracture II. I have not worn a sling but started wearing an elbow support strap on the 6th day due to keeping my husband up at night.. I would move and would have sharp pains, which had me saying Ouch a lot. Now it's the 10th day since my fall, I c the ortho in 3 days. I have 80% mobility in my arm. cannot lift 5 lbs, without pain, cannot open and shut car door with no injury. Cannot put a lot of pressure trying to open a jar or anything that causes strain. I feel I don't need to see an ortho and it's just going to take time to heal 6 to 8 weeks. Thoughts?
So you did not have a surgery, right?

From all I read the younger a person the better the healings. Time it takes can be different for every one.
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