Viewing 31 posts - 1 through 31 (of 31 total)
  • Broken elbow, any experience?
  • nickfrog
    Free Member

    I fractured my elbow on Monday playing tennis and I am in a sling for 6 weeks or so.
    Has anyone had the same and how long did it take to ride a MTB again?

    Also, did you have forearm pain when you tried to rotate your hand? Seems a bit weird so I wonder if that there is also damage other than bone.

    I have a call with the Orthopaedic team today so they might help. Or might not, given how low a priority I am in the current health climate.

    smokey_jo
    Full Member

    Dislocated an elbow, after 12 months i could just about manage a 10 mile road ride on smooth roads. Took nearly 3 years to be back to MTB without pain. Driving was painful for 3 months.

    tommyhine
    Full Member

    what kind of fracture was it?

    i broke the end of the radius bone at the elbow hitting the deck at chicksands (and again a couple of years later playing rugby)

    It wasn’t to bad healing (left riding for a few months then it was okish) but I couldn’t fully straighten it for a number of years. fine now although it does click if my arm is in one position too long (holding a handle on the train etc)

    I was advised not to use a sling as that will make it worse for recovery so i was just careful for a while (although i broke some ribs at the same time so i wasn’t moving very fast anyway

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    My FiL broke his elbow in Dec and has spent 7 weeks in hospital so far with no end in sight. Or even plan, so far as we can tell.

    He is 93 tho so hopefully yours will go better!

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    Thank you. No idea what type it is. It’s the NHS after all 😂. I didn’t know there were different types, it’s the NHS after all. I don’t think it’s dislocated not that I actually know what that means.

    I only saw a nurse who said I was young at 54 and will heal quickly, like 6 weeks.

    Just concerned that my elbow doesn’t hurt but my forearm does when I rotate my hand.

    I have Vitality so I might call them and claim although that’s also a battle normally.

    If not then perhaps a quick trip to Paris to get some proper care in a normal medical environment 😂

    the00
    Free Member

    There are many different ways to break your elbow… Did you have surgery? The only people I know who broke their elbows did it in ways that needed surgery for metalwork. And then a second op to remove the metal some time later.

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Fractured mine, just a crack on the end of the bone, it healed up after a few weeks, had no complications and was back riding after a month or so with no issues, worst bit was the painkillers they gave me, some disproportionately strong thing, was totally out of it, had to stop taking them, the pain was more pleasant

    Friend had a very similar injury, took him ages to get over it, and he was married to a physio who was looking after him. Can just be an awkward injury for some folks. Take your time, let it heal

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    A long time ago, probably 30 years. It still gives me a bit of grief. I broke my left radial head (I think that’s right term, from memory). I was out for a run and didn’t see a discarded length of stiff wire in the verge which lasooed my feet leading to a face plant/smashed elbow. When they first X-rayed me, they didn’t see the fracture because of the angle. When I went back still in agony a week later, they took another and saw detached bone which had since fused in the wrong place – but too late to do anything about it. I had a bit of nerve damage with it, tingling and loss of feeling in my fingers. This is still there although it has got slightly better. My elbow also locks sometimes and doesn’t fully straighten. Eventually it gives with a bit of pain, clicks loudly and I can straighten it again. Sounds worse than it is, I’ve got used to it but it’s an inconvenience. Get thorough X-rays first time!

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    Thanks again. No surgery but then again I only saw a nurse, is that normal? Are all the doctors in Australia? 😂

    I should have asked more questions but while seemingly knowledgeable she didn’t think it was a big deal.

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    I have zero pain when I don’t move my arm even without pain killers. But I can’t rotate my hand more than 10deg without excruciating pain in the forearm yet still quasi none in the elbow. Makes no sense to me.

    akeys001
    Full Member

    sounds very similar to mine – fractured elbow right at the start of lock-down (wheelies fwiw) – sling for about 4 weeks but it got boring – I had a decent ache in my forearm for most of that time – I suspect it was the ramification of nerve damage from the impact – also when I rotated my wrist it would click a lot and could get excruciating (crepitus I seem to remember where ligaments/tendons are rebuilding) – I was supposed to do physio which I sacked off and regret – my left arm still can’t go as straight as my right (bit annoying for pointing in the correct direction 😉 ) – basically ymmv but I had all of what you have, I could use my arm ‘reasonably well’ after 4 weeks and it took a few months for me to forget about it. Painkillers for when it hurt a lot but if you’re worried get it checked.

    akeys001
    Full Member

    in fact I’d go as far as to say

    have zero pain when I don’t move my arm even without pain killers. But I can’t rotate my hand more than 10deg without excruciating pain in the forearm yet still quasi none in the elbow. Makes no sense to me.

    is exactly what I had for about 4 weeks but with a constant dull ache in the forearm muscle too

    akeys001
    Full Member

    care for a photo?! (WCA style?!)

    IMG_20200502_111747

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    nickfrog

    I have zero pain when I don’t move my arm even without pain killers. But I can’t rotate my hand more than 10deg without excruciating pain in the forearm yet still quasi none in the elbow. Makes no sense to me.

    That sounds familiar, think it’s just as you manipulate the joint you roll other bones over the point of the fracture and hence the shooting pain

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    @akeys001

    Thank you so much. I too have the forearm mild ache. Swelling but no bruising like yours though, thanks for the pic 😂. Shower is an issue…

    How long did it take you to ride off road again?

    Thx George too, makes sense.

    akeys001
    Full Member

    Shower is an issue…

    ah yeah didn’t think that through – at least it was the cropped version 😉

    The docs advice was to keep it moving (hence the sling and no cast nowadays) – so I was on my ss around town within a few weeks and bridlepaths within a few months – I took the view of push it quite hard and use painkillers quite a lot as I’m not going to make it worse unless I fall off again.

    Like I say the only regret was binning the physio too early – they were focussed on getting it straight again basically by forcing it with weights which also made it clear they wanted to push it really hard – one exercise was straighten arm as much as poss, then hold on to a 10kg dumbbell and let the weight straighten the arm for 10 mins. Also an elastic strap to straighten it, they may as well have stuck it in a vice and got the staff to jump on it. Looking back it explains why I binned it off.

    If honest it did take quite a few more months to be ‘back to normal’ but I managed around it. Blimey 4 years ago now, it was defo annoying and took a while but I’d advise getting on with everything asap.

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    Thank you. I am lucky to have access to the best local sport physio FOC through health insurance and LTA so will plenty of that. By shower I meant I am struggling to use it 😂, but then again I am French anyway..’

    akeys001
    Full Member

    👍

    jimmy748
    Full Member

    I broke the end off mine at Ft William in 2021, broke it July 21st and put in a cast at Ft William hospital then 3 weeks later had it nailed back on in Poole, then in a cast for 6 weeks.
    As soon as it was out the cast, I had no physio (wait was 6 weeks!) and just kept stretching it and moving it as much as possible.
    First time back on a bike was just round the block on September 11th, with the odd jaunt up and down the road, then I n September 18th doctor said I could resume gentle cycling, so I did 30 mile, 2500ft XC rode in the Geometron but just pootling downhills, then wheels on the ground XC rides for the next couple of week, followed by decent downhills and wheels off the ground from October 9th and bike park and black runs on October 17th.

    I wore elbow pads for the first few rides but ditched them because they rubbed the ends of the pins in my elbow, had he metal work removed end of last summer (off the bike 2 days) and it’s been fine since, just can’t straighten it quite as far as before.

    upintheair
    Free Member

    I fractured my olecranon (snapped the pointy bit at the end of my elbow off) in 2015. It was pinned back on soon afterwards, much like Jimmy498’s. I think I was in a cast for a very short time immediately after I broke it, but immediately following the operation it was in a soft sling and the advice was to keep moving it, if not fully using it. I was back road riding around 2.5 to 3 months after breaking it. Both my elbows used to hyperextend, but the broken one no longer does, although it goes very nearly straight. The broken arm is not quite as strong but that isn’t noticeable day to day.

    I’ve never had the metalwork removed! Maybe I should… I generally don’t notice it unless I rest my elbow on something flat and hard, or try to do a side plank.
    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    My sister broke her elbow mtbing. No sling, a bit of physio and fractute mended in 6 weeks. I don’t think you’ve dislocated it, as the pain is off the scale, (I’m recovering from dislocated upper arm and fracture yo ball joint, the pain was excruciating).

    Here’s to a speedy recovery.

    upintheair
    Free Member

    I fractured my olecranon (snapped the pointy bit at the end of my elbow off) in 2015. It was pinned back on soon afterwards, much like Jimmy498’s. I think I was in a cast for a very short time immediately after I broke it, but immediately following the operation it was in a soft sling and the advice was to keep moving it, if not fully using it. I was back road riding around 2.5 to 3 months after breaking it. Both my elbows used to hyperextend, but the broken one no longer does, although it goes very nearly flat. The broken arm is not quite as strong but that isn’t noticeable day to day.

    I’ve never had the metalwork removed! Maybe I should… I generally don’t notice it unless I rest my elbow on something flat and hard, or try to do a side plank.
    mrmoofo
    Full Member

    Broke mine years ago, on a snowboard at Tamworth Snowdome!

    I impacted bone onto the socket of the radius – sling for a few weeks.  It occasionally locks and clicks very loudly – they did talk about operating to remove the cup of the radius.  That seemed a bit drastic.

    burntembers
    Full Member

    I fractured elbow falling off MTB 25 years ago. Took a couple of months before I was back on bike. Was given exercises to do which involved rotating forearm. I didn’t have forearm pain, but remember could feel and hear crunching at the joint for a while which was a bit weird!

    Also remember the doctor nonchalantly saying (whilst looking at the X-ray) ” Mmm you are going to suffer arthritis in that joint when you’re older” which shocked me a bit at the time.

    prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    I broke one collar bone and the heads of both radii many years ago. Went over the bars in a classic cycling fall onto tarmac.

    the radius fractures were not displaced, albeit there was comminution on one, so I just had 2 slings for a few weeks and was told to try and use things as much as normal as the discomfort would allow.

    a humoral head fracture, displaced radial head fracture, ulna fracture, or complicated mix of those or any compounding component would likely not be as easily dealt with. But IANAOS.

    sprootlet
    Free Member

    Sounds like a radial head fracture from how you’ve been managed so far.

    Pain when you rotate your hand is because the radius and ulnar rotate over each other for that movement.

    Work on getting the movement back as pain allows, elbows can be very difficult to get the full range of movement back.

    Yes, you should have asked more questions

    smiffy
    Full Member

    You will discover how often you bang you elbow going around your daily life.

    smiffy
    Full Member

    And when you get to 58 years old you’ll start getting arthritic pain, however well it seemed to have healed up at the time.

    kitebikeski
    Free Member

    My daughter’s broken both hers – both radial head fractures. First one she was quite timid with, despite docs & physio telling her to keep it moving, kept it in a sling for first few weeks Took most of the season and off season to recover & get full movement back
    Second time she had loads of physio, & exercises & raced Whistler 6 weeks after the break.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Another fractured radius here. Right on the join to the elbow so was a tad hurty for a while. Also had pain when rotating the wrist. Putting a T-shirt on was a barrel of laughs too. Took it easy and was back commuting after ten weeks and back on MTB around five months I think. Can’t fully extend the arm any more and it tends to ache a bit in the colder months.

    I was advised to take it out of slings and try to move a bit after a few days. Few weeks in involved carrying a tin of beans for a bit.

    prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    Reminded by the comments of the ‘bottle test’ for radial function. 😂

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