Dislocated Elbow

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    Jul 12, 2013 12:04 AM GMT
    I managed to slip on some wet rocks while striper fishing with my son this Sunday. I landed on my right arm and dislocated my elbow, which introduced me to a level of pain I never knew existed. Luckily I only needed to be put under for a short time while the docs put everything back in place. Once that was done I felt much better. I needed a couple of Vicodin the day after, but since then no pain meds. The bruising is horrific and there's some swelling in my arm and hand that icing and elevation seem to control. The ortho doc has me in a range of motion 'Terminator' brace and says I should expect to have that for a month or two with the expectation of a complete recovery.

    I'm just wondering what other people's experience has been with recovery from elbow dislocation. Many thanks.
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    Jul 12, 2013 12:06 AM GMT
    OUCH. Be sure and do the physical therapy and don't skimp on it. I had something called adhesive capsulitis but that's not a dislocation and it was in the shoulder.

    Good luck with the recovery.
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    Jul 12, 2013 2:07 PM GMT
    Dislocations of hinge joints are very serious. Although you may feel at some point you can pretty much move it well, do not attempt to move it on your own without indication from your Sports Doctor/Orthopedist/Physical Therapist. You need patience and time for it to heal and recover its stability.

    Patience is a virtue. Wish you the best.
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    Jul 12, 2013 2:13 PM GMT
    As many have heard about my experience

    Right before Christmas, I tripped and fell and "fractured" my elbow. The ER said it was no big deal and 4 weeks and a sling and I would be fine.

    3 weeks in I was still in enormous pain. Went to my PCP who prescribed physical therapy.

    4 weeks later, elbow was still fractured - not healing at all. I demanded an orthopedic consult.

    He told me I would never be able to lift weights again. I had to have a replacement surgery. Got a second opinion.

    During spring break had a radial head replacement of my elbow joint. It turns out my elbow was broken into 4 pieces that entire time. Oh and my elbow was dislocated, too. It was my left elbow and I am left handed.

    I am still doing physical therapy. I am finally building up to the point where I can lift light weights in the gym.

    Speedy recovery to you, sir.
  • madsexy

    Posts: 4843

    Jul 12, 2013 2:33 PM GMT
    WOW, don't get yourself into the situation that Quest endured. The best way to do that is what others here have said. Be comfortable that the doctor knows what he's doing, that you're responding as expected, and if it doesn't seem right, get a doctor who does and whom you are comfortable with. DON'T push yourself beyond what your doctor says you can/should be doing. The healing is important, and provided that you're comfortable that you and the doctor are in synch listen to him. And last, the PT is all-important. Don't skimp on it, and don't discount the importance, even after YOU feel like you're at a point where you don't need it. You DO . . . until they (with your interaction) decide you don't.

    I went through ALL OF THIS in university when I took an injury which (among other things) left me with a (severely) dislocated left elbow (which really messed me up jacking off - had to learn how to do it one-handed and my right hand wasn't dominant!). I at first had a doctor which wasn't a sports-oriented orthopedist, and within a week I could tell I wasn't going the right direction. I was lucky that at the uni's hospital I was listened to and an ortho consultant got me on the right course right away. Then I tried to push myself after a few weeks, and I set myself back to essentially where I started. After a stern talk-to from the orthopedist, I stopped pushing beyond what I was "authorized" to do. THEN I decided I could do the PT myself on my own time and started skipping appointments. Finally a senior person at the PT place was called in to give me another talk-to and he nicely explained that I was not only not doing myself any favors by what I was doing, but I was potentially impairing my ultimate full recovery. (Hell, jacking off alone should have told me that! icon_biggrin.gif ) The end of the story is my elbow is fully recovered, but it took about 10 weeks longer overall than they estimated (because of my misdeeds!).

    Good luck with yours. It sucks, and as someone already said, it's a critical type of injury due to the joint's functionality, so baby it and make sure you take care of it and you in the meantime and have patience.
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    Jul 16, 2013 4:33 AM GMT
    PT for a disclocated elbow right after it's but back consists of early protect ROM and just general strengthening within the limits of your injury. So, basically get it moving into extension and flexion, while avoiding any valgus stress to the joint! Prolonged immobilization of the elbow (>2 wks) has been shown to induce severe flexion contractures, meaning you can't extend your elbow all the way. Which is why the early ROM is important, while also trying to keep it protected, especially with any other corrections the ortho surgeons did (? did they open it up and do ligament repairs, etc. or just... "pop" it back into place? depending on if it was a stable or unstable dislocation? I'm guessing stable?)

    But by maintaining that ROM and performing general strengthening of the shoulder and distal joints, you should be fine. Just make sure you follow your physician's precautions, and your PT's instructions (if you saw one). Best of luck on your recovery!