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dislocated elbow... Help?

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dislocated elbow... Help?

Postby psycobill » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:29 am

I dislocated my elbow in a freak accident (not climbing ironically enough) a little over a week ago. Had to be the worst pain I've felt, and recovery so far has sucked hardcore. My forearm feels totally screwed and it hurts to pick up a dinner plate... In another week I''ll have an mri so I'll know the extent of the damage, but the doctor told me I probably wouldn't be able to climb or do anything "strenuous" for 6 months!-i almost had a heart attack- but i was wondering if anyone has experienced a dislocated elbow or know anyone who has-I know thomas huber and tommy caldwell did and were back at it in a month, but they're... enough said-- and what was yours or their rehab time like? Thanks

Josh
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Postby liferequiresair » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:07 am

Ouch! Thankfully I've avoided that one so far but a buddy of mine dislocated his elbow awhile back. His was climbing related. Recovery did take about 6 months but he was was back to messing around on the rock in two. Mostly depends on the damage done. Your MRI will give you an idea about that. Good luck to ya.
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Postby rpc » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:43 am

not elbow but left shoulder...hurt like mother f. BUT -- once I got it popped back-in in the er, the pain was reduced by like 90%. Mostly lingering soreness & swelling. Also heard advice to lay off of it for a couple months but I'm impatient. I think I went to the gym within a week & was back to climbing outside within a month. That said, sounds like your injury might be more than just a simple dislocation? maybe you tore something...guess you'll find out soon. sorry!
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Postby edl » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:14 pm

It sounds like forever, but 6 months really isn't that long. Have patience, keep the rest of you in condition, and don't over do it. If you hurt it again, 6 months could easily turn into a year, or forever.

Somebody in another thread said it's not about saving your next climbing season, it's about saving your next 40 seasons.
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Postby psycobill » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:41 pm

knoback wrote:Was it just the radius, or was it the whole thing? Just the radius might not take 6 months, even for us mere mortals.


It was a complete dislocation, guess i may have to bite the bullet
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Postby psycobill » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:44 pm

edl wrote:Somebody in another thread said it's not about saving your next climbing season, it's about saving your next 40 seasons.


some good advice, haven't seen it that way... i'll try to start though
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Dislocated elbows

Postby LithiumMetalman » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:59 am

Totally understand your pain

-I dislocated my right elbow in 2004
-I dislocated my left elbow in 2007

Both from bouldering

-The first one was due to overclimbing, too many figure 4's and fatal campus run gone bad
-The second one was from falling and hitting the ground with a hyper extended elbow

-The first one took almost 3 years to fully heal
-The second one took a month to fully heal


The difference?


My right elbow, took 2-3 hours before it could be relocated by the ER.
My left elbow I relocated it on the spot.


I take it your injury is prolly like my right elbow, so here's my spiel :)

I was back on the wall in a month, but it took me close to 2-3/4 years before I regained the strength I had before the accident.

I was very lucky to have a great guy and climber help me with the rehab of my elbow (I have 100% full range which surprised my doctor, the estimate at that time was at most 85%).


Progression of recovery of what I experienced, not sure if this helps, experience my vary

1st year:

-It'll hurt for a long time to hang on it
-Lock-offs are almost impossible
-Arm will tire out quicker than normal
-Strength will take the longest to recover
-Flexibility took a bit time to recover
-A dullness will always be there, hard to describe


2nd year

-Can hang for short period of times on the arm, but with a partial bend
-Lock-offs are now possible, but arm will feel stiff-ish
-Arm still tires out, but this gets better
-Strength slowly recovering to pre-injury
-Flexibility gain quite a bit of it back (Keep up with those PT exercises!!!)
-A dullness will always be there, hard to describe


3rd year

-Can fully hang on arm, no bend
-Lock-offs are possible
-Arm does not tire out as quickly, feels stronger
-Strength is back to pre-injury
-Full flexibility is back, once in a while there will be stiffness
-A dullness will always be there, hard to describe


Now (5 years since injury)

-Can almost do one arm pull-ups, can hang fully at full extent on arm.
-Lock-offs no discomfort
-Arm tires out 'normally'
-Strength has increased substantially since pre-injury / post injury
-Full flexibility is back, once in a while stiffness will occur (keep up with those PT exercises...it;s life-long thing)
-A dullness will always be there, hard to describe (Think this will be a life-long thing too)


Couple of other things, having a dislocated elbow makes daily activities weird, if not down-right frustrating at times, especially the first year of recovery, things like writing, brushing teeth, driving, slight push/pulls, daily activities that we took for granted with 'normal' limbs.

My arm in the first year would tire out so quickly it made things such as brushing my teeth challenging (great way of balancing of the left hand vs right hand)

Find a good PT, keep doing the exercises religiously, keep some good friends, have some good brew, and most importantly stay patient and be positive!


If you have any more questions feel free to PM me

Good huntings and a speedy-ish recovery!!!
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Postby psycobill » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:23 am

Man thanks so much for the run down. Feels good to know I'm not the only one that has been frustrated as heck with this type of injury. Luckily its my left arm and I'm right handed, but still it sucks that i wont be able to be 100% for some time. I would def say the situation was more like your right elbow, and holy smokes nice job on resetting your left on your own! Mad respect there. I'm sure I'm probably gonna have a lot more questions as i encounter more problems so you can bank on me PMing you. Again thanks for noting your experience and offering your help.

Josh
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Postby psycobill » Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:12 am

Well its 3 months to the day of my elbow dislocation and today I got back on the rocks for the first time since then. Top roped a 5.7 & a 9 with some friends and felt great! Thanks for all the helpful comments everyone! Hopefully I can get my lead head back on better now without all the bad habits I haven't practiced in 3 months :o
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Re: dislocated elbow... Help?

Postby nhluhr » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:52 am

psycobill wrote:I dislocated my elbow in a freak accident (not climbing ironically enough) a little over a week ago. Had to be the worst pain I've felt, and recovery so far has sucked hardcore. My forearm feels totally screwed and it hurts to pick up a dinner plate... In another week I''ll have an mri so I'll know the extent of the damage, but the doctor told me I probably wouldn't be able to climb or do anything "strenuous" for 6 months!-i almost had a heart attack- but i was wondering if anyone has experienced a dislocated elbow or know anyone who has-I know thomas huber and tommy caldwell did and were back at it in a month, but they're... enough said-- and what was yours or their rehab time like? Thanks

Josh
I dislocated my elbow in a mountain bike crash back in 2001. It hurt like motherfucking hell and the tabs of vicodin the doctor gave me didn't quell the pain (but did give me wild dreams). At first, it was a struggle to even work and take care of myself but then a good lady friend made me dinner and it started to get a little better.

It was tender for months but it all came back in a progressive process. I was mountain biking again in under a month, competing in a few months.
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Postby catullus » Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:48 am

i broke and dislocated my elbow in september. had to have surgery and a plate put in. i'm back to climbing now with full range of motion, but strength is still a little lacking.
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Awesome!

Postby LithiumMetalman » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:41 am

Awesome to hear the recovery is coming along!!!

Good huntings!
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Postby mconnell » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:52 pm

Didn't see this topic before. You're probably glad I didn't since my experience is much worse than most here. I fully dislocated my elbow when I was 12 (20' fall into push-up position.) I relocated it immediately when I grabbed it. They dislocated it again in the hospital since I had managed to catch things in it when I relocated it. I was in an inflatable cast for 6 weeks. Took a couple of months after that before I could fully use my arm. Turns out there was a chip of bone floating around in it. This would cause my elbow to lock up at random times for about the next 15 years. It remained painful at times until after I gave up volleyball about 20 years after the accident. I still (after 35 years) get occasional pains in my elbow, especially if I hyper-extend it at all.
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