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balfrob

Compound fracture of the forearm

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Hi Everyone!

As you may have guessed from the title I suffered an open fracture of my left forearm, with both bones broken during one of our games early in the season (1st November 2017). Of course my whole season was shot as it required a surgery, fixing plates, etc...

I had my last X-Rays done 2 weeks ago and the results were good, showing the bones finally healed (In March there was still visible fracture), however the surgeon said it can take up to 1-1.5 year from the fracture for the bones to fully solidify. He could not give me a definitive answer on whether I can back to hockey now (I would do only no-conctact trainings to at least be back on ice), he kind of was like sure I can return, but on my own risk and if it breaks again he is happy to do the surgery again :D Of course I am still a bit limited in what I can do, as I need to increase the load only gradually so being it my left arm I still struggle with shots as I am not able to put so much power to flex the stick.

So, I know every fracture is different and a question on a forum does not substitute proper medical examination, but I would be more or less just interested in your opinions in case you had a similar injury. How long after did you return to ice?

 

Thanks!

Rob

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I had a broken ankle at one point:

Once the doctor confirms the bone has healed then it's a matter of pain tolerance. It's not like the bone becomes weaker after the break has healed; in fact, the bone actually becomes stronger! So yes, you could potentially "re-break" it, but that is only going to happen if something happens that would have broken it anyway. Hopefully that makes sense.

As for timing, I broke my ankle in May and was back on the ice in October. I also had a blood clot to deal with but luckily I was able to get off my blood thinners around the same time I was ready to play again (I did go to a couple public skates while still on the thinners). 

Hope that helps. 

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4 hours ago, dkmiller3356 said:

Wait man.... just wait..  you have a whole life ahead of you...

No need to wait if the doctor confirms the bone is healed. It's not going to get any more healed by waiting after that point.

Though of course he does need to confirm that's the case... 

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Thanks for the replies!

I had a feeling he was kind of avoiding telling any definite answer. 
What he said was, that that on the Xrays it looks fine that we have a full union and nice hard callus. He said I can start excersise at first with max 12 pounds for biceps curls and I should still avoid doing pushups and bench press (max up to 40-60lbs) and slowly increase the weights adjusting to my pain level. He said the bone will still solidify and he said that 1 year post fracture is the time when he could say for sure that it is the same strenght as before the injury. 

So for sure I would not go back to full contact game yet, as I am sure a bad hit / crash in the boards could go wrong, but I would really like to just skate around do some excersises on ice passing, shooting, puck handling etc. Only thing I am unsure what would happen if I fell in a way I hit my arm and the surgeon couldn't really give me an answer on that either - that was the part where he said sure you can do that if you want, in case it breaks I am happy to fix you again 😄

 

 

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One of the biggest factors here is your age, things take much longer the older you get......

I suggested a soft cast, whilst I have never used one I know a few players in our local rugby league and rugby union clubs who have returned to playing after a broken arm and are wearing these to protect the arm.

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Just now, Vet88 said:

One of the biggest factors here is your age, things take much longer the older you get......

I suggested a soft cast, whilst I have never used one I know a few players in our local rugby league and rugby union clubs who have returned to playing after a broken arm and are wearing these to protect the arm.

Oh right, good point. I just turned 28 in March. I will try to look into this soft cast thing (Thanks for the tip!).

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lol, at 28 you should be be healing ok. Now if you were 48 or 58 then it's a different matter. But a compound fracture is a complex beast and I think a key indicator is that you still had a visible fracture 7 months after the break. It's taking a while to heal. My surgeon put it in simple terms:- do the rehab, let pain be your guide. Once you return to full mobility and strength then you can put it behind you. But do look into the cast, a team mate had his wrist rebuilt last November. No games or scrimmages yet and still can't load up shots but is coaching and skating again with a wrist brace on. 

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Howdy,

In your situation, I'd go back to playing.  Hell, at 28 your broken / healed bone is probably still stronger than my old ass ~50 year old ones.  :-)

Seriously, seven months in and the doc won't tell you not to?  Get out there.  If it hurts, stop / back it off.

Mark

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