T Nation

Fun X-rays, Broken Humerus


#1

So my father fell on the ice and broke his arm, gonna be a long recovery for a 76 year old, osteoporotic smoker. Any advice is welcome.


#2

Listen to the orthopedist and do your PT


#3

Careful with the script the ortho gives for PT. Doctors know that 99% of patients half ass their PT and don’t do it. So some of them prescribe twice as much as needed in the hopes the patient will do half. Not likely they’d do that for a 76yo.


#4

There’s won’t be any prescribed and my father can’t afford it anyway so he won’t go. Even if he’s given exercises he won’t do them


#5

Well then I’m sorry to say that broken humerous will hurt him alot when it heals up. Even if it heals perfectly, they don’t have PT for no reason. Movement helps healing.

Hell they have people walking the same day of hip replacements now.


#6

Dang. No advice. Just really sorry to hear it, Stu.

Hopefully you can convince him to comply with some PT.


#7

For what it’s worth it’s cos being in the bed (deconditioning, chest infections, deep vein thrombosis etc.) would do more harm to old folks (i.e. put em much closer to death). So surgeons fix up the fracture nice and stable, drug em up with pain killers and have them walk about the ward day 1 or 2 post op. Long term there’s better functional outcomes.

Progressive appropriate loading facilitates bone healing. It’s part of the process but I don’t know if it will speed up anything. Smoking will slow healing for sure and delayed healing puts the fracture at risk of malunion or non union, healing all fucked up and bone fragments not joining up and forming a callus at all.

Bit strange that there’s nothing prescribed or no referral onto a PT. Maybe he’ll have a follow up appointment in a week or two where he’ll get all the things. If nah he should and can still do rehab of sorts without professional guidance (I know it sounds like a bad idea lel).

I got/can find plenty of decent resources/protocols (mostly stolen publications from existing hospitals and ortho clinics) for y’all but first you gotta convince your dad.

Also depending on the kind of fracture and doctors instructions it may be a terrible idea to move the affected joint/s at this point in time (timeline pls)…tho moving unaffected joints e.g. fingers, wrists, elbow maybe is usually recommended but at this point I don’t know enough about the fracture, chosen management etc. to say.

What would motivate him you reckon?

You could go with living in pain until the day you die, also being more or less disabled by a stiff shoulder and not being able to do shit around the house and having to get other people to do it for you or look after you all the time… I dunno.

Or you could just ask him what he feels about doing PT and why then try to address his concerns or pass on info to him to clear up any misunderstandings.

Tell us how it goes and if he wants to do it I’ll need more details on all the things. Good luck


#8

I do have a kinese degree and some exp so I’ll work with him. Unfortunately physics will cost and he can’t really afford it so it won’t be an option.


#9

Funny sounding degree lel

There’s more than enough resources online for y’all to do your own physio so it’ll cost nothing and it’s something a layman can implement nvm someone with a “kinese” degree lel. Good luck.


#10

This, my Nana is 89 and at 88 they gave her a replacement and got her walking same day.


#11

Oh he’s walking around with no issues at all, even with the break.