Radial Head Fracture Recovery?


Long time lurker, first time poster.

I managed to acquire a simple and complete fracture of the head of my radius during a football game 5 weeks ago. Landed on my elbow, and broke my radius straight through. I’ve seen an orthopedic surgeon twice; I had x-rays taken 3 weeks ago and also today. He said I need to wait another 3 weeks before I start lifting again, and even at that point, he says, I need to “start light”.

I have no intention of not heeding his advice. However, I am interested to hear if any other T-Nation readers have had an injury like this, and how they recovered. I’m not planning on lifting heavy if I have any pain, but to go from deadlifting and cleaning a fair amount of weight to nothing, I am a bit loss on where to start.

It almost seems arbitrary to say “you can’t lift on day X, but you can lift 3 days later”. A break like this obviously interferes with pretty much every major upper body exercise, plus deadlifts and rows.

I’ve been doing body weight squats times what seems like 1,000, and I think I’ll be well enough to squat. Has anyone else had this injury, and if so, towards the end of its healing, what did you do to get yourself back into the gym? Did you ease yourself back into heavy lifts, or did you go balls out after a full 8 week recovery period?

Appreciate any help that can be given. Cheers!

Definitely ease yourself into things. Not only do you have to worry about the bone itself being structurally sound, but you have been inactive with that extremity for 2 months. Think about if you took 2 months off of all lower extremity exercises and then tried max effort squats/deadlifts You’d fry your legs and/or possible cause another injury.

Were you casted/splinted at all for a period of time? Yes, it does seem arbitrary to say you can only start on a specific day, but there is a reason behind it all. They need to wait for the bone to calcify completely on all sides and make sure that it is healed fully and properly before addingtoo much extra stress/tension too it.

I would recommend taking it slow at first. Not saying you gotta run and grab the pink dumbbells, but just be smart about things. Don’t expect to just jump into putting up the numbers you were prior to the injury.