T Nation

Re-Broke Arm?


#1

I broke my arm a few inches below the elbow 4-5 months ago. It didn't require surgery. I just spent two months in a cast. I thought I'd be 100% when I got it off, but there was a lump in the area of the break and it still hurt and had limited mobility. The doctor said that it was still broken and would be for a while and that the lump was some sort of temporary soft bone and would go away.

A month or so later, I felt good enough to start lifting again and have been back to lifting for about a month now.

Just now, I was doing pullups and on the last rep, I heard a crack (think cracking your knuckles or neck, but louder) and it started to ache a bit in the spot of the break. I felt up the arm and it seems fine. I was able to finish my workout.

Right now, it aches just a bit in the spot of the break. I remember what it felt like when it broke the first time, and this is nothing like that. It barely hurts and I have full mobility.

What do you think that was?


#2

cancer


#3

Could be any number of things. You should get a “bone density scan” as well as x-ray - that will tell you exactly how strong and well healed the bone is.

However, having fractured major bones myself I can assure you that you wouldn’t be finishing your workout after a fracture unless perhaps it’s like a hairline fracture or something. Anyway, just get it checked. Ask for a bone density scan and maybe an MRI too.


#4

[quote]SexMachine wrote:
Could be any number of things. You should get a “bone density scan” as well as x-ray - that will tell you exactly how strong and well healed the bone is.

However, having fractured major bones myself I can assure you that you wouldn’t be finishing your workout after a fracture unless perhaps it’s like a hairline fracture or something. Anyway, just get it checked. Ask for a bone density scan and maybe an MRI too.[/quote]
I fractured my neck in the same crash and wanted to go home until the paramedics convinced me not to, so I can’t trust my own body really. And I can’t afford medical shit right now, so I’d rather save that for a last resort.


#5

[quote]ChicagoLad wrote:

[quote]SexMachine wrote:
Could be any number of things. You should get a “bone density scan” as well as x-ray - that will tell you exactly how strong and well healed the bone is.

However, having fractured major bones myself I can assure you that you wouldn’t be finishing your workout after a fracture unless perhaps it’s like a hairline fracture or something. Anyway, just get it checked. Ask for a bone density scan and maybe an MRI too.[/quote]
I fractured my neck in the same crash and wanted to go home until the paramedics convinced me not to, so I can’t trust my own body really. And I can’t afford medical shit right now, so I’d rather save that for a last resort.[/quote]

An unhealed fracture can be serious. Especially if you’re lifting. I’d advise medical treatment if at all possible.


#6

[quote]SexMachine wrote:
Could be any number of things. You should get a “bone density scan” as well as x-ray - that will tell you exactly how strong and well healed the bone is.

However, having fractured major bones myself I can assure you that you wouldn’t be finishing your workout after a fracture unless perhaps it’s like a hairline fracture or something. Anyway, just get it checked. Ask for a bone density scan and maybe an MRI too.[/quote]

Get it checked no matter what, but I will add that I fractured my arm once after bailing on a BMX track jump gone bad.

There was a paramedic station nearby, so I pedaled to them to see if they could tell me if it was broke or not. Nah, you’re fine, they said.

I pedaled six miles home to my mother, who is a nurse. Nah, that’s not a break, she said. Put me in a sling and off to school I went the next day.

Started to hurt worse, had the school nurse check it out. She told me to get an x-ray.

Went home, mom agreed that it was looking worse, got an x-ray and yep, broken arm. Cast and a crappy summer for me.

So yes, there can sometimes be reasonable doubt about whether you’ve fractured a bone or not.

Of course, my other arm fracture there was no doubt whatsoever that a bone had been broken.

I’d get it checked.


#7

[quote]twojarslave wrote:

[quote]SexMachine wrote:
Could be any number of things. You should get a “bone density scan” as well as x-ray - that will tell you exactly how strong and well healed the bone is.

However, having fractured major bones myself I can assure you that you wouldn’t be finishing your workout after a fracture unless perhaps it’s like a hairline fracture or something. Anyway, just get it checked. Ask for a bone density scan and maybe an MRI too.[/quote]

Get it checked no matter what, but I will add that I fractured my arm once after bailing on a BMX track jump gone bad.

There was a paramedic station nearby, so I pedaled to them to see if they could tell me if it was broke or not. Nah, you’re fine, they said.

I pedaled six miles home to my mother, who is a nurse. Nah, that’s not a break, she said. Put me in a sling and off to school I went the next day.

Started to hurt worse, had the school nurse check it out. She told me to get an x-ray.

Went home, mom agreed that it was looking worse, got an x-ray and yep, broken arm. Cast and a crappy summer for me.

So yes, there can sometimes be reasonable doubt about whether you’ve fractured a bone or not.

Of course, my other arm fracture there was no doubt whatsoever that a bone had been broken.

I’d get it checked.
[/quote]

Yeah that sounds like a hairline fracture. When I broke my legs the tibias just snapped in half and I had two extra knees with my legs dangling like spaghetti. Worst pain ever.


#8

Went to the ER and they said it’s no more broken than it already was. It’s just a sprain or something. So fucking glad.

So I’m sitting on a bed in the ER waiting for the doctor when bells go off and the whole damn floor runs into my room and turns and runs out. Some dude turns around and says, “Sorry, the computer said you were dying.” LOL


#9

[quote]ChicagoLad wrote:
Went to the ER and they said it’s no more broken than it already was. It’s just a sprain or something. So fucking glad.

So I’m sitting on a bed in the ER waiting for the doctor when bells go off and the whole damn floor runs into my room and turns and runs out. Some dude turns around and says, “Sorry, the computer said you were dying.” LOL [/quote]

Good to hear it wasn’t broken but why did you go to the ER if it wasn’t serious? Could you not have scheduled an appointment with your orthopedist?


#10

[quote]BeefEater wrote:

[quote]ChicagoLad wrote:
Went to the ER and they said it’s no more broken than it already was. It’s just a sprain or something. So fucking glad.

So I’m sitting on a bed in the ER waiting for the doctor when bells go off and the whole damn floor runs into my room and turns and runs out. Some dude turns around and says, “Sorry, the computer said you were dying.” LOL [/quote]

Good to hear it wasn’t broken but why did you go to the ER if it wasn’t serious? Could you not have scheduled an appointment with your orthopedist?[/quote]

Maybe he meant Urgent Care?


#11

[quote]BeefEater wrote:

[quote]ChicagoLad wrote:
Went to the ER and they said it’s no more broken than it already was. It’s just a sprain or something. So fucking glad.

So I’m sitting on a bed in the ER waiting for the doctor when bells go off and the whole damn floor runs into my room and turns and runs out. Some dude turns around and says, “Sorry, the computer said you were dying.” LOL [/quote]

Good to hear it wasn’t broken but why did you go to the ER if it wasn’t serious? Could you not have scheduled an appointment with your orthopedist?[/quote]

OP is a college kid who may or may not have insurance. I doubt he has “his orthopedist” that he can just dial up. I don’t have an orthopedist, for that matter.

And where I live, it’s pretty common for people to use the ER as a catch-all for “I’m not quite dying but is need medical help and don’t really know where to get it” care.

Urgent care clinics are a mixed bag. I’ve had one good experience and, indirectly, one bad one. An ex GF of mine was having serious neck pain (she was good about maintenance too: we did yoga every week, she did exercises prescribed by a good chiropractor that usually kept it at bay). It got so unbearable one day that we decided to go to urgent care (chiro was on vacation). The doctor barely even looked at her before writing out a painkiller prescription. No attempt to diagnose the problem, no hint at a solution. Just wrote a script for pills, see ya later.


#12

[quote] ActivitiesGuy wrote:

OP is a college kid who may or may not have insurance. I doubt he has “his orthopedist” that he can just dial up. I don’t have an orthopedist, for that matter.

[/quote]

If the OP had recently fractured his arm and had it set in plaster as stated then he would’ve seen a specialist; specifically, an orthopedist at the hospital.


#13

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote] ActivitiesGuy wrote:

OP is a college kid who may or may not have insurance. I doubt he has “his orthopedist” that he can just dial up. I don’t have an orthopedist, for that matter.

[/quote]

If the OP had recently fractured his arm and had it set in plaster as stated then he would’ve seen a specialist; specifically, an orthopedist at the hospital.[/quote]
I’ve since moved. And I went to the ER because it was hurting worse and I didn’t wanna hurt myself worse.


#14

[quote]ChicagoLad wrote:

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote] ActivitiesGuy wrote:

OP is a college kid who may or may not have insurance. I doubt he has “his orthopedist” that he can just dial up. I don’t have an orthopedist, for that matter.

[/quote]

If the OP had recently fractured his arm and had it set in plaster as stated then he would’ve seen a specialist; specifically, an orthopedist at the hospital.[/quote]
I’ve since moved. And I went to the ER because it was hurting worse and I didn’t wanna hurt myself worse.[/quote]

X-rays can miss hairline fractures. Last year I broke a number of bones in my legs/feet and after the x-rays they said there were no broken bones in my left foot. I knew better from the pain and after further investigation(instigated by me) they found a big hairline fracture in my left foot that they’d missed before. So if you think you’ve got a fracture don’t just accept what the first x-ray says. Doctors miss things all the time and they’re often condescending to patients and don’t take what they say seriously. You really need to take charge of your own health and insist on further diagnostic tests if you think there’s something wrong.