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Old 11-29-09, 07:09 AM   #1
Retro Grouch 
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My elbow still hurts.

I've previously posted about falling and breaking the radial heads in both elbows on August 9. I'm definitely a LOT better today than I was shortly after the accident. It's been almost 4 months, however, and I'm getting depressed about my slow progress.

Yesterday I rode about 10 miles. My left elbow hurt the whole way, enough that I cut the ride short. My right elbow hurt a little bit but, if the left one was as good as the right, I wouldn't be making this post. My longest ride since the accident was a 20 mile out and back that wasn't too bad but I definitely felt it the next day. Basically my day-to-day activities are OK, I frequently wear a brace on my left elbow, but I can't bicycle and I can't lift weights in the gym.

Anybody have experience they can offer? I'm thinking I should make an appointment with a different orthopod for a second opinion. Even if Medicare won't cover it and I have to pay out of pocket at least I'll have a second set of data to consider.

Maybe I'm being too impatient, but 4 months sounds to me like a lot of time.
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Old 11-29-09, 07:15 AM   #2
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Ask if you can see a physical therapist. Do you have a trainer? They're boring, but without the
bouncing around you might be able to tolerate being on the bike.
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Old 11-29-09, 07:56 AM   #3
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I broke my right elbow (radial head) over 15 years ago .The pain is worse now than when I first broke it and now arthritis .Went to the ortho the other day and he recommended getting the elbow fused.Said I was not a good candidate for elbow replacement .I guess I will be going for another opinion . Hang in there and keep doing the physical therapy.He did tell me he could build me a brace for my elbow that possibly could let me ride pain free.

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Old 11-29-09, 08:00 AM   #4
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I broke my right elbow (radial head) over 15 years ago .The pain is worse now than when I first broke it and now arthritis .Went to the ortho the other day and he recommended getting the elbow fused.Said I was not a good candidate for elbow replacement .I guess I'm will be going for another opinion . Hang in there and keep doing the physical therapy.
Ewwww. That doesn't sound like news that I wanted to hear.

You are, however, posting on a bicycling forum. Have you been able to ride?
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Old 11-29-09, 08:30 AM   #5
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I"m riding I have good days and bad days.I just wear an elbow brace (store bought) and on real bad days I just take some pain killers.I have known other people that broke their elbows and have no problems what so ever.If you have your x rays you can check out a motorcycle forum thumpertalk.com Dr. Mark in the forums he will look over your x rays and give you free advice.He has helped many of motorcycle racers get back on their bikes.
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Old 11-29-09, 09:08 AM   #6
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4 months is still not a long time for breaks to heal. The bone may have mended but there is still the damage around the joint and to the joint that has to recover. Exercise is "Probably" the best way of improving the damage- but not by load bearing . Take it you have set the bike more upright and taking the pressure off the joint. After my bypass- I got down the gym. The whole body needed exercise and after a bit of gentle Cardio workout- I got down into the weight room. Legs I could improve but anything to do with the upper chest was impossible at first. I just went through the movements on the various machines with minimal resistance on them. I was not worried about building up muscle but I was getting movement through the joints- I was getting the muscles to move aswell but as the body improved- I put on gentle weights. And it took a year before I could sit on a bike without some part of the upper body hurting.
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Old 11-29-09, 05:39 PM   #7
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"4 months is still not a long time for breaks to heal. "

I agree. It took 6 months for my collarbone to feel normal, and that doesn't move around like an elbow. Give it time.
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Old 11-29-09, 07:21 PM   #8
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Sounds like recumbent-as-n+1 time.

The second opinion might be a good idea, though.
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Old 11-29-09, 08:26 PM   #9
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Sounds like recumbent-as-n+1 time.
I wouldn't think that the discomfort is permanent. In the meantime, the R-word bike would make sense. Just as a temporary measure, of course.
Very minimal stress/strain on the arms with either of my 'bents. Absolutely non-weight bearing on the arms.
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Old 11-30-09, 11:11 AM   #10
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Sounds like recumbent-as-n+1 time.
That's certainly crossed my mind but I'm not ready to take the plunge yet. It would be a major financial committment to buy/build a single recumbent and an S&S recumbent tandem for Mrs. Grouch and me. We've already decided that we'll do it if we have to, but we'd rather not.

I took Stapfam's advice this morning, went to the gym and rode one of their stationary recumbents for an hour. The exercise felt good and it didn't bother my elbow at all, but my fanny didn't like the hard recumbent seat for that much time.
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Old 11-30-09, 12:12 PM   #11
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I took Stapfam's advice this morning, went to the gym and rode one of their stationary recumbents for an hour. The exercise felt good and it didn't bother my elbow at all, but my fanny didn't like the hard recumbent seat for that much time.
On the cardio side- I did 10 minutes on various machines to get the HR up and working. My problem was chest so I did recumbent as a warm up- Treadmill but walking fast and not running- Cycle with the bars raised high- Cross trainer but not using the arms much- Rowing machine but no resistance and just pulling on the arms a bit and then the climber. But weights room and if it was a leg exercise- then I went allout on the weights. Upper chest and just enough resistance to say I was pulling something.
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Old 11-30-09, 12:33 PM   #12
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Ouch, Retro. I'm sorry to hear the healing isn't complete.
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Old 11-30-09, 01:16 PM   #13
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I had a broken vertebrae in my lower back over 25 years ago--took 11 years of physical therapy and painful exercises to be pain free, but I'm still ok with it today. On the other hand, a fractured shoulder at the same time took much less time to heal initially, but now gives me hell whenever the weather is cold and damp, and whenever I overuse it anytime during the year. I also had a fractured left knee (femur side) and fractured right kneecap--both years ago and both occasionally more painful now than after they healed. The point is that joint injuries are more likely to cause problems after 50 than other kinds of injuries, whether in initial healing time or from traumatic osteo-arthritis. Give it time, follow the therapist's instructions faithfully, and accept that you aren't 20 anymore.
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Old 11-30-09, 02:00 PM   #14
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At 61 years of age, I commute 20 miles a day, and I with a couple of very steep hills that give my body, especially my heart a good work out. I have noticed lately that the drop bars on my bike is starting to give my elbows trouble, and it is most pronounced on my left one, so I'm thinking of switching to trekking (AKA butterfly bar) so as not to put as much weight on my arms - the nice thing about these bars is that I have a variety of positions to choose from, to avoid numbness of the hands. I'll keep you posted on how that works out. I have also started taking turmeric tablets to reduce inflammation of the joints, and I'm applying acupressure to elbow points in my hand, which helps. aspirins also help when the pain is more troublesome than usual. Get well.
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Old 11-30-09, 03:26 PM   #15
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I took Stapfam's advice this morning, went to the gym and rode one of their stationary recumbents for an hour. The exercise felt good and it didn't bother my elbow at all, but my fanny didn't like the hard recumbent seat for that much time.
Yeah, the seats on those exercise thingies sure do suck. Even the one on my wife's computerized upper-end Schwinn recumbent exercise machine is terrible.
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Old 11-30-09, 04:21 PM   #16
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Yeah, the seats on those exercise thingies sure do suck. Even the one on my wife's computerized upper-end Schwinn recumbent exercise machine is terrible.
That's a statement I never expected to read- unless it is about a Paramount or similar aged bike.

I am not a recumbemnt rider but 10 minutes on the recumbent or standard bike at the gym is about all I can take on those saddles. The spinning bikes are a bit different but I think that is down to the capability of setting the bike up better.
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Old 12-01-09, 09:27 PM   #17
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recumbent machine seats

On a real recumbent bike, the seat MUST be comfortable or it won't sell. Those semi-recumbent exercise machines at the gym, though, are not bought by the people who will ride them. Or, as in the home versions, they're not bought by cyclists who know better. The wife's Schwinn has lots of bells and whistles and is very quiet, but it's nowhere near as comfortable as the recumbent bike she sold to pay for it. But the bike intimidated her. (And it was too small for me.)
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Old 12-01-09, 09:51 PM   #18
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I've never seen a triple-post on BF, BP!

Never mind, just saw a quintuple post on another thread!
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Old 12-02-09, 02:09 PM   #19
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Don't ask me how that happened, but I deleted two of them.
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Old 12-03-09, 12:17 AM   #20
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Wishing you all the best for a complete recovery
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