Broken arm - surgery or no surgery? Please help!

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  1. #1
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    Broken arm - surgery or no surgery? Please help!

    Okay, here is my dilemma. A few days ago, I broke my arm, the humerus of my right arm to be exact. It occurred during an arm-wrestling match at work..That in itself is unbelievable considering it was such a random event. I work in an office, so since not too many others work out, I am the stereotypical office big guy, although I am not THAT big (about 245 lbs. or so). We hired a new guy this week who is also kind of bigger, so it somehow developed everyone wanted to see us arm wrestle. I guess he enjoyed it, I hadn’t done it for years, primarily because my rotator cuffs and elbows are tender from years of heavy lifting. Well, long story short, he was at first beating me. I tried pushing back, a loud pop occurred and my arm was broken, a spiral fracture to the humerus. Of course I am upset, especially at my co-workers for egging me on and I know will be out of the gym for who knows how long. But I need to deal with it. Here are the choices.

    Surgery - They would use screws and a plate to put the bone back together. From what I have gathered so far, on the plus side is the bone would definitely get aligned properly and I will not have to wear a cast for very long. I have had it on now for a few days and it already is driving me nuts. Potential negatives - There is a less than 1% chance of infection, which is of course pretty small. There would also be a scar left over, I don’t know how noticeable. I don’t like the idea of getting my arm opened up, which I have worked so hard to develop year after year. I also don’t know how it would feel to train with this metal in me, I hope there would be no compromise of any sort. I think they said the metal is left in for good too, not taken out. Don’t know if that is a negative or not.

    Non-Surgery - Positives are, the bone would heal without having my arm opened up, although that seems hard to believe with how it feels right now.. They claim once the bone is healed, it would be just as strong as the bone with the screws and plate. On the negative side, there is no guarantee the bone would grow back properly aligned (I think they said 10% to 20% chance of not happening, not sure.). The cast would also have to be worn for a lot longer, 6 weeks are so.

    So there is the situation. They said the bone itself should heal in about 6 weeks with or without the hardware, so no difference there. My main concern is I just want to be healthy and back to lifting normal after fully recovering from this set back. I don’t want to second guess myself if I want to do a heavy set on the bench. What would you guys do in my situation, what would you recommend? Every little thought counts

    Thank you,
    Paul

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    i say do the surgery it will probably be stronger that way

  3. #3
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    you are crazy if you don't get the surgery.
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  4. #4
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    definitely have the surgery

  5. #5
    hardr bettr fastr strongr
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    surgery. plus you'd have a cool scar to show off at the gym
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    I had an arm pinned to heal and it healed fast - scar I don't care that much, but I DID have the pin removed the next year.

    I had a collarbone that SHOULD have been plated, but wasn't. I've regretted not having surgery on it for the last twenty years. It sticks out, I continually bruise it (and sometimes chip it) when I do cleans and it's a pain in the ass.

    Your call.

  7. #7
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    armwrestling is a tough sport

    I used to do it at the cash shows and the like, trained for it quite a bit previous to my powerlifting stuff. I remember I was at a particular tourney and watched a guys arm get broke on the spot, like broke broke, not a fracture. It was sick. My arms would be sore for days after a tournament. Pretty rough stuff. Really hard on the biceps too

    Did you tell your doc the pressing you plan on doing after the healing? that might affect what they tell you to do, like probably get the pins
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  8. #8
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    Moral of the story: warm-ups are important.

  9. #9
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    LOL braking an arm while arm wrestling!
    Think about it real gud, is it realy worth getting a scar which will never ever go away?

  10. #10
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    the choice is yours.have the scar or not? either way, there is a consequence waiting. that must really hurt so bad..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witchblade View Post
    Moral of the story: warm-ups are important.
    +1
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    Travis, thanks for your input. I did go with the surgery, I just hope it was the right choice. Both you and Built had mentioned pins instead of screws being used on the bone. The doc knows about me being an avid lifter, although I don't know if I emphasized enough how important getting consistently stronger is. Do you know what the difference is between the pins and screws? I got a plate with 10 screws.

  13. #13
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    Hey, you're bionic like me now!
    I have a plate & screws holding my right ankle together!
    You'll get stronger.. ya just gotta make sure to warm up, and thats not just good advice either.
    After it heals completely, you should be able to have the plate removed if you so choose... ask your doc about it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulsed1 View Post
    Travis, thanks for your input. I did go with the surgery, I just hope it was the right choice. Both you and Built had mentioned pins instead of screws being used on the bone. The doc knows about me being an avid lifter, although I don't know if I emphasized enough how important getting consistently stronger is. Do you know what the difference is between the pins and screws? I got a plate with 10 screws.
    you bet man!

    Actually Built would probably know better than I as far as the pluses and minuses of screws vs. pins. Fortunatly I don't have a ton of experience with either.

    I think you made the right choice though. Good luck with your recovery!
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  15. #15
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    I only needed a pin - which in fact was a huge freaking BOLT about 4" long.

    You clearly needed more than a simple pin or they wouldn't have plated it.

    It'll heal up fast, but the metal may irritate you and you may wish to have it removed when you can. You'll need down-time when you do because the holes from the screws will need to fill in with bone. I recommend doing it over Christmas, when you're going to overeat anyway. Food helps it heal.

  16. #16
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    Built - thank you so, so much for all the tips and info. Every little bit has been appreciated. My diet has been pretty clean, lean proteins, fruits, veggies, milk, cottage cheeses and water. Small portions of carbs mostly in the form of oatmeal and honey. Supps are a multi-vitamin, Citrical for calcium and vitamin D, vitamin C, ZMA, EFAs, BCAAs and Glutamine. Might add boron to take with the calcium product. Exercise so far has just been walking. I will probably do some cardio soon at the gym and try some leg work if I can avoid indirectly stressing my arm.

    I am also wondering about doing some occasional one-sided lifting. I obviously wouldn't want to make a habit out of it and get one side bigger than the other, that would create a whole new issue. But I have heard some say one sided training can have an indirect effect on the other side of the body. Not a lot, I'm sure. At this stage I still have to be careful too, even getting into position for like a one-arm dumbbell bench press would mean bracing myself somewhat with the other arm and I think that would be too much stress at this point. Any thoughts on that?

    Thanks again,
    Paul

  17. #17
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    Lucifuge - Bionic - very cool. It would be great to have strength like The Terminator now or something, but then I would have to get a plate put in the other arm! Anyway, thank you for the input. I had mentioned to my doc in passing about the plate coming put and he didn't sem to think it was neccessary. Just have to see how it feels over time.

  18. #18
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    Work the other arm, but my gut tells me "avoid progressive overload" - IE don't try to gain size on that side, just try to maintain it.

    Stick to unilateral work for the arm you can use - incline dumbbell presses will hit delt and pec, one-arm lat pulldowns (which are awesome by the way and everybody should do these anyway) for back, use a dipping belt with weight on it to do squats by standing on two platforms, or try them wearing a backpack full of weight plates, do walking lunges with a backpack worn back to front full of weight plates, don't bother with direct bicep or tricep work, just stick to the multi-joint movements, and try to avoid machines if at all possible - no point developing knee and back injuries using those things just because you can't use your injured arm!

    Other things I'm thinking of.. try wearing a backpack and doing good mornings. Also, you could do glute ham raises - if you don't have access to a proper GHR, use the hyper bench but pivot from the knee instead of the hip.

  19. #19
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    Well, I'm glad you got you care sorted out. Seems you picked the best option. I was wondering though how this on the job injury went over at the office. There has to be a story there and I for one would love to hear it. Who took the heat for the accident/bill?

  20. #20
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    ohh

    Oh!
    I didnt read the date.
    How did the surgery go??

  21. #21
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    geez i'm never arm wrestling again
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  22. #22
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    Arm wrestling....are you serious? Geezus christ. I don't arm wrestle because too many folks get their arms broken. I made this decision about 20 years ago. Now you get to have the fun. Kinda like smoking cigarettes.
    Ban 2 1/2 's !!!!!!
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