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Shattered radial head follow up
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Shattered radial head follow up

I shattered my radial head aug 19,2009. I fell forward with one arm out. The arm collapsed and reversed opposite direction . I stood up with my arm 90 degrees opposite ,massive discoloration and swelling ,and shook it out until it was straight again.I went to the ER here in Costa Rica. They put it in a cast , then within 24 hours shipped me off to 2 other hospitals . None of the 3 hospitals had  surgeon on call. Consequently it was one week before I was able to get surgery. The surgeon at CIMA hospital in san jose removed the radial head. I am concerned as I work with my hands doing physical labor. My arm only moves to 11:00 and 2:00 position. I still have significant swelling and much tightness in the elbow area.I am unable to twist my wrist . I have little to no grip in my hand .My hand is swollen every morning to the point I cannot close it. I work my arm and hand to try to get more flexability. I am very worried that this is how my arm is going to be .My DR.says Pysical therapy will remedy all this . The pain I have in movement is still very strong. We live in Costa Rica with no health insurance. I am looking for advice here .am I stuck with crippled rm ,will it get better, do I need replacement radial head? Should I return to states and get Obamacare to hAve it rectified ...I have recently had an xray and it showed smalll pieces of bone chips only.I believe their has been  serious tendon and ligament damage> No MRI was done because of the expense. Living on painkillers is not healthy either....Is this normal for healing of a seriosly shattered radial head and am I just being impatient
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Avatar_n_tn
I fell on Sept 15, 2010. I shattered my radial head and dislocated my elbow as well. Without the radial head, the twisting of the wrist (as I am told) will not occur - espcially not without pain. I had a replacement surgery withen two days, and even with that, six months later, I have every-day pain. It is a major trauma to the body... There is jittering that I've noticed common with anyone else who's written about such an injury.. Stretching can help the pulled ligaments, though it can be quite painful. I would say you should look into a replacement surgery - though I do know of people who live without it replaced. Things like opening bottles or opening doors will not likely get easy regardless... I sincerely hope you get the care you need. It is not a pleasent experience. I was on painkillers for months - it only shadowed the pain by making me extremely high... I now only occasionally take tylenol and favour my left arm... It's a tricky situation and something that many doctors don't know what to do about. Physiotherapy is one of the better bets for something like this... But again, when it comes to this kind of injury, it's very hard to predict how much healing will occur. My range of movement is quite limited as well, so that goes to show how much a replacement will help as well. I wish you the best, plsrskr. Perhaps it would be best to return to the States for a surgery, though I do not know your personal situation and how that would effect it.
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Avatar_m_tn
I too shattered my radial head in August of 2008. I had the radial head replacement. It has been almost 3 years later, I still have pain on a daily basis, I have limited ROM in my wrist and my elbow, and numb fingers. I can not tolerate wieght carried on my left arm. I went to a doctor due to the pain getting worse. I have developed Degenerative Bone Disease at the young age of 30 in my arm. I spoke to my doctor about the possibility of taking the replacement out to ease the pain, but then I can possibally develop problems in other joints within my arm and hand. I have decide to keep the replacement and try to tolerate the pain. These are just  one of those injuries that never really heal back to 100% like it was before the injury.
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