Thursday, October 16, 2008

Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture Update

I've been getting a lot of interest in the story of Mr. Sprocket's injury, so I thought I would update everyone on his recovery progress. On September 3rd, Mr. Sprock got his last cast off. His arm would not straighten out completely, but his doctor's told him to take it slow and that in time it would. He found that the removable arm rest cast they made for him was just too much trouble to put on and take off, so he stopped using it.

For a few weeks his arm was still quite swollen from the elbow down through his hand. He was told he was not allowed to lift any weight with the arm. This has always been hard for him since his right arm is his dominant hand. He has been trying to cook and flip a fry pan with his left arm and has gotten quite good at that. After two weeks, his arm now hangs almost completely straight.

If he tries to extend it perfectly straight, he's in pain. He is still unable to fully extend his fingers of his right hand back into a hyper extension like he can his left hand. What I mean is, put your palm down on a flat surface, like a table and lift your fingers up, keeping your palm on the table. He can barely do that with his right hand.

On September 30th, he had a follow-up visit with his doctors. We thought that by then, he would be started on physical therapy but that's not what happened. He was told that he would not be put on physical therapy until December 18th, which would be exactly six months out from his surgery. Until then, the most he is allowed to lift is five pounds. There is still a substantial risk that he could pull out the anchor that was drilled into one of the bones in his forearm if he lifts too much weight, too soon.

In the past week, Mr. Sprocket has been working on updating the controls to our central air/heating system, which means he has been using his arm more with a lot of pronation and supination movements to wire in the new connections.

Consequently, he has been experiencing more pain than usual and has gone back to taking 800mg of motrin three times a day to manage pain and help keep the inflammation down. He has been reluctant to take any codine, since he doesn't want to depend on it and wants to be aware of when he is over doing it.

He goes back to the doctor for just a follow up visit in the beginning of November.

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