Author Topic: Rowing machine after broken arm  (Read 567 times)

Rowing machine after broken arm
« on: April 01, 2021, 04:48:50 pm »
Broke my arm on the radius bone at the head (elbow),, undisplaced and healing OK i think. Two weeks ago next Easter Monday.

My question is how long before I can risk cycling,  driving,  using a concept 2 rower for exercise?

I only ask because I have bought a brompton to commute with two weeks ago,  o I've just bought a c2 rower with dispatch in about 2 weeks and I'm in need of exercise to get fit. Plus I'm getting into work late every day because I'm walking from the station instead of cycling or driving the whole way.

I'm only asking in case anyone has been in this situation or who has expert knowledge. I've been given 3 weeks with sling, 4 to 6 weeks recovery and only vague timescales for recovery. That's despite the bone not being displaced and I've been told I keep moving it from as soon as I could with the pain. No pain now though.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2021, 05:03:29 pm »
It was at least 6 weeks after breaking my wrist before I went on the rower.

I have a plate & screws, the only answer is to check with your physio.

TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2021, 05:10:32 pm »
Whatever else you do with a fractured radial head, DON'T FORCE EXTENSION (straightening)!

I don't have experience with rowing machines but movements around a fractured radial head should be GENTLE.
Go for mobility, not strength.

Keep working on your legs.

Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2021, 08:31:22 pm »
The nurse practitioner who carried out the virtual fracture clinic over the telephone basically said to straighten and flex my arm. To take pain medication then when it's working to straighten my arm as far as I can until it hurts too much. I took that as a bad idea so I just gently moved my arm and took pain as a sign it isn't ready to do that movement.

For me I had I suppose 80% of my arm movement in the straightening/flex direction. The twist still hurts badly when I do it. Unfortunately I do it too much by accident.

If I could row one handed  then I could possibly try it out.  U suspect it'll be more then 6 weeks before I can do the row erg properly. They say patience is a virtue but I've had 15 weeks wait until I could place the order then I've got over 2 weeks before I'll get it delivered. It will be close to  6 weeks between break and getting the c2 rower. The consultant said about 6 weeks recovery.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2021, 08:42:10 pm »
Twisting (pronation/supination) is something you should do, within the limits of pain.

I can't say I'm keen for you to 'row' right now.

Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 12:16:50 am »
I had a broken ulna shift after being set and whilst still in plaster. Not fun and never quite right again afterwards. Was touch and go whether they were going to go in and fix it with a plate. Can I gently suggest it's not worth rushing things...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2021, 12:34:14 am »
I'll add that while the bike might not load the arm heavily, you *really* don't want to fall off until the bone has healed properly.  I also note that Bromptons aren't known for their graceful handling of potholes...

Unfitness is temporary, bones are forever.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2021, 10:24:01 am »
Unless you are very practised at 'legs only' rowing, I would not recommend it, there will always be the temptation to pull rather than push.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 175 (metric) 529 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2021, 10:06:34 pm »
Just how long does a radius head,undisplaced fracture take to heal? I've read 3 to 6 weeks. The page notes I got sent to me said movement is recommended straight away. Implied the bone was in the right place and it's a quick heal with low risk of moving. Is that the right interpretation of it?

Right now my biggest source of pain is the wrist and forearm . At the beginning my elbow was the big source of pain but in breaking my elbow I sprained my wrist and forearm. This pain came out after the elbow pain stopped. I can straighten my arm and flex it fully. I cannot twist without severe pain in my wrist.

I'm going to wait the full 6 weeks before cycling and rowing but if my arm feels ok after that I'll start slow with any exercise.

Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2021, 10:10:14 pm »
In the meantime I'll make use of the time by reading up on training with a c2 rower. There's a lot of v good training plans like the running c2k ones. Plus c2 do a workout of the day at b three intensity levels that anyone can do just by going at the stroke rate appropriate for them. The control unit sounds pretty powerful in what it can do.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2021, 10:15:46 pm »
Three to six weeks for fracture healing.

Twisting is OK within pain limits from the off.

It's unlikely to shift, if managed gently.

Pronation/supination help 'polish' the button of the radial head.

I can't tell how long there'll be forearm pain.

From my personal experience with injuries of the thoracic spine and ribs, 'three week' injuries take four months until they are really pain-free.

Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2021, 08:58:49 am »
The forearm and wrist pain are probably from damage to the structures holding the radius and ulna together. Gentle rotation to the limit will prevent contracture developing but be guided by the pain.

Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2021, 04:31:05 pm »
Guided by the pain means do it into it hurts then stop. A little discomfort only,  right?

Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2021, 04:36:08 pm »
I once broke my knuckle and got given exercises.  I followed them for some time but it wasn't the pain stopping me getting full movement just that the damage prevented it.

This break doesn't seem to have this issue because I'm already at about full movement in the straightening and flexing direction. Twisti does seem to be more painful due to damage within the forearm soft tissues and ligaments. That suspicion of mine was backed up by comments in the ortho letter. That'll take time too I think.

Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2021, 07:37:10 am »
The initial stage of fracture healing is a join with soft, bendy spongy stuff. Load the bone very much at all and it will warp. Then hard bone grows and the bone is permanently bent.

You don't want that.

Happened to me, in the end the sawbones cut off the radius and stuck it back together with a wedge and plate n stuff. Cue another 6 weeks of healing.


Just have patience for a few more weeks.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Rowing machine after broken arm
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2021, 12:03:29 am »
As above its to early to train, rest let it heal and then go for it.