Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is it Broken or Not?

That has been the question of the day around work. Apparently the swelling in my arm and the fact that I have been keeping it tucked in tight to my body is a dead giveaway. Who'da'thunk? Just to make it even more obvious, the nice folks from the Physical Therapy department gave me a sling to keep my arm in this afternoon. The question of the day seems to be: Is it broken or not? The answer to the question is: undetermined at this juncture.

Working in the School of Health Sciences has it's definite advantages. I had a PA instructor look at it this morning, manipulate it around and say that he believes that I probably fractured the radial head. They also told me that if I go into the doctor that they will X-Ray it and if it is indeed fractured all they will do is put me in a sling and then basically tell me to lay low for a few days. Then I'll have to start use it sparingly otherwise the elbow will actually become more stiff and painful. Sounds good to me! No doctor is always a good thing!

Then I ran across a couple of the Physical Therapy faculty and they think I should get an X-Ray because they are worried about possible 'displacement'. I was a bit too busy today to think about going to the doctor anyway, so lets leave it in the sling for a day (or maybe two, or three) and I will then consider getting an X-Ray -- procrastination is a must when going to the doctor.

Things that I did that caused excruciating pain today (in no particular order):
* Putting my hand in my left pocket - I was lopsided after I figured this out. Moved everything to the right.
* Trying to open the cupboard door to get the cereal out.
* Any bump in the road that I was stupid enough to leave my hand on the handlebar for - you didn't really think that a little thing like a possible broken bone would stop "the streak" did you?
* Opening any door.
* Opening a bag of chips.
* Picking up my coffee cup for a drink (yeah, I eat/drink left handed)
* Zipping up my fly after a trip to the bathroom -- possibly TMI, but also about the most painful thing I did all day.

Tomorrow is decision day. Will it hurt bad enough to make me go to the Doctor? Should I go anyway? Should I "man up" and just suffer through it all?

Oh yeah! How did this all come about? That's a story of epic proportions that can only be told in it's own upcoming post.
SPOILER/MOVIE (coming soon to a theater near you!) TAGLINE: One man. One bicycle. One will to survive. Follow the epic struggles of Biking Brady as he traverses dangerous enemy terrain in a hail of sniper gunfire.


eDLoNNiE said...

How did it happen? More importantly, does it prevent you from tipping an "icy coldy coldy"?

Tez said...

Go to the doctor!

Kris the PT says, "For God sakes man, go to the doctor!"

Anonymous said...

Go see the Doc ya young fool!

Sprocket said...

Okay, so I'm not a doctor (MD) but my PhD is in anatomy from USD School of Medicine...besides I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night! GO TO THE DOCTOR (MD)! The pronation and supination motions you explain make it sound as though it could be a radial head fracture (displacement would be a bad thing!). On the other hand it might be damage to an annular ligament that ties the head of the radius to the ulna and allows for its free rotation about the capitulum of the humerus--enough?!

It could be any number of things...maybe the real issue (danger) here here is the potential damage that a fracture (bone fragment) might do to the articular surfaces of the joint or any of the three major nerves and/or major blood vessels coursing through the elbow region...terms like limited-motion, osteonecrosis, neurological deficit and paralysis come to mind. Without imaging the problem, everyone is speculating (even me), so go get it imaged (x-rayed) and put any questions to rest.

Just think...even if it is absolutely nothing more than a might get some really cool drugs to take care of the pain. Seriously, you need to see a physician for many different reasons--maybe just peace of mind...don't mess up the opportunity for unrestricted and painless motion in your future!

Anonymous said...

Dude, after what Sprocket said, I feel like I should go to the doctor. You should probably go too.

Unknown said...

We had a really good orthopedic physician teaching upper limb exam here in the building on Wednesday afternoon. You should have called me - you could have been the patient!!

Snakebite said...

Nothing goes with self diagnosis like do-it-yourself surgery.