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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Fell on the hand, elbow slightly twisted on wrong side

 deus_ex_machina - Fri May 22, 2009 3:45 am

I'm a Parkour practitioner for 3 years now. I'm around 186 cm high and weight around 96kg, 27 years old.

Three weeks ago, on a training I had an accident. I was jumping over a wall by using my hands, however, my left hand slipped and I started falling on my back. Instinctively I tried to land on the hand that slipped, and as I hit the ground with it (around half a meter height), because of forward inertia and wrong hand rotation upon hitting, my elbow 'wanted' to stretch on the wrong side. I want to make a point that I hit the ground with my open fist, not the elbow; the impact and forward inertia did the elbow joint trauma.

Luckily, it didn't, but I've felt two slight cracks, similar to those like when you 'crack' fingers on purpose.
As I got up, I immediately checked the joint for fractures (nothing was moving), and tested if I can move my arm freely and without pain in all directions, and that was possible, no pain felt. After around 10-15 minutes, arm started feeling very tired and started swelling, and I noticed that movement started to be constrained, and I applied Tiger's balm on it (bad move, I know I should have applied ice).
During afternoon and night, the elbow swell slightly and I was unable to move it more than maybe few degrees, and unable to rotate the fist completely, elbow was basically locked in 'rest' position - 45 degrees, open hand facing torso.

I was applying ice during that afternoon and following day.
Third day, a huge bruise started manifesting, from the half between shoulder and elbow to the half of my elbow and wrist, with wrist developing slightly smaller bruise. Day fourth, bruise became dark red. Same day I started applying Arnica oil. As days went on, bruise started changing to yellow, and then faded away.

To this day, bruise completely went away, I can rotate my wrist as much as I could before, however my elbow is still locked for full movement: it takes few degrees to stretch arm completely, and when contracting, I'm half the way touching my shoulder. I cannot raise myself on my arms yet, and I cannot use my muscle fully, like for example lifting heavy things.

I would like to know if its possible to know if any permanent damage occurred, how can I heal my arm faster, and is this 'just' tendons stretch or something worse?

Thank you, please ask me if I need to provide any more information.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:21 pm

User avatar Hello,
Parkour sounds like a great activity except during unwanted falls.

You could have a fractured bone in the elbow which is limiting the motion.

It would be worthwhile to have it x-rayed. If no fracture then feel confident to continue working on the motion and edema.

Watch out also for numbness and tingling in the arm or hand as this may indicate nerve damage. Muscle weakness may also be an indication of nerve damage.

Take care and ... move efficiently, quickly, and successfully getting over those obstacles.
 deus_ex_machina - Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:09 am

Hello, thanks for the reply.
My elbow motion is full now, it healed completely by using Arnica oil and some light warm up exercises and stretching.
I did my 1st parkour training in 6 weeks and mostly everything feels fine, except that I can still feel its 'not there' while climbing - which is natural I guess since its still weak from the injury.
Parkour is awesome, natural workout and tremendously fun. And yes, pretty much only downside is falling when you don't expect to :-)

Thanks for the reply once again,

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