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forearm fractured metal plate pain

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i had fractured my forearm in an industrial accident where a machine landed on my forearm and snapped the ulna and radius in half. i had surgery january 28th. it's been roughly 11 and 1/2 weeks since the surgery.

I still feel weird sensations in the forearm when i rest the plate on my forearm against a table. my surgeon said i will have to go back into surgery for a bone graph, but that is for the radius side. Is it fairly normal to experience this pain? Also, I feel a little bump where the fracture is. And I'm getting a puppy in the next 6 weeks, just curious if it will be terrible for my arm if i pick it up with both arms.
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replied April 21st, 2011
Especially eHealthy
tripp26x,

If I remember correctly, you sustained injuries to both upper extremities: a humerus fracture on the right with a radial nerve injury (wrist drop) and a both bone shaft fracture of the left, also with a distal radial nerve injury (inability to fully extend the thumb).

How are you doing? Is the radial nerve palsy on the right resolving? You stated you had to have the bone graft done on 28 January and it was healing well, are you going to have to have it repeated?

It is not uncommon to have different types of sensations around the plate. Some people feel a cold sensation, while others describe it as heat. Some have an electrical type shock when touching the plate (this is usually due to a neuroma). Others feel like there are ants crawling on the skin or there is a continuous vibration about the plate. So, yes, odd sensations are very common. These almost always resolve over time.

The bump you feel at the fracture site is the callus of fracture healing. The body lays down a big wad of osteoid to glue the two bone ends together, which it then calcifies. Over time, the mass is remodeled somewhat, but, in adults, it usually never returns to a smooth cortical bone shaft. There is almost always a slight thickening at the fracture site, even years down the road. With the use of internal fixation, the callus formation usually isn't as big as it is with cast treatment, though it is still slightly larger.

The bump at the fracture site can also be that of scar tissue. All the soft tissues heal with scar and, in your case, you had significant soft tissue damage. Crushing and twisting injuries can be quite significant.

Hope you are doing well. Puppies can be quite a handful (especially if you are getting a large breed or a very energetic one). Hopefully, it won't be a Marley. The companionship of a dog during rehabilitation has been shown to be very therapeutic. Most heavy lifting can be avoided if necessary. But, you may need some assistance in training for leash walking.

However, if you are concerned, call your surgeon and ask about the increased activity you will need to do. Good luck. Hope you can get the puppy and enjoy its companionship for many years.
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replied April 21st, 2011
Thank you so much!!

I don`t know what I`d do without ya! Great memory by the way. Guess what? The wrist drop actually is no longer a wrist drop, a week or two later, the wrist is finally going up. It's managing to stay up with no effort at all. Now it's just a matter of getting my fingers to extend all the way out.

I went to my surgeon a week after you replied to my last post. Turns out he wants to do a bone graph on my humerus and on the radial bone on my forearm. The gap between the bones was too wide for it to heal fast enough.

I'm getting a Doberman in about 2 weeks. I just need to be smart about it and do things that make me comfortable without over doing it on either arm. I'll have my mum help me with walking him for sure
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replied April 21st, 2011
Especially eHealthy
tripp26x,

Hopefully the radial nerve will continue to heal and you will get the finger extension back. You don't realize how important it is, till you can't open the fingers enough to get them around your beer can (or soda can)!

Has the surgeon tried a bone stimulator to get the bone to heal quicker? It can be used while waiting to do the bone graft surgery. If it works, great, you can postpone or cancel the bone graft. If not, well, you are all set for the bone graft.

Hopefully, with the Doberman, he will be totally voice controlled. They are a working dog (originally they were a herding dog with long tails and floppy ears) and have the innate ability for subtle commands. They are very intelligent. There are Dobermans that are trained to hand signals, as well as voice and physical commands. The only thing, is that you have to be smarter than the dog. Hope you have a great time with your new family member. Good luck.
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