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Re-setting bone that healed improperly ?

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This is an old injury, probably 20+ years. I broke my elbow twice as a child. The first time it was set with a pin and healed well. The second time, a few years later, it was set in a cast. When the cast was removed, it appeared the joint had somehow rotated, or at least the arm had rotated around the joint. I have very close to full range of motion, but the angle of the bend of this arm is noticeably differernt (angle). It almost appears that the elbow is rotated 90 degrees or so, though I'm not sure how you measure that. I have been relatively sedintary for a good part of my life, but am now extremely active. I experience pain in this joint when performing a variety of activities that place stress on it (weight lifting, biking, etc). The fact that it is rotated also seems to affect how exercise impacts that side of my body versus the other, so it seems to be a challenge to develop strength evenly. I have always wished that this had been corrected at the time. At this point (in my 30s) is there anything that can be done? Is it possible to go in, strategically re-break the bone, and let it heal properly with plates or pins? I was told my initial issue had to do with how young I was (around 12)and the movement of growth plates during healing. My physicians were very shocked at the time to see the arm when it came out of the cast. I had it looked at once a few years ago, but the doctor told me he was concerned about potential nerve damage if someone went back in, but I'm thinking about getting a second opinion. I'm just trying to find out if it would be worth my time to go see an orthapedic surgeon again.
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replied August 26th, 2009
Community Volunteer
I think that this has to do with how the tissue around it has healed and what it all involves...You would really have to speak with an Orthopedist about this...In fact if it was me, I would speak with two of them...So many if's in this that it frightens me...Would it make it worse?...Would all the pain be worth it?...Please understand I have no medical knowledge whatsoever and am just playing around with thoughts in my mind...Either way if you decide to do this, keep us advised...Good luck...

Caroline
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replied August 27th, 2009
Thanks for the reply, and I hear you. If it could be fixed, most definitely worth the time, pain. and inconvenience to me. Here's my more concise summary. Around age 12, break near elbow, malunion occurred due to rotation, no nerve damage, almost full range of motion restored. Left with what I understand is called "gunstock" shape in arm, and discomfort under certain types of load (bicep curls, no issues, pushups pain, mountain biking pain, etc.). Now in mid 30s. Is it possible after this much time has passed to treat this, I assume by way of open reduction and internal fixation, to re-align the bones to eliminate the gunstock deformity and alleviate the pain that results from pressure applied to the misaligned joint?
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replied September 6th, 2013
gunstock deformity
My Daughter is 6 and has a severe gunstock deformity from a break in her elbow when she was 2 do people notice your elbow and comment ? I would be interested in following your progress if you have it operated on as she may face this ?
Kind Regards
Emma Weller
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