- Spiral fracture of the humerus via arm-wrestling.
- Did not require surgery.
- Lost 25lbs and all of my gains plus some, while recovering.
- Took 8.5 weeks to heal.
- Still currently working on getting strength back 4 months later.
Details: On February 23rd I was dicking around on my lunch break with a buddy and we decided to arm wrestle. I really dont like arm-wrestling at all, but my friend really wanted to and eventually pressured me into it. After a few seconds of deadlock there was a loud cracking sound and my arm suddenly gave out. I didnt feel anything in my arm, and at first I thought the table had broke or something. I very quickly realized it had been my arm however. Although it didnt hurt when it broke I had a sense that if I tried to move it, it most certainly would. I sat there waiting for the paramedics and started to go into shock (cold sweat, shaking) still didnt know how much this was gonna hurt. Well, the paramedics got there and finally I had to move my arm so they could splint it. My god, I have never felt so much pain in my entire life. This was in the middle of the cafeteria and if the paramedics hadn't already caught everyone's attention, my yells of agony certainly did.
Once in the ambulance I officially got high for the first time in my life, and the fact that my arm was broken suddenly became quite humorous at the time... but damn those meds sure killed the pain. I was already aware that my upper arm was definitely broken, and once in the hospital I was diagnosed with a spiral fracture of the humerus (upper-arm bone). Great. All my work in the gym, all my gains, my strict dieting, gone. Just like that. In a split second of doing something I didnt even want to do in the first place, a year of hard work and dedication was instantly nullified.
Angry and distraught for the following days, I began calculating how long it would take me to recover and get back to where I was. Luckily the two halves of my humerus were not displaced very much and surgery was not warranted. That saved my tricep from being cut in half in order to insert a plate into my arm. Instead I got a simple brace and a sling. Estimated time until bone union: 6 weeks. Actual time of bone union: 8.5 weeks.
April 23rd, I head to the hospital for my examination and get my brace and sling removed. Jesus Herbert Walker Christ, I almost died right on the spot at the site of how skinny my frail arm was. My deltoid had completely vanished, and my tricep hadn't faired much better. My bicep was spared the wrath of catabolism for the most part, but was still exponentially weaker than it had been. Needless to say, any semblance of symmetry I had once had in my respectable physique was nothing more than a distant memory. I could not straighten my arm or raise my shoulder past horizontal due to the joint seizure caused by prolonged immobilization of the elbow and shoulder. I got home and stepped on the scale. 192lbs. 25lbs lighter than before. What's that... is that a lair of fat covering my severely atrophied abs too? Well this just kept getting better and better.
Time to start the recovery. I made an appointment for the physiotherapist and within 10 days I had gotten about 97% of the motion back in my joints, although getting my strength back was another story. I decided to do some isolated dumbbell curls just to see what kind of juice my bicep had left in it. Well, after 7 reps of the 8lb dumbbells, the tank was empty. My sister uses 17.5lb dumbbells for the record, think of the embarrassment I had to endure! I moved on to the dumbbell shoulder press... 10lb dumbbells. Dumbbell flat bench... 15lb dumbbells. Tricep kickbacks... 2.5lbs. Thats the kind of weights I was moving about 10 weeks ago. More infuriated and determined than ever, I immediately took it upon myself to go back to my regular regiment at the gym, although easing into it in a responsible and cautious fashion with light weights and high reps and gradually increasing the intensity.
Fast forward to today, July 3rd. In those 10 weeks I've gone from:
Dumbbell curls: 8lbs to 55lbs
Dumbbell Shoulder press: 10lbs to 70 lbs
Dumbbell flat bench: 15lbs to 90lbs
Bent over dumbbell rows: 17.5lbs to 110lbs
This is still significantly behind the weights I once threw around in the gym, nonetheless I am pleased with my steady progress thus far, and both my arms are almost the same size again My goal is to be back where I was by the end of the summer... will be tough, but doable. I have also gained back ALL the weight I had lost as well... unfortunately my body composition is slightly more fat and slightly less muscle than it was pre-injury at the same weight. I plan on reattaining my previous lifts and then cutting down though, so it should work out ok in the end.
If anyone has any questions or comments about this type of thing, please feel free to ask, as I have become somewhat knowledgeable on the recovery process.
Also post your own stories of triumph over broken bones that have hampered your progress for inspirational purposes if you will! I would sure enjoy hearing some
Thread: Broken arm from arm-wrestling