I have a mid shaft humerus fracture (fully displaced) - left arm, it was caused by a fall from my horse onto frozen ground which happened on the 24th Jan. Went straight to the ER and the bones were realigned and set in a slab plaster cast which went from the top of the shoulder to mid way across the forearm in an L shape. I spent 2 nights in hospital to ensure bones didn't move out of place and to check nerves were OK.
Before the bone was aligned I had pins and needles in my thumb and index finger but once they were reset this feeling dissipated. However, I did have a 'strange' feeling in these areas for a few weeks which I was told was due to bruising of the radial nerve. I was told to wiggle my fingers, make a fist and move wrist over and back - strength in my hand is improving all the time.
I had to go back to ER after 1 week as forearm and hand were badly swollen and they were afraid the bone had moved - ended up I was doing too much and was told to rest i.e. do absolutely nothing for 2 weeks...
After 2.5 weeks I went back to hospital for a checkup as it hadn't been decided whether or not an operation was needed. They managed to loose my original x-rays and the surgeon did not instil much confidence in his answers so wanted to leave me for another 4 weeks to see how things were progressing. At this stage I was going crazy as I did not want to have sit around doing nothing for 6 weeks before they decided I needed an op or not and then have to start recovery from scratch!
3.5 weeks from break - I went to an upper arm ortho specialist for a 2nd opinion, he was great and elevated all my worries. He examined my arm and wanted to leave it in the slab plaster for another week or so to give it plenty of time to heal - he was able to tell me straight away no op needed!
He gave me good advice re slab plaster which at this stage had loosened at the shoulder, I found my arm swelled while I was sleeping due to the pressure of this pulling at my inside arm. He said to wrap an 4inch elastic bandage around the plaster and tighten it in so it was more comfortable - it worked.
Week 5 - after being re x-rayed he removed the slab plaster and grabbed the fracture area moving it over and back (thankfully he didn't tell me he was going to do this in advance!). He announced the bone was 'solid as a rock' although from the x-ray you wouldn't think so. A plastic clam shell brace has been fitted which I can remove when having a bath/shower - must support arm in L shape when doing this. I have to leave this on for another 4 weeks and then back for another check-up.
He said to move the forearm up an down from the elbow, I've had to do this with my other hand as I don't have the strength to lift it at all - I'm doing reps of 10 numerous times during the day when sitting down. My bi/tri-ceps must not be strong enough yet - muscles her are sore but I expected this.
Does anyone know how long it takes to start getting strength back here?? Its now a week on and I still can't lift my forearm a mm without pushing it up/down with other hand - is this normal?
My shoulder muscles are very tight/sore but I've a friend that has being doing acupuncture on it and it has helped relax muscles, the left shoulder seems lower than right at the moment.
Would appreciate and advice on PT, or how long it takes to get full strenght back?