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If you ask me, arm wrestling is stupid. (Not for the squeamish...)

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Jameze, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    [Jul 27, 2012]
    First of all... sorry for the huge blog-type post. I've been unable to use my hand for so long that my fingers are just eager to type!

    Who would have thought arm wrestling could be so dangerous??

    Well, whilst you lucky SOB's have been enjoying the few days of sunshine we've had this summer in your Audi's, mine's been festering away at the bottom of the drive for the past 9 weeks unable to be driven! :(

    I was peer pressured (it didn't take much persuasion) into having an arm wrestle over the jubilee weekend. My mate had us all round at his over the weekend for some drinks to take advantage of the rare 4 day weekend, and in my drunken wisdom, agreed to an arm wrestle (I normally flat out refuse because... believe it or not... I've seen lots of YouTube videos of people breaking their arms!)

    So anyway, I was asked for one, of which I gracefully declined. One more "Go onnnnnnn, just one!" later from my friend and there I was sat at the table, locked arm-to-arm. I figured it'll shut them up and I can't be unlucky enough to be one of those chumps who breaks their arm...

    WRONG! I earned myself a nice little distal humerus fracture.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see there's a nice little 'butterfly' fragment which is essentially a free floating chunk of bone. I'm told there's about 3 in total.

    I went to A&E in an ambulance, had my fair share of laughing gas (amazing stuff - it should be sold at bars!), and was placed in a temporary cast and then referred to the orthapaedic department a week later to re-check alignment and get a more substantial cast put on.

    It was decided then that I needed an operation to fix plates to the bones to align them properly. I was booked in for an operation a week later (the usual surgeon who specialises in this area was on holiday so a Professor stood up to the challenge - very good at what he does).

    My operation came 13 days after breaking my arm (bone callus forms after about 14 days and begins to heal the bones together).

    From breaking it up until my operation, I had two whole weeks of having to sleep sat upright in a chair. The worst two weeks of my life. As my bone was broken in half, every little movement resulted in a grinding and crunching as the ends rubbed together. I'll never forget that! Hence having to sleep upright - to allow gravity to do it's thing and keep the bones aligned to stop them crossing paths.

    Here is my post-op X-ray... the image on the right was taken 2 weeks post-op (you can still see the staples going up the middle). The image on the left was taken about 2 weeks later following removal of the staples.

    2 plates, 17 screws and 39 staples.

    [​IMG]

    Scar time!

    I've got myself a nice 9" scar down the back of my left arm. In order to access the bone, the Prof had to quite literally cut my tricep wide open (known as 'splitting'). Trying to tense my tricep is still quite a weird feeling, I can just feel it twinge near the elbow as I think that's the only part to have survived the knife. It's slowly coming back though...

    [​IMG]

    This was when I was having the staples removed. I was absolutely bricking it! Surprisingly though, it didn't hurt.

    Staples out but my arm still hasn't fully healed. As there was a large scab in the wound near the top (can see in previous pic) it prevented it from closing up fully.

    [​IMG]

    I then had steri-strips on for a week which closed the gap up a bit...

    [​IMG]

    And then an iodine patch on for a further week (which eventually did the trick)...

    [​IMG]

    And then finally, taken just half an hour ago... here we are today...

    [​IMG]


    I've had two physio sessions so far and all is going well. I'm 5 degrees off straight, and so very close to being able to bend my arm fully. Much greater improvement on when I first went 3 weeks ago and my arm was stuck at a 90 degree angle unable to move!

    I'm quite lucky (I think) as it was my left arm that I broke and fortunately I'm right handed. I don't know how I managed to dodge that one otherwise I truly would be screwed!

    The only downside from the whole procedure is that my ulnar nerve is having a hissy fit. The ulnar nerve is the nerve that is affected when you hit your 'funny bone' and it supplies half of your hand, your pinkie finger and HALF of your ring finger with feeling. As mine was stretched in order to accommodate my meccano set, it's decided to act up for now. Since my operation about 7 weeks ago I've not been able to feel those parts of my hand of grip particularly well / move my fingers normally (still have the range of motion, just not the dexterity to spread / close my fingers). I'm reassured it will come back, it just takes some time. Anywhere between 2 weeks and 9 months. My fingertips have already started to become hypersensitive which is different from 100% numb and I'm told is a positive change, so I'm remaining optimistic! :)

    As the humerus has very little blood supply as a bone, it takes longer than most others to heal (at 12 weeks). I'm hoping to be driving soon though (sat in my car the other day like a saddo and practiced changing gears which I managed) and to be back at the gym 4 times a week (I'm sure tricep day will be fun... I don't think I'll do that for a good few months though to be safe!).

    So there you have it guys; don't arm wrestle! Again, apologies for the mass of text and sorry if the pictures grossed anyone out.
    #1
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  3. JtotheD
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    JtotheD Events Moderator

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    I've seen the videos too..! Ahh man I hope it heals up for you okay that looks horrific! Physio is really helpful though fella and will get all the muscles working and range of movement back.. Sounds stupid but make sure you put the full effort in to doing what they tell you to do no matter how painful it is! I remember when I dislocated my knee and the exercises they gave me to do made me feel physically sick at times but just battle through it!

    Just cardio in the gym for now then! Chest day will be interesting also because most of those exercises will use the tricep also! /your best bet for now will be to, as much as i hate to say this, use the machines and where the tricep is activated you'll have to lower the weight considerably and do stupidly high reps to build endurance back up and then build the strength back up from that basis. If you need any help working out a routine/split etc let me know what equipment your gym has and what you can handle and I'd be more than happy to work out something for u!

    get well soon !
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  4. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    I can't believe having watched the videos I still went through with it! I'll never forget having to pick my broken arm up off the kitchen table so there's a nice little lesson for me if I ever think "It'll never happen to me" again.

    Yeah it was incredibly painful! My bicep tendon had become incredibly tight which prevented me from straightening my arm so last week I was given the most painful deep massage ever. I actually bruised the next day! It worked though and got me from 20 degrees off straight to just 5 degrees. On Monday I've got the same... except with my tricep (not looking forward to that as my tricep is still very sore!).

    Definitely cardio mate, my only fear now is falling over (not that I make a habit of it, but it would be just my luck to fall over, put my arms out to break my fall and do some damage to my arm whilst it's still healing!).

    I'll be very nervous when returning to the weights, probably starting as low as possible and building my confidence up more than anything - I just have visions of my arm snapping! In reality though the bone is probably going to be stronger than ever with all the titanium they've put in me. Cheers for the advice, I'll certainly be taking that. I'll start on cables to get some confidence back, step up to machines when I feel I'm ready and then eventually step foot back into the free weights area. Thanks again.
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  5. Ryan_W
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    Ryan_W Member

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    Wowzers... Lesson learned there!

    I've also suffered an arm wrestling injury (nowhere near as bad as yours).
    I was arm wrestling on a granite worktop with my mate who is also a competitive weight lifter, our elbows slipped on some spilt alcohol and I crushed the little bone chamber (can't remember the name of it) which protects your 'funny-bone' nerve.

    Now even just the slightest knock on the right elbow sends my arm into spasm, not cool.

    So for me, left handed only now, yet I'm still to lose ;) lol

    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    Ryan
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  6. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    Ouch, sounds like your ulnar nerve and cubital tunnel? I'm becoming quite the expert around that region, starting to feel a bit wasted as a Quantity Surveyor :drag:

    Did you undergo any surgery or just leave it? I bet resting your elbow on a table or something is painful! Mine is and I'm not sure if it's because my nerve is ultra-sensitive at the moment or if I'm resting on one of my plates (they're anchored to the end of my humerus very near the elbow).

    Alcohol + arm wrestling is definitely a recipe for disaster.
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  7. Ryan_W
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    Ryan_W Member

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    Na, slept it off and then just got on with it. I hit it every so often and my right arm will have pins and needles for about 5 mins and hurt like f**k...
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  8. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    where did they cut the tricep?
    how will that grow and develop now, like normal?
    #7
  9. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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  10. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    They literally just split it right down the middle then pulled it apart to expose the bone. I believe the plates are then fixed either side of the bone. I was told that there might be a possibility that they'd have to go through the front as well (through my bicep) and I'd have an identical scar down the front. I assume this is when the break is in such a way that the plates need to be fixed to the front and back. When I come round out of my op I was gently touching my bandages trying to figure out whether or not they'd had to go through the front too!

    I think this diagram illustrates what they did...

    [​IMG]

    With regards to the muscles development, I'm told that it should return back to normal over time. Only time will tell I suppose, I just keep necking plenty of protein to try and help aid recovery.
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  11. knoxie
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    knoxie K4OXE

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    wow, well i have a bit of a confession, when i was fresh faced 18 y/o (now 23) i was 14st pure muscle, ok dont sound much but im only about 5ft9in

    one night in the pub, drinks flowing a rather large bloke come up and offered a deal, i put a tenner on the table and he put a wad (about £100) we have an arm wrestle and the winner takes all, being cheered on by all my mates and partly trying to impress a girl i agreed!!

    to everyones amazement i beat him, then comes everyone he had previously beat trying it, so with the same deal i carried on for 4 weeks, winning alot of money abd by now getting very cocky and just putting all my power down at once ending it as quick as possible, then came the night i got barred from the pub, dislocated one guys arm, got told no more wrestles! i agreed and was sitting outside when the first guy i beat came up and offered me £200 if i beat him so i though one more wont hurt, and as before all my power at once and bang snapped the guys arm, got barred and threatened with gbh.
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  12. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    Haha! I can't help but laugh. That guy's ego had obviously taken a battering the first time round and he was determined to win. It's surprisingly easy to do with all the torque arm wrestling forces on the humerus!
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  13. Burkin
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    Burkin Member

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    First bit of breaking news I have seen on here
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  14. knoxie
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    knoxie K4OXE

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    [Jul 28, 2012]
    i saw the guy a few months after and he showed me his arm, not too dissimilar to yours tbh, but was a very odd shape!!

    he did actually say sorry for threatening to call the fuzz and shook my hand.

    things like this just shows the power the body has, aswell as how fragile it can be.
    i wish you a speedy recovery my friend and if your at AITP wear a vest and il say hello :)
    #13
  15. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    [Feb 28, 2013]
    Well it's been 7 months since my original post, 8 or 9 since I originally broke my arm. I figured it was time to give you an update if anyone's interested.

    I broke my arm on 3rd June 2012, and finally returned to work on 1st August 2012. I was still unable to drive at this time so was working out of my local office and getting lifts to / from work . I don't think I drove again until 20th August after being given the nod by my physio to give it a go (I'm looking back at my calendar to try and remember things!)

    As I mentioned in my original post, I sustained quite bad nerve damage during my operation after my tricep was split open to gain access to the bone. This caused my ulnar nerve (funny bone nerve) to be stretched and damaged, which causes the nerve fibres to die, leaving behind effectively a hollow tunnel where the nerves once lived. I believe the medical term was axonotmesis.

    The damage after my operation was somewhere around the site of the break, so just above my elbow, and it was a case of waiting for the nerves to grow back from the spine at a rate of 1mm per day.

    As of today, the nerves have repaired themselves to somewhere in my lower palm / base of my fingers. So I'm slowly getting there to being fully (hopefully) recovered! It has regenerated down my forearm and just past my wrist.

    The result of this nerve damage was not only reduced sensation to the affected areas (zero sensation for the first 5 weeks or so) but reduced movement also. The ulnar nerve largely provides sensation to half of your hand, and provides movement to certain muscles in your hand (the main being those which allow you to spread your fingers). As a result of this, I haven't been able to spread my fingers until just the last week or two, causing those muscles in my hand to waste away. If you look at this picture here I took a month or so ago, you can see just how bad it got...

    [​IMG]

    I've received some excellent medical treatment during my time (and still am). The professor that dealt with me initially and performed the operation was outstanding, and although still under his care, he's referred me to a nerve specialist for the remainder of my recovery until my nerves have fully healed. The nerve specialist is great and she was in fact part of the team that performed the hand transplant on this gent... BBC News - UK's first hand transplant operation. The anesthetist from my operation was my friend's dad (to my surprise as my bed was wheeled through the doors of the operating theatre!) and the physios I've all seen have been great too. If it wasn't so painful, I'd gladly break another arm! :)

    Once my nerve has fully healed (seriously, they take forever!) then the Professor will review me to see if the plates in my arm are causing me any discomfort. I don't think they are, although I think there is still some deep tissue discomfort from where my tricep was split open. I'm hoping it's not the plates anyway as the last thing I want is to have to get them removed, be cut open again and probably end up with nerve damage once again and another year of recovery! I will however be getting plastic surgery to tidy the scar up (it's not pretty) once we're certain they don't need to open me up again - I think at the time I was quickly stapled shut as he knew there was a chance he might have to open me up again, and always knew the scar could be tidied up at a later date.

    I've still got a very prominent ulnar nerve just above my elbow which is incredibly painful to accidentally hit or even rest on a table, but I'm told it should hopefully go back down eventually and that it's still just a bit bruised, swollen and stretched (I sometimes hit the damn thing on the armrest getting into the car!!).

    If there's one thing I've learnt from all of this though, it's not only that arm wrestling is doubly stupid whilst drunk, but nerves are not to be underestimated! The feeling of having no sensation and not being able to move a part of your body is very strange, and I'm just glad it's slowly making a recovery.
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  16. PAULF
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    PAULF Active Member

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    [Feb 28, 2013]
    Wow!

    Good (I think thats what I mean) warning post.

    Nice to hear your care is good, and that you are recovering - but still a real bummer for you.
    #15

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