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For Parents Broken Forearm Recovery

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ALK

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My 6yr old, level 3 gymnast broke her arm, complete fracture of the ulna and radius, on Aug 27th. She's still in the cast, but I was wondering if anyone has any insight on post-cast healing time. She's finally old enough to compete level 3 and it was a big disappointment for her that she'll delay some competitions. Any idea how long before she actually gains her strength back? Shes been conditioning, but obviously her arms are gonna be weak.
 

John

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It's my experience muscles have memory. I also believe that males recover faster than females. A man can recover most of the strength in a week or two. She has been conditioning she also is young, I would think once she is cleared to fully participate she would be back close to 100% within a month. Good luck to her. Do not push there is plenty of time.
 
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reluctant

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It's my experience muscles have memory. I also believe that males recover faster than females. A man can recover most of the strength in a week or two. She has been conditioning she also is young, I would think once she is cleared to fully participate she would be back close to 100% within a month. Good luck to her. Do not push there is plenty of time.

You do realize that you are making completely ridiculous statements. A) You don't come back from a broken arm in a week or two even if you are a big strong man. B) There is no evident than men/boys recover more quickly than women/girls.
 

LGnyc

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While DD never had a broken arm, she did have a couple of bones broken in her hand (and separately a broken foot). In both cases, the orthopedists said that young children heal incredibly fast. Generally three weeks for the bones to start knitting. If she were just an ordinary kid, meaning not a gymnast who is subjecting her limbs to incredible stresses, she would have been back in business at about 4 weeks. But given the gymnastics, they wanted her to wait 6 weeks to heal. And yes, the one hand/foot was much weaker, but it came back pretty fast. I'd say another 4 weeks. Best of luck!
 
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ALK

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She is 6 yo and level 3 - what is the big rush?

Relax and let her heal completely and get back into the sport with proper physical therapy and strength/skill training.

Oh believe me, I am in no rush. She's the one that is super disappointed and I totally get why. She's been on pre-team since she's been 4, so she has been DYING to compete and now it's finally here and the rug has been pulled out from under her. I am just hoping she will get to compete this year, which I am sure she will.
 
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CLgym

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My DD had a similar injury - displaced fracture, radius was broken totally through, and ulna was a greenstick fracture. At the time she was also age 6, but only pre-team/Level 2. It's been a few years, but I recall that she was in various sized hard casts for about 6 weeks, followed by a removable splint. Restrictions in splint were as, if not more, strict. She attended all practices during this time (6 hrs/week at the time) to condition/stretch. Once cleared for normal activity, I don't recall it taking very long for her to get back to the same place skill-wise. Just a few weeks, maybe a month. Honestly, the skills at Level 2/3 (pullover, etc.) don't really require super-human strength... The bigger impediment for us was psychological. It felt "weird" to use the arm again.... and there was a fear of re-injury, etc. I scheduled a couple of private lessons shortly after the splint was off / restrictions were lifted so that she could regain confidence. I'm not sure when your competition season starts, but I would think your DD should be able to compete at some point this season. Good luck!
 
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rjb123

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DD had a broken radius and ulna, and she had two surgeries to repair it. (she had rods put in). she was casted for around 6 weeks total, then it took another 4-6 to get to full strength/ back to her former level. Then she had another 6 weeks of reduced activity after her second surgery to remove the rods. While the rods were in place she was allowed full impact and activity as the rods were essentially an "internal cast" for the bones. I understand that when both bones are broken, especially a mid shaft break, without rods it takes a bit longer to regain the full activity as restrictions can be in place for a longer period of time. So a lot depends on where the break took place, surgery or not, and of course what level she is doing. My DD was L7 at the time, so it took a little longer to get back to where she needed to be versus L3. :)
 
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ALK

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Thank you for your insight. There was talk of surgery at first, but the pediatric ortho actually reset and recasted the arm after a week in the original cast the ER put her in. The fractures were pretty much mid shaft, which was better according to the othro. She said if it was closer to the ends she would have definitely done surgery as she would be worried about loss of rotation in the arm.
 
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raenndrops

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John

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Not really this thread started talking about how long it would take to recover strength after the cast was removed. This study clearly shows muscle recovery. Males, after puberty, recover muscle more quickly due to Testosterone levels.

We can't speak to the break every break is different.
We can agree to disagree.
 
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wrzos

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My dd had the same break - closed fracture, required sedation to set ... twice! Both radius and ulna completely broke, about 4 inches up from the wrist. She had several casts as well - complete up to shoulder, then below elbow, etc.
Her recovery was long. She was probably out 3 months total before beginning back conditioning only. She was 8 at the time of break. She had some nerve damage, and the nerve takes a lot longer to re-grow than the bone. Once out of the cast, she first did maybe a month of 2-3X weekly OT for fine motor skills. Then at least 2 months of PT before starting back conditioning. She continued PT for another month along with 1 hour conditioning sessions, before going back full hours into the gym.

As far as strength, that is where she excels, so while she obviously lost strength in that arm, she recovered strength pretty quickly. It was the fine motor skills that concerned us. Plus, when her muscles fatigued, her fingers would start to curl, and we were afraid she might slip off the bar, or worse yet, connect with the fingers bent under. They went very carefully with bars work, and kept her out of her grips for several months until her hand strength was good again.
 
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ALK

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Wow sounds so similar to her situation. She was sedated at the ER for the first reduction and cast. They didn't sedate her for her 2nd one, I felt awful for her...shes a tough cookie. We go back Oct. 5th and I believe she may get a short cast then. Luckily, she didn't suffer nerve damage. The bars worry me the most too.
 
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LGnyc

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My dd had the same break - closed fracture, required sedation to set ... twice! Both radius and ulna completely broke, about 4 inches up from the wrist. She had several casts as well - complete up to shoulder, then below elbow, etc.
Her recovery was long. She was probably out 3 months total before beginning back conditioning only. She was 8 at the time of break. She had some nerve damage, and the nerve takes a lot longer to re-grow than the bone. Once out of the cast, she first did maybe a month of 2-3X weekly OT for fine motor skills. Then at least 2 months of PT before starting back conditioning. She continued PT for another month along with 1 hour conditioning sessions, before going back full hours into the gym.

As far as strength, that is where she excels, so while she obviously lost strength in that arm, she recovered strength pretty quickly. It was the fine motor skills that concerned us. Plus, when her muscles fatigued, her fingers would start to curl, and we were afraid she might slip off the bar, or worse yet, connect with the fingers bent under. They went very carefully with bars work, and kept her out of her grips for several months until her hand strength was good again.

Recovery aside, that sounds like an insane break. And so young. I'm so sorry but it sounds like you had a great structure in place to come back.
 
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John

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Sorry to hear of everyone's trauma. Friday night we had a girl break both bones in her forearm vaulting. She hit the table with one arm bent and made direct contact with the forearm on the table. It was horrible, she was in tremendous pain. The mood in the gym after was unexplainable. I hope everyone makes a quick recovery and proceeds on with their life activities with joy.
 
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