Dislocated Elbow

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thefellowsmom

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Dec 13, 2010
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Well, I finally received that dreaded phone call. The Fellows was doing a back walkover and landed wrong. My heart just drops when the phone rings while she is at practice. She promptly informed me I was going to have to get over that because "gymnastics is dangerous mom". So right she is.

Well, off to the ER we went and thank goodness there was no one there and we got right in. They said that she had the equivalent of a nursemaid dislocation. I guess when they get to her age, they don't call it that any more but it is basically the same thing. They think that when they were prodding her and making her move her arm around during intake that it popped back in. She was so brave and composed. Proud mama.

I was so relieved that nothing serious was wrong. Her coach thought this might be it and said it would be best case scenario. Basically they said take a week off to let the ligaments tighten up again and then she would be good to go.

They did mention that it is more likely this will happen again. She is also slightly hyper-mobile in her elbows.

I guess I am just wondering if there are any exercises we can do to strengthen it or precautions we should take.
 
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Azgymmiemom

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Mar 12, 2010
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I don't know about strengthening exercises, but I just wanted to say that I am glad that it was nothing more serious, and that I hope her healing week goes quickly and that she recovers fully!!
 

AlexsGymmyMom

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Mar 20, 2009
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So glad it wasn't more serious! I know the feeling of how your heart sinks when you see the gym on caller ID during practice! Hugs to you both!!
 

my4buffaloes

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Apr 14, 2010
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Oh no, I feel the same way when the phone rings and my dd's are at practice. Glad it wasn't more serious, but so sorry it happened, had to be painful.
 

gymmomtoo

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Sep 27, 2011
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Glad it was nothing more serious! Is it possible for her to see a physical therapist for a session to get ideas on strengthening or if a brace is needed? ER docs are great, but they aren't experts, so seeing a specialist might help.

And I also get that "oh crap! What happened??" feeling with caller ID shows it's the gym calling and it's during practice.
 
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BlairBob

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She will have to focus on bicep work. Pullups in supinated "chin" grip and bicep curls. Yeah, bicep curls.

Basically her tricep is stronger than her bicep which is why she has that hyperextension.

In many people, it's genetic. Again the fix is to just develop a lot of bent arm strength to protect that elbow and resist force.
 
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thefellowsmom

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Thanks everyone for your kind words and advice. It seems that this muscle balancing thing can cause all kinds of problems. Her triceps are definitely stronger than her biceps.

I am considering seeing a specialist. It has been several days now and she says it feels about the same. She has full range of motion and it doesn't hurt during normal use, but she can't put any weight on it or hang. I guess I expected that it would feel a little better each day.
 

dunno

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Apr 28, 2009
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now let me ask you all....where else do you find that universal anxiety in that phone call from the gym?:)
 

thefellowsmom

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Just an update. Her recovery has definitely been slower than anyone expected, but we got good news today so that's a relief.

We weened her back into activity and practice over a couple of weeks and thanksgiving came at the perfect time and gave her a full week off with the way her schedule works out. Then she went back to full practices and the following weekend started complaining of pain again. Oh no.

So, we took another week off and got some x-rays and the good news is that everything in the x-rays looks normal so we can now proceed with PT and such. The doctor noted that the muscles around her elbow were very tight (like little rocks) and that is likely what is causing most of the pain.

She has her very fist meet in a couple of weeks and she is really bummed that she hasn't been able to work full routines these last weeks and she has lost her ROBHS due to being a little scared to go backwards and then not being able to put weight on her arms to work on it. It has been rough on her, but her response today when I told her the results and that she could go back to full practices was a very cute seven year old girl scream and then she got very serious and said "wow, I have a lot of work to do" then proceeded to her room to sit in her splits and think it over.

Gotta love our little gymmies :)
 
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dunno

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i hope that this 1st meet in "2 weeks" is not a consideration.:)
 

profmom

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Nov 18, 2011
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So glad to hear that nothing turned up on the X ray. Having been there with my daughter with a different injury that affected elbow mobility (broken arm just above the elbow), I can say that her gold star compliance with the physical therapy was absolutely critical to her recovery. I remember with her that at the time, she felt like the weeks away from tumbling went on foreeeeeever, but in retrospect, it really was not that long, and I can even get her to cop to that now. Best wishes to your daughter for a complete recovery soon!
 

thefellowsmom

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i hope that this 1st meet in "2 weeks" is not a consideration.:)
Oh no, of course not. We have already talked about how her health comes first and that she may need to even miss the meet entirely if that is what is necessary.

She's just really bummed because she has been waiting so long, working so hard and looking forward to competing for so long. Last year she worked out with the team but didn't compete and had to go to meet after and meet and watch all her teammates while she sat in the crowd. She is just disappointed that she isn't where she hoped she would be at this point, a few weeks out from her first meet. She had some goals that she has had to readjust due to the injury.

We have talked through all of this together as a family and with her doctors and coaches as well and everyone is on the same page. The HC was adamant that we take it very slow, especially because not only is she young, but very small as well.

It's part of the sport. She understands this and that if she wants to reach her long term goals and still be doing gymnastics in the future she needs to take really good care of herself. She's just seven and really disappointed that things haven't gone exactly how she wanted them to :)
 
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