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Physical Rehabilitation Medicine/radial head replacement/druj pinning

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Question
i am 2 weeks out of surgery and start physical therapy this coming week. i had a radial head replacement and druj pinning due to my arm being crushed at work by about 35000 lbs. of cargo. i am a gym junkie and have worked out for the past 20 yrs. off and on but more so on. i know it will be awhile before i can return to my normal workout routines but my question is that of my muscle definition returning. i was just wondering approximately how long it will take for that to happen. my injury was only a month ago but my right arm looks like i have never worked out a day in my life.

Answer
You need to realize that crush injuries are some of the worst due to injuring bone, soft tissue (tendon & ligaments), etc.  They are usually accompanied with significant swelling which can be detrimental to rehab by facilitating multiple joint contractures.  Basically, you have had a very serious injury.

The DRUJ pinning alone will keep you out of the gym, lifting more than average weight, for about 6 months give or take.  The radial head replacement shouldn't be as functionally limiting.  The last thing you need to be concerned with is muscle definition.  Strength is easy to regain, stability of the wrist and elbow should be your foremost concern.  I'd stick to cardio, legs, etc until 4-6 months.  Go with the advice of your surgeon and therapist but take this very slow and worry about muscle definition down the road.

Physical Rehabilitation Medicine

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Brian Neville, OTR/L, CWCE

Expertise

I can answer questions about both conservative and post-operative rehabilitation for UPPER extremity injuries. These include but are not limited to: fractures, tendon repairs, tendon transfers, nerve repairs, lacerations, tenolysis procedures, TFCC injuries, repetitive motion disorders, reconstructive procedures. I have an advanced knowledge of UPPER extremity anatomy and industrial rehabilitation. I have extensive splinting skills for injuries to the upper extremity. Although not a physician or a surgeon I have worked closely with world renowned upper extremity specialists for over 10 years. I can give general information on what some of the most common upper extremity surgeries involve. I can reference those procedures as well. PLEASE DON'T ASK ME QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE NECK, SHOULDER, ARM/HAND. I'M NOT QUALIFIED AND KNOW ABSOLUTELY ZERO ABOUT BACKS/HIPS/KNEES/ANKLES/ETC. THANK YOU!!!

Experience

10+ years working closely with orthopedic and hand surgeons and their patients. I have treated patients with small lacerations to major reconstructive procedures. My knowledge base includes both conservative and post-operative rehab protocols and care for upper extremity injuries. I have treated patients all the way from day 1 post-op to return-to-work status.

Organizations
Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association American Society of Hand Therapy National Nurses in Business Association Roy Matheson and Associates

Publications
RSD article

Education/Credentials
Occupational Therapist former Certified Hand Therapist (license currently inactive) Deep Physical Agent Modalities Instructor Certified Work Capacity Evaluator

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