Broken left humerus Surgery and Suck: Depression Help!

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So where do I begin.  Maybe I should start with I am living in my own personal hell.  Many say keep positive thoughts and to look at all the amazing people that surround and support me.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for my family, friends, and husband but some days seem hopeless.  More days than others.  

It has been 64 days since I broke my humerus in 5 different places.  And about 61 days since a plate and pins has been surgically placed from my shoulder to my elbow.  It all started on Sept 13th.  I fell at one of my two jobs.  The scary part is the job I was working at, at  the time of my fall, I was working solo.  As soon as I fell and heard that pop, I laid there screaming for help.  Of course no one heard me so I mustered up enough courage to get up, in shock and hold my left arm in place with my right hand. I then called security telling them I am almost positive I broke my arm and to call an ambulance.  Lets just say I was lucky to not have  knocked myself out, because who knows when they would have founnd me.  I count my blessings that I am alive.

Anyway the ambulance rushed me to the hospital where they cut off my sweatshirt and took x-rays.  The whole situation felt surreal, like a nightmare.  They soon after told me I had a spiral/oblique fracture to my distal humerus. The ortho PA on duty splinted me and told me to call the ortho that Monday for an appointment that Thursday.  Unfortunately that Saturday night  was a nightmare.  I could literally feel my bone moving around and pain killers weren’t cutting it.  My husband rushed me to an even closer ER the next morning.  I had more x’rays done at the ER and was replinted.  My husband even went out and bought a recliner since I couldn’t sleep anywhere else.  I was then sent to the ortho for Monday.  As soon as I entered the ortho on Monday I was set up for Surgery on Tuesday.  The amount of pain I went through from when I broke it, up to surgery was excruciating all day long.  So for the surgery I am grateful.

Did I ever tell you I never broke a bone in my life, nor did I ever go through surgery and anesthesia before. Going into surgery was probably the scariest moment of my life ever.  However I was out for the count in a matter of seconds.  While I was under my doctor found not one, not two, but five breaks coming off my spiral break.  This lead to the surgery to last 7 hours instead of 3 hours. A plate and several pins were placed from my shoulder to elbow.  

So you might be thinking well Lauren you had surgery and are no longer in excruciating pain every moment so whats wrong.  Firstly I still get pain, just different kind and did still take pain meds for it.  Also during the surgery the doc had to move over my radial nerve so I couldn’t move my fingers too well after the surgery.  I now have radial palsy meaning weakness in the radial nerve.  For the first 5 weeks I was in a splint with splint changes each week.  My fingers can move a little better now but my thumb is still completely numb. But lucky part is  my incision healed well; no infection etc.

This past couple of weeks have been one of the scariest.  My ortho introduced me to a physical therapist and he said I needed to start moving my arm or I would be stuck with a bent arm that can’t turn over forever and at the same time the doc saw updated x-rays and my bones haven’t fused yet or even started. He needs a cat scan by week 12.  Therefore the doc wants me to move my arm on my own using my good arm, but not too hard because he doesn’t want the plate coming out by accident and then he has to God forbid do another surgery.  He doesn’t want me doing physical therapy yet because he is afraid it be too rough and will pull out my plate and pins.  So definitely scares me when my doc wants me to wait for PT, move my arm on my own, and me now being afraid of it staying like this forever.

Basically I am in a make shift splint for the next two weeks.  It is a half splint with ace bandage around it.  Everynight my husband takes the splint off and I move my arm ever so slightly with my good arm. 

I miss work, and doing normal things with friends without being in pain or nausea.  I hate having people doing everything for me including me simple tasks of bathing and pulling my pants down to go to the bathroom.  It is embarrassing and dehumanizing.  I just want to get better sooner or just better at all.

Added stress I was taking too many percoset so I went cold turkey and went through all the withdrawal symptoms physically.  But mentally I am more depressed then ever.  I am so worried of never getting better, 

I am scared sh*tless and just wish I knew someone who experienced the same trauma so I don’t feel alone.  I am scared the feeling and movement won’t come back.  I can’t be like this forever.  I am already a mess, crying every moment.   

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  • Posted

    Hey I'm just curious how your doing? I just broke my humerus in 3 spots and had a 5 hour surgery 2 weeks ago and I'm pretty scared myself about my future. I'm in a sling and my fingers and wrist are paralyzed plus I was only sent home with a one week prescription to pain meds so I've been in a lot of pain this past week. I see the dr in 2 days for a checkup I hope I'm alright, I hope everything is good on ur end.
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    • Posted

      Have faith for your future too. My humerus has healed and I am so more comfortable after pins and plate removed in July this year. I am recovering well and regaining movements in my arm and doing physio also.

      You need support from GP and painrelief medicine prescibed.

      Please check why your fingers and wrist are paralyzed you need advice. I wish you a swift recovery.

      Kind wishes

      Sue

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue.

      Why sis u have hardware removed? I am unable go bend my.arm past 100* and my triceps are adheres to the plate. I need hardware removed. Just seeing how is.doing now and why hardware was removed

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  • Posted

    Hello Brook ! Hope you recover soon and lead a happy life ! I just wanted to tell you its all hard experiences that we face!

    Fine , i met with an accident and broke my right humerus and successfully undergone surgery with Philo's plate and screws ! It's been 3 week now and getting moments of hand as I'm doing physio as suggested by doctor ! I have many doubts in personal! I ll be thankful if Any one out here can help me !! Thank you

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    • Posted

      How are you doing now?  I broke my right humerous 7/2/17, the doctors felt that i could heal in a compression splint & brace.  As of last week there is still a 1/4 gap between the bones & no sign of bone growth.  I fear nerve damage with surgery, but this constant compression isnt good for the nerves either, & the swelling * numbness in my hand is getting worse. What did they put your arm in after surgery?  Do you have nerve pain?

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I've just joined this site.

      I had the same surgery as you and was wondering how you are now 11 months on?

      It's been about 10 weeks since I had the plate and screws put in to fix my upper humorous.

      Still getting lots of pain, especially at night. Swelling is up and down and movement limited.

      How were you at around 3 months and how are you Now?

      I have no one to talk to who understands how I feel and I'm not sure if it's normal to still be in lot's of pain.

      Look forward to hearing from you.

      Kind regards Emma

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    • Posted

      Hi Emma, 

      Sorry you are struggling through this injury.  Are you still using ice packs to deal with the swelling?

      It has been 6 weeks since I broken my right humerus, mid-shaft. The first doctor that I saw decided to go the non-surgical route, so I was put in a compression splint & a sling that held my arm at a 90 degree angle.  The sling also had straps which wrapped around my waist & my chest to keep my arm tight to my body.  Last week I went to see a different doctor, & I am so happy that I did.  He ttold me to discontinue use of sling, & got me into a brace that didn't have a shoulder cap (one with a shoulder cap is used for a break close to the shoulder, to limit shoulder movement). I am very worried about the lack of movement that I have in my arm. I cannot straighten iit fully, I cannot raise it past the 90 degrees.  I cannot use it to type or move the mouse.  I am hoping that it is just due to the swelling & not nerve damage.  What is your range of motion?

      On a scale of 1 - 10, how is your pain?  If it is up around 10, it would make me think that there is nerve damage.

      Use your ice packs to help with the swelling.  Good Luck.

      Cathy 

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    • Posted

      Hi Cathy I am just wondering how you are getting on? I am in the same position as you now re fractured humerus, been in a compression brace for 4 months but still have a gap in the bone and they now want to do surgery to fit a plate. I am very nervous about nerve damage.  Did you have the surgery?  
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    • Posted

      Hi cathy82931.

      I broke my left humerus in 2008. Snapped completely in half.. spent 5 months in a brace and sling until I had to have surgery to fit pin j plate as bones weren't fusing. After surgery my hand was paralyzed as they had touched the nerve. Docs informed me it had just gone to sleep and I would eventually get use of hand ..they were right but it took 2 months to finally get full use of it ...well it's been 10 years and all I get is flare ups of pain and aching in arm .. sometimes when I've overworked or if it's damp n cold out ...also if I knock arm on something or someone grabs arm it can hurt a little. But apart from that everything seems fine with it .. hope this helps .. but then again everyone is different ..all the best

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    • Posted

      I'.m so glad to hear after 2 months  your hand is better,, so i know there is still hope that maybe my radial nerve will wake up to.My Dr gave me a  choice of  surgery or wait 3 months in a cast to see if the humerus bone wold heal....I had the surgery 5 weeks ago,I can use my arm for certain things.....,After surgery they told me i had radial nerve damage.......... Now i have to pray that the nerve will heal itself......

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  • Posted

    Hi Brokenwings. Did you recover ? I'm in similar boat. Broke my humurus 5-14-16. Underwnt ORIF 5-23-16. Elbow didn't bend past 90* flexiin ..I had.a manipulation under anesthesia in sept. Only to find out triceps are stuck to plate and. Now I need hardware removed. Plwqaw let Me .know. How.ur.doing. thx

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    • Posted

      How did u find out they were stuck to plate. My doc ignores me n just says be patient. He never even looks at my arm. So tired of being in pain all the time
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    • Posted

      Hi Sandy39611,Im a year and 10 mths on from my humerus fracture with radial nerve damage and its only now my PT has thought that my tissues are sticking to the plate also. Kinda wish she'd thought of that sooner!Anyway she did some extremely painful manipulation to my arm and I honestly felt a difference the next morning,I was able to push my door handle all the way down and wash my hair with not much pain compared to normal. Can your PT not do some physio on it like mine did?It will probably be quite painful but if it were to save another surgery to remove the metal,Id do it in a heartbeat. Removing the implant for me is too much of a risk because of its location,I would run the risk of getting the nerve damage again.

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  • Posted

    I do understand I have had these feelings too, I am normally very active, horse riding, cycling running etc, I fell off a chair and did a bad fracture to my wrist, I have  never broken a bone before either, but when I got the cast off I was terrified to walk without a walkign stick I was convinced I would fall over and break things again, slowly I managed but I used to wake up with panic attacks I would get panic attacks just sitting reading, I felt so helpless, so I went for some clinical hypnotherapy to help me get some of the stress issues out of me, a doctor friend had reccomended this , and I found for me it really helped, I still sometimes just started cyring, which I never did before, but it has gotten less, I think I thought once the cast came off life went back to normal. We have to give our body time to heal but it is not an easy process, but I do believe that eventually you will come through this hellish experience, I hope and pray that all of us on here never ever break anything in our bodies ever again.  Good luck xxxx 
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