The orthopedic surgeon casts extra healing ...
April 22, 2008 1:59 PM   Subscribe

I broke my humerus and now have a great big cast. I am concerned about the fact that I can feel some movement at times. Specifically, if I try to rotate my elbow (not the curl/uncurl motion, but side-to-side), I feel like the arm moves but in reality it doesn't (observably move). That makes me worry that the bones may be moving ... in which case how can they heal together? Also, do the cast covers for showering work?

I fractured my arm 10 weeks ago, and had a plate put in. Two days ago, I refractured it, but the surgeon (same one who put the plate in) decided that external fixation would be sufficient, to avoid the risks of surgery. That sounds great to me, as radial palsy is a disaster. However, I am a little uncomfortable about the fact that my arm can feel like it's moving when I exert some muscle pressure, even though it's not. I'm obviously trying not to do it, but occasionally, it happens. Wouldn't the small motion prevent healing? Or is nothing moving and it is all in my head?

Also, I see a lot of waterproof cast covers for sale. Are they any good? The cast goes all the way up my arm, to almost the armpit, so it may be tough to get a good seal; on the other hand, showering will really suck w/ trash bags unless I figure something better out.

I actually have an appointment with another orthopedist in 2 days (follow-up for the previous fracture), so I'll see him and get a 2nd opinion, and ask him these questions. But what does the hivemind know?
posted by bsdfish to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
The cast covers are great. Don't use garbage bags or any other homemade substitute. If you worry about leakage, you can wrap a small towel (kitchen size or so) around the top of the cast and then put the cover over it. There won't be time for any water to get through if your shower is a normal lenghth of time.
posted by mmf at 2:07 PM on April 22, 2008

I sprung for a waterproof cast last time I broke something, and it was fantastically worthwhile.
posted by zamboni at 2:15 PM on April 22, 2008

When I had my broken wrist casted last year, I bought a cast cover, but I had issues with the elastic at the top being painfully tight, and cutting off not only the influx of shower-water but also most blood circulation. I'd suggest hanging on to your receipt and checking with the vendor about return policies (I was able to get mine refunded).
posted by Kat Allison at 6:21 PM on April 22, 2008

This recent thread might help.
posted by crazycanuck at 5:33 AM on April 23, 2008

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