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Old 04-02-2010, 06:39 PM   #1
Peter D. Smith
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Elbow tendon tear

Tried to go the conservative route and self-diagonsed with Tennis Elbow. I can still do strict pull-ups, push ups w/o pain, but anything explosive is not happening. After 7 weeks, PT for three weeks (ASTYM, stretching, strengthening and dexamethasone patches), I finally saw an ortho dr. because it was not getting any better (it actually feels worse).

MOI was hit by ice while ice climbing. He ordered MRI and said that I had an almost complete tear of a tendon on the outside of elbow. Feels like tennis elbow, but he says it will not go away. I could clearly see what he was talking about in the MRI.

He recommends surgery. He said we could also try a cortisone injection, sling for 4-5 days and then conservatively work back into things and see if that helps, but he did not seem convinced (and I do not either) that this would work.

Has anyone had experience with this type of surgery? I am very active, CrossFit regularly and train military (mountain and cold weather operations), so before (if) I get cut, I want as much info as I can get.

Thanks,

Pete
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:38 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Elbow tendon tear

For any tendon surgery they'll anchor to the bone or sew it together depending on where it ripped..

Uhh, you'll definitely be out for at least 4 weeks BEFORE therapy will begin and it's likely that the process will take upwards of 4-6 months.

But if your tendon is that jacked, and you need it for military operations you should probably get it.

Talk to your doc about it more....
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:49 AM   #3
Peter D. Smith
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Re: Elbow tendon tear

I have the surgery week after next.

My Pt told me at least 6 months, maybe up to a year to get back to all activities. He said to expect about 6 weeks doing nothing with the arm - maybe some light stretching. He also said that most of this would be on my own.

This sounds like a frustrating recovery...

Is there a prescription for recovery for this surgery? And how do I keep some semblance of fitness during such a long recovery? I am going to be making a move from Alaska to D.C. and I do not want to miss steps along the way.

Thanks,

Pete
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:03 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Elbow tendon tear

Usually for shoulder surgery and stuff you can do things like ball squeezes with your hands to keep everything from atrophy.

In this case, you may have to do some other stuff with the shoulder because it's your common elbow flexion tendon that tore.

Definitely keep the other arm strong though.

Listen to your PT
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:37 AM   #5
Ryan Webernick
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Re: Elbow tendon tear

I tore my distal bicep tendon last year. This is a different injury, so I'm not sure how that impacts the recovery. I was in a splint for 5 weeks. In that time my upper arm atrophied down to the size of my wrist. It was nuts.

Following the five weeks, I was allowed to use my arm, but with no resistance. It seems everyone's PT recommendations are different.

After gradually reintroducing resistance, I was cleared for any activity the muscles could support at 11 weeks, but started back slowly. For 6 weeks I didn't do anything physical. After that, I eased back into things like squats and jogging, but avoided any real intensity until I was cleared with the doc.

Its been 11 months since the injury, and I am finally getting back to where I was pre-injury.
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