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Old 10-02-2011, 11:49 AM   #1
Andrew David
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Elbow Post Traumatic Elbow Arthritis at 25 Years Old

I was wondering if anyone is dealing with arthritis and what you do to minimize it's effects on training. I have severe post traumatic osteoarthritis in my left elbow from a car accident. My ROM is limited in extension by maybe 8 degrees when compared to my healthy right elbow. I have a fair amount of pain when I try to fully extend or perform extension under loaded conditions. It is pretty devastating to be 25 years old and not be able to go overhead anymore, whether it be pressing, jerking, snatching, etc. Is anyone dealing with something similiar? Any ideas on dealing with it? Thanks.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:09 PM   #2
Brent Sallee
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Re: Elbow Post Traumatic Elbow Arthritis at 25 Years Old

After your car accident, I'm assuming you had significant therapy for it - is that true? If not, it may benefit you to see a physical therapist. For osteoarthritis, the best thing is to be able to achieve the closed-pack position. That distributes the force within the joint maximally, minimizing pressure on any one point of the cartilage (or bony contacts). Because you're limited in extension, you're not quite achieving that position. It may not enable you to continue to go overhead, but it may make your life a little less painful and a little easier.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:24 PM   #3
Andrew David
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Re: Elbow Post Traumatic Elbow Arthritis at 25 Years Old

Thank you for your reply and the information. The closed pack position makes sense, I do not think I am reaching it. I had an ebow arthroscopy 3 months ago to remove the floating bodies and bone spurs that were in my elbow causing me pain and blocking my ROM, and have been doing PT, massage, stretching, and graston to try to get my ROM back post surgery. After seeing my post-op images my surgeon determined I have severe arthritis. Really what feels best is getting it warm and using my elbow. Once again thanks for the info and if you have any other suggestions or information I would love to hear it. Thanks.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:02 AM   #4
Brent Sallee
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Re: Elbow Post Traumatic Elbow Arthritis at 25 Years Old

Did your surgeon suggest any alternatives? I know some ortho's will suggest hyaluronic acid injections, which can help with cartilage regeneration. I might look into that, solely due to your age. You've got a while yet to live with it (thank God - the accident could've been much worse) so optimizing that function would be beneficial to you. Other than that, stick with your PT and stretching religiously. You'll maintain a lot more function that way. And your surgeon is exactly right, moving it will help with function and longevity of the joint. I would also suggest supplementing with glucosamine and chondroitin. The effects are small, but like I said, maybe a small difference can make a big change for your quality of life.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:49 AM   #5
Andrew David
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Re: Elbow Post Traumatic Elbow Arthritis at 25 Years Old

Awesome! I had not heard of hyaluronic acid. I will research it. Thank you!
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
Craig French
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Re: Elbow Post Traumatic Elbow Arthritis at 25 Years Old

Sorry for reviving such an old thread, but this post because came up in a google search for post traumatic elbow arthritis and crossfit. I tried direct messaging the OP for advice, but it seems he has not been active on this board for a very long time, so I doubt he got the message. I decided just to post directly in the thread instead.

I was told today that I also have this condition. To cut a long story short, back in 2011 I dislocated and fractured my elbow and had fairly extensive surgery to fix it. Ever since, I have experienced all the symptoms described above (lack of full extension, severe pain when doing overhead work etc.), so much so that I have had to stop training completely.

I finally went back to my original doctor for a follow up, and he took some x-rays and diagnosed post traumatic elbow arthritis. He also seemed to think there was little he could do about it, and that I would just have to stop any training that stressed it (pretty much everything in crossfit). Like the OP, I am young and very frustrated.

I wondered if anyone else out there has had to deal with this injury and if so, what treatment modalities may have worked for you.

Thanks.
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