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96 Tears Part II

Depressed woman standing in a lake

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Art of the Arm by DJ Lynn

To summarize my arm situation if you haven’t read all the previous posts, I had a comminuted (shattered) multi-bone fracture in June 2020. I had ORIF (open reduction internal fixation surgery) in an emergency procedure that resulted in a lot of metal being put in my arm between my elbow and the ulna including a new radial head. I was told my arm would never have full range of motion.

As mentioned in the previous post – Part I –  I had some concerns, but after the second opinion from a different specialist didn’t change much, I let the matter go. Later I realized the second doctor did not review all the prior reports – only the last one. I now know I should have taken my concerns further.

There were two words in the September 2020 X ray notes that I should have paid more attention to: disuse osteopenia.

Disuse osteopenia is the localized loss of bone secondary to the lack of normal mechanical stresses on the bone. This is usually due to decreased use or even complete immobilization of a limb. Common causes include fractures… Reversal is generally noted upon remobilization but rebuilding bone may take some time.

Those words didn’t mean anything to me at the time. Had I done a search on that I would have brought it up to my doctor. The doctor knew about the state of my bones in that area (no osteoporosis, although a dexa was never done at that time). The doctor knew that my bones had weakened in that area because I had not been able to do much movement for several months –  which is the cause of disuse osteopenia. Yet, the doctor made no mention of this – perhaps wasn’t concerned – but instead offered and performed the second surgery on March 29, 2021. And that resulted in the doctor breaking my distal humerus (a new bone not broken in the original fall).

You read correctly. On March 29, 2021,  I had surgery for a simple procedure to remove one of the metal plates and screws from the first surgery and to perform a capsulectomy to remove scar tissue that would  improve range of motion. Just one little problem. While manipulating my arm during surgery the doctor broke my distal humerus.

OMRON Complete™ Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor + EKG