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Humerus Fracture

http://zhurnaly.com/images/fractured_humerus.jpgYesterday comrade Kate Abbott and I are jogging along the Appalachian Trail. It's an "area familiarization" exercise for Kate—she's planning to run the JFK 50 Miler next month. After a dozen uneventful miles over rocks and roots, I stumble during a relatively smooth segment. I roll as I fall and land hard on my left shoulder. Ouch!

This tumble feels different from my usual experience. My left arm is scraped and bruised, but beyond that it hurts to lift it. Kate, who is an Emergency Medical Technician among other things, immediately suspects a dislocated shoulder or fractured humerus (the bone that connects elbow and shoulder). I cradle my aching wing and we walk with caution the final mile down the switchbacks of Weverton Cliffs. An x-ray that afternoon shows fragments chipped off the bone.

Several hours later a huge purple bruise begins to develop on the left arm. Below the elbow is an oval abrasion from my skid on the dirt. According to my doctor:

... The bruise is the result of the fracture. Don't be surprised if with time it tracks all the way down the arm—that's just gravity pulling the blood down. It's not a concern; it's expected after this type of injury. Ice can limit how much bleeding occurs, so it can be useful for another 24 hours. An NSAID isn't necessary in this setting but can be used if you are having discomfort. Its ability to limit inflammation is not too useful here, as swelling will occur regardless when trauma is substantial. ...

http://zhurnaly.com/images/bruised_left_arm.jpg

So for the next few weeks, at least, I'm grounded—and the key element of my fitness training will be to avoid eating too much!

(cf. Face Plant (2004-08-09), TornToeTendonRepair (2005-05-05), ...) - ^z - 2008-10-15


(correlates: 2008-10-14 - JFK AT Familiarization, Bend Sinister, WarningSigns, ...)