My kid’s got bones


My peripatetic daughter, during her trip across Russia, took a fall on the ice in Irkutsk and broke her elbow. She didn’t see a doctor, but just kept going, stoically trudging across the vast wasteland of Siberia, no tears or whimpering, fighting off giant bears and the fierce nomadic horsemen of the steppes, etc., etc., etc., and didn’t bother with that doctorin’ thing until she got home.

She has posted the scans of her fractured joint! Now I’m going to have to ground her, or something.


  1. Athywren - This Thing Is Just A Thing says

    That picture does not look comfortable… ouch. Still, I assume she has an awesome cast with signatures on it by now?

  2. marcoli says

    I am not qualified, but it seems to me that a fracture at a joint will more likely require a pin to stabilize the break.

  3. janiceintoronto says

    Broke mine in the same place. She will need to get it screwed back together.
    Yeah, it sucks. It’s the olecranon and it wont heal itself.. she need surgery to stabilize it.

  4. robro says

    Many years ago, my partner tripped and landed on her elbow. She spent a painful night in ER before going into surgery where they removed a chipped piece of her capitulum. There is no way she could have made it for days without corrective surgery.

  5. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

  6. says

    That’s not an olecranon fracture. That looks like the lateral epicondyle of the humerus.

    But then I’m not a doctor — we’re waiting to hear what the doctor says.

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Looks like a major Owwy.
    A little surgery, some TLC from your SIL, and pictures of your devil cat being devilish should help. Laughter is good for healing.

  8. blf says

    The fiendish Dr poopyhead needs to go back to Madde Scientist Skool and update his monster-building skills. Using bones is so old-fashioned…

    The mildly deranged penguin says she can’t find the vat of CritterGlue™ (although she did happen to find a long-misplaced lump of SkinSolder™), so she suggests using that reliable fix-it-all, Duck Tape.

  9. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    I broke my right elbow once, though I didn’t know it at the time. But when the pain got so bad my vision wavered in an out, I got a friend to take me to emergency. There I received prompt, professional medical service, which consisted of the following:

    Dr: Yup, I’m pretty sure your elbow is broken, but to know which bone, we’ll have to x-ray it in 8 different poses.
    Me: Sounds like it will hurt.
    Dr: if you can wait 2 hours, we can get you a prescription for morphine.
    Me: (vision wavering in and out from the pain) If I say no, how quickly can you do the x-ray.
    Dr: Right away!
    Me: Let’s go ahead.

    So I had my broken elbow x-rayed. Eight times. In eight different positions. Moving the broken elbow each time. Between position 6 and position 7, I threw up.

    This was not an experience I’d care to repeat.

    But it took less than five mins to do the x-rays, they then immobilized my arm in a sling, which took care of most of the pain while further treatment was discussed.

  10. gijoel says

    I fracture my fibula skiing in NZ. Wandered (limped more like it) for days before I went to a physiotherapist. She took one look at my leg and said “That’s not a pulled muscle. You’ve broken something.” Sure enough, one x-ray later.

  11. says

    With proper medical attention, the bones will heal. Your spawn will be fine. She seems to be made made of tough stuff.

    How was the transsiberian adventure, anyway?

  12. bachfiend says

    I had a fractured head of the radius once due to tripping over a branch while running. I got up, looked at my abrasions, and continued running (another 10 km). What caused me to seek treatment was the bleeding into the elbow joint which became very painful about 6 hours later.

    No treatment was necessary, but it was very painful for weeks afterwards. And incapacitating. I couldn’t drive because I wasn’t able to change gears in the car.

    To continue the Russian thread, I dislocated three proximal imterphalangeal joints in my left hand falling down some stairs at the Novosibirsk train station (I must be accident prone). The people I was with were horrified, wanting to take me to hospital. I wasn’t, because the visa required me to be out of the country by a specified date just a few days later, on pain of being arrested and deported.

    So I looked at my hand and pulled the joints into position one after the other. I think I did a good job. They’re almost straight.

    Another time I fractured my neck. And had physiotherapy to mobilise it, before I had an X-Ray 5 months later showing the fracture… It’s not as bad as it sounds – it was actually an avulsion fracture of the spinous process (which form those knobs you can feel in the midline of the spine) of one cervical vertebra, which is treated as a muscle injury.

    A coincidence – I’m listening to an Internet radio station and they’ve just decided to play the 1812 overture…

  13. xmp999 says

    Wow, that looks pretty severe. With the articular surfaces involved like that, I’d be willing to bet she’ll need surgery (I’m not a doctor, but I am a radiology tech). On the plus side, they’ll make her good as new.

  14. moarscienceplz says

    She obviously made an error when she chose to become a vertebrate. Shoulda stayed a mollusk like her old dad.

  15. sawbones79 says

    Orthopedic surgeon (and long-time lurker) here. Those are some really excellent CT images, great image quality. Anyway, I’m not an expert on elbows as such, but I’m pretty sure that fracture would be surgically treated (probably by percutaneus pinning) here in sweden.

  16. Rich Woods says

    When I was 14 I slipped while running and landed badly, left elbow first. At the hospital the radiologist took four X-rays, each with my arm in a different position, some of which were more painful to hold still for than the fall. Half an hour later he came up to me and apologised, saying that something had gone wrong while developing the film and he needed to take the X-rays again. I was not overjoyed, and may have said something to that effect. When he’d finished taking the second set, though, he said he was fairly confident that I hadn’t broken anything because by then I would have been screaming if I had.

    Full marks to Skatje for bearing up with her injury so well. Get well soon!

  17. leerudolph says

    a fall on the ice in Irkutsk

    Standing back from the actual post, I would just like to point out what a perfect first line for a limerick that is. Although the challenge of finding two rhymes for “Irkutsk” is considerable.

  18. janiceintoronto says

    Yep. Fooled by the scan. Not an olecranon fracture. Wrong side.

    This is one more really good reason I’m not a surgeon.

  19. rorschach says

    A good oldfashioned Xray would have done the trick here. These fancy 3-D reconstructions don’t often add much of value for elbows, and they are expensive as fuck. It either needs an operation or it doesn’t.