Originally Posted by zora
So your arm isn't straight yet? Did they have it set at a bend after surgery? I had mine stuck stick straight in a brace for at least a month before my surgeon took my stitches out and said I was allowed to start moving it in PT. He said it is easier to get the bend back than it ever is to obtain straightness, if it doesn't start out that way.
Strange how different the treatment is for pretty much the same injury. I was never in a cast or brace with my elbow. I wore a sling in the hospital bed because I had to wait 5 days before my shoulder operation but I kept it unhooked so my arm could lay by my side. Then he had me in PT 3 days after that because they didn't want to much scar tissue to form before PT started.
Pics of my elbow and shoulder are on page 1. I had almost exactly the same scar. Can barely see it now. Your elbow hardware is pretty similar to what I had. Ended up having to get some of the hardware removed because I was not getting any range of motion back. I was able to bend up to around 90 degrees soon after surgery but never got much more than that even after a year of PT. I still have one plate and that long screw that goes all the way through the elbow (first one one the left on your xray).
My PT and I were convinced there just wasn't enough room in the elbow joint with all that metal to bend properly. My Dr said the hardware was not hitting anything to stop the elbow from bending but he removed the hardware and some scar tissue and now I'm pretty close (but not quite 100%) to full range for the bend. It did not help with getting it to being straight. I'm still at about 8 - 10 degrees. It still feels like it gets tight where the left over hardware is. I may end up getting it removed someday but right now it feels good not going to PT after nearly 2 years straight (I broke my right shoulder on this past Labor day and got the ball of the shoulder replaced).
I can tell ya that you will heal up much faster after the hardware removal since you don't have to regrow much bone so once the incisions are healed that's pretty much it. Be aware that they cut me twice as much getting the stuff out as they did putting it in.
Good luck and heal fast. Remember just because you can ride doesn't mean you should ride until you are fully healed. Going down on the arm again would be really bad news.