1 out of 3 ain’t good!, August 30, 2016

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Talking about triceps, here, and talking about mine! You may recall my little bicycle incident from last Tuesday. Well, I did finally see an orthopedist, and as I thought, there is no fracture, but it appears that I have ruptured two of my triceps tendons, and all that I have left to work with is the lateral head. That is a very precarious position to be in. I have a lot of functionality with my right arm, and I can do things like reach the top of my head, eat, bathe, etc, if I exercise proper care. There is an unstable equilibrium in this system that cuts in when the upper arm is horizontal and the lower arm is vertical. If you imagine a strong rubber band that runs from my shoulder (not in picture) and attaches to the side of that protuberance at the tip of my radius. Normally that rubber band works with its two partners to resist bending of the forearm toward the upper, but if the forearm moves any closer to the shoulder, then the rubber band slips around the side of the joint and pulls the arm, forcefully, into a fully flexed position, like a knife blade snapping shut. Hurts like hell, and bangs up the surrounding tissue quite a bit.

 

The current state is that we are trying to get a MRI authorized, and I have a surgery scheduled for 9/9 to reattach the other two rubber bands. I have not yet boned up on the current technology for doing so. You may have noticed a couple of features in the picture above.

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First there is the feature on the inner side of the ulna. That is the button that holds my bicep tendon in place. That bicep was reattached just about four years ago, exactly–part of my four year plan to become fully bionic! In that process a hole was drilled in my ulna, the end of the tendon was retrieved from where it had retracted to in the upper arm (a rather difficult process and more than a little bit traumatic), the end of the tendon was inserted through the hole, and the tendon was attached to the button. You can get a better idea about the size and shape of that button in the picture on the left.

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The second feature is the little archipelago floating in the sea of soft tissue just below the elbow joint. Dr. Warden, my orthopedist, was showing the ropes to Dr. Jablonski, who was apparently doing some kind of internship, and Dr. Warden made sure to point out that feature as highly diagnostic. Those, I believe, are little bits of bony matter that were ripped off when the rupture occurred.

So, another learning opportunity for me, and I will be sure to share what I learn with the rest of you. I do have an app that I highly recommend. It is called ‘C Anatomy‘, is a product by 3d4Medical, and is for tablet devices and smartphones. It is not free, but there is a very limited demo version for something like $4.99, and if you want the full version, and I do mean FULL, you can upgrade to that for $49.99. Considering what you get, that is a real bargain, and if you are at all interested in how your body works an outstanding investment.

No need to worry about me as I tend to take these things in stride. I’ve been here before, and this too shall pass!

 

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