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Modern medicine, getting LeCras back in the game

The news of Mark LeCras' broken arm left us wanting to find out more about this type of injury, the what the recovery time would be for someone who is not a professional athlete.

When news spread around Patersons Stadium that Mark LeCras had broken his arm during the opening round of 2013, there was a unanimous groan from West Coast supporters who had been ecstatic to have their dynamic forward back, after missing most of 2012 through injury.

We spoke to Scott Murray, Physiotherapist, about the implications for the average patient with a broken arm that visits his clinic;

“Well firstly let’s define a fracture. Basically it means the same as a ‘break’. So a fractured bone is a broken bone. 

Forearm Image

Let’s also look at which bones can be broken in the forearm. There are only two of them, the radius and the ulna. You can break either one of them or both of them (as is the case when most adults fracture their forearm).

The most common ways to break the forearm bones are through direct trauma (LeCras vs Mzungu), a fall onto an outstretched arm, or from a motor vehicle accident.

When the forearm bones break, they can do so in many ways. This can range from just a slight crack in one bone, right through to both bones breaking into many pieces. The bones may remain in good alignment or they can be far out of place. In some cases the bone can be found to be poking out through the skin which generally indicates a severe break, also known as an open fracture. Obviously, for each of these situations, the treatment and recovery times would alter.

The average person with a broken arm would usually take six to eight weeks to return to sport.

However, AFL players, with the assistance of modern surgical methods, new technologies (eg. bone growth stimulators), and very regular treatment by expert physiotherapists, can return to the game fairly quickly.”

We wish LeCras and anyone else that may be suffering from a broken arm a speedy recovery!

Scott Murray (BSc (Physiotherapy),  BSc (Sports and Exercise Science), MAPA) is a Practice Principal at Whole Health Physiotherapy in Nedlands.

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