Return to running after elbow surgery?

Hello all

I broke my elbow (olecranon) and almost 3 weeks ago had to have open-reduction surgery, where they screwed and wired the bits back together. I was wondering if anyone knows how soon I can return to running? I'm guessing my NY Marathon is out but I'd be happy for a jog 'round the park...

Anyone have any experience of this? Thanks in advance


  • Hi Jim,

    I too broke my elbow (radial head) 2 weeks ago but didn't require surgery or anything.

    I haven't tried to run yet, was meant to be running GSR this Sunday.

    I am going to stay off running for another couple of weeks and then see if i can run without too much pain.

    Are you in a cast?(I am guessing you are after surgery)  I am just in a sling,if you can immobilise your arm I would give it a go and hope nobody from your work catches ye LOL.

    Sorry I'm no expert, but good luck,


  • Try phoning your surgeon's secretary and asking if she could find out. Or possibly the ward where you were looked after might know.
  • Thanks for the responses - Sorry to hear you've been in the wars too! I'm in no cast so free to move my arm around, which surprised me as I'm being held together with bits of metal. Maybe I'll wait another week before having a crack at running, and keep on trying the hospital for advice, though the NHS cutbacks mean I may be waiting for a wee while yet...

    Thanks again!
  • what about static bike without holding the bars
  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭

    I'm  5 and a half weeks post radial head fracture, not a runner but just trying first sling free day today, still gets very achy and sore even just walking about, can't imagine making runners elbow image

    Doc said I'll be another couple of weeks until i can drive or cycle (fell off bike doing it) . 

    Started physio last week and am back again to see her on Thursday. 

    Good luck  both for a speedy recovery.

  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭

    Spent the weekend with no sling or pain killers which was good.

    Walked a couple of miles today with no sling, image, sore and annoying now. 

    How are you both?

  • Hi Beebs,

    3 weeks this wednesday I broke my radial head. Spent most of the last week without sling, downside of that is I sometimes forget about the injury and occasionally get a painful reminder that its still there.

    Coincidentally, I fell off my bike aswellimage.

    All the best 


  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭
    I'm impressed that you were sling free so early on, Scootz. I'm 6 weeks tomorrow.
  • Me too.  Fell off my bike last Thursday and broke my olecranon. Also had surgery and not in a cast.  I walked 5 miles yesterday just to get out the house but feel quite sore and knackered today.  Hopefully starting physio next week so will ask for advice re running and driving.  Thinking static bike in gym may be best bet for next couple of weeks.   
  • gosh, you lot are in the wars! ((( ))) all round.
  • Have any of you broken elbows sarted running yet?   I'm now just over 2 weeks post olecranon fracture and feeling almost ready to attempt a couple of miles but don't know if it's a daft idea.  Physio laughed initially the said see what  the fracture clinic say on wed. 
  • Not yet pal, but thats more down to me being lazy than anything else!
  • Just had a run this weekend gone (so according to my abysmal arithmetic that's... 5 weeks since the break?) Was perfectly fine, apart from the odd click and my general out-of-shapeness - I reckon I could've started last week to be fair, but I'm pretty lazy too image

    Can't wait to get back in good nick! Good luck to all the other broken people out there
  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭

    Well done Jim image

    I'm 8 weeks tomorrow and have no elbow pain but am still having muscle pain. I'm really pleased with progress re straightening and strength but still know that my arm isn't "normal". 

    I broke my left and drive a gear car, or rather I'm still not driving as I don't have sufficient strength or movement to change gear. 

    Anybody else driving yet? When I asked the physio she said she couldn't say, it had to be my decision, but typically people were 2-3 weeks out of sling before they could drive. 

  • Hey Beebs

    I find I can drive without any real issue (bar the odd click, but pain-free) - mind you, I never had a sling or cast, so maybe we had different procedures?
  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭

    I was in a sling for 6 weeks Jim, but had no surgery, I guess we all heal differently.

    Having said my elbow was pain free I've just cleaned the bathroom and its now burning and throbbing image

    Its very tedious and I don't wish to break another bone in my life!

  • beebs, you've had a pretty rough couple of years, if I remember correctly image
  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭

    Yup, Slugsta image

    Shoulder "tear", closely followed by horrible gall bladder trouble and removal in late 2008.

    On track for training to walk  Beachy, then June 2009 fluey virus followed by knee injury  at start of summer holidays which after physio, MRI scan, pain, giving way, steroid injection finally resulted in successful arthroscopy  in June 2010.

    Signed off  by my physio in July, about 4 weeks post op out on bike for rehab and claw back to fitness, fell off bike and fractured radial head, lots of soft tissue damage to whole left arm , still having wrist pain, although that wasn't broken. 

    I've put weight on, can't drive,have only recently got enough fitness/lack of pain to walk a couple of miles  a day and am angry, weepy and feel absolutely miserable. 

  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭
    I know my life as in being at risk of death has never been an issue through any of that but it hasn't stopped it being totally sh*tty and having a miserable life destroying effect on lots of parts of my life and relationships.
  • (((beebsy)), I'm sorry, I've been so tied up with my own affairs recently that I hadn't realised just how sh*tty things have been for you image. I know from experience the deleterous effect of simply not being able to get out for some gentle exercise in the fresh air.
  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭

    Slugsta, sorry, you just caught me at a particularly low ebb. This too will pass.

    Hope you and yours are well. 

  • beebs wrote (see)

     This too will pass.

    Let's hope it get on with it PDQ!
  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭
    Slugsta wrote (see)
    beebs wrote (see)

     This too will pass.

    Let's hope it get on with it PDQ!
  • Just thought I'd share the good news; got back from a checkup with my surgeon after the 5/6 week mark and all is good - great in fact. Says my mobility, strength etc is at the 6 month mark so I can start running, swimming AND cycling again whenever I want. All the physio paid off!

    Can't say how pleased I am... I hope you all (especially Beebs) recover soon and see you all at a starting line sometime

  • Great news, Jim! Remember to ease back into things gently so that you don't pick up an injury.
  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭

    Jim, terrific news image

    I have fracture clinic and  see the physio again on Tuesday next week 

  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭

    Jim, terrific news <img src="/forum/smilies/party_smiley.gif" alt="" title="" border="0">

    I have fracture clinic and  see the physio again on Tuesday next week 

  • fingers crossed, beebs.
  • Good on ye Jim,

    I am back at work monday(light duties) fracture clinic also monday, physio next thursday, then 2 weeks on to majorca for a weeks R&Rimage

    Beebs, chin up, theres light at the end of the tunnel.

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