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Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008
North Las Vegas, NV
Allison fell off the monkey bars at school yesterday and sheared her humorous bone right above the elbow joint. She had surgery to repair the break last night and spent the night in the hospital. The surgeon said that it will be a good six months before she can do gymnastics again. Anyone have experience coming back from that kind of injury? She's accepting it well now but I'm worried about how hard it will be for her not to do, say, cartwheels once her arm feels better and the cast is off.

I'm still kind of in shock I think. I can't get the images of the way her arm looked and the xrays out of my mind.
Feb 26, 2007
Oh my goodness poor Alison and poor you. Sending ((((HUGS)))) to you both for that scary episode. A little girls at our gym did the same thing, the same way in fact, she came back after about six months and some physio and soon caught up to the rest of her group. The hardest thing is the healing phase when she cannot do much and feels like she can.

Fortunately she has proven herself to be a quick learner and a talented little gymmie, if she wants to go back she'll do great.

All the best to you during this time, hope you have lots of patience for that bored little girl! DO you have a pool near by? Swimming might be just what the Doctor orders in a few weeks.


Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008
North Las Vegas, NV
I'm glad to here that someone has been able to come back. Honestly, my first thought when I saw the xray was that I was going to have to tell her she was done with gymnastics. I think that she will be fine for L5 if she can get back in 6 mos. She already knows the routines and had the skills... they aren't all pretty, but it probably won't be too hard to pick it up. I really am dreading that period after she gets the cast off and feels better.... I think it's going to be really hard for her to remember not to turn that spontaneous cartwheel.

We do have a pool here on base and one blessing is that I've been wanting to sign her up for swim and wasn't sure how we could do it with all the gymnastics. Now she should be able to take lessons and hopefully get some good exercise and therapy that way, not to mention learning how to swim.

Thanks so much for the response. I know her biggest concern is when she can get back to the gym... she may not have been doing it for long, but the bug bit hard!


Sooo sorry to hear about the arm. What bad luck. I'm sending some Rx fairies your way....maybe some entertainment fairies also (I'm sure she'll be going stir crazy).


I am sending hugs....I think the swimming idea is great. Can she still go to the gym and do conditioning like leg lifts etc? Good luck


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
I am so sorry that Allison broke her arm. Sending her lots of healing vibes. It has to be so difficult to see your child hurt at any time, but when they are in a sport like gymnastics and you know how hard it will be for them to be out of the gym, etc, it has to be even harder.

Abby's really good friend fell from the high bar a few months ago, broke her radius and ulna and her elbow as well, she had surgery and actually has one more to go, to remove the wires in her forearm. She was told 6 months as well and she wants to go back when she is better. She is completely out of the gym right now, but that has more to do with the fact that she has issues with how the accident happened, the coach that was involved, etc. I think she would be doing conditioning and things if it wasn't for that.

Allison picked up skills so quickly from when she first started, I think the fact that she seems to be a natural at gymnastics and that she has the drive to come back, will help her tons when she is ready.

I think swimming sounds like a great idea. I would check how soon she would be able to do that and go from there.


Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2008
Hugs to you........DS did the same thing when he was in kindergarten, so I know how you are feeling.

Here are good lucks to you for surviving a gymmie forced out of the gym.



Hugs to you and your dd!

My dd did pretty much the same injury, except it was the inside of her humerus (think closest to your body) instead of the outside, which is apparently the more common break (as in falling off monkey bars! which is what her surgeon told us :)).

The bottom piece was completely detached with a slight fracture of her growth plate, and she had surgery to pin it back into place (two pins). Her cast was off in 5 1/2 weeks, and she did physio for approx. 6 weeks (two times a week). We were also very worried about her regaining full range of motion, as is required for gymnastics. She was back at the gym 9 days post surgery (no kidding!) for conditioning, as much as she could do at any rate, and slowly worked up from there. At four months post surgery she was given the go ahead for full training and in fact did compete a few weeks after that.

I am happy to report that she did regain full range of motion, and I credit the physio for a lot of that. I will be honest, the physio was very painful for her as it required a lot of serious stretching of the scar tissue, etc. (no need to tell your dd about that part :( - just wanted you to be aware of it).

This all happened two years ago when she was 8, and now her arm is great except for a slight crookedness to it that is purely cosmetic and can be fixed when she is older, if she chooses (right now she chooses NOT to!). When she is competing the long sleeve of her competitive suit hides the "bump" quite well.

Also, not sure if they mentioned this to you or not, but they had to move my dd's ulnar nerve (funny bone) and it now runs along the top of her arm - apparently this is important information if she ever requires surgery on that arm again.

Hope that helps and that your dd is resting comfortably!


gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
We have a girl on optional team that had a similar fracture---actually a little worse. Got it learning her yurchenko vault. The good news is she was able to come back to gymnastics in about 6 mos(then badly sprained her ankle!), but has a huge mental block about doing that vault. 2 yrs later she is finally starting to try them in competition, but they aren't pretty. She seems to have no lasting effects physically though.

I think the swimming will be great for her and of course she'll need structured therapy once she's out of the cast.

Lots of cyber hugs to you and Allison!!! Tell her we're keeping nothing but positive thoughts for her.


Proud Parent
May 21, 2008
My non- gymnastics dd did this when she was 7. She fell off our chin up bar and landed straight armed on the ground. She had a super condular humerous fracture. It was also displaced. It was very scary. She had to go to the OR and the Dr really did not want to pin it because it would have gone thru the growth plates. He make the decision to reset it, but not pin it and splint it again. He gave it 3 days to see how it stayed (she had absolutely no activity) and we had to xray it. If it moved we were going right back to the OR for pins, but it stayed. He said it was one of the worst he ever saw. Her arm was all out of place.

She recoved so fast. She had 1 week splinted and about 4 in a cast with a severe bend to it. More than 90 degrees. It was a huge pink cast(they casted over the splint). Shoulder to fingers. Very heavy for her to lug around even with a sling.

Today if she holds her two arms straight out you can tell which one she broke, but it is fine. She plays baskedball and pitches for her softball team. She is now 8.

Hope you DD heals quick.


OMG so sorry to hear this. We have had a few girls with breaks and it took them a good year to get back to where they were before the break. Most would still come to practice and do the things they could still do. those with broken legs do alot of chin ups etc Those with broken arms run alot and splits etc. So they stay conditioned as much as they can and stay connected with the team.

Hope for a speedy recovery.


Also meant to add in my post that you may want to ask her Dr. if she will be able to fully straighten her arm right away when the cast comes off. My dd could not and it scared her quite a bit - I found out later this is quite normal, but I wish I had known ahead of time so I could have prepared her for it. She really thought that the moment the cast came off she would be 100% back to normal.

Hope your dd is feeling better today :)



OHHH! ((HHUUUGGSSS)) to you and your dd! I am so sorry you and she are going thru this. :( Kids heal at lightning speed tho, your dd will be back in the gym & doing great, all in good time. :) It will be hard to be patient during all of it, but she'll get thru it, and you can come to CB and share your woes w/ us! ;)

My dd had the same fracture in 1st grade, 3 years before she ever started competing in gymnastics. So, I have no advice to offer as to when she'll get back into gym, but I can say my dd healed great, and went on to have a great 4 years in competitive gymnastics, including being L5 State Bar & Beam Champ! My dd's break involved surgery, pins, and then surgery again (!) 10 days later, as the Dr. was not satisfied w/ the way it was coming together. She had several months of physical therapy after the cast came off to get the arm back in shape. Today, if you look closely @ her arm, she also, (like many others who have stated here), cannot fully straighten it, and never will, but it is healed enough such that it has never hindered her in any way. Our Dr. also said it was the worst he'd seen in his 20 yrs of practice, and credited her healing to her young age (I think he was also very particular about her healing and gets big credit from me!). He said if it had happened to him or me at our more, 'advanced', age, we would have never had full use of the arm again.

All this to say, that if my dd could get thru all that, yours will too, and one day you will be giving advice to some other mom who's kid has had the same break!

Hang in there! It is quite a traumatic and shocking experience, I feel for you!!


Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008
North Las Vegas, NV
Thanks for all the replies. It's good to hear about others.

It was a very bad break. The bone was completely seperated and shifted over to the side of the lower part. Right now she has 3 pins in to hold it together and is in a soft cast, which seems to be doing a really good job of holding it still. It is heavy, though... it goes from her hand all the way up the arm and is fat so we're having trouble finding clothes to fit over it. Oh, well. Least of our concerns, right? It's also bent more (straighter) than 90 degrees, which I think is a bit awkward for her, but the surgeon said that she would loose circulation any time he bent the arm more than that.

She goes back to get xrayed through the cast in 2 weeks and then in 4 weeks he'll xray is again and take the cast off and the pins out if it looks like it's healing well. Then he's going to put her in a removable splint so that she can take it off for bathing and he's going to have her start doing simple exercises, like bending and straightening her arm. I'm think that being able to do that after just 4 weeks will hopefully help it not get so atrophied and stiff, but we'll see.

Meanwhile, yeah, she's already bored. Fortunately we have 3 more weeks of school and once the pins come out (Dr doesn't want her travelling before then) we're going to visit my family. So hopefully by the time we're back home she'll be able to do more stuff. It's going to be a looooong 6 months, though.
Wow - sorry to hear about her break! How scary for her and you :( Those monkey bars can be so aggravating - my step DD broke her collar bone when she jumped on the bar at school to do her glide but sadly she had just used lotion on her hands and slid right off onto her shoulder. THEN, about 8 months later, I got another call from the school - she was playing tag on the playground and fell hard onto the same shoulder - yep, she broke the same collarbone again, this time worse :( Both times, she had to be out of gym for about 6 weeks so not nearly as long as your DD. It was hard for her though because my daughter is also on team and so my step-DD had to go to the gym and watch the team practice without her. She did heal very quickly though. I wish the same for your daughter :)


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
((((HUGS)))) for you and DD. I am so sorry to hear about her awful injury - must have been very scary. My DD broke the growth plate in her wrist last year. 4.5 weeks in a hard cast and 4 weeks in a splint then she was released w/ no restrictions and has done great.

She did get VERY bored and frustrated. She continued to go to gym ( less days than normal) and condition and worked jumps and leaps. The first day she realized that was all she would be allowed to do she stood on the floor beam and cried and cried through all her jumps :(

Best of luck and just work on keeping her spirits up. The Doctors will take care of the rest.
Jan 18, 2009
OH MY Gosh, How horrible for you and your DD I am sending you both (((((HUGS))))). What an ordeal. I am so sorry for you both. I do not have any experiance, but am sorry.


Oh no! Doesn't it just figure that it's a fluke accident like that too. My own girls haven't had serious injuries like that, but I know girls at the gym who have and have come back. It does take time and lots of hard work though!
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