The last time Albert Pujols was significantly injured it was in 2008 when he suffered a torn calf muscle. Back then, the Cardinals were overly optimistic about his recovery. With his broken forearm, the Cardinals are taking all the caution they can and placing him on the disabled list for 4-6 weeks. We’ve covered how to treat a broken forearm when Tony Pike broke his, but in this case we need to discuss how long it takes to recover from a broken forearm, especially in baseball.
This isn’t the first the Cardinals have dealt with forearm issues this year. Nick Punto is still on the disabled list with a strained forearm. The injury occured when Albert attempted to tag out a base runner at first. He was drawn off the bag by an errant throw. You can watch it by going to the MLB site and watching the video. You cannot embed their videos.
Egads, it didn’t look that bad at first, but you have to understand the runner is sprinting to the bag and then Pujols lunges with his arm that isn’t moving. Crack.
The forearm is composed of two bones, the ulna and radius. Pujols broke his radius next to his wrist, which is more complicated that cleanly breaking it in the middle.
How do you treat a broken forearm? It depends on the damage, but in most cases it’ll be a simple reset of the bone and a cast. Pujols’ injury was caused by blunt trauma and the position of the break is consistent with someone tripping and the force cracking the bone on hitting the ground.
How do you rehab a broken forearm? Once the cast is on there is little than can be done. It’s important to continue to workout as much as the doctor allows, but do not interact with the forearm. Once the cast is removed it’s important to stick to the prescribed physical therapy sessions and exercises. The therapist will focus on ensuring your forearm muscles are strengthened and the bone heals properly.
How long does it take to recover from a broken forearm? A simple break takes four weeks to heal. If Pujols suffered a more severe break with nerve involvement it’ll be much longer, upwards of six months. Still, clean break, dedicated doctors and you’re back in business in four weeks.