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Lieve Lissens Broken Arm Interview
Part 3 - Complications
Interview Parts: 00 - 01 - 02 - 03 | Photos 01 - 02 - 03

This is the last section of a 3-part interview with injured Belgian skater Lieve Lissens. In this part of the interview, Lieve talks about complications that developed after her broken arm surgery and why she is still not able to skate four months after her injury. (For a description of Lieve's skating fall and photos of her X-Rays and and the pins in her broken arm, see Part 1 and Part 2 of this interview).



Interview Part 3

Kathie Fry: After your May 2003 skating fall at the track in Tienen, Belgium you had four pins in your arm for six weeks. How soon after the pins were removed were you able to start skating again?

Lieve Lissens:
Four months after my injury I am still not able to skate. Two weeks after I had the pins removed, the doctors discovered a serious problem with my arm.

Kathie: Oh no, that is terrible. What happened to your arm?

Lieve: I need to look up the English name for the disease. OK, I found it. The name of my problem is "reflex sympathetic dystrophy", and it is commonly called "RSD".

Kathie: Now *I* need to go it look it up. OK, I looked on the Internet, and I found a whole association devoted to that problem: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association of America. I don't see a simple description on that Web site, except it says the problem is a "painful neurological condition".

Lieve: The RSD FAQ includes a good description of the problem. As you can see from that FAQ, I was very lucky the problem was discovered in its earliest stages.

Kathie: How was the condition discovered? Could it have been the cause of the pain you were feeling before they removed the pins?

Lieve: I don't know if it was causing any of the pain, but the doctors discovered the problem because my hand was very warm and it had a deep red color.

Kathie: How did they treat the condition?

Lieve: Every day they injected me with Miacalcic (A NOTE FROM KATHIE: Miacalcic is a brand name for Calcitonin, a hormone that regulates the movement of calcium between the blood and bones).

Kathie: How long does it usually take to cure Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome?

Lieve: In the best case it can be cured in a month, but it will often take a few months, and sometimes it can take years.

Kathie: You had the pins removed six weeks after your accident. What is your condition today, two months after the pins were removed from your arm?

Lieve: My sympathetic nervous system is starting to recover but I am still getting daily injections of Miacalcic. I'm also still going to a physiotherapist, and I still do not have a lot of movement in my hand.

Kathie: Lieve, this is a terrible story. I had no idea you were still not skating, and that your condition was so serious. Do the doctors know what caused this nerve condition? I suppose it must have been related to your injury, but how?

Lieve: The specific cause is not really known, but after a broken wrist a person has a greater chance of getting the disease.

Kathie: Thank you again Lieve, for sharing your story. I know other skaters will be interested to learn about a complication that can occur after a broken bone, and especially a broken wrist, since that is the most common inline skating injury.

Lieve: Yes sure. It is quite a story I know.

Kathie: How limited is your use of your hand now, and can you do any kind of physical training?

Lieve: I do not have full movement back in my hand, but I can use my hand for most things now, as long as there is no heavy weight involved. Heavy weight and pressure still hurt my hand.

Kathie: So are you back to 2-handed typing again?

Lieve: Yes, I am typing with two hands again. I have even started to do a bit of cycling. But I have to be very careful. I can't cycle too long and I cannot do it on a rough surface.

Kathie: If you can cycle, why can you not skate?

Lieve: I can skate technically, but the bones in my arm are still not strong enough yet to give a good brace. If I fell again now, it would be worse for me than my first fall. My wrist and arm are not yet healed. They are both still painful, and my wrist can only move about 30 degrees. Normally my wrist rotation would be at least 90 degrees. But I think I can start skating again, if I can find a good brace for my arm, to protect it from further damage during skating and other exercise. I have heard of some plastic devices that are available, and as soon as I can find something suitable, and get the approval of my doctor, I will be skating again. I hope that day will come soon.

(end of interview)



More of This Interview
Part 1: The Accident
Part 2: The Hospital
Interview Introduction



Lieve Lissens
Lieve Lissens
RSC-Tienen.be
(Injured Skater)

Kathie Fry
Kathie Fry
SkateLog.com
(Interviewer)



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Lieve Lissens Bio and Photo
More About Skating in Belgium
More About Skating Injuries
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