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Just Six Days After Arm Took Six Years to Heal, Unlucky UK Man Breaks Arm Again

Update Date: May 22, 2013 12:52 PM EDT
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Some people have such bad luck.

According to the BBC, Tim Blackburn, a grandfather who resides in Stockton in the United Kingdom, broke his right arm in three places after a nasty fall from a ladder.

Most breaks are treated with a cast or a splint, and are able to heal in a matter of weeks. However, Mr. Blackburn was among the surprisingly large number of people - 50,000 in the United Kingdom alone - whose bones do not heal through those methods.

While two breaks managed to heal, one break become infected. As a result, according to the Mirror, surgeons needed to saw off four inches of bone, making his right arm shorter than the other. A surgical cage was inserted into the IT engineer's humerus.

After the use of various treatments that attempted to help him heal, Mr. Blackburn discovered an ultrasound device. The device provides ultrasound waves that spur the body to create proteins and growth factors that clear out old bone and build new one.

Though the treatment was a success, it was not a quick one. In April, six years after suffering the initial fracture, Blackburn was finally able to move his arm without pain.

"It was unbelievable, it was just a huge sense of relief," he said to BBC. "The feeling to move my arm without anything clicking, without anything giving me a sharp pain, just to move it, it's unbelievable."

Unfortunately, Mr. Blackburn's success was brief. A week after being able to go without the ultrasound device and relieving himself of painkillers, he tripped down the stairs because of his two-year-old dog. "The dog thought I was taking him out and pushed past me. He knocked away my leading leg," he explained. "I knew straight away what had happened. It snapped like a twig and it was excruciating - I couldn't believe I'd done it again."

He will use the ultrasound machine again to help him heal. Despite his bad luck, Blackburn is surprisingly optimistic, saying, "I look at it as if I'm going up a mountain, I nearly got to the top, but I fell back a bit [so] I'm brushing myself down and I'm getting back up there."

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