[Coral-List] Reply to odd diving question

Isabelle Côté imcote at sfu.ca
Mon Sep 12 12:24:11 EDT 2011

Hi Sarah, 

I'm the diving safety officer at my university and I recently had a diver who broke his wrist. I sought the opinion of the doctor who does the diving medicals for my divers. This is what he said: 

"The fracture itself doesn't affect his risk for any decompression illness. However the swelling, altered bloodflow and immobility around the joint can increase the risk of DCI. Therefore DAN advises against diving with an acute fracture. Furthermore, any pain, itching, numbness or loss of function can be confused with signs of DCI and make evaluation difficult. Any motion at the fracture site can delay or even prevent healing. If a fracture doesn't heal right away, then it can become highly problematic. It is called a non-union and can only heal with surgery and a bone graft. The cast (even if it is waterproof) is not designed to be taken to depth and with the pressure, may become looser underwater, allowing more movement and increasing the risk of fracture non-union. There is also a theoretical risk that there would be increased bubbling right at the fracture site further interfering with fracture healing. He needs to get the cast off as soon as the orthopedic surgeon thinks is safe, and then he should be good to go, if he takes care with it." 

So, in a nutshell, not a good idea. 




Message: 2 
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:50:03 -0400 
From: Sarah Frias-Torres <sfrias_torres at hotmail.com> 
Subject: [Coral-List] Odd diving question 
To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> 
Message-ID: <BAY164-W396BA8223A5FBDA8A7092381020 at phx.gbl> 
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" 

Dear coral-listers,this is not a coral reef question, but due to the extensive diving experience in this list.... 
Does anyone have experience SCUBA diving with a broken arm or broken leg? Any major concerns? 

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. Schmidt Ocean Institute Postdoctoral FellowOcean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA) 1420 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce, Florida 34949 USA Tel (772) 467-1600http://www.teamorca.orghttp://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres 


Coral-List mailing list 
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov 

End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 37, Issue 14 


Dr Isabelle Côté 
Professor of Tropical Marine Ecology 
Department of Biological Sciences 
Simon Fraser University 
Burnaby, BC 
V5A 1S6 

tel. +1-778-782-3705 (direct), 782-4475 (secretary) 
fax +1-778-782-3496 

Please note: I am on sabbatical until Sept 2012. The best way to contact me is by email during this period. 


More information about the Coral-List mailing list