Red Sonya’s Rose McGowan Injures Elbow Doing Stunts

Actress Rose McGowan, 35, was going to do most of her own stunts for her upcoming title role in the film adaptation of comic book Red Sonya. However, McGowan, who has also known for her roles in Grindhouse,and Charmed was injured doing stunts in another movie, Planet Terror, postponing production of the comic classic. The actress reported to Fox News that “I had wrist and elbow surgery and they took part of my elbow out. I had really bad nerve damage from doing stunts – I do a lot of my own stunts. I could no longer use my arm, but now I can hold a fork and drive so we’re working our way up. It’ll probably be another six months of rehab, but it’s the price you pay for being really limber and being able to do back-flips!”

The elbow is a joint where three bones come together. Your upper arm contains one long bone called the humerus and your lower arm contains two long bones called the radius and the ulna. These bones attach to a collection of bones which make up the wrist proper. The pointy tip of your elbow is actually part of the ulna and this part is called the olecranon. The close part of the radius bone that makes up part of the elbow joint is called the radial head. The wonderful thing about this arrangement is that it gives the lower arm much more mobility than a simple up and down motion, allowing it to also rotate so that the hand can face upward or downward. The wrist can move the hand up and down, and also allows someside to side rotation of the hand (which is critical to doing the “Beauty Queen wave”).

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Nerves are collections of “wires” that send messages from the brain to the rest of the body. These wires are  grouped into bundles, surrounded by an insulating layer. If a nerve is cut, the part of the nerve past the cut dies, and sensation and motor function is lost. If a surgeon is able to properly realign the nerve bundles (and more importantly, its surrounding insulation) and sew them together, nerve regrowth may slowly occur. Nerve regrowth begins 3-4 weeks after an injury and progresses at the rate of approximately 1″ a month. As you can imagine, an injury to a distal extremity may take quite a long time to regenerate. Physical therapy is vital to maintain muscle strength and flexibility and to re-educate the brain to improve sensation.

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Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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