Michael Barrymore health: TV Comedian left ‘devastated’ by his health injury – what is it?

Michael Barrymore became a familiar face in households up and down the country over two decades, starring in a number of television shows and becoming a hugely successful brand in his own right. At the peak of his appeal, the star presented his own light entertainment show, Barrymore, which ran from 1991 to 2000. In the intervening years since then, Michael has kept a relatively low-profile but planned to make his TV comeback as one of the contestants in the upcoming series Dancing on Ice 2020.


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Unfortunately, his plans were derailed after he sustained a debilitating injury in the show’s rehearsals.

In a statement released a couple of days ago, he said: “Shortly after shooting the Dancing On Ice Christmas Special I took a tumble whilst rehearsing for the January shows.

“After the fall, I thought I had sprained my wrist but it turns out that it is broken. Unfortunately, the medics have told me that I cannot compete.

“I am absolutely devastated; I have loved every second of the journey so far with my wonderful dance partner Alex Murphy and the support from the public has been overwhelming.”

The TV presenter went on to praise those working and participating in the show, wishing them the best of luck.

What to do if you break your wrist

According to the NHS, a broken (fractured) arm or wrist needs to be treated as soon as possible. It typically takes a month or two to heal.

How can I tell?

Signs of a broken arm or wrist include:

  • Severe pain and tenderness
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Difficulty moving the hand or arm
  • The wrist or arm being an odd shape
  • A snap or grinding noise at the time of injury
  • Bleeding (if the bone has damaged the skin) – sometimes the bone may poke through the skin
  • Tingling and numbness

Because of the shock and pain of breaking your arm, you may also feel faint, dizzy or sick, explains the NHS.

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As the health body points out, it can be hard to tell the difference between a minor break and a sprain so it’s best to assume it’s a fracture until it has been checked by a doctor or nurse.

How to treat a broken wrist

When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll be given painkillers and a support (splint) may be fixed to your arm to secure it in position, says the NHS.

An X-ray will be carried out to check whether your arm or wrist is broken and how severe the break is.

The following treatment procedure will depend on whether the fracture is mild or serious.


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In the immediate aftermath of a breakage, however, the NHS recommends implementing the following steps:

  • Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department or call 999 for an ambulance if it’s a bad break – minor fractures can often be treated at a local minor injuries unit
  • Avoid moving the affected arm as much as possible – it may help to support it in a sling that goes under the arm and around the neck; find out how to make an arm sling
  • Stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a clean pad or dressing if possible
  • Apply an ice pack (such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) to the injured area if one is easily available
  • Don’t eat or drink anything in case you need surgery to fix the bone when you get to hospital

“If your child has injured their arm or wrist, try to get someone else to drive so you can support and comfort them,” advised the NHS.

Recovering from a broken wrist

Your cast will need to stay on until the broken bone has healed – this usually takes a month or two, but can take longer if the break was severe, says the NHS.

According to the NHS, while your arm is in a cast:

  • Avoid putting weight or strain on the arm – don’t stop moving it completely, but avoid activities such as carrying anything heavy, driving and sports
  • Keep the cast dry and keep your arm raised (for example, on pillows) whenever possible – read more about how to care for a plaster cast
  • Do some gentle exercises and stretches to reduce stiffness – your doctor or a physiotherapist will advise you about this;
  • Get medical advice if you notice changes in your skin colour, unusual sensations in your arm or wrist, signs of infection (redness, swelling or smelly discharge), severe or continuous pain, or problems with your cast (it’s too loose, too tight or cracked)

Speak to your doctor about when you can return to work and normal activities. They will probably suggest gradually increasing how much you use your arm and hand over a few weeks or months, notes the health site.

Your arm or wrist may be stiff and weak after the cast is removed.

A physiotherapist can help with these problems, although sometimes they can last several months or more, added the NHS.

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