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Old 03-10-2014   #1
Smithers, Alberta
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6

Hello everyone.
I started rafting 12 years ago. I volunteered for an outfit called ICO on the south fork of the American river. I did it for two seasons. On my second season I dislocated my shoulder by sticking my paddle in an eddy while fully extending my arm. I reduced it myself by fluke. Missed a couple months and then switched to rowing the safety boat. I always wanted to learn how to kayak but was always wary of it because I didn't want to be upside down in a river with a dislocated shoulder.
My wife and I bought aire IKs five years ago and love them. Recently we just bought a 14.5 ft Sotar with frame. After 12 years I decided that I would learn how to kayak.
I went to the pool last night and got into my first hard shell kayak. I fell in love with it instantly. After a couple of tumbles while experimenting I decided I wanted to try a roll as I didn't want to keep doing wet exits. After a couple demonstrations and some practice holding onto the side of the pool, I was ready for my first attempt. The instructor was spotting me. I did so well on my first attempt that I barrel rolled all the way around. My second attempt was a little less aggressive and I nailed it.
After 20 more minutes of first and second attempts and with not one need of the spotter helping I thought I had it and of course fell in love with it.
Well. Then comes the bad part. I went under. Didn't get the first roll. Hung out underwater for another ten seconds just to calm myself and get prepared for my second attempt. Got into position. Started pulling down on my paddle and my worst fear happened. Out came my shoulder for the first time in 12 years. While upside down in a kayak in extreme pain, after a few seconds of panic I grabbed the skirt with my left hand and wet exited. A very long and painful hour and half before it was put back in at the hospital.
Physio thinks a three month recovery time.
Here is my question, while I one finger type. Is there anyone else that has been in this situation. Is kayaking only a dream for me. Has anyone overcome this?

Very sad beginner

Thistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2014   #2
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 24
Your choices are surgery and a long happy kayaking career or PT only and standup paddle boarding. Get it fixed.

mcfarlandandrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014   #3
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
I have a buddy that dislocated his shoulder as a teenager. Never wanted to get it surgically repaired and is now limited in the sports and activities that he can do. Every once in a while he pushes it a little too far and pops his shoulder out. Usually he is able to get it back in without having to seek medical attention. But he's not able to participate in a lot of things that involve speed or gravity because of the very real possibility of popping it out again. No way I would like to be limited like that in life when I'm otherwise healthy.
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Old 03-11-2014   #4
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
A lot has to do with how you do your rehab, and what caused the dislocation in the first place. I dislocated my shoulder in 2007 while kayaking. I took the rest of that spring and all summer off from kayaking and guiding, to ensure I let it heal correctly while doing my daily PT and weekly visits to rehab. I was back guiding 16ft paddle boats in late August and kayaking at the class IV/V level that October. I am still paddling, guiding and rowing 7 years later without surgery.

Bottom line, find a good ortho and lay out your lifestyle to them so they can accurately, (as accurately as they can) prescribe you with a thorough rehab plan to get you back out there doing what you want/love.
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Old 03-11-2014   #5
Ashevile, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 15
Sorry to hear about your dislocation. Similar story to me, 7 years between dislocations. I am also a P.T. Bottom line is this, get an MRI and/or scope. If Labrum is significantly torn and you want to continue to paddle get the surgery. Most likely a Bankart procedure. 6-12 months of rehab. PM me with any other questions. Dan
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Old 03-11-2014   #6
Smithers, Alberta
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Hey guys. Thanks for the info. There was one thing I forgot to mention. I now live in Canada. Free health care except when it comes to these type of things. They refused to do surgery.
They said if I was ten years you get they would give it to me. Maybe I should get a third opinion. However, it doesn't seem like an option up here unless it is something that would effect my range of motion.
Go canada health care.

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