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Old 06-01-2004   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
post shoulder surgery poll

I think paddling is one of the biggest stresses to shoulders. Many posts in the past years regarding a look for shoulder specialists; what to do about dislocations etc. But..not a reall polling of paddlers for short and long range results of surgery and effects on paddling. So it would be interesting to here 1) injury and procedure (i.e. SLAP; Bankhart; rotator cuff etc), 2) time since surgery, 3) who done it!- surgeon; your experience with that person (if not positive--that is all that needs to be said) 4) and how it has effected your paddling. I'm really interested to know how may post sugery paddlers are paddling hard and generally without much pain.

This could be a great archive and resource for the several inquiries put forth on this site each paddling season.

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Old 06-02-2004   #2
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 78
I just passed my one-year anniversary since shoulder surgery, a Bankhart procedure done by Dr. William Sterett at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail. So far, I'm absolutely stoked on it. I trashed my shoulder pretty good in Gilman Gorge at high water last spring, had the surgery soon thereafter and was paddling Gore Canyon by Labor Day. After a few more days in Gore and Shoshone, I did a week of surfing in Maui (best rehab ever), then paddled 23 days in Costa Rica and Panama in Oct/Nov without issue. So far this year I've paddled Barrel Springs/Shoshone, Gilman, Dowd Chute, Upper Animas, several class IV and V creeks around the state and 8-10 days in Honduras, and my new shoulder feels as good -- maybe better -- as the other one. Although the original setback (pain) from surgery was worse than I anticipated, I have absolutely no complaints or regrets. Hopefully the trend continues.

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Old 06-02-2004   #3
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
SLAP-me again; "the perfect storm"

I had a SlAP repair to fix labrum tear that occured during partial dislocation during boating about 4 years ago-by Laurie Fulkerson in Boulder. Although I have been ww canoeing since "recovery" I don't think things ever really healed correctly. Remembering to keep elbows down also applies to post surgery. About a week after surgery went to see "perfect storm". That shark jumped right out at me so I just had to cover my face....with my right arm in a sling. Ouch.

Got another to do, will see Hawkins this time; will have my shoulder super strong before surgery; and will duct tape my sling shoulder to my side when I go see the movies.

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Old 06-02-2004   #4
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 40
I had what I think was a Bankhart about 6 years ago by Dr. Loeffler in Denver - He did Amy Van Diken's shoulders (Olympic swimmer) and since I swam D 1 in college I thought he had a good understanding of what spending 4-5 hours a day in the pool did to shoulders.

I dislocated trying to learn eddyline cartwheels in Boulder Creek. it was pretty gross with my hand stuck up behind my head and my shoulder sticking 6"s out in front of me. Me and some friends shoved it back in (Bad, Bad idea according to the docs this probably did a lot of the damage.)

Went to see two docs who I really didn't like but both said if I wanted to be able to carry groceries for the rest of my life I needed it fixed.

I was working in the athletic dept at CE and they suggested Loeffler. What a difference. Someone who didn't look at me like I had two heads when I said my goal with surgery was for it to be a minor inconvenice in my boating and I wanted to run harder stuff next year...

The surgery took about 8 hours I think. They took my tendons and/ or ligaments and sliced them the long way and twisted them up to make them shorter and reattached with biodegradable screws...

It really sucked after surgery. I couldn't put my hair in a ponytail for like 3 months...

But after doing PT 2-3 days a week for months, I was back paddling (Aug surg- back in boat in Feb really paddling in spring)

Six years later I have learned that lifting weights a little during the off season helps and I need to take playboating a little slower than I would at the beginning of the season, but it's very very bomber.

This was my experience. Go with your gut on docs. They may rush through, but they should listen and answer questions. When I asked one doc if I could ski that winter he told me that was a stupd question and I wasn't taking it seriously. The other guy said without poles and it in a sling I after a few months I don't see why not. A whole winter without poles really helped my skiing too...
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Old 06-02-2004   #5
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I am two weeks out from having my pec surgically attached, so cant comment on the long term but the short term is pretty boring. I used Duffey here in the springs, seems like a good guy and a good shoulder guy. No lifting at all with that arm and just working on passive stretching at this point. Pain has been minor.
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Old 06-02-2004   #6
Have paddled a Quest
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 102
1) injury and procedure:

I fell while bouldering one day and my right arm torqued out and back, pushing the humeral head (? "ball" of the ball & socket) forward, tearing ligaments and breaking a chip of bone of the front of the scapula. My arm didn't dislocate, but was very loose and would sublex (pop out & then in again) at the drop of a hat. Repaired with Bankart procedure, plus removing the bone chip and some general "tightening up" of the rotator cuff.

2) time since surgery:

14 years

3) who done it:

The surgeon at Centinella hospital in LA who was at that time also the surgeon for the LA Dodgers. My shoulder was a weak for a year after surgury, but has been fine since.

4) and how it has effected your paddling:

It was weak for a year, and during that time I stressed out my left shoulder more because I was favoring my right shoulder. Since that time I have been paddling strong and pain free. Although I only get out about 40 times a year and do not boat hard every time, I do enjoy playing in holes and the occasional creek or class V run. Many times these days I forget which shoulder had problems and have to look for the scar.
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Old 06-02-2004   #7
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 405
March 2001 - left shoulder was dislocated for 4-5 hours and 1 of those hours was spent with 2 guys pulling on my shoulder but unable to get it back in. It stayed dislocated until I got to the hospital. x-rays showed chipped bones in my shoulder, but no MRI was ever done to assess ligaments/muscle tears. My MD said I would not qualify for surgery unless I had 2 more dislocation of the same shoulder (this was in TX where kayaking is just not understood).

I have been semi-dilagent with physical therapy on my own in the gym ever since, and despite numberous sublexations every year while rolling or playing in a hole, I have not dislocated again. Still, it is a mental handicap when on the river, knowing that I am more prone to dislocate. Sometimes in isolated canyons I think "what if it pops out here" and I can go from class V confidence to class II confidence in a heart beat. Wish I had gotten it fixed just for that reason!

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Old 06-02-2004   #8
Highlands Ranch, CO Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 482
I am 5 months out from I believe a bankhardt repair to fix my labrum, I have had this injury for about 10 years and have paddled a lot but always knew and sometimes it would dislocate but I always was able to reduce it myself but always a bummer.

Dr. Mchelhinney did mine, I thought he was good but, I am more psyched on my PT Scott at physio pro he is also the personal trainer to the avs.

This weekend was my first paddling and also mountain biking very excited about doing both. My shoulder feels great not yet 100% but good enough to paddle class 3 for now and am hoping to hit black rock in a couple weeks.


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