Learning to roll after hip fracture? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-30-2011   #1
bum, Ohio
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Learning to roll after hip fracture?

I snapped off my femoral neck a few years ago freak ski accident and had 2nd surgery for removal of hardware a little over a year ago. I have tried rolling a few times in past but it seems snapping hips is kinda of important and it would cause me a lot of pain for next 3 days. So I figured I would give it more time since it is a serious injury and needs to heal properly. Doctor gave permission but said let the pain be my deciding factor of any sports for my limits. I was trying to use a Super Fun for learning to roll but my height 6'7" crammed into a Super Fun was causing extra hip discomfort. The Mon Star has more room and puts less strain on hip than Super Fun but I have no business trying to toss around a play boat with a bad hip. I sold off the Super Fun and picked up a Super Hero which puts a lot less stress on my bad hip and I can stay in the Super Hero for hours pain free and pull the cord and stretch the legs out to take pressure off hip as needed. Any pointers for rolling that does not cause strain on hips? Just from reading about others hip fractures it can take up to a few years to heal and some still have some discomfort.

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Old 08-31-2011   #2
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
I am very sorry about the difficulty you are having with your hips. My mother had a bad hip for one reason or another and was walking awkwardly and painfully for years before she finally got hip-replacement surgery (artificial hip). I hope it doesn't get that bad and that you make a good recovery.

Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
Any pointers for rolling that does not cause strain on hips?
The first thing that comes to mind is the deep water storm roll. It is the easiest roll to do, and requires no hip-snap. Unfortunately this doesn't do you a lot of good on the mankier whitewater, and I can't honestly comment on how it does on any river. I've only messed around with it in calm deep waters, never in combat. Takes a lot of set up time. It's sort of a last-ditch effort swimmings-not-an-option-style sea-kayaking roll.

Outside of that, for when you do need to hipsnap, you will probably want a boat that's easier to roll; requiring less power in your hip-snap. This probably shouldn't be a consideration for typical paddlers, but it's what the doctor ordered. Creek boats are generally considered easier to roll. On top of that, some creek boats are easier to roll than others. Whatever the case is, you may want to demo with ease-of-roll in mind, given your unique predicament. This is just me, but I found the prijon pure incredibly easy to hand roll. With my playboat, I can really only count on one or two hand rolls for the day, excluding rodeo rolls (and that's not in combat). In the pure (creeker), I feel that I could do them all day.

Another roll that should be easier on your hips is the pawlata roll. It's just a sweep roll with extra long set -up time and is basically just a bigger sweep roll. Does require a hip-snap still, though.

On top of that, you may want to get a paddle with more purchase/surface area. Using my own gear for reference again, Anderson Paddles and other custom wood paddle makers could probably assist you better than the typical factory-paddles.

To top it all off, there's "bad" technique that might work to your advantage, and that's a "shoulder roll". That's where you basically use more shoulder than hip; it tends to occur naturally when your hips wear out. You could do a sculling brace to work your way up, and this type of roll will probably wear you out quickly, but it delegates a lot of the effort away from your hip.

Just my two cents of brainstorming. Good luck!
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Old 08-31-2011   #3
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Boulder, Colorado
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I can't get the "deep water storm roll" video to play, but the picture in the link and the "pawlata" roll look the same. Unfortunately, like Kendrick said, neither of these are going to help you roll in whitewater or mank. I think it would be fun to play around with it though for kicks though.

I wonder if you switching to your offside roll would help???

I haven't had a Jackson kayak, of my own, but I have paddled a couple of them and they do seem to roll exceptionally easy, IMO. So, seems like a good idea that you're looking into those boats.

I haven't done much SUPing but people seem to be having a blast with it, whether they're playing in a wave or even running drops. Maybe you could look into that while your still healing, you'll also build core strength which will help your overall boating.
"You know that old trees just grow stronger and old rivers grow wilder, everyday..."
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Old 08-31-2011   #4
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
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Originally Posted by ednaout View Post
I can't get the "deep water storm roll" video to play, but the picture in the link and the "pawlata" roll look the same.
That's unfortunate. But basically, this pic below is the set-up position, and all you do is pull on the shaft as you push on the blade. It's just pure leverage. The pawlatta roll is only similar in that it uses an extended paddle, but it's basically a sweep roll and otherwise, completely different from the DWSR.

There still might be a place for it on the river. In your position (Grizzly's), I would definitely tone it down a notch on whitewater.

Whatever works though. I have no idea what would, if I were in your shoes. Just playing theory-kayak here.

Ps. I just remembered, I did a variation of the above DWSR without the extended paddle when I was at the pool one time. I guess that's the "bad technique" version of the C-to-C; using more shoulder than hip by slamming your blade down. It definitely works, but may still require SOME hip-movement. Can't remember, right now, but leaning far back should help you come up by lowering your center of gravity (that's kind of a given though, except it doesn't apply to the DWSR).

Anyway yeah, that was a long PS/Edit, and it may not help a whole lot. You will have to experiment, depending on how bad of shape your hips are in.
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Old 09-02-2011   #5
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
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Alot of the roll and the hip snap itself comes from engaging the proper knee in the knee brace. If you focus on and emphasize this I would imagine that you would put an incredibly minimal strain on your hips. At the start of this season I actually had the painful misfortune of dislocated my hip (SI) joint. Before I even fully regained strength in my back and my legs again I wanted to kayak again so off to the pool to check on my ability to roll I went. Trying that 1st roll at the pool made me more nervous than anything I've done on the river this year for fear of redislocating or injuring my hip but I popped up no problem at all. Your injury is on the front of the hip where as mine was on the back (and more sever) but hopefully you will have the same success that I did.
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Old 09-02-2011   #6
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Montrose, Colorado
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I bet it's not the hip snap that's causing your pain. I don't think the "hip snap" part of a roll really puts much stress on the "hip" itself. More likely your pain is caused by keeping the hip in flexion while sitting in the boat for extended periods. I'd suggest continuing to roll the way you know how to and getting rechecked by your doc to see if there is something else going on with the hip.
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Old 09-06-2011   #7
bum, Ohio
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Thanks for all the responses. I am going to try rolling again probably in another month or so to see if the pain level is tolerable. I think part of it is in my head and scared to push the hip to some point. The last time I tried rolling, I limped around for about 3 days pretty bad, so I was scared I was pushing the injury too much. I think the injury just needed more time to heal. Now if we could just get some serious rain it would be nice to bring the rivers up again. Eventually the hip will get worse with arthritis and I am at risk for AVN so I will probably end up on SOT and IK down the road. My leg was a little slow to grow back or delayed each time after surgery. I guess it is common for long bones to be slow at starting to regrow for some individuals. So my healing process is a little dragged out but I am at least happy to be back on my feet. I picked up the Liquid Logic Coupe with thigh straps and it does pretty well in pushy water and up to class 3.
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Old 09-06-2011   #8
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Hip replacement/yak rolling

I had a total left hip replacement in 5/2010. The Dr did an awesome job and the pain is gone. Prior to the surgery I was getting an injection inside the hip joint every 4 to 6 moths to kill the pain."

The shot is administered between your JUNK and the thigh" upward into the joint using active xray so the Dr can see where he's sticking the needle.

I do experience pain in below 30 weather as the metal gets cold after about 20 minutes and cools the inside of my femor where the metal is cemented in, and the actual hip socket, metal to bone contact point.

Anyway snap rolling a yak is out of the question for me. I always sucked at yaking anyway, yet had continued to practiced my rolling in the hopes of getting better. Not to be.

Between loosing a hip, blowing out my left knee and lower back and 4 out of 6 C-1 thru C-6 vertabre managing to fuse themselves together they retired me a early.

If your having gait disorders based on old injury's, take it seriously as eventually the body will respond to the odd walk or hobble or leg pointed out and your gonna be sporting metal joints.

By the grace of god Im still able to drive a raft in decent water. I haven't taken a bad header since the hip replacement, and know its just a matter of time in the big water before I test the hip and fused neck in a big water swim.

I'll either make it or not, either way it's all good.

watch your hip as ostoarthrites? and other medical issues will follow at some point.

Hope this is helpful.
Dirk Williams
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Old 09-06-2011   #9
Front Range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Oct 2009
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The Kayak Roll video will help you out. It focuses on unwinding of the body, with relatively no hipsnap.

The Kayak Roll- Tips and Techniques | Performance Video

This video is what I, and most other instructors I know teach from.

Whitewater Kayaking With DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking

The above link is the DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking link which is where I pulled the video from, if you would like some credibility. Mary was my instructor trainer. Good Luck.
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