surgery & climbing

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Messages 1 - 20 of total 45 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 18, 2014 - 02:35pm PT
so it looks like I will have some corrective surgery on my leg in a month.
I have been dreading this phone call for a long time. I keep wanting to postpone it, finding excuses like "oh I don't want to be on crutches in the winter" and stuff like that.

have any of you had to take 4-6 months off climbing/hiking/outdoors activities because of surgery? how did you manage?
maybe I am being overly dramatic about it, but I am really scared and fear the inactivity. I fear I will be missing out...
lame?
this just in

climber
north fork
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:42pm PT
It sucks. Haven't climbed since July, but I get to start again next month. Mine was shoulder, so I can at least hike, but I miss the feel of the rock. Nothing good about surgery, but sometimes you have to take your turn. Good luck Anita.
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:44pm PT


"Nothing good about surgery"...

Won't you be able to climb again because of your shoulder surgery???...

How about surgeries that save lives???...

MUST be something GUD in there somewere...

Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:44pm PT
Yes. 5 months off with a broken back. It sucked, and i'm still getting used to my body again. I think what helped me is realizing how close i came to never walking again, and simply enjoying being able to do the things i love.

You'll be fine. It'll suck, but concentrate on other pursuits which you have pushed to the back burner and do your physio to get back on the horse sooner and before you know it you'll be climbing again.

I can't believe it's been almost a year...
this just in

climber
north fork
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:45pm PT
I meant the going through it part. Obviously there is a reason for it.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:47pm PT
Better to pay the tax and take 4-6 months now rather than risk a possible audit somewhere down the line.

That said I'd rather be crutching nov-March than March-oct but that's just me.

Good luck.


limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:47pm PT
Knee surgery last year but recovered relatively quickly, just a couple months. Go nuts with the physical therapy and keep doing the exercises after they tell you you're recovered!

I got better at guitar, besides that it was pretty annoying. Absence make the heart grow fonder eh? You'll love the outdoors by the time you can enjoy them again ;)
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:51pm PT
Nothing quite like having your guts cut wide open for eliminating core strength. Just over a year later and I'm doing fine. Still not back to my old self but I can feel it coming back more every day.
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:53pm PT

"I meant the going through it part."...

Communication can be a strange thing because what you wrote and meant is obviously two different things. (I knew that from the start of course and was only being a wise guy in pointing it out ;-)



EDITED:

"I got better at guitar"...

And the most amazing thing about that is you didn't even play prior to the surgery.

this just in

climber
north fork
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:54pm PT
I should know better. Lol.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:59pm PT
A bike accident left me with a broken hip in 2000. Major surgery to repair the damage, and no guarantees about whether I'd even walk properly again let alone climb or ski. Six months later I was climbing again (very, very carefully), and after about a year I was pretty much back to pre-accident condition.

Of course this wasn't an elective surgery. I didn't have to agonize beforehand about whether I should do it, or how I'd feel afterward. Just woke up one morning in a sea of pain with a bolt-together leg, no ability to do anything, and no idea what the future would be.

Interestingly, the whole recovery and rehab process was a similar challenge to what I had always needed from climbing. So it turned out that I didn't miss climbing in the way you would expect. I used getting back to climbing again as a driver for getting through the difficult and painful rehab process, and used what I'd learned from climbing to help me do that.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Feb 18, 2014 - 02:59pm PT
And the most amazing thing about that is you didn't even play prior to the surgery.

Lol, you must have heard me play. If you didn't know any better it sounds like I just learned
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Feb 18, 2014 - 03:50pm PT
Follow doctors order to let everything knit back together, then take it slow and steady getting the leg back to climbing. Work out the rest as you can, good luck!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Feb 18, 2014 - 03:52pm PT
Plus is your age Anita, and youll heal fast being healthy and active.

Many of us here are facing such things and have much the same reactions as you.. In short,, a normal one..
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Feb 18, 2014 - 03:55pm PT
It will take a while. No sugar coating. You'll lose fitness after about 3 weeks. But the younger you are when you go through it, the better. Take it Day by Day and Good Luck!
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Feb 18, 2014 - 03:55pm PT
"have any of you had to take 4-6 months off climbing/hiking/outdoors activities because of surgery? how did you manage?"

I'm doing that right now. I couldn't even belay the pain was so bad, which made the choice of surgery much easier. Doing it in winter even more so. You rediscover things you like to do that don't involve climbing. Good luck.
Mike Friedrichs

Sport climber
City of Salt
Feb 18, 2014 - 03:56pm PT
I am quite familiar with your dilemma. I've been injured too many times. I try to find another activity and set goals. When I had shoulder reconstruction I did a lot of running. I bought a gps watch and set goals. For several injuries, all I could do was swim. Again, I set goals and challenged myself. All of these activities ultimately were beneficial for climbing. Use the time to work on antagonistic muscles that you don't normally exercise.

As so many have said, the key to lasting happiness is learning to love the process. Everyday above ground is a good day. The time will go by quickly -- far too quickly. You're young and healthy. You have plenty of time for more hard climbing.

Good luck.
Macronut

Trad climber
Fresno, Ca
Feb 18, 2014 - 04:05pm PT
Well working as a physical therapist I deal with it day in and day out though from a different lense, as the medical professional not the patient. As has been said you are not alone in what you are going through. Matter of fact, my partner Micronut is actively in the "bad place" waiting to rehab to get back to climbing. No way around it. IT SUCKS! But if there is a bit of advice I can give is this. Take the time now to correct whatever the problem is. Do everything in your capability to do things right. If they tell you to rest then REST. If they tell you to ice, ICE. The worse thing is to try and be a hero by doing things you shouldn't early and then prolong your recovery and rehab process. I wish you the absolute best and feel free to contact to me anytime for any questions I might be able to answer. And don't forget things can always be worse. I preach that to myself all the time and appreciate every moment in life we are given because we never know when it could be taken from us. I have worked in and around alot of tragedy and see it first hand. Positive thoughts and God's blessings. Take care.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Feb 18, 2014 - 04:17pm PT
I put off a knee surgery for exactly that reason.

Tore a meniscus in a drop knee, and since they couldn't guarantee a fix, and wouldn't know if repair was possible until the scope was in there (which meant same recovery time whether it was fixed or not) I never had it.

Luckily it doesn't bother me much. Only if I pound out long approaches more than a couple days in a row. It doesn't lock up the joint, so I'm waiting until I am definitely on the downslope of ability. That was almost 10 years ago.

But if it's a leg thing, and you are a rock climber (rather than snow slogger), don't worry about it, just get it done. Train on the hangboard for the first month, lift some weights, and you'll come back stronger than before it.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2014 - 04:32pm PT
thanks for all the replies.

actually, I am lengthening my R leg, and also breaking/re-aligning my messed up ankle.
so no driving, no putting weight on it. buuuut I can swim, so I guess that is good.

I am most worried about losing the bit of fitness I've gained in the last year, and *turns red* gaining weight.
also worried I won't climb as hard as I do now (not hard at all) and fear the uphill battle of working as hard as I have to regain what I had before the procedure.

nothing major, I know. still scares me... and not to mention the pain.

at least I've been having a not-so-bad ice climbing season! and if all goes well, the thing will be off me come July.
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