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2016 injury rehab success stories?

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normajean · · Reading, PA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 100

Had shoulder surgery past Friday for labrum tear and cartilage damage. So starting 2017 here incapacitated as far as climbing goes. I don't think this is such a big injury, but doubt about full recovery and return to climbing still creeps in. Would appreciate hearing others' stories of comebacks.

hotlum · · Bend, Oregon · Joined May 2009 · Points: 365

Partially dislocated my left shoulder in early May 2016. There is a small tear in the labrum and the specialist recommend to NOT have surgery. I hit the PT regimen hard for 4 months and was back on super easy rock in 2 months and leading 5.10 at 3 months out. The biggest issue with the injury was I developed a frozen shoulder. I had a steroid injection and continued PT. Everything feels great and other aspects of my fitness actually seem better than before the injury.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

Friend went through shoulder surgery ~July 2016. Resumed climbing a few months later. Sent her 5.12c project this December 2016.

Mike Lane · · Centennial, CO · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 905

I have a 2cm tear in my supraspinatus tendon. The MRI report indicated that I have a tear in the tissue under it too. My Orthopedic surgeon (Kaiser) told me to get it fixed within 2 weeks as it was an aged tear and after 3 months it gets very hard to have a successful reconnect. But the tear was already 18 months old, and the time off of working would mean bankruptcy. So I never agreed to surgery and commenced on weight training. My shoulder is now 95% pain free and I have full range of motion. It's bizarre.
My other shoulder with impingement hurts a lot worse with twice as limited range of movement. I almost wish it would hurry up and tear also.

RandyLee · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2016 · Points: 5

I took a fall at Tahquitz and broke my leg (tib fib with a spiral on the tib, I ended up with a rod and 4 screws) in September of 2016. Back to climbing easy trad and sport as of late December. I spent the holidays climbing in Joshua Tree, then Red Rock, then Bishop. I don't really want to fall on the leg yet, but it has been through some crack climbing and long approaches without any issues. I'm happy with how recovery is going so far.

Adam Gellman · · Jersey City/Burlington · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 140

Took a trad fall and got my ankle snagged by the carabiner of a lower piece in mid November. Carabiner pieced my ankle and I hung upside down by it. Got down, got to the hospital and got stitched up. Ankle remained sprained and painful for weeks but I was gym climbing at the 1 month mark and skiing, hiking and climbing over Christmas break. So lucky to not have torn major tendons!

Boots Ylectric · · Chicago IL · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 165

Had my ACL and meniscus done in the middle of September. This was my second reconstruction, first one was in 2006. I just got clearance to start training in the climbing gym again and top rope ice climbing as soon as our falls freeze up. I'll be back on my snowboard by the end of the month, carving, no jumping. I'm coming back from surgery, fitter, leaner, climbing harder, and setting my sites on bigger objectives. I considered recovery from the surgery as a time to hone myself all around, and it seems to be paying off.

paddyrock · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 25

Read Hazel's injury journey over the last 2 years. Something similar to what you are going through.

Beau Griffith · · Fresno, CA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 20
normajean wrote:Had shoulder surgery past Friday for labrum tear and cartilage damage. So starting 2017 here incapacitated as far as climbing goes. I don't think this is such a big injury, but doubt about full recovery and return to climbing still creeps in. Would appreciate hearing others' stories of comebacks.

Not from 2016, but in 2007 I had a "Bankart" type repair of a torn labrum/cartilage. Long story short it was a frustrating process as in addition to not using the shoulder, I couldn't run for several weeks (as the repetitious impact of running might damage the repair), but 10 years later it is as good as ever. I have put it through the wringer (crossfit, wakeboarding, falls on a snowboard and, of course, climbing) and it is strong and stable.

Best of luck in your recovery. Only advice I have is to listen to your physical therapist and DO THE "HOMEWORK" THEY GIVE!
sclair · · SLC, Ut · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 30

Succumbed to bicep tendonitis in May 2016 (did not injure it while climbing, probably a cumulation of old injury from childhood throwing haybales and climbing steep with poor posture). Stopped climbing, started PT a month later. Started massage therapy in August. THAT was key for me. Once my bicep felt better and I could finally take a shirt off without screaming, the rest of the muscles in my neck and rotator cuff started to panic. I go to a place that specializes in massage therapy for athletes. They get it, and they are wonderful. Been climbing for a couple months now and increasingly feel less pain.

This isn't quite the same, but I really felt like seeing them helped me push past a healing plateau that PT wasn't getting me through. Not to say I didn't find PT useful, but the combination and continuation with bodywork I feel was key.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Tore part of my shoulder. Was OOC for two months. Was depressed that I could only watch tv, even fast walking hurt it. Did abs and forearms everyday while watching tv.

After two months hopped on a slackline and crushed it. Went to the Annual Salt Lake City climbing festival and won the grip strength competition.

Then I went to The Creek and climbed hard enough to lose my finger : P

normajean · · Reading, PA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 100
Drew Sylvester wrote:even the docs aren't sure about anything. My surgeon told me I'd need to find something else to love as she was skeptical I'd be able to go back to climbing.
As I was going into surgery, my surgeon walked in and told me "no more climbing" as if that was understood. I don't him "slim chance" and he was very surprised to hear that response.

Another reason why individual success stories don't work as guidelines is because every injury is different and every person heals differently. Age, nutrition, PT, preexisting conditions all make a huge difference. I was mostly looking for inspiration, not advice, although I appreciate advice as well. Thanks, sclair, about the massage tip and Drew for the tip on waiting long enough before returning to climbing. I am trying to figure out if I can safely do a ski trip in two weeks of if that's just plain dumb. It's a tough call. I seem to be having a good recovery trajectory, faster then what some people described.

Excited to start PT tomorrow.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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