In spite of starting out with a complete blowout, my rotator cuff recovery is going very well and I am now back to working out on a regular basis. While I’ve got a two-three more months of hard work at my rehab before I get back on whitewater, I have all of my flexibility back and I am getting stronger every week. I’m back to working out 5-6 days a week and a couple of them are now on flatwater.
As a result of my progress, I’m looking forward to racing in 2010 (although it’s too early to decide on the World Championships)! The season opener is the “Chute the Hooch Training Camp on Jan 23-24 and I will be ready for it! http://www.usawildwater.com/news/2009/091101_Chute_the_Hooch.htm
There’s no secret to my successful and speedy recovery. I followed the same basic guidelines that other successful surgery/rehab patients have done:
- Choose a Great Sports Medicine Doctor: For me, the choice was easy. I chose Dr. Craig Weil because he is an excellent orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor. But there were two other reasons that I felt were important. I wanted to use someone I knew so I would get the attention I wanted, and someone that was conveniently located for me. http://arthroscopy.net/sp03000.htm
- Choose a Great Rehab Center: Again, this was an easy choice for me. Having worked with Marcus Hutchison on rehabbing my other shoulder in 2003, I choose the Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Center (in East Cobb). In addition to being a real expert, Marcus had just the right mixture of holding me back early on and encouraging me to work hard as I got stronger. http://www.atlantafalconsptc.com/
- Use technology to help you: Besides being a great surgeon, Dr Weil is up on the latest technology and prescribed the Kinex Phase One Rehab integrated shoulder motion chair. I spent 4+ hours a day in the motion chair for the first 3 weeks after surgery which prevented scar tissue from forming and promoted blood flow and healing. In addition, because I used the chair, I was not afraid to move my arm and had a good benchmark for what constituted a normal level of discomfort. I also found the local ATL distributor to be easy to work with and to be very likeable http://www.kinexmedical.com/
- Do exactly what you are told to do for the first 8-10 weeks….. nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps the hardest part for me was taking it easy for the first 2+ months.
- Once you are given the green light to start light strengthening, treat your rehab like you do your training and go for it!!!
Please feel free to let me know if I can help you with any questions you might have.