Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Payin' the Piper

To all my GrandStay teammates: sorry to inform you that I am officially on the Injured Reserved list. What I hope that means is that I won't be kicked off the team even though I'll be off the bike for 6-12 weeks after surgery on my left rotator cuff and bicep next Monday.

Since I received the major injury (last winter) and several minor injuries (this year) to that shoulder while riding in the GrandStay kit, I am entitled to stay on the team at least as a mascot for the remainder of my contract. Actually, I've probably been the mascot all along.

I'm toying with selling my brand-new Giant Anthem Advanced while it's still unscathed, since I've taken all my hard falls on MTBs (except that one at the 2004 LSC training camp). Or maybe I can keep it, but ride it a little more sedately, rather than trying to keep up with Matt and Big Jim on glare ice SMB trails.

Anyway, I had my consultation with Bones, and got the reading on my MRI as well. In doctor-speak, I have sustained a complete avulsive separation of my supraspinatus tendon and a near-total avulsion of the tendon of the biceps long head, along with minor arthritic changes in the acromioclavicular joint, fluid in the subacromial/subdeltoid bursa, and fraying of the bursal surface of the supraspinatus tendon with questionable impingement, due to a downwardly angulated acromion. Fortunately, no definite labral injury, acute osseous injury, or scapular notch abnormality is noted.

In layman-speak: I screwed up my rotator cuff and ripped off the tendon of half of my bicep.

It looks like Bones can tidy up this mess with the magic of television, or at least the rotator cuff part. He says the bicep tendon can be left as is, and I'll regain 90% of my strength even without it. He claims he only repairs the biceps tendon for professional weight lifters and professional block layers (is that what the former become after they grow up?). I'm trying to tell him that, as a sprinter (hey, I'm faster than some of you), I need all the pull strength I can get when it's finally my turn.

Soulmate is pretty freaked about the dent where half my bicep used to be. Being an artist, she's quite visual, and I think she fears the loss of my perfect Adonis body. OK, maybe she's not as visual as that, but the concept of leaving a muscle unattached to just languish at the bottom of my upper arm seems to bother her terribly. She will probably win out over Bones since she's a force of nature when she gets her hackles raised.

Good news: everything will be back to 100% by Memorial Day.

Bad news: I may not be back on the bike before Ken Woods.

OK news: I don't really like the Ken Woods course anyway.

Bad news: I'll be out of work for a week, and then I'll be one-handed for 2 months, so I won't be doing any surgery during that time.

Good news: I just finished a weekend of call duty, and I don't have any coming up for 6 weeks.

OK news: Soulmate has promised to help me put my socks on in the morning.

I go under the knife next Monday afternoon. If you're the praying type, send one up there for the Gipper. Seriously.


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Dan Cleary said...

good luck next monday.

given the increasing daylight and hopefully warmer temperatures just around he corner, I was hoping to start riding with you up in st. cloud area.

guess that will have to wait.

Doc said...

Thanks RL. I'll be back on the bike soon enough. There's a lot of cold weather riding left before the really nice days come. I won't miss the cold ones a bit.

redBeard said...

yeah, good luck in surgery. My knee scope (I had done in Dec.) doesn't seem so bad, now.

I'm still guessing you can be on the trainer pretty quickly keeping your aerobic capacity at some sort of sustained level.

but I'll still be bugging you about training plans..... I couldn't find my old copy of Friel's book; I have another one coming in the mail....

GoBigGreen said...

"Fortunately, no definite labral injury, acute osseous injury, or scapular notch abnormality is noted."

Well, hmm...my wrong. Dont you have some sort of Grandstay work comp you can rely on? It will be fine, some PT will love to get their hands on you down the road.
Dr. Bones has likely done this a million times:)

Doc said...

Redbeard: I plan to attack PT like a final sprint--go hard and finish it. I have an arc trainer so I can go no-handed until Bones says I can mobilize.

GBG: nobody answered right, though I knew it was bad & involved the rotator cuff based on last year's pain and lost ROM. I'm a bit masochistic (I'm a biker racer, d'oh), and most PTs lean towards sadism, so it's a match made in heaven. Can't wait!