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Old November 29, 2012, 09:30 PM   #1
MB21
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Shooting with injuries?

First, a little backstory. I dislocated my shoulder back in March while longboarding. I am extremely active in the martial art of Kung Fu San Soo (black belt) and Parkour. Since March, I have re-dislocated my shoulder 4 other times, two of them being major, two minor during these activities.

I have surgery on Dec 7 (Pearl Harbor Day) and the recovery time is 3-6 months. My two best friends just got some Romanian WASR-10s, and we had planned on setting up a tactical range with some steel I have welded into targets. I have an AR-15 and SKS, and obviously had planned on joining in the action.

Well, tonight I managed to have my 3rd major dislocation in Kung Fu, so that might screw my plans over. Honestly, this is probably the worst one yet, as I am in excruciating pain whenever i move my shoulder (I did re-locate it). From former experience, I am not able to hold up a rifle for at least 2 or 3 days, and that is with a minor-ish dislocation.

Are you starting to see my predicament? I suppose I should add that my friends are leaving for college in January, and I know for a fact I won't be able to hold a rifle up for a long time after the surgery.

I am thinking about just popping 4 or 5 Ibuprofen or maybe a Hydro (have some left over from a previous surgery) and icing the hell out of it beforehand. This really means a lot to me as it could be the one and only time I get to do any kind of tactical shooting before they leave for college.

So my questions are, in my situation, would you go shooting too? And what kind of injuries have you pushed through to shoot?
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:08 PM   #2
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I've had shoulder surgery myself and certainly feel your pain. Regarding your questions, I'm not sure if your asking about shooting before or after your surgery, but would offer the following advice from my own experience. First, I wouldn't take drugs like hydrocodone and go out shooting period because I'm super drug sensitive and that just doesn't seem like a good, safe idea. Second, I wouldn't spend the money to have surgery and then go out and push myself hard afterward and risk damaging things further after surgical repair. But if what your considering is doing some shooting between now and the surgery date, I wouldn't hesitate in the least bit to take some OTC meds and push yourself as and as you are able. Once my surgery date was set for my shoulder I pretty much threw caution to the wind and did everything I was physically able to do. There's no reason after all to hold back if they're going to surgically repair it anyway. Just my opinion, YMMV.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:10 PM   #3
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Go ahead and shoot whatever you want whenever you feel like it. The most that can happen is permanent damage to the shoulder which is inevitable at the rate you are going anyway.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:22 PM   #4
MB21
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Scsov - What I mean is I want to go shooting this Saturday (should have added that), but without medication and other methods I won't be able to hold a rifle up.

My father is a Physican's Assistant (pretty much a Doctor without the title or the pay) and he told me to be careful this next week until my surgery - as another injury could result in the bone being damaged and a bone graft being mandatory.

JHenry - My goal is not to have permanent damage that surgery can't repair, but I don't want to limit myself in my last week of freedom too.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:28 PM   #5
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Go ahead and go shooting. May be your last.

Your college bound friends should get first crack at your guns, at a reduced price. They are your friends, arent they??
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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I broke my right (shooting side) collar bone in a motorcycle accident 7/2006. Not just a simple break, the collar bone broke into four pieces, and one of the middle pieces turned 90 degrees. Needless to say the healing process was long because I elected to let it heal and avoid surgery / steel plate and screws. Shooting a gun was the farthest thing from my mind until late fall of 2006. Even then, 50 rounds from a .22 was about enough for me. In 2007 I found a felt recoil generator on the internet. Sorry, I didn’t save the URL, but it may still be out there. I entered the required info for my largest rifle and it gave me the foot pounds of felt force on my shoulder. I printed it and took it to my doctor for approval. Even a year after the accident, the doctor said no way. In late 2007 I stepped up to a .223. Then in 2008 jumped to my large caliber rifles. So far so good, but have yet to try a 12 ga shotgun, so my turkey hunting days are over. My advice, ask your doctor before getting too crazy.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:39 AM   #7
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB21
...I dislocated my shoulder back in March while longboarding. I am extremely active in the martial art of Kung Fu San Soo (black belt) and Parkour. Since March, I have re-dislocated my shoulder 4 other times, two of them being major, two minor during these activities.

I have surgery on Dec 7 (Pearl Harbor Day) and the recovery time is 3-6 months. ....

... tonight I managed to have my 3rd major dislocation in Kung Fu, so that might screw my plans over. Honestly, this is probably the worst one yet, as I am in excruciating pain whenever i move my shoulder (I did re-locate it)....
From an old guy almost three times your age, let me suggest that five dislocations since your initial one in March should be considered what is called a "clue": you are not letting your injuries properly heal before re-stressing the joint. When a joint dislocates, muscles stretch, ligaments and tendons stress and often begin to develop small tears which can enlarge until they become major rips. The joint is weaker until it heals completely. And healing a dislocation takes time and care.

You are obviously not taking care of yourself, and that could leave you with a permanent disability. Joints are tricky. I dislocated my knee doing judo when I was in high school, and it can still occasionally give me trouble now -- some fifty years later.

Don't go shooting immediately after your surgery. Take the three to six months to recover. Do what your doctors suggests. Get some physical therapy as recommended by your doctor.

Or do what you want and wind up with a disability in a few years. It's your choice.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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As a young college guy with a half bum knee and a half bum back, don't push yourself because you think you will be able to bounc back at a later date.

I was invovled in a negative helicopter-ground interaction as a result of enemy fire and missed up my lower back and subsquently did even worse damage by not waiting until I was 100% by going out and doing stupid things.

Patience is a virtue.
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Old November 30, 2012, 01:33 AM   #9
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Injuries incurred while young have an evil way of saying "hello" again down the road, when one gets older.

They heal, but their effects linger, and sometimes increase over time.

I'm only in my mid-40s, but I get reminders of injuries from my 20s whenever I over-exert, or sometimes when the weather changes.

So, no, I wouldn't go shooting rifles with your buddies; I'd also take a break for a while from MA training. Then again, I still have goals of being relatively mobile when I get really old.
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Old November 30, 2012, 02:46 AM   #10
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Make your recovery the priority.
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Old November 30, 2012, 03:38 AM   #11
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hate to break it to you, but if you are getting surgery your injury is more than likely already permanent. It is unlikely you will not lose some range of movement and not have any long term pain/arthritis in the join. Anything you do from here on out just makes it worse. If you are continuing Kung Fu you might as well shoot though.

You can always go and be the designated re-loader.
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Old November 30, 2012, 06:00 AM   #12
JT-AR-MG42
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Sounds like a good opportunity to learn to shoot from the off shoulder.

A small square of scotch tape over the 'off eye' (your old shooting eye now) where it tries to look at the sights will help the transition.

Learning now will help later on in life as the shoulder starts to cause old injury problems for you.

Same thing for handguns. Learn now to shoot with the off hand. The heavy calibers transfer some of the recoil to the shoulder.


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Old November 30, 2012, 06:43 AM   #13
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I had a very severe rotor cuff injury back in 2006, I was seen by five specialist and they all were in agreement that surgery was not an option for me, what I had was a complete tear off and retraction where the torn tendon retracted across my back and could not be repaired. I was forced to take a disability retirement by my employer and my employers doctor. I lost $6000.00 per year on my retirement since I had to retire four years early. What I am trying to say is do not force yourself to do what you shouldn't be doing, it will bite you big time.
Listen to your Dr and do as he says or pay the price. Since you have dislocated it four more times, I guess you are willing to pay the price.
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Old November 30, 2012, 06:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
So my questions are, in my situation, would you go shooting too? And what kind of injuries have you pushed through to shoot?
Yes - I'd go.
Injuries I've had and ignored because I was stupid enough to go ahead any way?

Got a week or so for me to list them?

I'm 60 and if I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken a lot better care of the old body.

One real constructive piece of advice I can give you....keep up with the martial arts. It'll get harder and harder to do as you get older and have more things to do with your life,,,,but,,,take it from a "crippled up old guy"...if you don't it will come back to haunt you later in life.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:33 AM   #15
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So my questions are, in my situation, would you go shooting too? And what kind of injuries have you pushed through to shoot?

If had a lefty bullpup, I might. I might also shoot pistols with my left hand - which I frequently do anyway just for practice.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:40 AM   #16
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I was involved in a negative helicopter-ground interaction as a result of enemy fire
Interesting way of saying your helicopter crashed.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:48 AM   #17
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Good advice from Frank Ettin. If op goes shooting as planned, I'll have no sympathy for him afterwards.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:56 AM   #18
MB21
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The injury is the Labrum, the ring of cartilage that holds the arm bone in socket that is commonly mistaken for a rotator cuff. I have an anterior tear and have a bunch of ligaments torn up. The surgery should, since we got it early on, restore normal function. Should being the operative word.

Also, I should mention that it is my left shoulder, the arm that holds up the rifle. I shoot off of my right shoulder. I am pretty much limited to a pistol.

And my question isn't whether or not to go shooting after surgery, the question is shooting tomorrow while today I can barely move my arm. I also have to work today.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:21 AM   #19
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I agree with what the other Frank said. I have had shoulder surgery. The physical therapist over did some of my treatments and I'll have to have a second. Listen to your doctor and your body, do not overdo any exercises. Allow yourself to heal. I shoot traditional muzzle loaders and can no longer properly hold one of my favorite rifles, the strength is gone.
My son, a doctor, did martial arts and, like you, ruined a shoulder and had to have two surgeries. But, he was wise enough to give up the marital arts to avoid more, and permanent injuries. It is time for you to take up another avocation, you are destroying your body. I understand that, in martial arts, the quest for perfection is addictive. It is past time for you to give up that addiction. Really, no one can help you except yourself.
Take your time with recovery and healing. Do not try shooting or martial arts until you are COMPLETELY heald and recovered.
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB21
...And my question isn't whether or not to go shooting after surgery, the question is shooting tomorrow while today I can barely move my arm. I also have to work today.
And the answer that you've been getting is basically "no." I get the feeling that's not the answer you want, but it really is the right answer. With an orthopedic injury, the first priority is to take care of the injury.
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Last edited by Frank Ettin; November 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM. Reason: correct typo
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:56 AM   #21
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I used to be a gorilla who played football, boxed and competed shooting at the All Army level with a broken wrist, dislocated shoulders, while recovering from knee surgery and today 40+ yeas later I walk on crutches. I ate lots of aspirin and shot. Was it worth it. Ask me tomorrow when you see me struggling to stand up after getting out of bed. You makes your choices young. you pays for those choices old.

When I was 17 an old duffer in town who watched me play high school football with a knee brace told me I had to start taking better care of myself or I would regret it when I was older. I laughed because I was young and invulnerable, I knew I would heal. I really do wish I had been half as smart as I had been tough, I wouldn't be a crutch jockey today. Your choice not ours but in 30 years remember this post.
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Old November 30, 2012, 02:59 PM   #22
scsov509
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Quote:
The injury is the Labrum, the ring of cartilage that holds the arm bone in socket that is commonly mistaken for a rotator cuff. I have an anterior tear and have a bunch of ligaments torn up. The surgery should, since we got it early on, restore normal function. Should being the operative word.

Also, I should mention that it is my left shoulder, the arm that holds up the rifle. I shoot off of my right shoulder. I am pretty much limited to a pistol.

And my question isn't whether or not to go shooting after surgery, the question is shooting tomorrow while today I can barely move my arm. I also have to work today.
That's the exact same procedure I had in 2005 on my left shoulder as well, and I didn't hold anything back in the days leading up to the surgery once I knew I was going under the knife. So if say use some common sense and don't push it to a point where you intentionally inflict further damage, but I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to shoot away given my own experience with the same procedure.

Quote:
One real constructive piece of advice I can give you....keep up with the martial arts. It'll get harder and harder to do as you get older and have more things to do with your life,,,,but,,,take it from a "crippled up old guy"...if you don't it will come back to haunt you later in life.
+1000, These are my thoughts exactly. I had back surgery in 2008 and was told at that point by many I needed to give up golfing in the interest of my longer term back health. My physical therapist however thought the opposite and actually helped connect me with a sports therapist who does rehab specifically for golfers. Now almost 5 years later I'm so glad I've stuck with golf since it has been so good for keeping my back and core strong and actually made my back much more healthy overall.
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Old November 30, 2012, 06:18 PM   #23
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I am 60 and I guarantee that sins of your youth will come back to haunt you.

My experience is two knee replacements and an inoperable shoulder injuries on both shoulders.

Coming from a graybeard who screwed up his body, my advice is suspend all of your activities which might aggravate your injuries until after the surgery. Then follow your Doc's advice and not screw up his work and the rest of your life.
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Old November 30, 2012, 07:54 PM   #24
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I say go with your friends. Enjoy some good company. Keep the shoulder immobile, do not use that arm at all. If you can shoot a .22 from a bench or something without upsetting the shoulder then go for it. If not just go and hang out with your friends.

I am 35 and my shoulder hurts like the dickens when it gets cold, and after some physical activities. I ignored the doctor's warnings after dislocating my left shoulder. I rode 3 motor cross races, and played in a football game. It hurt like no tomorrow after each time. It hurts today as well. If it would have been hunting season I most likely would have gone hunting as well, and I am a lefty shooter.

The thing is I wised up. I listened to a trainer, and physical therapist and did strength training as was suggested by the doctor. I missed a season of wrestling, and was told by the shidoshi of the dojo if I tried to work out he would kick my tail with a steel toed boot. I now only wish I had listened sooner.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:57 PM   #25
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My son had that same surgery twice, high school football injuries. With several months of therapy he was able to do almost anything he wants. He has to be careful with some activities, but shooting is no problem. Even fairly heavy recoiling guns aren't a problem.

You may have to give up martial arts. My son messed his up tackling a running back playing defensive tackle. After the 1st surgery he was told he could only play offense since it did not put the same strain on the shoulder. He was moved to Center and dislocated his pretty bad making a tackle after an interception. My sons shoulder would simply fall out walking down the hall as he changed classes. He got pretty good at putting it back in. He has no problems after the 2nd surgery, but was told to forget college ball.
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