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Old April 6, 2021, 05:59 PM   #1
USAF Ret
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Anterior Disk Replacement Surgery and Shooting

Well, military life and general being hard on my body recently caught up with me. Been having severe pain in my neck, shoulder and right arm for several months. Finally went in and the diagnosis was herniated disks and bone spurs in C4-C7 vertebrae. So, went to a neurosurgeon and they removed the disks and spurs and replaced with a rod and screws. What I was told was I will have limited mobility and will not be able to lift much over 15lbs anymore. So, I will not be shooting a compound bow anymore. I did not ask about shooting and recoil. I will when I follow up, but have a feeling she is not the shooting type.

Any experience with this procedure and shooting impact?
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Old April 6, 2021, 10:05 PM   #2
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I have a friend who I think had back surgery several years ago. He's an NRA instructor and a regular IDPA competitor. Do you want me to ask for particulars of what his surgery entailed?
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Old April 7, 2021, 09:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
I have a friend who I think had back surgery several years ago. He's an NRA instructor and a regular IDPA competitor. Do you want me to ask for particulars of what his surgery entailed?
This was more neck surgery than back. Really would like to know how recoil affects the neck. Need to drop to a smaller caliber?
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Old April 8, 2021, 02:54 AM   #4
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I'm going to tell you things you already know.

Being hard on your body is a burden you place on yourself through your habits and decisions, as well as those placed upon you.

Follow your intuition, do not do the things that you know have and will continue to hurt your body.

Focus on feeling better, focus on what you CAN do!

You may have had surgery, but your body can adjust to that to what ever degree it is able, and you allow it.

Never give up. Strive to improve. Always.
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Old April 8, 2021, 08:30 AM   #5
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When the subject of disc surgery comes up especially in the back makes me wonder if all the EDC owners realize how much damage is accumalated over time when carrying a heavy weapon each day every day with one heavy weight on one side? The imbalance on the skeleton system is extremely significant. Ounces DO matter. It is a gradual accumulative effect.

To the op, I would be sure that while shooting I did not experience any pain. If so, I would cease shooting that particular gun and move down to something lighter and less recoil and try that out. Pain should be your guide.

PS Glad to see you had a successful surgery and hope things work out for the best. Remember you do not want to put yourself back into yet another situation that is as bad or worse.

PS Did you receive any Post Therapy and given guidelines on how to strengthen surrounding muscles? And a ongoing routine of strength training and STRETCHING?
Also be careful of the small things you do not think about. Like your range bag which you carry. How heavy is that? Lighten the load as much as possible.
Do not sit with a wallet in your rear pocket.
Check out leg and hip length. Most people typically have one leg shorter than the other and possible on hip that is shorter.
Check out shoes. Do you pronate or over pronate? Proper shoes are significant and a improper shoe can cause all kinds of issue. Use inserts like heel lifts, or arch supports where needed.
Balance the load when carrying as much as possible.
Be Sport specific. In other words focus strength exercises to make the imbalances stronger. Shooting a gun around 1 lb. for instance require certain muscles. While raising the gun up one time seems insignificant, raisin it up 100 times is quite a difference. (2 boxes of ammo).

Last edited by Carl the Floor Walker; April 8, 2021 at 09:15 AM.
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Old April 8, 2021, 09:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mellow_c View Post
I'm going to tell you things you already know.

Being hard on your body is a burden you place on yourself through your habits and decisions, as well as those placed upon you.

Follow your intuition, do not do the things that you know have and will continue to hurt your body.

Focus on feeling better, focus on what you CAN do!

You may have had surgery, but your body can adjust to that to what ever degree it is able, and you allow it.

Never give up. Strive to improve. Always.
Thank you for the kind and wise words. I definitely know I am going to have to experiment.
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Old April 8, 2021, 09:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Carl the Floor Walker View Post
When the subject of disc surgery comes up especially in the back makes me wonder if all the EDC owners realize how much damage is accumalated over time when carrying a heavy weapon each day every day with one heavy weight on one side? The imbalance on the skeleton system is extremely significant. Ounces DO matter. It is a gradual accumulative effect.

To the op, I would be sure that while shooting I did not experience any pain. If so, I would cease shooting that particular gun and move down to something lighter and less recoil and try that out. Pain should be your guide.

PS Glad to see you had a successful surgery and hope things work out for the best. Remember you do not want to put yourself back into yet another situation that is as bad or worse.

PS Did you receive any Post Therapy and given guidelines on how to strengthen surrounding muscles? And a ongoing routine of strength training and STRETCHING?
Also be careful of the small things you do not think about. Like your range bag which you carry. How heavy is that? Lighten the load as much as possible.
Do not sit with a wallet in your rear pocket.
Check out leg and hip length. Most people typically have one leg shorter than the other and possible on hip that is shorter.
Check out shoes. Do you pronate or over pronate? Proper shoes are significant and a improper shoe can cause all kinds of issue. Use inserts like heel lifts, or arch supports where needed.
Balance the load when carrying as much as possible.
Be Sport specific. In other words focus strength exercises to make the imbalances stronger. Shooting a gun around 1 lb. for instance require certain muscles. While raising the gun up one time seems insignificant, raisin it up 100 times is quite a difference. (2 boxes of ammo).
Yeah, I guess my biggest concern is having items in my arsenal that I love and may not be usable anymore. I have been removing the wallet and I definitely spending money on more comfortable shoes. I guess now I have to weigh how heavy of a rifle I can carry, at what caliber, to be able to enjoy hunting and shooting and not mess anything up.
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Old April 8, 2021, 11:12 AM   #8
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Ouch!

Look into light weight single shot rifles.

I found the 7x30 Waters to be an inherently accurate as well as a mild recoiling round that performs quite well on deer.

Good luck and discuss your condition with a physical therapist.
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Old April 8, 2021, 01:25 PM   #9
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Thanks ammo.crafter. I will definitely look into that,
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Old April 8, 2021, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Any experience with this procedure and shooting impact?
Yes.

Years ago I was in a bad car accident when I was stopped in traffic and two cars slammed into me full speed at 55mph resulting in my C-6 C-7 disc being herniated. Because it is impinging on my spinal cord I risk partial to full paralysis (which is what eventually happened to me) if it gets bad enough--or you have another accident that stresses it further. After a couple of years of PT I underwent a cervical fusion operation, a fairly serious operation which requires careful consideration. It removes some of the range of mobility in your neck, maybe 5 to 10% depending, and it does get sore with changes in the weather and mild arthritis now that I'm a senior.

1000% glad I did the procedure and was totally worth it--life sucked before I did.
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Old April 8, 2021, 04:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
Yes.

Years ago I was in a bad car accident when I was stopped in traffic and two cars slammed into me full speed at 55mph resulting in my C-6 C-7 disc being herniated. Because it is impinging on my spinal cord I risk partial to full paralysis (which is what eventually happened to me) if it gets bad enough--or you have another accident that stresses it further. After a couple of years of PT I underwent a cervical fusion operation, a fairly serious operation which requires careful consideration. It removes some of the range of mobility in your neck, maybe 5 to 10% depending, and it does get sore with changes in the weather and mild arthritis now that I'm a senior.

1000% glad I did the procedure and was totally worth it--life sucked before I did.
Boss, I can tell you, I hurt so bad before the surgery I could hardly function. My back, arm and shoulder hurt so bad I could not do anything. I am about a week into recovery and all of the pain is gone, besides soreness from the surgery. Thank you.
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Old April 8, 2021, 04:24 PM   #12
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65 and feeling it

A thick billfold is bad news.
I made that mistake in my 20 and 30's. My work has always meant extensive travel.
Google location had me in 66 cites last month.
When I was younger I would put my road receipts in my billfold, lots of travel made for a thick billfold.
I was driving mostly back then. While having a thick billfold in my R back pocket.

No billfold for the past thirty years, still have the damage it did.

Money clip, empty back pockets. You won't notice while the damage is being done, I promise you will notice later.
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Old April 8, 2021, 04:42 PM   #13
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Boss, I can tell you, I hurt so bad before the surgery I could hardly function. My back, arm and shoulder hurt so bad I could not do anything. I am about a week into recovery and all of the pain is gone, besides soreness from the surgery. Thank you.
That's awesome. Give it time--a few years--and I think you'll have nothing to worry about in terms of shooting, I shoot LOTS of heavy recoil magnum cartridges frequently. Your doc will best advise you (I only play one on TV).
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Old April 8, 2021, 08:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
That's awesome. Give it time--a few years--and I think you'll have nothing to worry about in terms of shooting, I shoot LOTS of heavy recoil magnum cartridges frequently. Your doc will best advise you (I only play one on TV).
Well, stag, experience most of the time outweigh degrees. If you don't mind, will definitely be chatting you up during this journey.
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Old April 8, 2021, 08:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ricklin View Post
A thick billfold is bad news.
I made that mistake in my 20 and 30's. My work has always meant extensive travel.
Google location had me in 66 cites last month.
When I was younger I would put my road receipts in my billfold, lots of travel made for a thick billfold.
I was driving mostly back then. While having a thick billfold in my R back pocket.

No billfold for the past thirty years, still have the damage it did.

Money clip, empty back pockets. You won't notice while the damage is being done, I promise you will notice later.
I will be working on that as well and quite sure some of my hip issues are definitely caused by a fat wallet (and not from my Jed Clampett bankroll.)
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Old April 8, 2021, 08:49 PM   #16
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Well, stag, experience most of the time outweigh degrees. If you don't mind, will definitely be chatting you up during this journey.
No problem--in the spirit of full disclosure my doctor who performed the surgery said if I had a similar accident again I would likely be seriously messed up. That was back in 1996 and I've made it this far.
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Old April 8, 2021, 08:55 PM   #17
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First and foremost, thank you for your service and beating your body up on our behalf.

If I remember right it was Bruce lee who severely injured his back and decided to push it body as hard as he could. Not saying I recommend going to that extreme, but it shows how injuries don't have to be a limiting factor.

Best thing I can tell you is don't sell anything yet. Give your body time to recover. Talk with your Dr. See what they recommend. And see how your body responds. For now light guns and light recoiling stuff is obviously advised. But that does not mean you wont be shooting your current collection down the road. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Starting thinking contingencies for the if, not the when.

Lastly, you might look into PCP air guns. I was just talking with a friend the other day. He used to de remodeling. He once did some work for a guy. really big into antique single shot competition rifles. Had either a back or neck surgery and was not going to be able to shoot his stuff for a while. Buddy said he had a NICE, setup with an expensive PCP gun to keep his skills up while he was healing. You can get into a PCP setup for a few hundred. Great for small game and practice, and almost no recoil, minimal noise, and suppressors are not regulated for air guns, other than hunting, but state. Just make sure your thread pitch wont fit on any of your firearms. Most air guns are 1/2x20 instead of 1/2x28.
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Old April 9, 2021, 04:30 AM   #18
Philellis2710
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAF Ret View Post
Well, military life and general being hard on my body recently caught up with me. Been having severe pain in my neck, shoulder and right arm for several months. Finally went in and the diagnosis was herniated disks and bone spurs in C4-C7 vertebrae. So, went to a neurosurgeon and they removed the disks and spurs and replaced with a rod and screws. What I was told was I will have limited mobility and will not be able to lift much over 15lbs anymore. So, I will not be shooting a compound bow anymore. I did not ask about shooting and recoil. I will when I follow up, but have a feeling she is not the shooting type.



Any experience with this procedure and shooting impact?
I have a variety of severe medical issues. They made it very difficult to shoot in the ways I previously enjoyed. I just made some changes. I now enjoy rifle shooting on a bag instead of standing. I shoot my 22lr pistol more that my larger guns. We are fortunate that our shooting sports provides such a wide variety of ways to enjoy. You can slightly alter how you enjoy shooting. You diminish some of the old tricks and you learn some new ones. You are a shooter. For a long time coming, you will be a shooter. Life is long, with the constant cycle of learning new tricks. So, go out and learn to enjoy some new shooting tricks!

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Old April 9, 2021, 06:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAF Ret
Quote:
Originally Posted by stagp
1000% glad I did the procedure and was totally worth it--life sucked before I did.
Boss, I can tell you, I hurt so bad before the surgery I could hardly function.
I've not had surgery for my herniated discs, but I've had a number of clients with various discectomy and hardware surgeries.

I love hearing the success stories. I more often heard stories about people whose first surgery didn't get them better and then had successive (not successful) surgeries.

One of the biggest adjustments is in the appropriate frame of mind. Lots of us think of our selves as a version of our 20 years old selves, then hurt ourselves doing 20 year old things.
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Old April 9, 2021, 08:34 AM   #20
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It's a quality of life choice--and a risky one for me. My procedure took 7 hours and involved cutting a piece of bone out of my hip and then cutting my neck open, pulling the disc and grafting the sculpted bone piece in place. I was put under with heavy anesthesia and was told there was a 1 in 100 chance I might not make it out of the procedure, they even had me sign a waiver and made sure I had a will and final directives complete prior to the procedure. That sure gave me pause for thought before going ahead with the operation. But I had some of the finest neurology experts in the DC area participating in the procedure, that's what gave me confidence. These days health care is often at the level of a fast-food drive through, so I would be VERY careful in selecting the doctors.
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Old April 9, 2021, 01:12 PM   #21
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Thanks for all of the input. Feeling a bit better. I don;t shoot magnums and most of my rifles have muzzle brakes,due to other shoulder issues. Like folks said, just need to start slow.
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