My fishing days may be going away

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by GAT, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    My shoulder hurt for years...just kept getting a little worse all the time. Did the surgery where they scrape down the bone spurs rubbing on the nerves. Been good as new since that day. Don't wait seven years like I did, just go get it fixed, whatever it is.
     
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  2. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    Gees GAT, I hope things work out. I'll be getting my FIRST steroid shot in my lower back this Tuesday. I have had a sciatic nerve problem that (this last winter) shoots down my leg and feels like a knife in my left calf. Went thru this all winter. It eased up here this spring, but comes and goes. I'll tell you if that works. On the other hand, I also had a shoulder problem about 5 years ago. I went to the physical therapist for some sessions, but they mainly gave me exercises to do. With one of those "rubberband" thingys that you stretch. I did exercises with that, and be danged if it didn't work. I don't have any shoulder problems today.
     
  3. doublespey

    doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

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    Gene,

    Broken shoulder and frozen shoulder afterwards for me. A combination of PT and acupuncture helped me get my casting back and I've been mostly painfree ever since (at least from the shoulder).

    Several friends have also had shoulder and elbow problems @ bad times (like right before a Keys Tarpon trip) that have been helped/cured by acupuncture.

    As you age, I'm told all the ligaments and minor muscles and tissues that hold joints in place weaken. If they're not holding the shoulder in the correct position and that's causing your inflammation/pain, the acupuncture and PT route will fix you.

    If you have structural damage, you best friend is a good Orthopedic Surgeon.

    Good Luck with your rehab! Nobody gets a perfect body, and the older we get the more care they seem to require.

    Cheers,

    Brian
     
  4. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    It took an MRI (had insurance back then) for my orthopedic surgeon to diagnose my "impingement" problem. He couldn't figure it out by looking at x-rays.
    If the cortisone and PT (least invasive approach to treating it) hadn't worked, the good doctor told me that arthroscopic surgery would do the job. (Would have been the same procedure that WW had).
    Until I saw my orthopedic surgeon, I had mis-diagnosed my shoulder condition as being a return to my old rotator cuff problems.
     
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  5. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Gene - Oh crap, I feel your pain, brother . . .

    Gittin' old ain't for sissies is it?

    My problem is arthritis. The one help I've found besides my anti-inflammatory meds is a topical gel - Voltaren.

    Trapper
     
  6. snarlac

    snarlac Member

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    Well GAT:

    A few quick answers. Cortisone is NOT indicated as an initial treatment, and your doctor would be committing malpractice by giving cortisone to you (or surgery) based on your suggestion/self diagnosis. You don't get an MRI on day one either. Your doctor will do some initial tests without machines, and on that basis likely prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammitory drugs, an ice pack, and doing exercise - for about 6 months or so; if after that time, there is no improvement (and you listened to your doctor about not doing things that hurt); then you will get an MRI. Based on the MRI, you may get more exercise/physical therapy; possibly with a single cortisone shot; and, depending on severity - a recommendation for surgery. Surgery should be a last resort option for the shoulder. Without going into it; there are things cut and sewn; it isn't put back together completely like a pristine shoulder; and the success rate is no-where near 100%, some will be better, a few completely free of pain, but a significant proportion will be permanently worse off with the surgery than without.

    My guess is, if you can lift your arm at all above shoulder level, even with pain, you are dealing with a partial rotator cuff tear. Serious, but treatable without steroids or surgery. But it can take much more time to heal than what brought it on.

    The initial response you admit to with drugs/exercise ("kinda help but not enough") is typical and actually very promising. I would recommend keeping that up for a minimum of 6 months, and up to two years, and listening to your doctor in the mean time (not telling him what you need). As testimony to this regimen, I had a similar condition to yours (perhaps much worse than yours); it did actually got worse, then better, and finally completely healed for over ten years now. I'm about your age. I was given cortisone (twice), but only under a specialist's prescription, and only on the basis of the extent of tear and response (or lack thereof) to long term physical therapy. I did not want or ask for it.

    Injected cortisone is a strong steroid that has significant risks; including glaucoma (you want to able to see, right?); a very coarse rule of thumb is to never use it - and if absolutely necessary - limit the number of injections to 2 or 3 in one lifetime.
     
  7. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

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    Try acupuncture and a switch rod. Seriously.
     
  8. P.Dieter

    P.Dieter Just Another Bubba

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    There are a lot of anti-inflammatory supplements and diet guidlines. Everyone my age and greater should give them a looksie. And drink a lot more water.
     
  9. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    I'm not drinking more water. I've seen what fish do in water! :D
     
  10. John Wallace

    John Wallace Active Member

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    I agree with everyone. My shoulder is mess up a bit and I use a lot of switch or single spey casting for my fishing. You can use it in lake, stream or anywhere you fish. It has let my fish all day instead of a half a day or so.
     
  11. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    I've been saying that all week!!

    Turned 50 in December and I've got more injuries currently going on than I had from 30 years of playing soccer.

    Early July, messed up a toe on a rock somehow, wet waded the M. Fk. of the Willy - didn't know anything had happened until two days later, in the middle of the night, I get woke up with severe pain and notice the knuckle on my toe is two sizes too big!! And just last Sunday, I tore up my forearm and lower bicep (not on my casting hand...thankfully) lifting gate/fence panels at the Benton Cnty. Fair.

    WTH...does the "warranty" expire at 50...?!?!

    (and this one finger typing sucks...I'm a two finger keyboardist)
     
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  12. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    As a matter of fact, the answer is YES. I made it within a month of turning 51 when I had to quit surfing due to my (now history!) impingement problem. Back then, I thought that was it. No more surfing for Jimbo.
    Last Fall, I thought my casting arm was a goner.
    But somehow, I got the old carcass repaired somewhat, and I'm back in the saddle again.
    Sometimes I think I hear snickering and the word "zombie" from the younger crowd as I head out, but their opinion doesn't matter one whit.

    Ha, I just noticed another old local whom we all thought was toast, crawl back into the lineup yesterday. Its going to be a freakin zombie invasion!:D
     
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  13. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    A while ago I fell while I was up fishing and jammed a stick in my arm. I was about 75 miles away from any help. I slapped a bandaid on and started back home. I thought it stopped bleeding but I was wrong. It seeped all the way home. I got home and told the wife to just slap a bandage on it, but I ended up in the ER.

    It screwed up my two finger typing for about two weeks. Now I'm back to two finger typing. Being old and your warranty is just about shot. But I'm still kicking at 78. And I feel good.
     
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  14. 10incher

    10incher Active Member

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    I'm 45. I have two worn rotators and right arm bursitis. That's worn, not torn. As in bone on bone. This sort of thing comes with my poor career choice. I had a blowout once that was nothing short of a grown man sitting in his truck crying from pain. I've never done a cortisone shot for the reasons mentioned. And I've never done the surgery because I know too many people that it crippled. No offense to those it has worked for intended. I've managed the shoulders with moderation and physical therapy. You can get information for how to stretch and exercise for this condition on line. Your body will try to protect the bare socket with a thin layer of protein that is easily scraped away if I'm too cavalier. But far worse for fly fishing is the bursitis. Out with the 9' 6wt battling wind the other night had me thinking it might be over. BUT... I do have a sweet 7'6" 4wt that weighs only 1.8oz! I did some lawn casting and I really believe that on a good day, with a dose of anti inflammatories I can fish it all day. So, I may be retiring the bigger rods, but I'm still going to try small creek fishing. Which happens to be my favorite anyway.

    I hate taking pills, but a dose of anti inflammatories before bed and another dose before work has helped a lot. I've been doing that about six months now. Also, MODERATION!!! People will see you do things occasionally and wonder why you don't do more (people could mean wife in this statement). Screw 'em! Tell them flat out "It's because I can only use my arm a certain amount and only for certain things." Resist pressure to man up or assist when you know it will hurt you. No room left for macho pride. And look into exercises and stretching that can help. I have pain every day and there's plenty I can't do now. But I don't seem to be getting any worse at the moment and I can still do most of my job and fish the 4wt.

    I wish you the very best of luck.
     
  15. Jack Devlin

    Jack Devlin Active Member

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    Gene,
    I took Jim Ficklin's suggestion of a "designated caster" a bit further.
    Jack Scan 47.jpeg
     
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