After 5 weeks of rest and relaxation, 2 of which included a smidgen of athletic training… I was ready to start my fall training period and I couldn’t wait to get started! No sooner than did it get started, that it looks as if it is going to be brought to an abrupt halt. Not a complete stop, but a huge deviation from the plan that was written.
Back in March of 2009, I was having massive shoulder problems that included shoulder impingement and a small labrum tear. I traveled to Atlanta Georgia for a week of treatment and therapy and was fixed up good enough to get through the season. In the big picture, we didn’t really fix the underlying problem; we just patched me up good enough for me to be able to compete in 2009.
That underlying problem came back to show its ugly head the first week of training for me this fall. I hoped that a 5-week break from competitive throwing would make a difference, but that gamble turned out to be a loosing bet. I was diagnosed (again) with shoulder impingement, and will have another round of ultra-sound imaging, x-rays and MRI’s this week to find out what exactly is causing the shoulder pain.
What we expect to see from initial evaluations is a few bone spurs and a acromioclavicular joint, or AC joint that needs to be shaved down to allow for more range of motion of the labrum and other rotator cuff muscles. It’s a pretty easy procedure called an acromioplasty.
“Acromioplasty is a arthroscopic surgical procedure of the acromion.
Generally, it implies removal of a small piece of the surface of the bone (acromion) that is in contact with a tendon causing, by friction, damage to the latter tissue.”
This is not all bad news; it just may come off that way because it’s not what my coaches and I have planned for. If we can manage to get this thing fixed and be back throwing before January, I should be in great shape by the time the season comes around. The procedure should keep me out of throwing for about 4-5 weeks, which will still leave me over 6 months to get ready for USA Champs. The other good news is that I should go into the 2010 season with a fresh arm. The danger of throwing with the issue that I have now (and that I threw with in 2009) is that eventually, the labrum that is being rubbed against by the AC joint may actually tear or rupture and that surgery looks at almost a year before your back in the mix. If that where to happen in 2011 or even 2012…well lets just say that would not be ideal for London. Not to mention that I had to change my technique in 2009 to get away from the pain in my shoulder and the results showed the difference. In 2008, I had 11 meets over 80m, and this 2009 yielded only 2.
The only real bad news is that I will have to take a small break away from my ITA activities. I was all set to begin coaching with the local High Schools here in Chula Vista and had several meetings and interviews scheduled with their respective athletic directors. My immediate plan now is to get the shoulder fixed asap and rehab full time until I am healthy enough to get back out into the community.
Till next time…always looking up!