Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
Hard opening with prosthetic shoulder joint

 


kmcdrop  (Student)

May 12, 2009, 3:13 PM
Post #1 of 6 (1317 views)
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Hard opening with prosthetic shoulder joint Can't Post

Okay...I'm a nOOb (4 static line jumps). I know I need to ask my DZ's JMs about this but I thought "the more input the better."

I have a prosthetic shoulder joint due to a motorcycle accident more than 30 years ago. (The ball part of my joint is stainless steel and there's a "spike" which goes down into my upper arm bone.)

Because of the prosthesis and how it had to be put in place, I lost about half of my muscle and tendon in one of my shoulders. If you were to look at me from the side, one of my shoulders is about half the size of the other - the difference due to the missing muscle and tendons.

I put in 10 minutes of tunnel time to see if I was going to have any problems with freefall. Although I can't move the injured arm as far as the other (I have to use my hand to "climb" my arm up the riser in order to reach the toggle when it's stowed.)

Although I don't think that I'll have a problem with freefall, I have some concern that a hard opening at terminal velocity might be violent enough to either dislocate the shoulder or, worse yet, dismember the arm at the joint.

How bad can a hard opening be? (I haven't worried about them yet since I'm not going that fast so far during opening since I'm on the leash - static line.)

I know that I need to check with the JMs and the doctor(s) but has anyone else had a similar injury/prosthesis? Maybe not even an artificial shoulder joint but a hip or knee replacement.

Any advice is welcome!


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

May 12, 2009, 6:38 PM
Post #2 of 6 (1277 views)
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Re: [kmcdrop] Hard opening with prosthetic shoulder joint [In reply to] Can't Post

I would think that the way hard opening forces tend to distribute themselves throughout the body, that the shoulder joint is actually fairly unlikely to be impacted. Hard openings, if they cause injuries, tend to cause midsection injuries. Of course, other people may chime in with examples of where I'm wrong. Laugh

There's probably a lot of people with better info than me, but as someone with recurring shoulder injuries in one shoulder, the things I've considered that you might want to think about are:

1) Funneling an exit (you may not know this term yet, but it's basically when the exit doesn't go as planned and the formation that was supposed to come off the plane as a group breaks into two or more pieces). I have injured my problem shoulder on a funneled exit before - you can end up with some pretty dramatic forces against your arm/shoulder if an exit goes to shit and you (or the person holding onto you) don't let go quickly enough.

2) Freefall collision - your shoulder could very easily get whacked if someone were coming at you from above and didn't stop before they hit the formation. This happened last year on the bigways at the American Boogie and the guy hit someone in the base who had just come back from rotator cuff surgery. Ouch.

3) Landing. A less than graceful landing could have you rolling onto your shoulder - could your prosthesis handle this?

4) Hanging off the plane on exit - without full muscle strength/range you may have trouble with the outside positions on freefall exits.

I'm sure your instructors can provide some guidance on these issues as well, but just thought I'd throw them out there since I am often worrying about my problem shoulder, too.

Welcome to skydiving!


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on May 12, 2009, 6:39 PM)


humanflite  (D 99999)

May 13, 2009, 4:31 PM
Post #3 of 6 (1240 views)
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Re: [kmcdrop] Hard opening with prosthetic shoulder joint [In reply to] Can't Post

Firstly I would say

'Have you discussed this with your instructors and DZO' as it is information most would want to be notified of.

They can also advise you as to what is safe and what isnt safe!!

but I would advise you wear a high quality shoulder sports support as a preventative measure in any case.

Does it dislocate of its own free will?

In the couple of hard openings I have had, it was mainly my neck that gave me pain afterwards. That and the massive bruising around groin and shoulders from the harness biting in. Oh, and a headache for about 2 days Wink


Which shoulder of yours is the weak side?


ltdiver  (D 20506)

May 29, 2009, 10:56 PM
Post #4 of 6 (1129 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Hard opening with prosthetic shoulder joint [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I would think that the way hard opening forces tend to distribute themselves throughout the body, that the shoulder joint is actually fairly unlikely to be impacted. Hard openings, if they cause injuries, tend to cause midsection injuries. Of course, other people may chime in with examples of where I'm wrong.

The permanent injuries I've personally seen from hard openings:

1) Cervical fracture resulting in quadriplegia

2) Proximal femur fracture resulting in surgery and one leg 2 inches shorter than the other healthy one.

3) Shoulder recurrent dislocations (shoulder had been injured before from a previous injury and was weak enough to dislocate on the hard opening).

All 3 resulted in the individuals hanging up their skydiving gear for good.

Of course there are numerous other non-permanent injury stories where you see stars, are sore for a few days, and are back in the saddle by the next weekend...

ltdiver


gimpboogie

May 30, 2009, 9:30 AM
Post #5 of 6 (1125 views)
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Re: [ltdiver] Hard opening with prosthetic shoulder joint [In reply to] Can't Post

im new-and NEVER had a HARDer opening the base canopies with no sider n 42 inch pilot chute
BUT we got an instructor whose shoulder is permanently in a brace-type-thing because he hung from the wing strut dispatching students-and had a 'hard' sudden fall off it--not even a hard opening...

this stuff seems possible at several moments.

i've seen a
'bumb' to someones chest (Chris Colwell of Deland) end up in C4/C5 paralysis=while 270 @ 400f and a 'bounce' of several earth hits-turn into a torn jean....


so-
think of ALL the risks,
like any skydiver...
then ADD your personal ones...
and see what your total comes to...
weight it to what your willing to risk...

and do accordingly


(This post was edited by gimpboogie on May 30, 2009, 9:31 AM)


humanflite  (D 99999)

May 30, 2009, 12:24 PM
Post #6 of 6 (1111 views)
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Re: [gimpboogie] Hard opening with prosthetic shoulder joint [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
im new-and NEVER had a HARDer opening the base canopies with no sider n 42 inch pilot chute
BUT we got an instructor whose shoulder is permanently in a brace-type-thing because he hung from the wing strut dispatching students-and had a 'hard' sudden fall off it--not even a hard opening...

this stuff seems possible at several moments.

i've seen a
'bumb' to someones chest (Chris Colwell of Deland) end up in C4/C5 paralysis=while 270 @ 400f and a 'bounce' of several earth hits-turn into a torn jean....


so-
think of ALL the risks,
like any skydiver...
then ADD your personal ones...
and see what your total comes to...
weight it to what your willing to risk...

and do accordingly

Chris Colwell didnt get bumped in the chest!!
The student he was coaching head down to, got a load of forward momentum on and smashed into the top of Chris' head with his ribs...paralysing Chris C and cracking the students ribs..



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