Apr 30, 2003, 5:04 PM
Post #1 of 48
Hey everybody, last year sometime I fell trail running, and dislocated my shoulder. Ever since then when I bend my shoulder a certain way it dislocates with pressure, and is a bit painful (nothing THAT bad, but enough for me to notice it). Then after it pops back in it is somewhat sore for the rest of the day. Skydiving puts the exact kind of pressure on it that makes it prone to popping out. Does anyone have experience with skydiving with bad shoulders? What have you done? I have considered buying a compression shoulder wrap, but Im not sure if that will work (I hope it will). Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks!
Andy, I too dislocated my shoulder about three years ago. It happened during lifeguard training. Since then, I have dislocated it several times including shutting the car door, wrestling, violent sneezes, and even skydiving. Although it has't happened in a while, the times it did happen,it never stayed out of socket. It would always get popped back in place, but hurt like hell.
One time when it happened skydiving was after a speed dive clocked at over 200mph on my Pro-Track. My shoulder popped out when I transferred from head down to flat. This also took off my full face visor. Another time was when my shoulder hit the plane on exit. I kind of got pushed into the plane on a 4 way exit.
To fix the problem, I had to strenghthen the hell out of my rotator cuff. I talked to my chiropractor and he gave me some exercises to do. I have never tried a cmpression wrap, but would probably help as long as it does not conflict with gear. Nowadays, the only time it hurts is on sit-fly jumps.
I'm a newbie w/ only 8 jumps but my left shoulder has a chronic history of disclocations. Old skiing injury but it's been out more than 25 times over the years. I was afraid it would be a problem.
Before I started AFF, I worked it for 3 months. Alot of pushups and weight stuff. No professional advice...I just did what I felt seemed to strengthen it. For example, when I started I could not do more than 10 pushups before it started really hurting and feel like it would pop. Now 50 or even 75 are no problem.
never had a problem in freefall or deployment but several 2 minute tunnel sessions left it sore for several weeks.
I don't know about a compression brace but if you get one let me know.
BTW: I'd have a plan just in case you have to land a canopy with one arm disabled. You can steer (3 rights make a left) but flaring is a bitch.
I dislocated my right shoulder about three years ago. I spent a lot of time at PT to make sure it was put back together correctly before I started skydiving again. - well, almost...the physical therapist freaked when I spent an hour in the tunnel less than 3 months after the injury and the first couple skydives I barely had enough flexibility to deploy. But, the strength was there just not full flexibility by that point.
I continue with strength training for the muscle groups that hold the shoulder in place. I don't do anything special for skydiving. I have had shoulders "pop" during skydives. But, not more than 2 or 3 in the last 650 jumps. The funny thing is that it was my good shoulder at least one of those times. I'll just stretch well, again, before the next jump. I have never had it be sore all day - that would worry me.
Something like 80% of people re-dislocate thier shoulder within a year of the injury. And, if it happens twice the socket becomes very loose and a lot of people opt for surgery at that point. From what I read I guess I'd be very leary of jumping or at least make sure you have a big reserve and I high pain tolerance. (I keep percocet in my gear bag, just in case)
thanks dave, im really really fortunate that its is my left arm that this tends to happen. knock on wood, my right arm never dislocates, i've never injured it anyway to make it prone to dislocation like my left arm. If my right arm dislocated and I couldnt get to my main, i would just go for my reserve, why didnt this skydiver?
Mine popped out in freefall at pulltime after screwing it up snowboarding a year prior. I had to go for my reserve because it was my right arm. I got surgery and it has never happened since. I've heard more than one story about people just dealing with it when it happens in freefall, but at 2500 feet, I felt as though I should perhaps stop jumping and get the thing repaired before putting myself in that position ever again.
Good luck! TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS or it will haunt you for longer than necessary...
I have never had problems, but I saw a guy come down from a Tandem (the student) and he said he dislocated his shoulder on opening. The instructor said the opening was normal (not hard). The student said that he had never had a problem with it before. Might just be one of those strange things that happen.
A girl at the WTS Halloween Boogie last year dislocated her right shoulder in freefall. Had to pull her reserve at terminal then steer and flare with both toggles in her left hand. She actually did a great job, giving herself a nice landing in the peas. She was in a good deal of pain when she landed, but toughed it out and stayed around to party that night.
This incident made me think a lot about whether I would downsize my reserve when / if I downsize my main.
I believe I was out of the sport for a total of 14 months. It was a seven hour surgery with rotator cuff and the (forgetting names right now) tighten the ligaments up horizontally surgery (i.e. get it back tight into the socket). When you get out of surgery you wont be able to rotate your arm at all beyond its sitting position whcih is across your stomach at a 90 (like it were laying across your lap). The rehab people pull it every day to get the ligaments back to normal stretch. It hurt. Thank god for vicodin. I've broken many bones and nothing came close to the pain this surgery caused afterwrds. But, I can now throw, play football, play basketball (never could've attempted to hoop while arm was in bad shape, it would've popped right out), and skydive with one hundred percent confidence. It doesn't even ever come close to feeling weird. Never. If you start to dislocate it alot, it will only get worse, so either get excersising on it or get surgery.
There is actually another thread based on downsizing the reserve and I brought up this point. I'm sincerely glad I didn't have a dinky reserve because the winds were up that day and we were spotted quite off the main landing area. I had a swift plus 143 and had no issues really sinking it into a tgith landing area with varable winds with only one arm.
(This post was edited by freakydiver on May 1, 2003, 10:25 AM)
I was jumping (doing 20 way competition) just under 12 weeks after a full shoulder reconstruction (left). This was due to a dislocation on exit from a DC3 on a big way. I got my main out and landed uneventfully despite the injury (it does hurt like hell though).
The shoulder was weakened to the point that it dislocated several times over the next 3-4 months and I finally decided on surgical reconstruction. best move I could have made. It's 100% now, full range, belly fly, sit fly etc no problem (I do watch out for pulling chunks out of C-130's still though).
If your serious about skydiving, and you have insurance, get it fixed, right, the first time. The procedure I had was called a "bankart lesion" and I guess is common among baseball players.
I dislocated my shoulder during Fight Night at the Ranch. Rested it for a week and didn't feel anything until due to nothing it dislocated in the wind tunnel that following December. I rested a day and then went for a jump. It dislocated in freefall. That scared me. I got insurance the following Frebruary and was under the knife by April. Yes, I missed that whole season but other than a little arthritis and a twinge of pain from time to time it has not bothered me again.
If you're going to talk to anyone about it talk to a qualified orthopedic. You'd be wasting your time with anyone else (like a GP or chiropractor).
Just be careful, when my arm popped out it was extremely painful in freefall and I would/could imagine some people would really have to concentrate on keeping stable and doing the right things in such a situation. Mine popped out and there was no way it was getting back in while doin 120 towards the ground, the made my only option to pull silver. This could get expensive if you have to do this on a regular basis.
YES! its happened to me twice in freefall and once under canopy, always a scary deal. finally went to the doc for it, even after all the army pt, i STILL had problems with it. ended up i tore 2 ligaments in the rotator, i couldn't play softball or golf anymore, jumping became just as bad. had surgery on it last week and i'm typing this w/ 1 hand lol.
i've talked w/ a couple of skydivers who had the surgical procedure as well and they swear by it. i tried therapy, jumping w/ a brace, everything, but since it was torn up so bad, the only way to fix it was to have surgery. i'm on the slow road to recovery now and looking forward to jumping again :)
good luck in what you decide to do about it, i know how frustrating it can be! cheers
Yah unfortunately a shoulder does not at all like the boxman position. That is the weakest way to position the shoulder, arm out at a ninety just like box man about to pull. Add 120mph of wind on it and one is just asking for another pop.
It WILL NOT GET BETTER EVER. You can do all of the PT you want, but once those ligaments are stretched to the point of allowing the shoulder to dislocate, they need to be surgically tightened up to prevent it from ever happennin again...
yeah, pull time was always kinda scary. the worst was standing or sitting, having 150 mph wind trying to knock that shoulder out was no fun. recently, all i had been doing was video for my FF team, just on my head, it was the only "comfortable" position. i'm just so glad i finally got it taken care of