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After a long rest

I don't even play golf!

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I had been feeling increasing pain in my elbows since the beginning of 2016. Initially it was sore after practice but would go away and later my right elbow developed ongoing pain to the point that it would throb constantly. After spring nationals I finally decided to go and see a physical therapist who gave me exercises I incorporated into my dry lands to strengthen the affected muscles. It's hear I heard the term golfers elbow. My left elbow reacted really well to treatment and gradually the pain went away. Unfortunately the right elbow did not react the same and actually continued to get more painful. After several more months of trying to rehab the right elbow I moved to an orthopedic surgeon. We did an MRI which initially did not highlight a tear and we tried a cortisone injection and no use of the arm while swimming. Still the pain grew and now I was struggling sleeping. I would go to sleep but was woken by a radiating pain in my elbow. Next the orthopedic surgeon asked for a contrast MRI which highlighted 3 tears; 2 in the medial epicondyle and 1 in the bicep tendon. By this point I had swelling in my forearm and numbness in the arm and hand. We tried a PRP injection and finally a stem cell injection. Both seemed to help with the swelling but again the pain continued to radiate from the funny bone. The final straw was a local meet where I had pain during my race.

Last Tuesday 13th December I had surgery to cut and reattach the medial epicondyle tendons and the bicep tendon. The doctor also elected to move the ulnar nerve and clean up the affected area. Nothing against doctors or hospitals but I am a nervous patient and I don't like being in hospital.

The surgery took about 90 minutes and the pre op process was very smooth. When i came around the first thing I noticed was the radiating pain from the injury had gone. I had spoken to the surgeon about my desire to not use narcotic pain meds like condene due to my dislike of the affect and it causing me nausea. The point of the surgery was obviously sore but the pain was definitely different. I used over the counter pain meds for a few days and was then at the point of not needing any.

I am now a week out from surgery and doing great. I have a hard splint and it's a pain in the butt, but have my post op and first physical therapy appointment next week so hope to be able to start moving the arm soon. The no exercise for 2 weeks has been and will likely continue to drive me nuts but I am hanging in there. It's my hope I can start kicking as soon as the stitches heal. Rehab is 3-4 months so it's going to be a long road to recover. I am setting Budapest and World Masters Championship as my light at the of this tunnel. I will do my best to follow doctors orders during my recovery and suspect like all journeys there will be ups and downs. I just hope mine is now too hilly. Feeling good though!!!

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  1. flystorms's Avatar
    Stewart you've been on my mind wondering how things were going. I'm so glad to hear that the direct pain you've been feeling is gone post-op. That's huge progress. I know it'll be really hard to hold yourself back from working out, but you'll get through it. I can't wait to catch up with you in the pool again sometime this spring. Be patient, grasshopper! Thanks for the update and Merry Christmas!
    - Kari
  2. pwb's Avatar
    Stewart, great to hear that you've had the surgery, it went well and you're on the path to recovery. Though my injury is different and I'm not yet sure if I'll be having surgery, instead of being your virtual (and sometimes in-person) training partner, consider me one of your rehab & recovery partners!
  3. scyfreestyler's Avatar
    Happy to hear you're on the road to recovery and that you're feeling good. Sounds like you're going to be doing a lot of kicking in the next few months. As fast a kicker as you've been in the past, I'm curious to see how much faster you'll get!
  4. Sojerz's Avatar
    Great to learn, Stewart, that the surgery seems to have resolved the pain issue and went well. You can look ahead to a long future - time is on your side, as you heal and progress.
  5. knelson's Avatar
    Good luck with your recovery, Stewart!
  6. aztimm's Avatar
    Great to hear you had a successful surgery, and hope your recovery continues as smoothly. I'm sure you'll be back in the water before you know it.
  7. rxleakem's Avatar
    Here's to an easy recovery and final an end to the pain that you have been having with the elbow. Praying for you, Stewart.
  8. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by flystorms
    Stewart you've been on my mind wondering how things were going. I'm so glad to hear that the direct pain you've been feeling is gone post-op. That's huge progress. I know it'll be really hard to hold yourself back from working out, but you'll get through it. I can't wait to catch up with you in the pool again sometime this spring. Be patient, grasshopper! Thanks for the update and Merry Christmas!
    - Kari
    thanks Kari. Things are going really well. I finally got the splint off yesterday and was given the all clear to start working out again. I was like a little kid this morning; all excited.

    Thanks for for the kind wishes.
  9. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    Stewart, great to hear that you've had the surgery, it went well and you're on the path to recovery. Though my injury is different and I'm not yet sure if I'll be having surgery, instead of being your virtual (and sometimes in-person) training partner, consider me one of your rehab & recovery partners!
    i am so sorry Patrick. I hope you heal fast. Fingers crossed you won't need for surgery.
  10. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by scyfreestyler
    Happy to hear you're on the road to recovery and that you're feeling good. Sounds like you're going to be doing a lot of kicking in the next few months. As fast a kicker as you've been in the past, I'm curious to see how much faster you'll get!
    i have a fast kick but it can always get stronger and I will have an opportunity to work on it for a while. I was given the all clear yesterday so kicking for the next few months started this morning.
  11. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sojerz
    Great to learn, Stewart, that the surgery seems to have resolved the pain issue and went well. You can look ahead to a long future - time is on your side, as you heal and progress.
    thanks. I am glad I went through with this and can now move on. Still no pain and i am on the road to recovery.
  12. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by knelson
    Good luck with your recovery, Stewart!
    thanks Kirk.

    one of my training partners just moved to Indiana and I am thinking of putting the Chris Clark memorial meet on my travel calendar next year. Any interest in going? It would be awesome on lots of levels!
  13. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by aztimm
    Great to hear you had a successful surgery, and hope your recovery continues as smoothly. I'm sure you'll be back in the water before you know it.
    thanks Tim. I was given the all clear to get back I need and start kicking today. I am not allowed any pressure on the joint so turns are a challenge but I am on the road to recovery.
  14. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rxleakem
    Here's to an easy recovery and final an end to the pain that you have been having with the elbow. Praying for you, Stewart.
    thanks. I believe your prayers were heard. I am feeling great. Thanks for the kind wishes.