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Aestimated Recovery Time?


Peter Clark
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Advice please, people: I had a fall a few weeks ago (as noted on this forum) which put me in crutches for about a fortnight. Obviously little playing was done during that period. I now find my technique has, even in that short space of time, deteriorated and also my left leg doesn't like pedalling for too long and certainly doesn't like fast passages. If anyyone else has had a similar experience, how long before normal service can be said to be resumed? (Previously I was playing for about an hour a day, sometimes more).

 

Thanks

 

Peter

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Advice please, people: I had a fall a few weeks ago (as noted on this forum) which put me in crutches for about a fortnight. Obviously little playing was done during that period. I now find my technique has, even in that short space of time, deteriorated and also my left leg doesn't like pedalling for too long and certainly doesn't like fast passages. If anyyone else has had a similar experience, how long before normal service can be said to be resumed? (Previously I was playing for about an hour a day, sometimes more).

 

Thanks

 

Peter

 

I don't think it's as easy as that Peter - I think it depends on the nature of the injury (sprain/fracture, etc), as well as other factors - not least of all your age!

 

I fractured my left ankle over 20 years ago, and was in plaster for a month. During that time I managed to redistribute most of the pedalling, although I found it was possible to play the odd note with the foot in plaster - dominant/tonic most of the time. I remember the horrified looks on the faces of some wedding guests as I hauled myself and two crutches upstairs to the organ, but all was well. When the plaster came off, the ankle was quite weak and did not like to be turned. I wore a support bandage for months which helped a lot, as did gentle pedal exercises. Also, consider a course of physiotherapy - the benefits are immense.

 

It took many months for my foot to return to near-normal (I don't think it could ever get back to 100%) - best wishes for a speedy recovery.

 

Graham

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Guest Cynic
Sorry to hear of your accident, Peter. Hope you get well soon :(

 

 

I heartily concur.

 

As far as recovery from injury is concerned, don't push yourself! These things take time. The right time to take up any activity is when it begins to feel comfortable again. You've got to take a long term view, health (and especially long-term health) is paramount.

 

If the question is specifically about organ-playing, well, I wouldn't do it at all until I felt reasonably fit again. Your church can jolly well manage - there will be people who can step in - and if there aren't, this is an important lesson (in itself) for everyone to learn.

 

I assume that your GP has been consulted.

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Don't trust me, I'm not a doctor, but...

 

By and large a broken bone is no big deal so long as it's only a hairline fracture or the break is set properly. The bone mends relatively quickly. It's soft tissue damage that causes the problems.

 

I remember once glancing a finger against the wood of a deck-chair while getting out of it. It was an insignificant thing and I didn't think anything of it, but after having gone on playing for a few days, the finger was still sore. An X-ray showed a hairline fracture. Against my better judgement the hospital put the finger in a splint for three weeks. When the splint was removed I found that even during that short time the finger had become stiff and quite difficult to bend. It took a week or two to get it decently mobile again and months before it was totally back to normal. In retrospect the splint was entirely unnecessary and did more harm than good.

 

Twice I have had more serious muscle damage to my arms. The first time was when I slipped on some seaweedy steps descending to a beach and put out my arms behind me to break my fall (it seems I may have broken my collar bone at the same time - a recent X-ray suggested that I have done so at some time or other!) The other occasion was when my (promptly ex) osteopath tore one of my muscles. On both occasions I managed to keep playing, but initially it was often quite painful and it took two years or more before all trace of pain passed.

 

The vital thing is to keep exercising the said muscles. But you must take professional advice about this. If you go over the top and overdo it you may do more harm than good. It's more a case of continually pushing the boundaries very, very gently. It shouldn't take all that long to get the muscles functioning adequately, but, as I said, expect to be feeling odd twinges of pain for years.

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67
If the question is specifically about organ-playing, well, I wouldn't do it at all until I felt reasonably fit again. Your church can jolly well manage - there will be people who can step in - and if there aren't, this is an important lesson (in itself) for everyone to learn.

 

Hmm - I think at my place acouple of weeks without music would set a precedent and I'd be out of a job!

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Very good luck for a speedy recovery. I was skiied into by a large lady in February this year. She succeeded in rupturing my collateral knee ligament and severing my Anterior Cruciate Ligament. The (private) surgeon would not countenance repairing the cruciate ligament until the collateral ligament was well and truly healed. I had surgery on the ACL two weeks ago and at last I am able to play reasonably well. I will not be fully fit for another six-eight months!

 

I feel for you, because I know what you are going through first hand!

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