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Old 11-27-2010, 02:33 AM
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IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
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Default Coming back after surgery

Well, one week ago today I had surgery on my left (hi-hat) foot. One week from today I have to play a gig (we book almost a year in advance). Now I was thinking, no biggie, I will close the hi-hat and fake it til my foot is better.

I tried playing the kit for the first time tonight, and holy crap! Not only am I still feeling cruddy and out of whack from the surgery, I cannot get comfortable on the kit! My time and feel are affected, my balance is off, I started getting a cramp in my butt from being unable to put any weight on my left foot.

Now I'm really starting to worry. I guess I'd better use my time to whip my body into a new shape, huh!?

Mostly I'm venting, but any useful suggestions from people who have been in similar situations would be welcome!

OH YEAH, almost forgot - these are Friday and Saturday night gigs from 9 until 2. They are tough ones in the best of shape. What the hell was I thinkin? (I guess I didn't have much choice...)

Last edited by IDDrummer; 11-27-2010 at 02:35 AM. Reason: forgot sumtin
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:05 AM
JohnPloughman JohnPloughman is offline
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

Get a stand-in. Take the time to recover properly or ..... risk undoing all the good the surgery has done.

And here I sit with all the ligaments in my ankle torn, as well as a torn achilles tendon. The ankle is going to heal just fine, the achilles could be a problem. I will be off teh kit for a while, and as for work....... I am stuck sitting mostly.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

My doc actually gave me the go-ahead to play,with the caveat that I cannot use the left foot - it still has to be strictly non-weightbearing.

I think it's doable, and I've had trouble getting a stand-in anyway, so just trying to make it work I'm definitely NOT interested in undoing the surgery!.
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

Something very similar happened to me about two and a half years ago, but with my right foot. I knew ahead of time that I was going to have surgery done to my bass drum foot so I purchased a double pedal so I could learn to use my left foot on the bass drum. I was in the hospital six days because infection set in, but just a few days after getting out, I was able to do my studio sessions. I hobbled around for a couple of weeks and couldn't carry much weight, but everything worked out OK, except for one of my toes, lol.

Dennis
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

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Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
Something very similar happened to me about two and a half years ago, but with my right foot. I knew ahead of time that I was going to have surgery done to my bass drum foot so I purchased a double pedal so I could learn to use my left foot on the bass drum. I was in the hospital six days because infection set in, but just a few days after getting out, I was able to do my studio sessions. I hobbled around for a couple of weeks and couldn't carry much weight, but everything worked out OK, except for one of my toes, lol.

Dennis
Wow, I feel fortunate that I haven't had any infection, knock on Mylar! Glad things turned out OK for you. I had to have a tendon repaired and a couple of bones restructured. Hopefully it will heal OK.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

So you aren't allowed to rest your foot on the ground? Reason I ask is if you are just resting it on the HH pedal how much weight are you truly putting on it?
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

My concern would be not having the foot elevated for such a long period of time during the gig. But if the doc cleared you then he knows better than I. Time will get rid of the other awkward feelings. I would concentrate on simple rhythms until you get the feel back but play as often as you can until the gig rolls around.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
My concern would be not having the foot elevated for such a long period of time during the gig. But if the doc cleared you then he knows better than I. Time will get rid of the other awkward feelings. I would concentrate on simple rhythms until you get the feel back but play as often as you can until the gig rolls around.
That's a very good point and one the doc may not have thought of. I've had two knee surgeries and elevation and ice after surgery were paramount
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

Thanks for the input so far guys! I can rest the foot on the ground or the pedal as long as I don't put weight on it. My experiment yesterday showed that the ground is more comfortable because of the angle of the splint. I've even thought of taking the pedal off so I have more room...

As far as elevation, that is a big concern. Doc was pretty strict about this first week, but said to elevate as much as possible for the following two weeks. Right now, it hurts like a bitch if I leave it down for more than about an hour. We'll see how much that changes in the week to come....
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Thanks for the input so far guys! I can rest the foot on the ground or the pedal as long as I don't put weight on it. My experiment yesterday showed that the ground is more comfortable because of the angle of the splint. I've even thought of taking the pedal off so I have more room...

As far as elevation, that is a big concern. Doc was pretty strict about this first week, but said to elevate as much as possible for the following two weeks. Right now, it hurts like a bitch if I leave it down for more than about an hour. We'll see how much that changes in the week to come....
Instead of taking the pedal off why not just turn the HH stand so the pedal faces out or the opposite direction?
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

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Originally Posted by konaboy View Post
Instead of taking the pedal off why not just turn the HH stand so the pedal faces out or the opposite direction?
Now THERE's a good thought!!
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2010, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Now THERE's a good thought!!
Doesn't happen often LOL!!!
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:59 PM
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con struct con struct is offline
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

I can empathize, IDDrummer. About three years ago I broke two ribs in my back in a unloading accident. I couldn't do anything much for six months and when I finally got back on the drums my right arm sucked. Man I was very upset, really depressed. It took awhile, when I could finally start really playing again, to get my chops back but before I knew it I was playing like old times.

The thing I'd warn you about is not getting too mental about it. That's what I did, picking apart everything I was doing and comparing it to how I played before my accident. It drove me crazy.

It may be a slow process, certainly slower than you'd like for it to be, but you'll get it all back just fine, trust me.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

Thanks for the encouragement, con struct.

BTW, tried turning the hi-hat around, it was definitely more comfortable!
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:14 AM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Thanks for the encouragement, con struct.

BTW, tried turning the hi-hat around, it was definitely more comfortable!

Cool glad that worked ;-)
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

Hope it works out well..I had neck surgery in early June, they removed a benign tumor the size of a baseball...I too had gigs lined up all summer, my surgeon who was actually a drummer himself worked with my schedule and suggested 6 weeks minimum without any gigs due to playing intense hard rock and metal I tend to move my head alot... we juggled our schedule traded gigs with other bands we know.. and played 6 weeks to the day... needless to say I was still a little stiff and played the gig Charlie Watts style.... this was the biggest challenge for me not being able to play the way I normally do...so good luck and be careful!!!
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

Thanks Braincramp. I will try to be careful!
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

two weeks ago I had surgery to fuse two of the bones in my right foot. Like Braincramp I worked with the band to limit our gigs over the holidays and find subs for those gigs that were booked...I can't drive or play with my right foot for 6-8 weeks after surgery. I don't know what your doc said or what kind of surgery you had done, but for me keeping the foot elevated and icing it as much as possible has helped cut down on the pain and the swelling. Just don't rush things. It's better to wait a bit longer and have it heal properly than to come back too soon and risk further injury or extent your recovery time. Good luck.

-Roger
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Coming back after surgery

Thanks everyone who read this thread and gave advice or encouragement. I survived the weekend gigs, so I'm happy about that! The foot actually felt fine during the gigs and my playing wasn't too bad. Everyone who commented said they couldn't really tell, though I could tell differences, obviously. My foot has been more swollen and painful in the mornings after gigging, so I'm keeping it elevated and iced and taking it easy. Next gig is in two weeks - should be a piece of cake, relatively speaking.

One other interesting note - because of the change in my balance point or something, I felt more comfortable playing trad grip. I haven't played a whole gig traditional grip in 20+ years, so it was quite a change! Pretty fun, actually, and it created some different nuances. Now I'm thinking of switching back...

Thanks again. Hope everyone is having a good weekend!
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