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-   -   Tennis: the sport for a lifetime? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=331023)

danix 06-01-2010 05:15 PM

Tennis: the sport for a lifetime?
 
Notice the question mark.
Feeling a little ****ed off and sorry for myself right now.
I've been playing since roughly the age of 12.
Now, at age 39, I've been through:
- knee scoping. they found cartilage loss, and did microfractures to help
- shoulder scoping. Debur, debride, Mumford. Worked great for a few months and then a different part of the shoulder started hurting. We won't talk about the left shoulder I tore when recovering from surgery on the right side due to a bicycle accident...

Now my knee is acting up again, and I know the next step is an ACI procedure (autologous cartilege injection, aka Carticel). I'm willing to deal with the 6 months of rehab, but according to their site, patients who have it, have a 49% rate of going under the knife again.

I have to start asking myself - is it time to give up competitive tennis? I can't imagine not playing tennis with the mindset that I want to win, and improve, playing tournaments, leagues, whatever. I see 60, 70, 85 year old men and women playing, and I want that to be me.

Obviously I have to have some conversations with my ortho, but if you've been through this, or are going through it, feel free to chime in.

El Diablo 06-01-2010 05:37 PM

Time to challenge yourself with something else, be it swimming, billiards, tournament bridge, chess, tai chi, anything but repetitive trauma. If you keep up what you're doing now, arthritis will complicate the problems you already have in those joints.

scotus 06-01-2010 07:08 PM

Sorry to hear that. Best wishes on your recovery.

But I agree with you that when we say that tennis is a sport for a lifetime, we should add a little footnote:

* Only if you avoid hard surfaces, and stiff racquets and strings.

ab70 06-01-2010 07:14 PM

the same story here volleyball player and then converted to tennis after college... same age... 2 shoulder scopes in last 18 month... SLAP on the right, DCR and clean up on the left... Good enough to play 3.5 doubles to limit serving for 2-3 weeks. I am taking for what it is worth as I can't imagine getting back to 4.0-4.5 singles tournaments and hitting 8-10 hours a week...

Curious what other part of your shoulder hurting after mumford? Still having on and and off issues with my left one that I cleaned up over new years... My 2hbh was my best shot... sucks...

HookEmJeff 06-01-2010 07:29 PM

I would say if you're 3.5 and under...it's probably a lot easier to play tennis for longer.

The higher up the chain you go and the more athletic and physically demanding the points, it's obvious more is asked of your body.

If you started young and are playing the bulk of your tennis on hard courts to boot...I'd say it's NOT really a sport for a lifetime.

Doesn't mean you shouldn't try, though!!!!


Jeff

danix 06-01-2010 09:41 PM

Thanks. I'm a 4.0, could probably be a 4.5 if my body cooperated, but oh well.
ab70 - not really sure. It's definitely muscular, the mumford was just to give more clearance I think. They found little or no tearing at the time, and I rehabbed pretty quickly.

The knee is giving me the most concern at the moment. ACI is described as a pretty painful procedure with a 6-8 week non-weight-bearing period plus 3-8 months recovery time. And with a sub 50% success rate?

tennisdad65 06-01-2010 09:57 PM

1) use a low powered very flexible racquet, great for your arms and control
2) use full natural gut at low tensions, to give you power and great for your arms
3) get the best shoes and insoles on the market
4) play on clay or grass more..
5) play more doubles, hit against the wall, ball machine , light rallying, drills etc.. i.e. have fun.. Playing competitive matches is very hard on the body..
6) massage the major joints and muscles in your body daily like me :)

Fedace 06-01-2010 10:08 PM

i have been only playing doubles for last 4 years and still i have foot injuries and knee problems. and i wear Best shoes in the market.

John55 06-01-2010 10:21 PM

With a 49% chance of going back to surgery for your knee, it would be the most prudent choice to give up competitive tennis, or at the very least, give up singles competitive tennis. As much as you may like a particular sport, battling lifelong ailments as a result of the activity are certainly not worth it in my opinion.

Caloi 06-02-2010 08:04 AM

I'm the same age as you...I feel your pain, literally. I've never had surgery but only because my insurance sucks and I am too damn cheap to do it.

I've been through PT for my right shoulder and both wrists now. Last year my eye doctor took me out of contacts but I cheat and wear them for tennis. He said they were basically making me go blind.

My knees are still fine (knock on wood) (No, seriously, I just knocked on wood laminate) but my hips get sore. I got a bulging disk last winter lifting some stuff around the house.........

Right now my left wist is the biggest problem. It decided to act up totally opposite from my right wrist (unlar side). I'm doing everything I can, ice, heat, NSAID's, but with our short summers here in Caucasia I am NOT resting it now.

I've wondered how much longer I can do this to my body.

Pretty tough stuff for such a "sissy sport". ;)

charliefedererer 06-02-2010 08:46 AM

It sounds like it would be really hard for you to give up tennis entirely, so I'm hoping you won't have to.

But would an extended break help heal that knee without a need for the ACI procedure?

Could a slow return, with greater emphasis on really building up the leg muscles off court, really help the knee?

You aren't even an ounce overweight, are you?

danix 06-02-2010 08:52 AM

I'm hoping I don't have to. If I have to give up playing USTA leagues and tournaments, I will at least continue to coach my daughters and wife, but that's not the same.

The ACI is intended to replace cartilage that is missing in my knee. Rest may help, as would losing weight (I'm not really overweight but being leaner definitely helps your knees). Building up muscle helps prevent tears and other issues, but won't help with what is essentially a bone-on-bone problem.

John55 06-02-2010 09:21 AM

How about switching just to competitive Doubles Matches only?

Less running and shorter points.

jwbarrientos 06-02-2010 09:31 AM

the answer is yes If you got succeed avoiding injuries.

LuckyR 06-02-2010 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by danix (Post 4718821)
I'm hoping I don't have to. If I have to give up playing USTA leagues and tournaments, I will at least continue to coach my daughters and wife, but that's not the same.

The ACI is intended to replace cartilage that is missing in my knee. Rest may help, as would losing weight (I'm not really overweight but being leaner definitely helps your knees). Building up muscle helps prevent tears and other issues, but won't help with what is essentially a bone-on-bone problem.


Well, if you have modern strokes and use the best of modern equipment, I would seriously consider moving to arm friendly equipment. Remember, there is not a ton of information on folks using the stuff long term, you are probably the canary in that coal mine and look at your recent experience.

As to your legs you have a couple of options: play doubles, play on clay, play less competitively, use a brace (which can take you from being barely able to walk to playing like nothing is wrong).

chollyred 06-02-2010 09:38 AM

I asked a doctor buddy of mine "When are you too old to participate?" He replied "When it takes too long to recuperate."

Due to knee issues, I rarely play singles anymore, but love good competitive doubles! The week before last, I played 5 sets on a Friday morning. It takes me about 3 days to recuperate (although my knees complain every time I go up or down stairs). I know I'll pay as I get older. I'm just hoping medical advances will out run my playing life. :)

BMC9670 06-02-2010 09:39 AM

Can't say enough about Har-Tru on the body. Seek it out and play on it as much as possible. I notice a big difference in the feet, knees, hips, and back. Unfortunately, it doesn't help the shoulders. I'm 39 and 6 months post SLAP surgery - first major injury I've ever had. I hope it's a while before my next.

Also, I already have an eye out for my kids (8 and 6). We are a tennis family but I watch their court time, play as much on clay as possible, teach them good warm up and technique, and have them play other sports. I want them to be able to play long into their lives and I already see 12 year old juniors with stress fractures and arm problems.

danix 06-02-2010 11:40 AM

Clay would be great but here in Norcal, it's all hard court. I've actually tossed around the idea of moving to Florida or North Carolina if it would extend my playing career :)

FedererUberAlles 06-02-2010 12:29 PM

wouldn't it be cheaper to build a claycourt or something?

danix 06-02-2010 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FedererUberAlles (Post 4720222)
wouldn't it be cheaper to build a claycourt or something?

Have you seen the price of land around here? :)
Actually, it's a dream of mine to have my own court one day.


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