Recovering from Injury - any medics around?

Kumimajava

Member
Messages
43
Location
Oxford, UK
Hi all,

in case we have any 'medics' on the forum, i thought i'd just ask this, since whichever 'doctor' i ask, i get a different answer.

So here's the story - a good 8 years back I hada spontaneous pneumothorax (i.e. collapsed lung) in my left lung, and eventually it was operated on & was fine thereafter. I didn't play sax for a few years after the op, primarily due to lack of time.

I started playing again a year or so ago, but a month ago had another pneumothorax (this time on right lung), though unrelated to playing the instrument (at the time it collapsed, i hadn't been playing for month & half due to lack of time.. again).

so my question is: how soon is it until I could sensibly start playing again? does anyone else on the forum have experiences of this sort, or know personally anyone else who has?

One doc i asked said 'you can start immediately', another one said 'wait a few weeks', and yet another said 'at least not for a year'. ... hence i'm a bit confused.

Thanks in advance,
Daniel
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Hi all,

in case we have any 'medics' on the forum, i thought i'd just ask this, since whichever 'doctor' i ask, i get a different answer.

So here's the story - a good 8 years back I hada spontaneous pneumothorax (i.e. collapsed lung) in my left lung, and eventually it was operated on & was fine thereafter. I didn't play sax for a few years after the op, primarily due to lack of time.

I started playing again a year or so ago, but a month ago had another pneumothorax (this time on right lung), though unrelated to playing the instrument (at the time it collapsed, i hadn't been playing for month & half due to lack of time.. again).

so my question is: how soon is it until I could sensibly start playing again? does anyone else on the forum have experiences of this sort, or know personally anyone else who has?

One doc i asked said 'you can start immediately', another one said 'wait a few weeks', and yet another said 'at least not for a year'. ... hence i'm a bit confused.

Thanks in advance,
Daniel
Daniel

That's a bugg@, sorry to hear the news. I guess you should be cautious whatever you end up doing. Why the suggested wait, can you do further damage or is it just going to be uncomfortable if you start too soon?
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Hi Daniel, i have band practice tonight, i'll try and remember to ask our Baritone doctor player his thoughts on this. Agree with HD that's a pig, take it easy and don't do yourself any permanent damage. Best wishes Phil :shocked:
 
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K

Kumimajava

Member
Messages
43
Location
Oxford, UK
Hi Daniel, i have band practice tonight, i'll try and remember to ask our Baritone doctor player his thoughts on this. Agree with HD that's a pig, take it easy and don't do yourself any permanent damage. Best wishes Phil :shocked:
Thanks Phil - that would be great.

I do always 'take it easy' - it's always like starting from scratch, long notes etc. for 15min, then a break, then another 15 min later in the day, etc... but as with the left lung, given the nature of the problem, i think it will re-occur until i get it properly operated on :(
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,627
Location
Rugby UK
My medical knowledge comes from 10 years as a Paramedic for Beds and Herts Ambulance service. Lungs are incredibly strong things and are well protested within the ribs, and covered with another protective layer called the pleura. Your spontaneous pneumothorax was probably caused by a weakness such as a cyst or similar problem. You don't say if you suffer with your lungs in any other way, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis, these can all help to cause this type of problem.
As to your question of recovery, two weeks to a month, would be a reasonable time to abstain from playing. When you start again, I would start with some good warm up exercises first and play for short periods regularly, gradually increasing the duration. If you feel any discomfort or pain then stop.
I hope this helps and if anyone can add something to this that would be great.
Good luck with it.
 
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Kumimajava

Member
Messages
43
Location
Oxford, UK
Hi Taz,

thanks for your response - here's a bit more background, for those of you who are interested (and in case, in the future, someone with a similar problem finds this thread). If you are not medically inclined, or sensitive to these things - please don't read any further...

The first time my lung collapsed 8 years ago, it was apparently for 'no reason' after I lost a lot of weight over a short period of time (wihtout actually trying - no diet, exercise, etc - just lost weight). They re-inflated the lung via pleuradesis & that was that. A year later the same (left) lung collapsed again, and they said they'd do a pleurectomy (i.e. operation) to fix it.

After the op, they did a CT scan of my chest to check for 'blebs' (small 'cysts' in the lungs) and found that I had some in the right lung as well. They doc said they don't 'pre-emptively' operate on an otherwise healthy lung, but she said she thinks 'one day the other lung will probably start misbehaving too'.

So two months ago I felt my right lung collapse, and that was fixed via 'aspiration'. Three weeks again, it collapsed for the second time (wasn't playing sax then, obviously), and was again aspirated. at the 2-week checkup, the lung seemed ok, and the doc seemed to think that each 'collapse' was due to a different 'bleb' bursting rather than the same one misbehaving agian. Nonetheless, thye've referred me to the surgeons for discussing an 'elective pleurectomy' on the right lung, even if it doesn't go spontaneously again.

Hope this explains a bit more - and if that would elicit further comments from you guys, please do speak up.

I'm sure whatever advice I get here now will be valuable for the next guy who comes along with the same problem (and i've struggled to find any info on this specific issue elsewhere on the web).

Thanks again guys,
Daniel
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,627
Location
Rugby UK
Hi Daniel, I'm quite pleased with myself as I've been out of service for about 8 years, it just show my brain's not as rusty as I thought.
When you go for your next consultation explain that you are a saxophonist and use your lungs to their full capacity. I'd try to persuade them to give you an MRI, CT(cat) or similar scan (I couldn't suggest which type of scan as some show "things" better than others) but they need to have a good idea whats happening elsewhere in your lung/chest cavity.
I hope that helps a little more. It's over to the more knowledgeable now.....I think I need a lie down :eek:
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Hi Daniel, spoke to our specialist he said pretty much what Taz said, it can repair if operated on but you cant work as a deep sea diver or Astronaut. Get well soon Phil
 
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