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Thread: One-armed paddling

  1. #1

    Default One-armed paddling

    My wife has had an elbow replacement (she fell over the dog!). She has been advised to put no more strain on it than the equivalent of lifting a bag of sugar. So the question is: is there any way for her to either paddle one-handed or with minimal strain on her new elbow?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urabus124 View Post
    My wife has had an elbow replacement (she fell over the dog!). She has been advised to put no more strain on it than the equivalent of lifting a bag of sugar. So the question is: is there any way for her to either paddle one-handed or with minimal strain on her new elbow?
    A couple of thoughts.... paddling one handed is possible but very difficult, I have tried but I would suggest your wife would need to develop some serious muscle build in her good arm. Paddling and only putting little strain on her elbow I think can be achieved. If you imagine holding a large box in front of you (now replace the box with your paddle).
    By swiveling on your waist you can generate sufficent momentum without too much pressure on the elbow. That said, when paddling tandem with my wife I often provide 80 to 90% of the power as she has tendon issues in her wrists that restrict the amount of paddling she can achieve.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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    It would be useful to know if there's a direction in which the limit applies, for example, is that with the elbow bent, or straight, pushing or pulling? It's quite possible to paddle with your top arm straight, so a suitable elbow support to keep the arm straight would mean it was mainly a compression along the arm - which I'd guess would be the least damaging, but I'm structural engineer not an orthopedic surgeon!

  4. #4

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    As I understand it the replacement is inserted on a spike down the end of the radius and the danger is it pulling out or working lose when flexing.

  5. #5
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    It is possible to paddle one handed, but it puts a lot of strain on that arm/wrist/muscles, so I would suggest its only done very lightly or risk further injury. Trying a very gentle paddle stroke making sure the arm is kept straight may be worth it, but I'd tend towards letting her be a passenger for a while so as to ensure long term recovery.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

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  6. #6
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    Hi There,

    Here are a few places for resources:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/546260528872890/
    http://www.equaladventure.org/
    https://www.creatingability.com/paddle-adaptations/

    There are a few options that can be used depending on the function of the arm. It certainly is very achievable and something that can be mastered. From small attachments onto the shoulder strap through to more sophisticated attachments it can be achieved.

    Happy to give further advice if required...

    Cheers

  7. #7
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    You are all thinking about this the wrong way......

    Place wife in the front , nice and comfy, a glass of bubbly in hand and paddle a bit harder whilst muttering under your breath " you owe me " and saying out loud " its because i love you dear"

  8. #8
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    I think Dr Joe has a video somewhere demonstrating his technique for paddling one handed. You may have to search through his posts on this forum unless someone else here (Dr Joe perhaps?) remembers where it is.

  9. #9
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    Or she could just sit in the stern and steer, assuming you're just going to do stillwater that won't need powerful steering strokes. You get to put the power down at the front...
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  10. #10
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    The only style of one handed paddling I'm familiar with is a variation on the technique used in a coracle and essentially useless in an open canoe.

    I'm imagining something like a Thames skiff, where you get to row while she gets to steer.

    http://www.whisperingreeds.net/wp-co...swissskiff.png
    Last edited by DougR; 29th-August-2018 at 07:53 PM.
    This post may vanish at any moment.

  11. #11
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    Would North woods style work? I've never quite got to grips with it but my understanding is it's more about rocking the body back and forth than pulling on the blade.

    Or perhaps some sort of brace (either ridgid or articulated) to stop the force going through the new prosthetic joint?

    Most medics are keen to see their patients doing exercise so it might be worth taking a paddle along to a checkup with the physio/specialist so they can see the movement involved?
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  12. #12

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    Try a Praddle?
    https://www.force4.co.uk/force-4-praddle.html
    Not something I've ever seen in a canoeing context - they used to be common in sailing dinghies as a back up for being becalmed.

    Jon

  13. #13
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    An interesting solution for paddlers who can't paddle is the Hobie Mirage drive: https://www.hobie.com/miragedrive/
    Or an electric motor.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan... View Post
    You are all thinking about this the wrong way......

    Place wife in the front, nice and comfy, a glass of bubbly in hand and paddle a bit harder whilst muttering under your breath " you owe me " and saying out loud " its because i love you dear"
    This. We lay a duvet down in the boat, cushions, blanket on top, picnic hamper, etc etc. Think of the immense number of brownie points it would generate for future redemption against trips/gear...

    Renditions of "just one cornetto" are of course optional.
    I refuse to let the fact that I haven't got a clue what I'm doing hold me back.

  15. #15

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    You haven't heard me sing Bob! More likely to end in divorce or bleeding ears!!!

  16. #16
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    Just curious, is the elbow replacement recent, and is the bag of sugar weight/effort limit permanent or for a recovery period?
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!

  17. #17
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    A few years ago, my OH fell & shattered her glenoid bone & completely dislocated her shoulder - 3 screws & some titanium wires & some weeks later, the docs wouldn't let her paddle, but said she could (carefully) come out on a not-too-challenging trip as long as there was no paddling & no carrying anything...... I was becoming borderline-homicidal after weeks of being trapped in town being the "carer"... so, off we went. Forget the one-armed paddling, just become a ferryman.... I blogged it here: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...-Runcorn-Ferry

  18. #18

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    Elbow was broken (in at least 8 places plus some 'sawdust') just over 2 years ago. It was originally held together with plates and screws but the bone wasn't knitting. So full replacement was done just over a year ago. Advice was to prolong the life of the joint so permanent. She CAN use it more but it will hasten the need for a further replacement.

  19. #19

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    Great trip report sk8r. I think I might end up as ferryman as you say. We might try me a front providing motive power and OH steering as someone else suggested.

  20. #20
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    I tried all sorts of things when I did my wrist in a couple of years back, what worked best was anchoring the top of a shortened paddle to the shoulder of my buoyancy aid.
    Fran

    Photobucket stole my sig



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Rascal View Post
    Try a Praddle?
    https://www.force4.co.uk/force-4-praddle.html
    Not something I've ever seen in a canoeing context - they used to be common in sailing dinghies as a back up for being becalmed.

    Jon
    spot on

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urabus124 View Post
    Elbow was broken (in at least 8 places plus some 'sawdust') just over 2 years ago. It was originally held together with plates and screws but the bone wasn't knitting. So full replacement was done just over a year ago. Advice was to prolong the life of the joint so permanent. She CAN use it more but it will hasten the need for a further replacement.
    Until I read this, I was going to say "do lots of physio and strength will return". Now I doubt that. Obviously there are issues.

    2 years ago I had a fall, displaced my metacarpals (bone in palm of hand) on to *top* of my wrist, broke end of my radius into 3 pieces and pulverised several of the carpal bones. Subsequent surgery removed most of ligaments that connect the bones of the forearm to the main ligaments, installed a major graft and a 1/4" lump of stainless. They thought I wouldn't regain full use of three of my fingers. Spent 3 months in plaster.
    I worked *hard* at recovery, I have full use of all my fingers, can lift weights, paddle, do pushups, ride a bike, play flute (v. badly). It still isn't stable, but it functions.

    For your wife, I don't think a one-armed paddle is a good solution. Too much stress all on one side will cause spinal problems. IMHO she needs a 'stick' paddle. Something with such a cut-down narrow blade that she can't put much load on it, so she doesn't overload the damaged joint.

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