Return to Looks like no or limited paddling for me this season.

Osteolysis story…


Ok Jenny,

You sound like you’re expressing frustration and sarcasm… Here’s a story that will give you some indication of what I’m talking about re. ‘putting your mind to it’…

In 2002, after my last rugby season, and shortly after an unbelievable car crash (ask anyone who worked/went to MKC in 2002… I nearly landed the car in the Madawaska River… $24,000 car, $22,000 damage; insurance estimate), I developed a debilitating shoulder pain… I literally could not put my hand behind my back, or even touch my chest, without serious pain.

Turns out I had osteolysis of the distal clavicle, but that took me over a year, and at least 10 different sports therapists/doctors to figure out. I’ll try to make a long story short by giving you a list of people I saw for treatment/assesment:

1. Dr. Steve Gawron (a sports doctor who has worked with Gryphon rugby & several team Canada players)

2. Dr. David Levy (David Levy, (HR) BA, MD, CCFP, FCFP, DOHS, Dip Sport Med
Associate Clinical Professor
Department of Family Medicine
McMaster University
Director, Primary Care Sport Medicine Clinic
McMaster University Medical Centre
Mohawk College and McMaster University Varsity Clinic
Medical Director, Hamilton TigerCat Football Team and
Toronto Rock Lacrosse Team
Hamilton, Ontario )

3. Joseph Pelino BSc DC DACBSP (Chiropractor. Soft Tissue Institute, Toronto)

4. Cheryl Richardson (Physiotherapist. CBI, Toronto)

5. Charlotte Savella (Physiotherapist. Adleaide Health Clinic, Toronto)

6. Dr. John Ho MD Dip Sport Med (Adleaide Health Clinic, Toronto)

7. Brek Harris RMT Osteopathic Practitioner (Wellington Chiropractic, Guelph)

8. David Lee (Chiropractor, Adelaide Health Clinic, Toronto)

9. A student of Dr. Chan Gunn (for ‘dry-needling’ acupuncture, in B.C., can’t remember her name)

That’s only a partial list!

In the end it took two and a half years, 100’s of hours of rehab exercises, a list of massage therapists that I won’t even begin to try to type out, and tens of $1000’s from my car insurance company, OHIP, and personal cash. I had one MRI, two sets of X-rays, one cortisone injection, and one series of nerve testing…..

My right shoulder is now stronger than it has ever been. I can shoulder press 70lb dumbells for 5 reps, climb 5.11 lead, and I kayak as often as work will allow. Less than three years ago my clavicle was riddled with stress fractures, and it was literally being eaten by my body.

That’s one of the many serious sports/accident injuries I have suffered. I’ve had three others that were just as serious, but that one was the hardest to fix (it’s still unknown whether the osteolysis was from rugby tackling, or the car crash)… All of them are now 110% from where they were.

So, it is possible…


My Hamstring is stronger, end of story… I can heel hook on V5 bouldering problems like never before… I can straight-leg deadlift 225lbs for 8 reps. My range of motion has been increased through Yoga. I can still feel the indentation in the Hamstring where it was torn, nonetheless, it works better than ever! Perhaps other muscles are compensating… All I know is that it works better now, and I was straight leg deadlifting 185lbs beforehand, so I wasn’t weak… Isolation exercises are stonger too (open chain hamstring curls). I reach a few inches further past my toes in stretch tests. All practical measurements of strength and flexibility say my hamstring is better now than it was before it was strained/torn (bad enough that you could feel a substantial indentation running a hand along my leg). I can’t explain it, it’s just true.