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View Full Version : Crossfitting after retinal detachment?


katheryn wood
07-11-2011, 09:44 PM
Hi all,

This is my first post...I had been xfitting for about 2 months and was really starting to love it when I suffered a "curtain" across my vision and found out I had a detached retina. 2 procedures and 1 surgery later, I am recovering and hoping to regain my vision back.

Has anyone experienced this issue and been able to successfully return to xfit? Needless to say, the retinal specialist says "no way".

katheryn wood
07-12-2011, 09:26 AM
I should add....I worked out Wed night and woke up Thursday with the vision problem...I'm 41 with no medical history that would explain retinal detachment (diabetes, etc.). I did have a "run in" with the corner of my hardwood wine cabinet a few years ago, but it's hard to know if that is related at all.

I had my heart set on training for a competition and would be **really** bummed if I can't return. It goes without saying, though, that my vision is of paramount importance....I just want my cake (paleo, of course) and to eat it, too!

Steven Low
07-12-2011, 08:02 PM
I would listen to your medical professional about this.

May be a good idea to take up some other type of training competitively instead of CF.

What did the retical specialist recommend as far as exercise?

katheryn wood
07-13-2011, 01:12 AM
He recommended the treadmill or yoga.

I'm just trying to do some research as I think it's not high on his radar....most of the folks I run into while at his office are older than myself and not necessarily at the same "activity level", if you will.

I do respect his professional opinion and don't want to jeopardize my eye health, but I do wonder if his outlook is more narrow than is medically necessary. I've tried to find information about anything pertaining to eyes and exercise, but haven't come up with much.

Whether I continue with crossfit is secondary to finding out what my future exercise can safely look like without being relegated to water aerobics the rest of my life, lol. I truly am curious to find solid research on the subject.

Steven Low
07-13-2011, 08:09 AM
May not be a bad idea to get a second opinion on types of exercises that are recommended.

Lifting weights, for example, increases pressure(s) within the body. How much would they say would be too much?

Running is not horrible. Sprinting is very good quality exercise (but I'm not sure they meant sprinting... probably long distance stuff).

katheryn wood
07-14-2011, 09:28 AM
Thank you for your responses, Steven.

He only approves of walking on the treadmill. See my frustration?

I'm just so surprised there isn't more written on the subject. With people staying active longer, it's just surprising.

Bryan Kemper
07-14-2011, 11:47 AM
Did he mention what type of retinal detachment? Do you have a significant amount of nearsightedness?

How many athletes/excercise enthusiasts does this doc deal with in his practice?

Matthew Fried
07-14-2011, 12:26 PM
I am not a doctor, nor have I suffered a full retinal detachment.

However a few years back I did get walloped in the eye, directly, with a soccer ball & experienced temporary (1-2 hours) loss of vision and floaters & pain for a few days afterwards.

Visits to my specialist included thorough examination, discussion, & follow up 6 months later. I avoided full retinal detachment, luckily, but as an athlete I did discuss the severity & implications of F.R.D. with the specialist.

The doctor did mention that these things can get worse over time - hence the 6 month post visit follow up with recommendations to check every year thereafter. So it could be related to your prior incident.

More importantly though is 'what you should do going forward?'. It sounds like your doctor feels this is a very serious problem, not worth the risk of any further high-impact to the area.

Are you going to drop a barbell directly on your eyeball? Probably not. But could sprinting, jumping, & repeated exertion 'loosen' your retina again? Maybe.

I think that my doctor would have agreed. From what I recall, the consequences to your eyesight could be irreversible with further injury. I wear goggles now when playing any contact sport.

A 2nd professional opinion couldn't hurt. Good luck, whatever they say.

katheryn wood
07-14-2011, 02:19 PM
My joke lately is that I'm the only patient in his office w/o hearing aids...so, no, my guess is he doesn't deal with many athletes, but, he also said he performs these procedures almost daily now, so it is not **that** unusual.

I do have "stubborn vitreous" with regards to the detachment...tears kept forming after the first two procedures (laser and cryotherapy w/pneumatic retinopexy) and so he just did surgery (vitrectomy) last week and I will have a gas bubble in my eye for another 6-8 weeks. So, all of the vitreous has been removed and will be replaced with my own fluid. Right now, my eyelid won't even open much, so I have bigger fish to fry right now than exercise, but I do have the time right now to check into my options. Going from 3-5 workouts/week to NOTHING has taken a toll...it was a painful first week of my body adjusting.

I don't think I was "severely" nearsighted... -3.50 was my Rx in the affected eye prior to this ordeal. He said my Rx will be completely obsolete after this, though. I can see nothing but shadows and major movements up close due to the gas bubble, so it will be a few more weeks before I get a clearer picture....lol...of what my vision will be like.

His concern is that I remain low impact. He did laser on the "good eye" prior to the vitrectomy because it "was at risk for detachment" also. Bottom line is that I value my eyesight, but also have the body type that I NEED exercise. I'm too young to throw in the towel.

Bryan Kemper
07-14-2011, 02:46 PM
With that information, the doc seems spot in his recommendation for nothing high impact. Take it easy for a while and recover. Let things come back to normal, then you should be good to resume what you like to do. Don't rush it.

katheryn wood
07-15-2011, 08:50 AM
Thanks, everyone.

Neil Kanterman
07-16-2011, 03:34 PM
What exactly was done in the surgeries? I'm assuming you had a scleral buckle and perhaps a vitrectomy?

katheryn wood
07-17-2011, 05:13 PM
Procedure 1: cryotherapy w/Pneumatic Retinopexy; 10 days facedown recovery

Procedure 2: Laser with HUGE black eye from "block shot"...finally faded after a month

Tears kept forming in different spots...thus, Procedure 3: vitrectomy w/Pneumatic Retinopexy AGAIN for 2 weeks of 24/7 facedown recovery AND scleral buckle.

(((sigh))) Still in facedown...don't know how much vision I'll have, only have shadows and colors right now.

Feel like a total slug with no activity...have contemplated light weights or yoga, but have been told to do NOTHING. I've done light stretching out of necessity.