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Slowtwitch Forums: Triathlon Forum:
Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash

 

   


BabyT

Jul 2, 09 11:02

Post #1 of 10 (4037 views)
Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash Quote | Reply

I'm still recovering from a bike crash 2 1/2 weeks ago, with a thrid degree laceration/road rash on my elbow that still hasn't closed. It's healing slowly; however, there's still about a 6mm diameter break/hole in the skin. I'm looking for advice from those with experience in this type of injury as to whether, or not, it's advisable to get back into the pool or go open water swimming. I have an IM race 3 1/2 weeks out.


BeachboyWI

Jul 2, 09 11:06

Post #2 of 10 (4034 views)
Re: Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash [BabyT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

You might be ok in a chlorinated pool. But I'd be careful. a bad infection can knock you on your ass. I'd stay out of the open water until that is healed over better. But if you must...clean it really really well right after you swim. I've used hydrogen peroxide for that. But you will slow down the healing quite a bit.

Will you really lose any fitness for that race by not swimming for a few more days/a week. Let it heal more and get in the water with 2 weeks to go to make sure you get your feel for the water back.
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gmccormi

Jul 2, 09 11:14

Post #3 of 10 (4016 views)
Re: Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash [BabyT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I came off my motorcycle a few years back and had some pretty serious road rash (along with a few other choice injuries). After the inital patch job at the ER I ended up seeing a dermatologist who advised to steer clear of pools, lakes, and the beach until the skin completely closed up. You've got a pretty serious risk of infection there. Aparently once your scabbed up, your ok, but if there's any open wound you're probably safer steering clear.


jyeager

Jul 2, 09 11:38

Post #4 of 10 (3988 views)
Re: Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash [BabyT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Ask your Dr. if you could safely swim with Tegaderm applied. It's a water tight post-surgical dressing.


justfast

Jul 2, 09 11:57

Post #5 of 10 (3968 views)
Re: Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash [BabyT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
I'm still recovering from a bike crash 2 1/2 weeks ago, with a thrid degree laceration/road rash on my elbow that still hasn't closed. It's healing slowly; however, there's still about a 6mm diameter break/hole in the skin. I'm looking for advice from those with experience in this type of injury as to whether, or not, it's advisable to get back into the pool or go open water swimming. I have an IM race 3 1/2 weeks out.

Inadvisable to do so.
You put yourself and others at risk for infection/cross-contamination.
Wait until you have a scab on the rash prior to swimming in public pools.


Oleander

Jul 2, 09 12:54

Post #6 of 10 (3932 views)
Re: Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash [BabyT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Please don't do it.

Last summer, I got into a chlorinated pool 10 days after my road-rash incident. I thought the wound had closed; but apparently it hadn't. It got infected. I ended up in the hospital with infectious elbow bursitis. That stuff can get really, really serious. (I was lucky that mine didn't; the antibiotics took their effect). But my elbow, swollen and painful for weeks following the infection, almost derailed my Ironman race. I was unable to ride (the bouncing hurt), drive my car (the vibrations hurt), swim, or climb into a wetsuit, for a few weeks.

Repeat. Don't do it!


MarcK

Jul 2, 09 13:13

Post #7 of 10 (3914 views)
Re: Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash [BabyT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Last summer while trail running around a lake, I tripped on a rock and bashed my knee. I was exactly half way across the lake, so decided to swim the 600 meters back to my family rather than limp the remaining 4 miles on the trail around the lake.

It was a nice looking clear mountain lake with public beaches on it, but I ended up with a nasty Staph infection. The infection did some lasting damage to me knee joint and completely laid me up for two weeks. I barely moved for the first week of the infection and lost a ton of fitness.

It's odd that your elbow has still not closed after 2.5 weeks. I imagine you are still running and riding heavily and hard-core Ironman training can suppress your immune system, slowing recovery and making you more susceptible to infections that usual. I would not risk it if I were you. Even a disastrous swim won't cost you more than 10 minutes, which is chump change over an IM.


kaolelo

Jul 2, 09 13:50

Post #8 of 10 (3882 views)
Re: Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash [BabyT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

i very much agree with everyone above. if you are swimming in a pool, you can risk others and yourself by swimming, either by transmitting an infection or getting one (chlorine can't really deal with all the pathogens that are out there). in a lake or ocean, there's plenty of staph around. better to stay out of the water until you are at least scabbed up, but probably healed, since many scabs will come off with prolonged soaking.


Omega

Jul 2, 09 20:15

Post #9 of 10 (3823 views)
Re: Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash [BabyT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

You know you are a triathlete when......

you get a third degree laceration/road rash on the elbow that still hasn't closed and want to get back to swimming ASAP. :)


ndenezzo

Jul 2, 09 20:55

Post #10 of 10 (3803 views)
Re: Can I Swim Pool and/or Open Water with Third Degree Laceration/Road Rash [Omega] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
You know you are a triathlete when......

you get a third degree laceration/road rash on the elbow that still hasn't closed and want to get back to swimming ASAP. :)
Nah, that's more of a swimmer thing. Any triathlete I know will take any excuse they can get to avoid getting in the pool! ;-)

To the OP: Seriously, as others have said, stay out of the water for now. You risk serious infection, along with contaminating the water for others. You need to wait at least until all wounds have scabbed over before getting in the pool.
I went through a very similar situation a couple months ago, and I know how much it sucks. But honestly, you're better off waiting a week or two than getting an infection and risking the rest of your year (or your arm).

   
 
 
 



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