Surgery On Pedrosa's Collarbone And Shoulder A Success

Ever since his crash at Motegi, caused by a sticking throttle, Dani Pedrosa has been plagued with a mysterious shoulder problem, causing numbness and weakness in his left arm. The Repsol Honda star had been hoping that the problem would pass over the winter, with rest over the enforced winter break allowing his shoulder to heal. That was not to be the case, however, as the issue resurfaced during the first race of 2011 at Qatar, Pedrosa getting off his bike after the race obviously in extreme discomfort.

Since then, multiple tests have been done to try and locate the cause of this problem, with the brachial plexus - the bundle of nerves controlling the arm, sitting directly under the collarbone - as the prime suspect, but tests carried out last week finally nailed down the cause. The screws holding down the plate inserted to fixate Pedrosa's collarbone were found to be blocking the subclavian artery - the artery that feeds all of the blood into Pedrosa's left arm - when he held his arm in specific positions.

Yesterday, Pedrosa underwent surgery to remove that plate, as well as clean up some excess scar tissue that had accumulated around the artery. During surgery, tests were carried out to ensure that the blood flow was once again normal, before the surgery was completed. Pedrosa will now remain in hospital for the next two days, before being sent home to recover further.

With tests confirming the return of full blood flow to Pedrosa's arm, the surgery may be judged a success. The only concern Pedrosa has is that the removal of the screws leave his collarbone weakened, the bone taking 4-6 weeks to heal over completely. What's more, the plate fitted is designed to support the collarbone for 12 months, and having it removed after just 6 months may leave Pedrosa's collarbone not quite at 100%. For these reasons, Pedrosa's participation in the Estoril Grand Prix is still not completely certain, though the chances of him missing the race are slim. Pedrosa will undergo medical tests to assess his recovery next week, and a decision will be made then.

The full text of the official Repsol Honda press release is shown below:

Dani Pedrosa undergoes successful operation

Dani Pedrosa has undergone successful surgery at Teknon Medical Centre, in Barcelona, to decompress his left subclavian artery and is expected to recover satisfactorily. The intervention was performed by Dr. César García-Madrid, vascular surgeon, and Dr. Joaquim Casañas, trauma and orthopaedic surgeon, both specialists at Teknon.

In order to release the arterial compression, the titanium plate and the screws fixed to the collarbone have been removed. The subclavian artery has also been separated from the fibrotic tissues that surrounded costoclavicular space. At the same time, intraoperative angiography by minimally invasive transfemoral approach confirmed the return of the subclavian flow.

The medical checks performed last week at Institut Vascular Sala Planell, including several physical tests and four dimensional CT with contrast in specific positions, confirmed that the symptoms of pain, numbness and lack of strength in Dani's left arm were due to compression of the subclavian artery secondary to the collarbone fracture.

Dani Pedrosa, will remain in hospital for a further 48 hours to continue treatment with analgesia and anti-inflammatories. Next week he will visit the doctors again to determine his rehabilitation, in order to participate in the Grand Prix of Portugal, to be held in Estoril on May 1st.

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Get well soon Dani - I for one enjoy watching you get passed. ;-)

So Lorenzo has another weakened rival - Rossi physically last year, and on a gimpy bike so far this season. Will he join the "just lucky" line that Hayden seems to be at the head of since 2006? Five (5), just less than six riders parted the Jerez seas to get Nicky to the podium. Colin Edwards, once again, being passed by Nicky on the last lap when his bike broke. If it wasn't for bad luck, Colin would have had no luck at all.

Hopefully there will be enough time for Dani's recovery before things get going again. He'll be lucky if it doesn't affect him.

I don't think it's right to imply Hayden was just "lucky" to get his podium spot. Colin's misfortune was indeed a completely random event but Simoncelli, Spies and Crutchlow falls are what often happens when riders push too hard. With all the riders trying to get as close to the limit as possible, it's not "luck" if you're able to stay on the right side of that line. You could just as easily say Hayden was the better judge of those tricky conditions and that's why he finished the race.


Other than Stoner and Edwards the other crashes were self induced. And Stoner had a lot of laps left.

You first have to finish - before you can finish first.

I did mean to imply that Nicky got a podium finish *only* due to being lucky. (your words -just "lucky"). I did not intend to imply he was not deserving of finishing third, nor that he got there through poor sportsmanship. I did mean to say that Nicky is often reported as being lucky. quote from a UK based MotoGP site,"Luck and judgement helped Nicky Hayden take Ducati's first podium of the season in Sunday's dramatic Spanish MotoGP at Jerez." Nicky was good and lucky Sunday.

I cannot imagine that Nicky does not feel like he had a penny in his shoe, a horseshoe in on the tank, and a lucky four-leaf-clover between the toes of his rabbit foot. He kept his Ducati on the track and it did not break down. He did what it took to finish on the podium, but he did get help from other's misfortune and mistakes.

I cannot recall the last time someone made it to the podium when four riders passed him on the race course without him passing them back again. Here's how it went down: Rossi on lap 2 (fell on lap 7, finished 5th), Pedrosa on lap 11 (finished 2nd), Spies on lap 12 (fell on lap 24, DNF), Edwards on lap 25 (DNF). His margin of victory over 4th place was half a second - the closest time difference of all other finishers in this race by an order of magnitude (Loris finished 3.4 seconds after Hopper). He just held on to his spot, but hang on he did. I'm not trying to sip from Nicky's bubbly glass, just acknowledge that is must taste a little sweeter knowing that many things beyond his control needed to happen for him to be on the stand.

Nicky did pass a mess of folks at the start, then #11 on lap 3 and #4 on lap 6 - but never passed these four riders after they passed him the last time. Those guys binned it, or got boned, or in #7's case, came up half a second to slow over the course of the race.

So I am saying, and Nicky acknowledged in his post race comments, that he was fortunate to finish where he did.

My comments on Dani go back to 2006 when he took out his Repsol teammate, then his mentor/manager said it was Nicky's fault. Can you imagine Rossi, or anyone associated with him blaming Stoner for the wreck!... oh, that's a different thread ;-)

.... Puig saying it was Hayden fault. That makes me laugh even today.

Anyway Nick may have been a little luck but he is such a nice guy (and a serious devoted professionist which is less spectacular than talent but more hard work) that I believe he deserve it all :)

"I for one enjoy watching you get passed." nozzle

Are you sure thats fair given Dani in '11 has made a tremendous effort at the front.

Dani, and VR, racing a motogp tiger semi one handed gets my ADMIRATION.

Great news, hope Dani will be back to full fitness asap... Defo a serious contender this year, whilst Jorge is ahead there are plenty of quick tracks to come where the honda power will crush the opposition, all we need now is for the Ducati effort to reach it's goals quickly. Having said that going of that weekend it looks like Rossi has taken over Caseys mantle in the wet so any wet race you have to figure Ducati will be a serious threat. Now sort the dry..
Season is only 2 races in anything can and will happen..

Rossi was over a minute behind the winner - Lorenzo - at Jerez, despite only losing 30 seconds scratching around in the kitter litter. So Rossi needs to work out the whole damn thing for the dry and how to manage his tyres in a marginal wet race. In short Rossi needs a word with Stoner on both fronts!

I wish Pedrosa a speedy recovery as I don't want to see Lorenzo go unchallenged after gaining a healthy lead at such an early stage in the championship. Good luck.

I had a plate in my leg TWICE. Had them removed after they were in for a year. Felt incredibly better the very next day. Yes, the holes left behind will leave weak spots. As the racing Dr. Kieffer said to me in his trailer after looking of film of my collar bone, it's not the racing you should worry about, it is the crashing...

I just had a big plate and a toolbox full of screws yanked from my leg about a year and a half ago myself and can attest also to the immediate relief. It really is pretty amazing that through the new pain derived from the removal surgery itself, you can pretty much immediately feel that old "ache" has gone.

That said, I'm obviously in no way comparing my tenured recovery to what these guys do. I have to say that early on in his GP career I was no fan of Pedrosa's (I'm an old Hayden fan from his TCR flattrack days) but that little guy has shown a kind of toughness on track that commands respect if nothing else. After his gutsy performance at Qatar last year I actually started rooting for him. Pretty amazing how things change like that.

Best of luck with the recovery Dani, get well soon.

I think he has been incredibly gutsy to post two strong podiums under such physical duress. The show desperately needs a fit Pedrosa - and not just as a bit part player - he's right in this title fight this year I believe. Nothing I've seen to date through testing or racing suggests otherwise to me.

Nozzle. I think you'll find on balance over the years that Hayden has been standing towards to back of the luck queue. He was overdue his Jerez podium on this basis.

I'm glad Dani has got his season off to a great start given the problem that surfaced in Qatar.Good thing for him that the tragic events in Japan bought him time to recuperate.
The Motegi reprieve last year bought Valentino precious shoulder recovery time,only for him to blow it in Mugello.Strange parallel.
I've watched Dani carefully since his 250 days and I have to admire his savvy racing brain and tough as nails approach to his game.
He gets a lot of criticism for not fighting enough when passed,but I reckon he just err's on the side of caution in those situations.A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush may describe his approach when in doubt.
No doubt he will race in Estoril and play it on its merits as he always does.
Good on him.

Some say Dani's injury would have worsen since a fall he had while training on a motocross shortly before Losail GP.
To add insult to injury, the motocross would have been a...Kawasaki.
Have you heard anything about this? It's not a reliable information, this is why I'm asking.