Pol Espargaro Undergoes Surgery For Arm Pump

Pol Espargaro has had surgery on his right arm to fix a problem with arm pump, the rider's management team has announced in a press release. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider was operated on in Madrid by Dr. Angel Villamor, widely regarded as one of the top authorities on treating compartment syndrome, and the surgeon who treated Dani Pedrosa. The surgery is judged to have gone well, and Espargaro is due to be examined again at the end of the week.

Espargaro had suffered sporadic problems with arm pump for some time, but had not felt the problem was bad enough to require surgery. After the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, the Tech 3 rider had undergone extensive physiotherapy to try to treat the condition, but a more severe attack during the race in Le Mans, had decided that surgery was the only option to cure the problem. Espargaro had suffered a severe lack of strength in his right arm from lap 7 of the French GP onwards, and this had been the deciding factor. In the press statement, Espargaro said "in reality, I had noticed this feeling in my forearms several times before, but never gave it too much importance. But in the last two races it was a bit worse. In Jerez, I put it down to the type of track and the effort I had used in the first laps trying to follow Lorenzo and Marquez, and then Rossi and Crutchlow, but in Le Mans it was worse, because it affected my riding very quickly."

Espargaro elected to have surgery as quickly as possible, so that he had as much time as possible to recover ahead of the next race. The Italian Grand Prix at Mugello takes place in twelve days time, giving him time to prepare for that race.

It has been a busy week in medical terms for both Espargaro brothers. While Pol was having surgery for arm pump in Madrid, Aleix was under the knife to fix the ligaments he tore in a crash in FP3 at Le Mans.

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"Hey Pol, come visit me in hospital! And bring some pizza and the Playstation."
"My arm pump is bugging me, get a room for two!"

Those two Espargaros do EVERYTHING together. They should date a set of twins.

Any medical clinicians reading that can speak to what was done in the years before cutting the binding tissue was prevalent? I don't remember hearing about it so much before the 4 strokes. When did it arise? Was there less strain being placed on forearms years ago when riding styles and bike characteristics were different? Have any riders had complications and problems from it? Is it going to happen in a factory team truck in the paddock in 20 yrs?

Some explanation here:


Current opinion seems to be that arm pump is becoming more and more common due to the immense braking power of carbon brake rotors; the human body just doesn't seem up to repeated assaults of the level that current MotoGP braking technology delivers.

You don't really see it in WSB (and all WSB riders who come to MotoGP are agog at the braking power of their new steed) but it's been fairly common in motocross for a while. Again, riders maxxing out their muscle strength over and over with no respite.

Ditch the carbon. We keep hearing how the bikes are so fast that some tracks cannot meet safety requirements due to the amount of runoff now required, top speeds are getting too high, weight limits are being played around with, reducing grip of the tyres is being proposed, and proposed rev limits are upsetting Honda. Surely ditching the carbon brakes is a simple cost effective way of reducing lap times? If a rider has to start braking 50 metres earlier the bike is not going to reach as high top speed on the straight is it? And we don't hear of the heavier SBKs running out of brakes either so steel is not inferior in terms of safety or it's ability to last a race distance, Moto2 doesn't seem to have any problems either. Is there any technical reason this could not be implemented in MotoGP David?

Most of the speed is gained in the first half of a straight. The bikes don't gain much speed towards the last 50 meters. Going at 300kph (lower end of top-speeds at MotoGP circuits), 50 meters are covered in 0.6 seconds. The drag at 300kph is so high that you won't gain too much speed in 0.6 seconds. Maybe somewhere around 5kph lesser top speed which doesn't really make much of a difference. That's like the difference between a factory and a satellite bike.

Qatar : 1068m longest straight - Top speed 346kph

Le Mans : 674m longest straight - Top speed 317kph

400 extra meters only give you 29kph extra top speed.

Firstly why the arm pump issues is becoming so popular(common) these days, it seems like every other rider wants it. Jokes apart.....

Always noticed that apart from honda riders very few suffered with this problem. Casey, dani, bradl were the victims 3 years ago and now marc in jerez. Well that was due to his right arm compensating for lack of strength in left. But still now its spreading like a virus. Never seen rossi complaining of it and even lorenzo.

And the latest tweet of casey "Happy the guys/girls @DucatiMotor are getting some reward for their effort, nice seeing @AndreaDovizioso @andreaiannone29 up the sharp end!"
(seems like after being snubbed by honda he is missing his ducati days and i think also he wants to maybe test for ducati or just create some curiosity in the HRC management by his tweet)

Whoops this was a reply to the wrong post. Perhaps if use it to start a Rossi-Stoner fight David will delete it for me ; )

Thanks for the post above V4. Braking on carbon makes sense. I feel like there is more too on a few other variables (guessing), and that braking sounds like the primary culprit. Hard to separate that from the Uber sticky Bstone front tire we have now too which transfers it all, now that I think of it.

Speaking of Bstones, you DO know that is how #27 got his first title don't you? I know everything, including that Bstone made tires JUST for Stoner ' s bike and that there was a conspiracy against Rossi because he couldn't be beaten. I would click your link but I am sure it is just more of your Stoner fanboy "give me the megaphone" crap. Rossi is the GOAT! I eat his poop and excrete little Australian kangaroos!
(This is a very serious post)

That's a bloody good start MS, it'll get David's attention but even better it'll attract more of the Rossi vs Stoner types and eventually I'm bound to get my miscreant post deleted. Anyway let's get on with it.

Special Bridgestones for Stoner only??? Is that like Rossi's Michelin 'overnight specials' that were for Rossi only? I bet you didn't know this but Michelin even made an extra special overnight special for Rossi that would not only give him 0.2 second in every corner, but would also scrub his grid spot for him prior to the race! Right under Race Direction's noses too! No wonder he won so many titles!!!

Not to just jump to the surgery Dani just completed should it prove successful? It seems there is a very high failure rate with the current surgery given the number of times a rider must return to the knife? Of course, maybe the surgery is not failing but the rider is able to continue to elevate his game and reach his physical limits.
Just wondering if a rider can make a bigger leap to prevent more down time in long run.

...arm pump was around, it's just that nobody knew what it was. Of course the bikes were slower, but I don't imagine an NSR500 being any easier to ride than the four strokes, and towards the end of the two stroke era, I don't think they were that much slower.
Whilst Fast Freddie never definitively blamed arm pump for his multiple no shows and reincarnations, he often talks about the numbing sensation that built up during races, especially the one at Jarama where he was pulling away and just lost any feeling in his right forearm. Can't remember here and now if he crashed or ran off the circuit (think it was the former..), but this was something that wasn't known or explained to him at the time, or anyone else for that matter. Don't think the majority of hard man Yanks would have used it as an excuse back then, nor could I imagine the Brits, Puig, Garriga, Roche etc etc holding their (limp), hands up either...

Yep I'd agree with that, it's always been present.

It could be worse for the current era guys though, they have better overall physiology due to improved diet and serious exercise regimes, which might just mean that they're elevating the arm pump threshold to a higher level than what the old school guys copped? And this could be why surgery has started to become necessary?

So many injured front-runners on the grid these days.

Both Espargaros, Pedrosa, Smith, Iannone, Marquez (or is his finger considered healed now?).

Golden opportunity for the factory Yamaha boys to just run away with it with little resistance.