Ice hockey

I am getting a pacemaker in a few weeks.  I would really like to continue to play ice hockey.  This low level men’s league.   No checking but there is still contact

Needing a pacemaker was not expected as I was fine until last fall.  I am 57 and am used to being active.   Anyone else have any issues or concerns will playing?



contact sports

by Tracey_E - 2019-08-03 21:50:07

We are generally advised against full contact sports but in hockey you're buried under so many pads it might be ok. Talk to them about your placement, make sure your doctor knows you are active. They can put it a little lower and deeper, or between the pectorals, so it's more protected when we play sports. 

Safe Pacemaker, Vulnerable Leads?

by CatDad - 2019-08-04 17:43:37

Tracy, do PMs implanted more deeply route the leads from the device differently than does a merely subdermal implant? Are they not still subject to crushing between clavicle and first rib?

There are some impressive X-ray photos of that on the internet..

ice hockey

by blowhard - 2019-08-05 06:04:30

Just keep playing, put an extra protective pad over your PM as well as your other amour.Make sure you leave a good gap of recovery (6 months) between placement and your first game. Being hit by a puck is the one to avoid for a while so dont defend your goal until you feel bullet proof. Best of luck..Dave



by Tracey_E - 2019-08-05 11:33:04

They normally go in the subclavian but can go in cephalic. My first was put in subclavian then run down to the box, which was put in from the side under the breast. When I had a replacement lead, they put it in from the axillary so it still ended up in subclavian.

My understanding is the part in the vein is not vulnerable, we aren't going to put enough pressure on the vein to damage a lead. It's where they run it  when it leaves the vein. If they put the box right under the collarbone then it's possible to put enough pressure on the collar bone to put pressure on the box and crush the leads. Every doctor I've had, every rep I've talked to, has told me it would be nearly impossible to damage a lead so I do what I want and don't worry about it. I still have one working lead from 1994, the other was replaced in 2010 which is average life for a lead. 

Thanks, Tracy!

by CatDad - 2019-08-05 14:07:45

My pocket is only about a finger-width away from the clavicle. However after 2 uneventful months of recovery including the resumption of cardio exercise I feel able to do mild pushups, curls and lateral lifts.

I was able to get a firn answer (*surprise*) from my EP's office that these would be fine now but to avoid "one armed pushups or planks on the device side. Other exercises to avoid include the butterfly motion (arms extended pulling across the chest), lateral pull down machines and pec deck type machines."

Since those proscribed things involve WAY more work, expense and effort than I'd ever dream of engaging in at the age of 64, I can live within such limitations. :-)


Placing of pacemaker

by LondonAndy - 2019-08-07 17:34:00

One issue to be aware of is that if they place the pacemaker somewhere more protected it may mean more issues when it comes to maintenance - ie the replacement of the box every 7 - 10 years (or whatever) may be more difficult.  Worth discussing.

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker receives radio frequencies.

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I, too, am feeling tons better since my implant.