Martial arts & ICD's

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tony hall

Martial arts & ICD's

Post by tony hall » June 13th, 2007, 10:49 pm

Seven days ago I had an ICD implantation, it all happened so fast. The doctor told me I have a heart condition & could drop dead at anytime. So we rushed to get it done and now I can
live without that worry. My life is a very extreme one, I mountainbike, motorcross & am a martial artists. I really hope I can continue the and karate, but both are very physical and I should avoid being hit on the ICD. Is this the end of the things I really enjoy? Should I risk a fall on some rocks or tree roots? It is a hard pill to swallow, no more sparring?


Post by jellybean » June 13th, 2007, 10:56 pm

Tony others will have more to add to this but I will post my initial thoughts.

IT depends on what your medical condition is if you should be exercising to extremes. Ask your doctor what is ok for you to do, etc. What is the problem, do you have HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)?

There are guards and chest protectors you can wear to avoid a direct hit to the ICD, though some very extreme motions can threaten the integrity of the leads that are embedded within the heart wall. I presume your doctor told you no major arm movements on the ICD side for a few weeks, some people are told 4-6 weeks.

I have a pacemaker and am upgrading to an ICD next week :D I plan on doing everything I want once I'm healed from the initial implant. Ask your doctor.....and good luck!

This is a good site with lots of info. People here can understand the adjustment to a device.


tony hall

Post by tony hall » June 14th, 2007, 7:31 am

Thanks jellybean, I do have hcm with ventricular tachycardia. At the age of 21 I got indocarditis something associated with an hcm, spent a week in the hospital. Had a couple of passing out spells a few years later and did'nt think it was anything serious, and thought is was exhaustion from a long all day bike ride. Had some chest pain about eight years ago and went to the emergency room, was there 24 hours and sent home. At that point the doctors called it suproventricular cardiomyopathy and said I was fine. Four months ago I tore my meniscus at karate and had knee surgery, while under sedation my heart rate dropped dangerously low and afterwards I was sent to the cardiologist and after some tests he told me I needed an icd. Things went fast and now I am just a little worried about what's next...


Post by bigbird » July 12th, 2008, 9:16 am


I had my ICD put in on 04/25/2008. Have been training in martial arts for 36 years. The Doc told me I should be able to get back to pretty much normal. No bench pressing, No contact to the ICD.

Mine was also very fast. Dropped dead in an EP survey, was told I needed an ICD or I wouldn't make it home. Put it in the next day. Doing pretty well now. on Metorolol, having about 50% of the side effects. That puts a crimp in things. I only missed three Karate Classes, will be back into the Kickboxing Classes next week. See how that goes.

Hope things are going well for you.

ICD at 51
Still upbeat.

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Post by Kat » July 12th, 2008, 11:17 am

Hey Tony, the best thing I can say is check with your doctor. I still snorkle, ocean kayak and hunt but had to cut back from scuba. I can still scuba, but I have to stay above 45 feet. not idea, I loved the deep wall dives and a lot of very interesting wrecks are closer to 60 to 90 feet, but I still get to do it.

I have stayed off a rollar coasters and gave up my goal to sky dive. But I am still active. You don't have to give up your favorite activites, you may just have to modify them and maybe try out some new ones.
~Kat - Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
-That which does not kill us can really mess up our hair!
-Having one near life experience after another.

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Post by CarmenW » July 17th, 2008, 10:14 pm

Well, of course check with your doctor. But when I asked my electrophysiologist about possible impact to the ICD site if I went dirt biking and crashed, he seemed pretty confident that the ICD should hold up fine in the event of impact. I don't know if I'll ever actually go dirt biking, but my husband seems to think our whole family will get into it when our girls are old enough. Sounds like fun!

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Re: Martial arts & ICD's

Post by tracey » October 10th, 2009, 1:13 pm

I got told by me Cardio that I shouldnt be doing the sport I am doing to :(

But there was no way on this eart would I sell my horses on
Infact since being diagnosed my horses have gone up more:lol:

I had just three then I have 5 now :lol:

Im more aware of doing things now and have toned down alot of what I Do AND i make people aware of the places I am have my phone at all times and hi viz.
But theyre are the risks such as if the horse kicks me in the chest etc it can damage my ICD So am very wary on that stuff if my horse shows any struggle I leave and step back... not the best but for my health it is :)

Also be very waryt as I did fall of whilst cantering - stupid horse has no brakes! and went flying down a hill sum how my ICD wirees went out of range ... so be wary of some things that will go wrong .

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Re: Martial arts & ICD's

Post by _JB_ » October 10th, 2009, 1:29 pm

Hi Tony,

ICD issues aside for the moment, you mention you were diagnosed with HCM but then suproventricular cardiomyopathy. I have HCM too but I don't know anything about suproventricular cardiomyopathy.

All the cardiologists I have seen over the years have told me to avoid contact sports because of the HCM - a violent body hit could cause cardiac arrest - so there went my dream of being an All Black :wink:

I would guess that they wouldn't want me doing martial arts either. Of course suproventricular cardiomyopathy may allow you to do contact sports. Have they given you the OK to do karate?



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