Golf Restrictions

I'm 38 years old and I have had a pacemaker since I was 20 years old. Due to complications with endocarditis 7 years ago I had to abandon the intravenous leads and shoulder implanted battery and switch to epicardial leads and an abdominal implanted battery.

I have been an avid golfer since I was 5 years old. I never had issues with my leads or pacemaker while golfing when I had the intravenous setup. 3.5 years ago one of my epicardial leads started to fracture. My doctor was convinced it was due to golf and wanted me to stop playing. The surgeon who repaired the lead did not agree. He figured it was product failure and ensured me that he was going to install enough slack on the lead so that I could continue playing. Fast forward another 3 years, I was recently playing golf when I started feeling very lethargic. I found out the next day that I had fractured my lead once again. My Doctor has changed my programming to bypass the factured lead as a temporary fix. Considering this incident occurred during a golf swing my Doctor has prohibited me from continuing playing.

I have read hundreds of posts on these forums about how people with pacemakers are not restricted from golfing. I am currently at a loss for what to do, as golf is a large part of my life. I am wondering if there is anyone that has gone through something similar, or may know of Doctor's that have creative solutions to allow patients to continue golfing.



You probably need more information about where the leads have fractured

by crustyg - 2021-04-26 13:07:14

Some of what you report doesn't fully make sense.  I don't think lead length is necessarily related to lead fractures - pulling out of leads perhaps, but not fractures.

In your shoes I would want to have a good long chat to the surgeon who implanted the epicardial leads, and review together exactly *where* the lead has fractured.  Lead fracture (as a manufacturing weakness) *does* occur, but if you've had a lead fail, in the same place, in the same way twice then it's much more likely to be down to you.

Don't give up yet, but see if you can get this information.  Obviously no-one wants to have to keep replacing epicardial leads....  Least of all you, I suspect.

Also worth asking if the previous lead had been sent back to the manufacturer for any analysis - depending on the vendor and lead design they *might* have been keen to get any failed leads back as a QA procedure to understand if there's a systematic problem that they can fix at their end, or if it was user-induced.  After all, the big car vendors always demand parts from cars where a component has failed and been replaced under warranty (until they've seen enough to know the usual answers).  More difficult where human body fluids are all over the component, I accept.

Good luck.


by AgentX86 - 2021-04-26 17:55:16

I'd add to the points that Crusty brought up,  to get your doctor (EP?) and surgeon on the same page. Since golf is so important to you, it would seem that some sort of consensus could be reached. Just saying it's so doesn't make it so. Why?

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