Bouldering-caused disc replacement for Robinson

Thursday, 4 February

Paul Robinson, world record holder with 1 008 boulders 8A and harder, has just had a double disc replacement during a three-hour surgery through his throat. The 33-year-old has been an enthusiastic boulderer since age 15 and has put up FAs all over the globe. Last summer he did his 22nd 8C, but then he more or less quit.

Could you please tell us why you had the surgery?
I lost 50’percent of the strength in my right arm about 6 months ago and tried P.T. etc but nothing helped because the nerve was impinged by the herniated disc. So they do they had to take 2 discs out in my neck and replace them with fake ones. It happened from so many years of falling from bouldering. This is something that I think we will start to see more of in the future with more people bouldering.

I am not sure how long I have had the herniations for but they slowly got worse and worse until one day I woke up in the night in really bad pain. I tried to climb the next day and my arm did not work. I think that big falls are the main issue. They are really demanding on your spine. I will probably not be able to climb many highballs anymore. I think if people have more pads that will be good to make the fall softer.

When will you start climbing again and will you be fully recovered?
I will be able to start top roping in 6 weeks. They said I should be to 100 percent within 6 months.

Here is an 8a interview from 2010 when he was one of the pioneers creating climbing films. He also has a Youtube channel where his latest video is titled I'm Back! Road To Recovery. It should be mentioned that other boulderers too have undergone the same surgery caused by too much bouldering falls.

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