Dani Pedrosa is to undergo surgery on his right forearm to treat the arm pump that has plagued him for the past year. The Spaniard is to be treated in Spain, by Dr Angel Villamor, who has treated many other racers for the same problem. Surgery is scheduled to take place on Friday morning, with a recovery period of four to six weeks afterwards, meaning that Pedrosa is certain to miss both the Austin and Argentina rounds of MotoGP. Hiroshi Aoyama will replace Pedrosa for the two upcoming rounds.
News of the surgery comes after Pedrosa's shock announcement that he was temporarily leaving racing to seek urgent treatment for arm pump. The Spaniard had been struggling with the condition for over year, after surgery carried out by Dr Mir in May last year failed to provide a solution. In that operation, Dr Mir opened up the fascia, the membrane enclosing the muscles, using microsurgery, to reduce the surgical impact and limit the chance of complications. Dr Villamor has more experience of treating arm pump, having successfully operated on riders such as Julian Simon, Nicky Hayden and Toni Elias. Simon explained to the Spanish newspaper AS.com that the procedure which had been successful for him involved not just opening up the fascia, but also removing it. This procedure, known as a partial fasciectomy, has had success in other sports, such as running and motocross.
The HRC press release makes clear that the operation Pedrosa has elected to follow is much more invasive than his previous operation. Special attention will be paid to the healing of the surgical wound, the press release says. This means that Pedrosa could be out for longer than just four weeks, only returning once surgery has been assessed as a success by the doctors.
In his absence, Hiroshi Aoyama will take his place. Aoyama is an official HRC test rider, and rode at the first MotoGP test in Sepang earlier this year.
Below is the press release issued by HRC:
Pedrosa confirms further surgery to fix arm pump issues
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa will unfortunately need further surgery to fix his arm pump issues that continued to plague the Spanish rider during the first round of the 2015 MotoGP Championship. This common problem among motorcycle racers is a build-up of pressure in the forearm causing great pain, and makes riding a bike exceptionally difficult when the muscle becomes too big for the ‘sack’ that it sits in.
Dani tried very hard over the winter in order to find a solution, after struggling to perform at his top level throughout the 2014 season, and even had surgery last year – after the Jerez GP – but it was unsuccessful. During this time doctors advised against any further surgery. Then throughout all the Winter testing it seemed that in theory the problem was solved, unfortunately the issue came back again under the stresses of the race situation.
After his sixth place finish in the opening race of 2015 in Qatar last weekend, Dani returned to Spain on Monday and met with specialists in Barcelona and Madrid. Their recommendation was for him to undergo surgery as soon as possible, which Dr. Angel Villamor will perform in Madrid. Special attention will be paid to the closing of the wound as this will guarantee better recovery and less risk of the problem arising again in the future.
Surgery is planned for the morning of Friday 3rd April with an expected recovery time of four to six weeks, this means Dani will certainly miss the Red Bull Austin and Argentina races. His return to racing won’t be confirmed until doctors can ascertain the success of the surgery.
His replacement will be HRC test rider Hiroshi Aoyama.
Dani Pedrosa 26
Rider – MotoGP
"Obviously this isn’t the news I wanted to be sharing with everyone. However, after speaking with some key doctors and medical professionals that I trust, they are all in agreement that this is the only option for me. We will have the surgery on Friday and they will use a special technique to help close the wound to try and prevent this issue continuing to affect me. Let’s hope it’s a success. I want to thank all my fans for their support, but especially Honda, Repsol, Red Bull and all our sponsors for their understanding in this matter."