The 20-year-old Lorenzo, who is tied for the series lead with Dani Pedrosa, had the operation to relieve compartmental syndrome, or ‘Arm Pump’, a common ailment among motorcycle racers. Compartmental syndrome is caused by a repetitive build-up of pressure to arm muscles, such as the strain experienced by riders in racing conditions.
Left untreated, compartment syndrome can lead to partial loss of movement or loss of limb.
“I have had pain at all three races, including Portugal, and at times it was very hard to ride the bike at the maximum, so we knew that the operation was the right course of action,” says Lorenzo who wore a sling on his right arm at a press conference Tuesday.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Xavier Mir, at the Institut Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona, Spain on April 14.
“The operation has been a success and the wounds are healing quickly,” says Dr. Mir. “Many riders have had this kind of operation and time has shown that they often don’t need the operation on the other arm. Jorge now starts his recovery and, with an elite athlete such as him, we expect it to be quicker than usual.”
The next MotoGP race is in Shanghai, China, on May 4, giving Lorenzo several weeks to recuperate.
“Together with my surgeon we decided to operate on only one arm, the right, because in this way the recovery will be quicker than if we had done both,” says Lorenzo. “It seems that, with many other riders, doing just one arm has solved the problem. At the moment we believe that this is enough, but we will reassess after the next race.”
Lorenzo will spend a few days at his home in London, England, to recover.
“I have some time to recover now and I will be doing the maximum to make sure I am in good shape in China,” says Lorenzo. “In fact I’ll be there whatever, even if I h to ride with only one hand.”