South African Cameron Petersen unexpectedly missed this week’s MotoAmerica team test at Buttonwillow Raceway Park due to his recovery from surgery to correct what is commonly referred to as “arm pump.”
Arm pump, or compartment syndrome, is a medical condition common to motorcycle racers in which the muscles in the forearm grow until they restrict blood flow to and from the hand, causing pain and/or numbness. This in turn results in slower lap times and inconsistency, and racers often seek surgical intervention to relieve the symptoms.
In mid-February, Petersen had surgery at the hands of track day enthusiast and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Bryan to relieve arm pump symptoms in his right forearm. The situation, surgery, and recovery, however, were more intensive than originally anticipated, causing Petersen to miss this week’s test, according to Fresh N Lean Progressive Insurance Yamaha Team Owner and Petersen’s Crew Chief Richard Stanboli.
“He has been struggling with arm pump the last couple of tests,” Stanboli told Roadracingworld.com. “He just came to me and said, ‘I’m going to get the surgery. I checked with [the doctor] and it’s going to be about a week for recovery. So, I should be good for the next test.’
“This was right after the last test [February 7-8], because we were talking about his pace and trying to be more consistent. Because he can rip off a really fast lap, but he couldn’t repeat it consistently. He does at the races, but in testing I said we need to have more consistent runs, and he said, ‘I’m having arm pump issues.’ I guess it finally bothered him enough to go get it looked at.
“It was supposed to be an arthroscopic thing and a week for recovery, real quick and easy, and then it turned out they had to do a little more work and it became a two-week recovery. So, he ended up missing that test.”
With the Daytona 200 only two weeks away (March 9-11) and Petersen slated to be Stanboli’s only rider in the event, will Petersen’s surgery affect their plans for that race?
“I don’t think so,” said Stanboli, “because that should be, what, a month from the surgery to Daytona. Plus, Daytona on a 600? He was fine [testing] on the 600 even with the arm pump. It was just the Superbike.”