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  1. #1
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    AC Separation Grade 3

    I took a nice fall over the weekend and after a trip to urgent care I found out I separated my AC. I was told it looked like it is a grade 3 separation and I need to go see a orthopedic surgeon to see if surgery would be needed. They recommended someone to me but wanted to see if any of you guys have a orthopedic surgeon that you have seen before either for a consultation or surgery that you would recommend. If surgery isn't needed I'm still going to want to do physical therapy to keep as much as my range of motion as possible. So if you if any of you have a physical therapist you would recommend that would be appreciated as well.

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the jacked up shoulder club.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikepunk13 View Post
    I took a nice fall over the weekend and after a trip to urgent care I found out I separated my AC. I was told it looked like it is a grade 3 separation and I need to go see a orthopedic surgeon to see if surgery would be needed...
    No advice about docs. I did mine about a decade ago. Never had surgery, lots of PT. Still have some limits to range of motion and it often gets an ouchy. Like right now for example...

    I have fscked up lots of joints over the years; ankle, knees, elbow, hip--the shoulder is the one I regret the most.

    Good luck with it. Say hello to the rubber strap attached to a doorknob from me!

    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  3. #3
    lucky enough
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    I did mine a few years ago. Complete shoulder separation - not sure if it was degree 2 or 3. But I never had surgery - was told that was generally for folks who's work depended on it - like baseball pitchers. I've never had problems with it since. I just have a bump on my shoulder.

    Are you in the Denver area?
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  4. #4
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    Grade 3 is the lowest grade for a complete separation. The doctor at urgent care said surgery probably wouldn't be needed but it should still be checked out. I'm in the Fort Collins, probably should have mentioned that before.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I have fscked up lots of joints over the years; ankle, knees, elbow, hip--the shoulder is the one I regret the most.
    I've messed up my ankle and wrist before and never did any sort of PT and now I wish I did because of some reoccurring pain. Which is why I want to do it the right way this time.

  6. #6
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    choose your terrorist carefully

    Quote Originally Posted by bikepunk13 View Post
    I've messed up my ankle and wrist before and never did any sort of PT and now I wish I did because of some reoccurring pain. Which is why I want to do it the right way this time.
    Good call. Do the best you can. My advice would be, as much effort as you put into finding an ortho, put into finding a really good physical terrorist, er, I mean therapist. Just like in any profession, there are very talented ones and there are some who just phone it in.

    And yeah, do the danged exercises. They are boring as all get out, but suck it up and do them.

    Good news is sounds like yours wasn't the worst ever. Mine was all the way out, and then it was compounded by the fact that I had to walk for a half hour after stashing my Moots in the woods, then when I got to the ER all my shoulder muscles were spazzed out completely. All efforts to get it back in while I was conscious failed, and my screams were frightening the other patients. So they gave me a big dose of "you won't feel anything and you won't remember anything" medecine and forced it back in.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  7. #7
    I dream on two wheels
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    I've got a grade 3 AC separation in each shoulder from snowboarding. First one was about 6 years ago and the second one was about 3 years ago. Didn't have surgery on either of them. Just where the sling for a while, do the PT, expect it to hurt for about 4-6 weeks so take it slow and try to stretch it out as pain allows. And get used to the new bump on your shoulder.
    Whiskey

  8. #8
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    I had ankle surgery and PT with Cornerstone Orthopedics. They have a variety of doctors specializing in various body parts. I've had positive results working with them for surgery and PT. They have offices in Louisville and Wheatridge.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simonns View Post
    I've got a grade 3 AC separation in each shoulder from snowboarding.
    nordic skiing will fix that

  10. #10
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    Not sure where you're located, I'm in Colo Springs and had a grade III about 2-3 years ago... I take it you have the 'bump' on your shoulder?

    I went to Derek Purcell with Colo Center for Ortho Excellence in north Colo Springs. He is a sports guy, has some autographed stuff by some of the St Louis Rams who he had worked on in the past... I think he might've worked with the Nuggets too, can't recall for sure. I would assume each case is unique, but he did not recommend surgery for me if I intended to stay active, as he said phys therapy w/out surgery is actually better and will make that shoulder stronger/more able to withstand future trauma should it occur.

    I dislike having the bump up there (which only surgery could help with) and PT sucked. I already had some issues going on prior to the injury (snowboarding by the way), but my range of motion and strength were most definitely negatively impacted by the injury. That shoulder wasn't good to begin with, but will never be even that good again which kinda sucks.

    As does getting old. LOL

    Good luck to you... -Eric

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Mine was all the way out, and then it was compounded by the fact that I had to walk for a half hour after stashing my Moots in the woods, then when I got to the ER all my shoulder muscles were spazzed out completely. All efforts to get it back in while I was conscious failed, and my screams were frightening the other patients. So they gave me a big dose of "you won't feel anything and you won't remember anything" medecine and forced it back in.
    As I understand it, what you had then was not an AC separation; you had a disclocation (there's a difference). With an AC separation, there's no 'popping it back in.' At least, this is what was told to me several times right after my injury and through the PT/recovery.

  12. #12
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    You guys should consider less crashing.


  13. #13
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    I had the grade 3 separation about 20 years ago, and had the surgery. I think it was more common to have the surgery back then. I had a lifting restriction x6 weeks until the pins came out, then therapy. "Lucky" for me, I'm a PT so was able to do it myself. I do geriatric home care, so wouldn't be a good choice for your rehab.

    I assume your doctor recommended Orthopedic Center of the Rockies in Ft Collins. Sean Grey does shoulder surgeries, and is a mountain biker himself. You can also do Physical Therapy at the same place, if you choose. They have a pool there, which can be helpful during rehab. I've also heard that Rebound Physical Therapy in Ft Collins has good people. If you're willing to go to Loveland, Diamond Peak Physical Therapy is an option. Rodrigo Gil Moreno de Mora is a former pro mountain biker, and would certainly understand your needs.

    Hope things go well for you!

  14. #14
    Suckin wind like a boss
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    i dislocated my rt shoulder and got a grade3 after a nice otb about 5 weeks ago. was riding within 2 weeks, im back to about 75% right now. i still take it easy while im out, though. not confident i could handle another good crash. just take it easy for a few.
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chillmolly View Post
    I assume your doctor recommended Orthopedic Center of the Rockies in Ft Collins. Sean Grey does shoulder surgeries, and is a mountain biker himself. You can also do Physical Therapy at the same place, if you choose. They have a pool there, which can be helpful during rehab. I've also heard that Rebound Physical Therapy in Ft Collins has good people. If you're willing to go to Loveland, Diamond Peak Physical Therapy is an option. Rodrigo Gil Moreno de Mora is a former pro mountain biker, and would certainly understand your needs.
    Yep that's where they referred me to. I going there to get checked out again and have an MRI just to make sure that the separation was the only damage. From what I've heard/read surgery shouldn't be needed but the psychical therapy is really important. I was also thinking about doing my psychical therapy there as well, I will look into Diamond Peak too though. Since I'm lucky enough to have good insurance I might as well use it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colo Springs E View Post
    As I understand it, what you had then was not an AC separation; you had a disclocation (there's a difference)...
    Yeah, that's what I had. It was freaky. I looked down at my shoulder and it kind of wasn't there. And my right arm was too long!

    Good luck OP with your shoulder. Do the PT!
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

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