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  1. #101
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    I had a Grade 4 in 1998 and had two surgery's to fix it. I popped out the screw from the first time around because of my own impatience and started using my arm. Second time around the Dr. put a band to hold the clavical is place. It's still there and the shoulder works great. Considering my degree of separation I was able to get 99% motion out the shoulder. I can even throw a baseball still. It took some time to feel comfortable on the trails again.... I was a bit spooked from getting hurt again.

  2. #102
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    lol well **** long as it is revived I may as well pipe in now, I dislocated my left shoulder nearly 20 years ago now, I decided not to have surgery, and lived with quit a bit of pain and a shoulder that popped out constantly, so much so that when I was fighting (did some kickboxing) I could not jab with my left or it would pop out, finally now, it still pops out somewhat, but I have always had full use and still do some pretty heavy lifting with weights.
    Just ate **** two weeks ago and probably strained my clavicle on my right shoulder, first day really sucked, things were moving around and you could feel it, second day it was not so much pain so I merely limited my mobility and dealt with it, two weeks later it is only sore when I am laying on my side, seems to be working alright so no doctors yet. Im old school, if possible I think a person is better off working through things. lol now I know after reading this thread what that bump on my shoulder is, oh well, its going down.

  3. #103
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    Ugh week 3 and I'm still using a sling...

    Went to physio this morning.. they're really seeming like the most pointless people ever.. they do a little lazer and tell me the EASIEST exercises which span from rotating my elbow to applying a little pressure on my shoulder.. Tells me I should finish them in a week.. I literally have gotten it half hour ago and I can do them all without any pain...

    2 things I've been wondering...

    1. Is it that easy to re separate it? Alota people here have said this hasn't been their first time doing it.

    2. When has everyone else stopped using their sling for a grade 3? Like its been 3 weeks and a day and I'm pretty sure I can cope without the sling but apparently my physio wants it on for ANOTHER 3 weeks cuz he rathers it be stiff then work on stretching it rather than letting it get loose and having no way of stiffening it... It really seems pointless though... this sling feels like something I'm wearing but to no point. Like a silly hat but on 24/7.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by killing_it
    Went to physio this morning.. they're really seeming like the most pointless people ever.. they do a little lazer and tell me the EASIEST exercises which span from rotating my elbow to applying a little pressure on my shoulder.. Tells me I should finish them in a week.. I literally have gotten it half hour ago and I can do them all without any pain...

    2 things I've been wondering...

    1. Is it that easy to re separate it? Alota people here have said this hasn't been their first time doing it.

    2. When has everyone else stopped using their sling for a grade 3? Like its been 3 weeks and a day and I'm pretty sure I can cope without the sling but apparently my physio wants it on for ANOTHER 3 weeks cuz he rathers it be stiff then work on stretching it rather than letting it get loose and having no way of stiffening it... It really seems pointless though... this sling feels like something I'm wearing but to no point. Like a silly hat but on 24/7.
    I have no Idea what mine was at all, but and I never used a sling, I just minimized movement with it, but yea, I still used it.
    Doctors and the like will always go a bit extra on the careful side do to insurance reasons as well as just to be careful.
    these are some very good exercises to strengthen your shoulder, Im not going to be so arrogant however as to say it should be something you should do right away.
    anyhow, hold your arms out straight, palms up, do slow rotations forward and backwards. Also just doing shoulder shrugs helps as well.
    edit
    IM also going to step out here and while the separation of my left shoulder I never did anything with it, I was still able to build it back up and bench my max 350, at that point you could feel it moving out again.
    Lateral press was close to 300 as well since then. Not saying that is something you want to go for, just saying its possible to build yourself back up.
    Last edited by Blurr; 01-29-2010 at 10:14 AM.

  5. #105
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    I've re-separated mine (both left and right have done it). I'm gonna hazard a thesis that since they're pretty easy to damage the fist time, once you've done damage it'll be easier to separate.. depending on how bad your damage was in the first place..

    I've always gotten mine out of the sling as soon as I could stand it comfortably, course that will also be situationally dependent.
    mike

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by dysfunction
    I've re-separated mine (both left and right have done it). I'm gonna hazard a thesis that since they're pretty easy to damage the fist time, once you've done damage it'll be easier to separate.. depending on how bad your damage was in the first place..

    I've always gotten mine out of the sling as soon as I could stand it comfortably, course that will also be situationally dependent.
    I didn't think you could re-separate an AC separation since once you tear your ligaments they don't grow back. Hence the bump on the shoulder. I would think that you might be more at risk of breaking your collar bone after already separating your AC.

    Unless you guys are talking about actually dislocating your shoulders.
    Whiskey

  7. #107
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    Separated my shoulder back when I was 16. Required surgery.

    It's never been the same

    I can no longer weight lift how I used too. Real drag, but I guess it could be much much worse.
    "I saw a guy crapping on the side of a very busy trail"
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  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simonns
    I didn't think you could re-separate an AC separation since once you tear your ligaments they don't grow back. Hence the bump on the shoulder. I would think that you might be more at risk of breaking your collar bone after already separating your AC.

    Unless you guys are talking about actually dislocating your shoulders.
    It'll depend on the severity of the injury. You haven't completely torn a grade 1, 2 you've only torn the AC, not CC ligaments etc.

    I've dislocated the shoulder as well.. I'll take an AC separation any day
    mike

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by killing_it
    Went to physio this morning.. they're really seeming like the most pointless people ever.. they do a little lazer and tell me the EASIEST exercises which span from rotating my elbow to applying a little pressure on my shoulder.. Tells me I should finish them in a week.. I literally have gotten it half hour ago and I can do them all without any pain...

    2 things I've been wondering...

    1. Is it that easy to re separate it? Alota people here have said this hasn't been their first time doing it.

    2. When has everyone else stopped using their sling for a grade 3? Like its been 3 weeks and a day and I'm pretty sure I can cope without the sling but apparently my physio wants it on for ANOTHER 3 weeks cuz he rathers it be stiff then work on stretching it rather than letting it get loose and having no way of stiffening it... It really seems pointless though... this sling feels like something I'm wearing but to no point. Like a silly hat but on 24/7.

    Keep the sling on! You want to immobilize the shoulder for at least 6 weeks. This is how I popped the crew out out mine and had to have a 2nd surgery. Take your time and do it right. It will be stiff for awhile unitl you go to PT and they work it free.

  10. #110
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    Snowboarding Grade III

    I just separated my right shoulder this past Saturday, Grade 3. Snowboarding. Glad I found this post, it really helped reading about other people's experiences.

    My two cents:

    1) You can't re-separate if you've had a grade 3. Once you rip the tendons they're done for. they do not grow back.

    2) I just got back from my ortho appointment, I went to a very top notch doctor in Manhattan. He is supposedly one of the best in the country, and all the signed photographs from professional football/baseball people on his wall made me believe it. He told me to ditch the sling already (this is day three), you are only hurting recovery by keeping it immobilized. He also said he doubts I will need surgery, and that he only recommends it for people who really need full use (like baseball players). I pressed him about this and said I didn't like the idea of living the next 50 years having detached parts. He said after 4 weeks of PT I will barely notice a difference. Surgery is always an option, but I don't hurt anything by waiting. I have a follow up in a month, he assured me that at that time I will be fine. Reading other posts here I am beginning to believe it.

    I guess I'll have a hump for the rest of my life. Oh well

  11. #111
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    Although I'm not a MTB, I am an avid snowboarder and I needed to find a forum about AC grade 3 separations. On Christmas just a month ago I had a nasty fall off a 15ft cliff, which resulted in an ac grade 3 separation. I remember feeling dazed and nauseous after the accident. Luckily, I had enough energy and coordination to get down to the first building at the base of the mountain. I was taken by the ski patrol to the clinic where I was driven to the ortho 40 minutes away by my father and brother. I was warned about the controversy surrounding surgery, but still opted for it. I was told by many that I had the best shoulder ortho surgeon in the valley and was in good hands. Its been a month since the surgery and I've been out of the sling for a week now. It is starting to feel great besides the bitter cold of winter that cools the metal in my shoulder. Otherwise, recovery is going well! I will take the metal out in May will be eager to work out again! Here is a pic of the shoulder before and after surgery.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  12. #112
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    3rd Degree AC separation

    I tripped and fell at Christmas time in Puerto Vallarta ( ya, so I had had a few two many margaritas ) not exactly the way I would plan this, but I had it x rayed when I got back home. Family practitioner said x rays showed 3rd degree and put me in a sling. Two days later I saw the orthopedic surgeon. He said "get of out the sling and start using it". I asked how much and he said, "your body will let you know when you have gone too far". As for surgery, I opted to have it, the bump seemed enormous, and I feared being limited in workouts and actually, at anything I did. But I didn't like this surgeon, so got a second opinion from a surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and shoulders. He also said I could live with it, but I said no, cut me open. Surgery was two weeks ago, I am in a sling for 6 weeks, and the screw that is connecting things will be removed in a second surgery in 3 months. Cadaver hamstring was used saving me getting cut on twice. After the screw is removed, I cannot workout for 5 months. I can hardly tell where the incision is, the suture job ( all underneath the skin) was done so well. I know I have a long way to go, but I have never doubted my decision to have surgery.

  13. #113
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    I separated my right shoulder oner the bars a few years ago, still have a cool bump, then this happen Kayaking this Oct. The Dislocation was way more painful.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AC Separation Grade III Recovery-arm11.jpg  

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  14. #114
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    Lol holy s***, I never knew your arm could drop that low with a dislocation.

    Just keeping people up to date. Its now officially been 6 weeks, my physio said I could slowly start taking it off today in intervals.. however... I took it out of the sling 3 days earlier thinking there wouldn't be much harm, there was no pain whatsoever for me but now theres a giiiiiiannnnt bump, like defiantly bigger than it was before, on my shoulder now. I suppose if thats it its not too bad, it just feels really awkward more than anything. Still range of motion is limited, and certain exercises like rotator cuff exercises are REALLY painful. Its like the joint freezes up all together.

    Who knows if it would have made a difference if I kept it in a sling for the full 3 days but I guess its something ill live with.

    I ended up buying a "rugby ac joint' brace near where I live which specializes in sports injuries. Its just a neoprine material that wraps around the one shoulder applying some pressure on the ac. I dunno how much it actually pushes down, I suppose its more for padding and confidence than anything else, but when I have it on it practically feels like my shoulders pretty normal. I guess I'm gonna wear that under my shirt till I feel like its unnecessary, then only when I'm playing sports.

  15. #115
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    Grade 3 Shoulder Separation

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ_n_Houston
    I tripped and fell at Christmas time in Puerto Vallarta ( ya, so I had had a few two many margaritas ) not exactly the way I would plan this, but I had it x rayed when I got back home. Family practitioner said x rays showed 3rd degree and put me in a sling. Two days later I saw the orthopedic surgeon. He said "get of out the sling and start using it". I asked how much and he said, "your body will let you know when you have gone too far". As for surgery, I opted to have it, the bump seemed enormous, and I feared being limited in workouts and actually, at anything I did. But I didn't like this surgeon, so got a second opinion from a surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and shoulders. He also said I could live with it, but I said no, cut me open. Surgery was two weeks ago, I am in a sling for 6 weeks, and the screw that is connecting things will be removed in a second surgery in 3 months. Cadaver hamstring was used saving me getting cut on twice. After the screw is removed, I cannot workout for 5 months. I can hardly tell where the incision is, the suture job ( all underneath the skin) was done so well. I know I have a long way to go, but I have never doubted my decision to have surgery.
    I also suffered a grade 3 shoulder separation going over the bars trying to get around a n00b on the trail during a race and high sided my pedal on a root. pitched over and separated the right shoulder. That was 3 yrs ago. Like you I was in a sling to see how it would heal. Wasn't getting the range of motion and strenght back after 3 months and opted for surgery. Had one of the best docs in ATL. do a modified weaver dunn procedure on it. He specializes in shoulder injuries and works on a lot of the pro athletes in ATL. He had the autographed photos on his wall also. Besides mtn biking I am also a competitive 2-man sand v'ball player. (Used to play semi-pro back in the day) Still play open and A level. It took a full year of rehab, working out and rebuilding the strength but I'm a 100% with what I have left in my right shoulder. Pushing the same weight I was in the gym prior to the separation. Playing v'ball again. Back on the bike and raced last yr. in the 12 hr series on a 4-man team. (we won the point series) Shoulder aches on occassion from playing v'ball but that could be overuse to.

  16. #116
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    well

    this is becoming a theme. don't mean to overrun this biking board with snowboarders, but it appears we suffer common injuries. i actually registered for this board today because i was interested in reading about mountain biking and i stumbled across this thread. i actually just suffered a Grade III AC joint separation 9 days ago at Windham in the Catskills trying to do a rail grind. not a smart idea. my x-ray looks nasty as well, just take my word for it.

    the replies on this post really say it all, some do well with surgery, some don't. this is the first injury of this type that i've ever suffered and to be honest...i expected worse. i'm now 9 days removed from a Grade III and i don't need my sling at all. the doctor at the mountain gave me some medieval-looking harness to wear, but when i had my shoulder re-examined by a doctor in Manhattan, he told me i didn't need it (thank god).

    i can move my shoulder through most of my pre-injury range of motion with some stiffness and pain. sleeping is annoying. i snore like a freight train when i sleep on my back, yet that seems to be the only comfortable position. my poor wife - she has been trying to shove those pain meds down my throat all week so i can sleep well (and, in turn, she'll be able to sleep well), but i have no interest in narcotics.

    i'm due back to my orthopedist in about 10 days. i hope to be ready to start PT at that time. i don't really care about the bump (after all, i'm not a runway model), but i DO care about loss of function. if i'm not able to gain full range of motion and strength back, i'll have to consider some other options. but after reading this thread, i'm even more optimistic that full recovery can be achieved without the knife.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjake4479
    this is becoming a theme. don't mean to overrun this biking board with snowboarders, but it appears we suffer common injuries. i actually registered for this board today because i was interested in reading about mountain biking and i stumbled across this thread. i actually just suffered a Grade III AC joint separation 9 days ago at Windham in the Catskills trying to do a rail grind. not a smart idea. my x-ray looks nasty as well, just take my word for it.

    the replies on this post really say it all, some do well with surgery, some don't. this is the first injury of this type that i've ever suffered and to be honest...i expected worse. i'm now 9 days removed from a Grade III and i don't need my sling at all. the doctor at the mountain gave me some medieval-looking harness to wear, but when i had my shoulder re-examined by a doctor in Manhattan, he told me i didn't need it (thank god).

    i can move my shoulder through most of my pre-injury range of motion with some stiffness and pain. sleeping is annoying. i snore like a freight train when i sleep on my back, yet that seems to be the only comfortable position. my poor wife - she has been trying to shove those pain meds down my throat all week so i can sleep well (and, in turn, she'll be able to sleep well), but i have no interest in narcotics.

    i'm due back to my orthopedist in about 10 days. i hope to be ready to start PT at that time. i don't really care about the bump (after all, i'm not a runway model), but i DO care about loss of function. if i'm not able to gain full range of motion and strength back, i'll have to consider some other options. but after reading this thread, i'm even more optimistic that full recovery can be achieved without the knife.
    I did both of my shoulders snowboarding. Both grade III. I'm about 8 weeks in on my second one. Its still sore when I lift things and reach across my body. However, in the last couple days if feels like things are moving a lot more inside. When I move my shoulder you can see the collar bone moving and popping. It hurts a little and feels really strange. I'm wondering if there is some scar tissue building up or something. I don't remember if my left shoulder did this when I tore that one. Thanks.

    -Simon
    Whiskey

  18. #118
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    6 to 8 weeks is about right, however you won't be 100% for several months. I would notice some pain 3 to 4 months later when doing a bunny hop or after several hours of riding. But it's back to normal now. The bump will be there unless you get surgery. My specialist advised they have more trouble with arthritis down the road after surgery and recommended I just leave it alone.

    I feel for ya, just follow the docs orders.

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  19. #119
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    graphic pic.

    Here is my arm 24hrs after surgery. Very sore, on the road to recovery!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AC Separation Grade III Recovery-arm2.jpg  

    "foot to pedal, wheel to dirt, there is no substitute for the act of riding "

  20. #120
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    I haven't posted on MTBR in ages, but I caught this thread and wanted to chime in. I suffered a Grade 5 AC separation last year, right about this time. March. I was in a moto accident, swerving to avoid a truck that turned in front of me. I was lucky. The accident happened a few blocks from home. I pushed my bike back home, and my roommate took me to the hospital, down the street. I was totally fine, save for my messed up shoulder.

    Went to see an ortho soon after, who gave me the option to have surgery or not. I was informed that in my case, I could wait and see before deciding on surgery. Taking into account all of my activities: Climbing/bouldering, MTB, Snowboarding.

    That was a year ago, almost to the day actually. I have not had the surgery. During the first few weeks I was in a sling, but able to go to work and do normal things, just one handed. After about three weeks or so, I started doing physical therapy to get my range of motion back etc. Pain was manageable, nothing too bad. I pushed it though, within a safe range. I figured, more effort and pain endured during physical therapy would mean better results for me later.

    So, here I am, one year later. I'm mountain biking, and bouldering. Carrying on with my normal activities. I do experience soreness at times, but for the most part my activity now is pretty much the same as it was before the injury. I have the bump, but it's not horrific, at least to me.

    I am able to do pushups, pullups etc. Haven't really lifted weights or anything like that, but I didn't really do any of that before the injury anyway so that's fine.

  21. #121
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    I jointed this forum just to post on this thread! I don't have a shoulder injury but rather a shoulder deformity that I have had all of my life (but just discovered when my shoulder hurt so bad I thought I would puke) - there is a hook on the AC bone/joint, and that hook will press into my rotator cuff at times, causing pain. The more I use it, the worse it gets. The doctor said to just be careful, that it will not cause harm to the rotator cuff, but I need my shoulder! Anybody dealt with this issue? Thoughts on what to do aside from not using it too much?? I do swim and am very careful with the shoulder and form.

  22. #122
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    Well, it has been some time since my last post. I had a grade V separation in June '09. I was 57 at the time. After consulting an ortho-surgeon I opted to have surgery. The separation was about 1-1/4" and all 3 ligaments were shredded, the end of the clavicle was poking through the muscle tissue.

    A hook plate was installed to hold the joint in place. Due to the trauma involved in maneuvering the joint back together, there was a considerable amount of pain after the surgery. I was up and about in two weeks for easy rides. After about a month, the swelling in the shoulder went away, but the joint became more susceptible to pain in use. As time went on, the presence of the plate became more and more noticeable.

    After the allotted 6 months, I had the plate removed and the recovery from that surgery was just a matter of a few days. The joint is now held together with scar tissue. The shoulder dropped a little with the removal of the plate, but I have no noticeable bump.

    Today, 4 months, after having the plate removed the shoulder feels OK. I have full range of motion and the shoulder feels stronger everyday. The only ache I get is when I sleep directly on the shoulder, but even that is becoming less as time goes on. I have not done any physical therapy other than to just use it as much as I can tolerate, per the doctor.

    It was an easy choice for me to have the surgery. A bump is one thing, the sharp end of the clavicle messing with poking through the skin is another. Also, the joint is now separated with scar tissue and so that should prevent any future arthritic conditions of bones of the joint coming in direct contact with another.

  23. #123
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    Hey so its me again, haven't posted in awilllllllee, but just to say how my shoulders been after a grade 3 separation. So however long its been from my last post (at least over 5 months-ish) my shoulder literally feels totally normal again. Minus the bump on it, I don't notice it at all. (If you wanna be pickly theres a small 'clicking' sound when I rotate my right shoulder fully but thats about it.) There was some pain when I got my sling off whenever I worked out for the first couple weeks but that went away, now that I'm out of school for the spring/summer I work out practically everyday minus the days when I have rugby practices. (yeah I play rugby too and it doesn't bother me at all taking a hit, or giving one, on it or anything). So basically its back to normal again! This was just to sum up my experience with the injury, I never got any surgery just weekly physio and I'm glad that I did!

  24. #124
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    Ok, first time poster. What's up?
    Got surgery tomorrow morning to put my shoulder back together.
    Yes I mountain bike AND snowboard, but my grade III sep happened on my 22mph electric skateboard, I'm 45 and have been ripping around on this thing for 9 years with zero falls. I broke two of just three rules on Wednesday. Rule #1 Helmet(always), rule
    #2 No flip flops(broke that one), and rule #3 keep your eye on the next 30 feet of road(Oops). False confidence in a smooth familiar stretch of road that grew a new pot-hole.

    Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to toot thier experiences. I have opted for the surgery and I'm gonna be somewhat of a guinnypig with some new technology. I guess they drill holes through the clavical and the acromi, thread this synthetic material through both, attach to a button underneath, draw them together like rethreading a broken baseball mit, and put a button on top. This method requires no second surgery to remove hardware and is done out-patient. I will keep all you crazies posted on the result.
    Wish me luck, never been under the knife.

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickhopper

    Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to toot thier experiences. I have opted for the surgery and I'm gonna be somewhat of a guinnypig with some new technology. I guess they drill holes through the clavical and the acromi, thread this synthetic material through both, attach to a button underneath, draw them together like rethreading a broken baseball mit, and put a button on top. This method requires no second surgery to remove hardware and is done out-patient. I will keep all you crazies posted on the result.
    Wish me luck, never been under the knife.
    That sounds really familiar to the surgery my friend had for an AC seperation about 2 years ago. Not to freak you out, but it was unsucessful (I think the material tore or something) and he ended up having to have a 2nd surgery with a plate and screws about 2 months later. After the first surgery, his doc seemed kind of ambivalent about him riding and told him he could ride a road bike like 2-3 weeks after surgery and if he coul stand the pain, mountain a few weeks after that, which he only did once, although he did ride his road bike alot around town.

    long story short, he had to have the 2nd surgery and went through alot more extensive rehab and this time, the doc said absolutely no bikes for like 3 months. im not really sure what exactly went wrong the first time.... anyhow, good luck and dont push it too soon!

  26. #126
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    25 years ago I went OTB big time on a dirt bike, grade 3 A-C I think. Had a sx where they tighened everything up with suture materials, cut the end of the clavicle off, ran basically a big ole lag screw through a hole drilled in the acromion and into the cut end of the clavicle. THE POST OP PAIN WAS AWFUL for the first couple of weeks It was much better for the following couple of months and even the GF had to be on top for this period, and even that was sorta uncomfortable, but I was OK with that LOL
    So after 2 or 3 months? the screw was removed, a short period of light home unstructured rehab, and was back to racing HS within a couple of months. Everything is hunkey dory at this juncture, racing all this time and take my share of get-offs and no further pain. Got a lump- who cares- no pain and only very minor decreased range of motion( can't reach my left shoulder blade with my right hand like the other side)

    Part of my decision to have sx when I maybe could have avoided it- and this is the take home message- as my doctor explained, is that you can not have arthritis if there is no "arth", no joint= no arthritis, which I have none of. Something to consider for those on the fence about sx.... YMMV

  27. #127
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    Those suck... had my share.. twice!!

    AC Separation Grade III Recovery-ac-sep..jpg
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  28. #128
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    I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your experiences guys! Joined for this thread only. Had a grade 3 on my left shoulder about a month ago at Hafjell Bikepark here in Norway. I thought "Oh well, theyll fix me up" but my to my surprise the doctors took a bunch of x-rays and sent me home. With less than no information Im sitting here contemplating having to sell my Intense M6 and dropping out of twin-tip skiing because of this injury.

    I dont have much pain, but I do get some lightening bolts through my shoulder from time to time when I stretch or when I try to open/close the car door. Had some really bad cramps in my shoulder muscles that hurt like Hell, but thankfully theyre gone now.

    I am amazed that this is it.... That the doctors go "Well, thats life, we dont advice you to operate but to make the best out of it..." After all the garish accidents Ive seen my friends go through, with broken bones and crap like that ... I wasnt expecting to be told that I was going to have a bone pushing against the skin on my shoulder for the rest of my life. Its not the cosmetic part that is my issue, but the fact that I have a "rogue" bone in my body and that anything I wear rubs against it and keep it sore. Im a skinny guy so the bump is pretty visual. Showed it to a female co-worker and she had to sit down

    But what do you guys recon. Is a AC degree 3 damage a career ender or what? Did you just recover and jump back on the horse?

    Thanks again for all the good info!

  29. #129
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    almost 9 mos since I had My accident, have no Idea the grade as after reading this thread i never bothered to go to the doctor until a month later, I had the classic bump and it felt loose, but it just stayed sore, I nursed it and used it a bit more and more, month later when I went in the doc said it looked good and to let pain be my guide, No bump any longer and Seems fine so far *knocking on wood*

  30. #130
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    Hey Roller Coaster,
    My grade III separation happened on 8/4/10, my surgeon went in and cabled me back together on 8/9/10. The pain prior to the surgery was manageable with some ibuprofin, but the post operation pain was indescribable for 4-5 days, today all I do is ice it a couple times a day.
    My shoulder is right back where it was before my accident. Doctor says everything will re-attach if I follow through with his orders.
    Doctors orders after reconstruction: Keep shoulder strapped to side of body, let gravity make it fall away from your body only to dry after shower and to apply deoderant, no lifting, reaching or swinging that arm for 6 weeks. After which I can start therapy. Don't know what that entails yet, my six weeks aren't up till the begining of Oct.
    The repair itself included a four inch/15 staple opening on top of my shoulder, a couple holes in bones, a cable with a hook on bottom and a button on top. Pretty cool.
    Any body that says they had anything worse than a grade III, have your doctor call my surgeon who has been doing this for decades.
    I will let you know how things are progressing, I can't wait to get back in my kayak and on my surfboard. Yippy Kayay!!

  31. #131
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    Well I had my surgery in March but it didn't end up as well as the Dr. said it would. The wires came loose and the rods ended up coming loose and didn't hold anything in place. Total waste of 6 months, now doing PT. My county hospital sucks, thats what happens when you don't have insurance.

    I only had the x-rays done at Sierra the closest ER near downieville, surgery back in the bay area
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AC Separation Grade III Recovery-xray9.jpg  

    AC Separation Grade III Recovery-aftermath-surgery-007-%5B640x480%5D.jpg  

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  32. #132
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    i had a stage II separation in 05 and my shoulder aches a lot. Probably because I was playing college lacrosse at the time and did not let it heal right. I am pretty sure there is some arthritis going on in there now. I still don't sleep on the injured shoulder as it will ache in the am. The shoulder also tires very slowly when throwing objects for a period of time.

  33. #133
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    picture of my step pre op

    This was 5 years ago. General practitioner called it a grade 2 and the surgeon called it a definite 5. Looks normal now, but will always be kinda "crusty", especially when a low pressure system moves into town. This is road rash and I got thrown head on into a car while going downhill. Hence, it is pretty ugly. Paid for my masters degree, tax free, and I got a couple bottles of vicodin. Fun times! Biggest bummer is I'll never surf like I used to. Way to crusty and awkward paddling, kinda burns. Doesn't affect riding a bike at all though.

    AC Separation Grade III Recovery-nerrie_back3.jpg
    Last edited by acctnut; 08-27-2010 at 10:22 PM.

  34. #134
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    Looks like that damn tape tearing your skin from the bandage was the worst part, just kidding. I will keep you all posted. I have a feeling that if my surgery works out, my doctor is going to get a lot of business. Keeping my fingers crossed and my arm strapped down.
    By the way, that could be my x-ray, my incision, and I will be praying for all of us.

  35. #135
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    How can you live without any surgery after this accident ? I had this too, AC 3, and im very happy that i had a operation. My shoulder looks better,i feel better and i think that im in balance with my shoulder.The doc told me that i can live with this accident without surgery, but i have to workout my shoulder until the rest of my life to get no osteoarthritis ?
    I had my ACIII back in 1988, surgically speaking they were still dancing around fires and painting on cave walls. Faced with a huge scar on my shoulder from a Navy doc or taking my chances with just physical therapy I took the PT and never regretted it. I do have arthritis and I don't bench press much (push ups and dips instead) and I still don't sleep on my left side but everything else is good. If I hurt it again today I would probably opt for surgery. A co worker had it, tiny little scar, good drugs and much better surgical techiques sort of made it a no brainer.

  36. #136
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    About 4 years ago I had a type III separation. The doctor told me, surgery may or may not be successful. He also told me that there is no conclusive evidence that arthritis (if developed) is coming from the bone rubbing against skin or the actual accident. Finally the doc said, if I develop any problems that there are ways to resolve any issues even after years. I opted against surgery and am fine. I can do everything without any issues today.

  37. #137
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    Man, there is a lot of this going around. Here's my wife's Grade 4 from Aug 19, fixed on Aug 26. I don't have pics of the staples as it's under the bandage. I'll take a pic of it on Fri when she gets them pulled.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AC Separation Grade III Recovery-img_9239-copy.jpg  

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  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollerCoasterVictim
    I

    But what do you guys recon. Is a AC degree 3 damage a career ender or what? Did you just recover and jump back on the horse?

    Thanks again for all the good info!
    No! Both my shoulders have 3rd Degree AC separations and I still race downhill at 44! They do take a while to feel good though.
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  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterRide
    They do take a while to feel good though.
    @ BetterRide.... How long is that? So my wife knows what to expect.
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  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWake
    I did a grade 3 a little over a year ago. It's still not 100% and I'm sure it never will be. I followed the PT religiously and didn't ride for probably 6-8 weeks. It still feels like it's going to pop out whenever I get knocked forward on the bike or over 300 lbs on the bench etc. All of my workout symmetry is out of whack.

    At this point I'm really thinking I should have went against the ortho's recommendation and did the surgery...I'd take a scar and 95% over a big bump and 80%. I don't see how a Dr can say you'll be 100% when your whole shoulder geometry is out of line...
    Of course, drilling a couple of holes in my shoulder and tying it together with a peice of my hamstring didn't sound that great either

    I saw one negative reply about the surgery as well...anyone else go through with the surgery? What were your results?
    I smashed my shoulder on July 20th of this year. Here is the xray:



    I had surgery on August 10th. My doc feels that with this type of repair, I will have a better chance at a full recovery. I start therapy in two weeks. Here is a xray of the repair:



    I have to return in approximately 6 months to have the plate/hook removed.

    I haven't been on my bike since and it's killing me. He talked like the recovery time is considerable, but wouldn't give an estimate. I'm surprised that it's taking so long for the pain to subside.

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdogs
    @ BetterRide.... How long is that? So my wife knows what to expect.
    I think it depends on your age, how healthy you are and your pain threshold. I was 21 when I separated my left shoulder and I was snowboarding 5 days later (but in pain) I was 32 when I separated my right (dominate arm) shoulder and it took 2 months before I could ride mellow trails comfortably. Hopefully yours starts to feel better in less time.
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  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollerCoasterVictim
    I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your experiences guys! Joined for this thread only. Had a grade 3 on my left shoulder about a month ago at Hafjell Bikepark here in Norway. I thought "Oh well, theyll fix me up" but my to my surprise the doctors took a bunch of x-rays and sent me home. With less than no information Im sitting here contemplating having to sell my Intense M6 and dropping out of twin-tip skiing because of this injury.

    I dont have much pain, but I do get some lightening bolts through my shoulder from time to time when I stretch or when I try to open/close the car door. Had some really bad cramps in my shoulder muscles that hurt like Hell, but thankfully theyre gone now.

    I am amazed that this is it.... That the doctors go "Well, thats life, we dont advice you to operate but to make the best out of it..." After all the garish accidents Ive seen my friends go through, with broken bones and crap like that ... I wasnt expecting to be told that I was going to have a bone pushing against the skin on my shoulder for the rest of my life. Its not the cosmetic part that is my issue, but the fact that I have a "rogue" bone in my body and that anything I wear rubs against it and keep it sore. Im a skinny guy so the bump is pretty visual. Showed it to a female co-worker and she had to sit down

    But what do you guys recon. Is a AC degree 3 damage a career ender or what? Did you just recover and jump back on the horse?

    Thanks again for all the good info!
    Two grade III here as well, no surgery on either of them.. I'm riding more than ever, no pain, a little popping here and there.
    Whiskey

  43. #143
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    Just from my wife's personal experience, be a little careful on the Grade 3 decision not to do anything. The Doc said that the Xray told him that it was a 3 and gave us the option of doing nothing or fixing it properly. She decided to let him work his magic. When she came out of surgery, I told me it was actually a 4 in his opinion as the clavical (sp?) was pushed back in to the muscle and would have caused more problems long term. Just food for thought based on our experience.
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  44. #144
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    I had a grade 3 about 4 years ago from a skiing accident. They said it was a "classic" example of a grade 3 that didn't require surgery. I ended up doing some PT and I was back rock climbing in 50-60 days. It was before I rode. I don't have any long term pain or anything else besides the bump of pride/shame. My wife and daughter both call it the alien that lives on my shoulder.

  45. #145
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    Ok I guess I will play this game. I am just under 2 weeks into my injury time out, suffered a Grade III AC Separation on my left shoulder practicing for a DH race. Pain at the time was incredible but I somehow managed to drive myself 60 miles home and then to the ER. Xray didnt look good at all, first they thought my collarbone was broken then someone said my AC was separated. Orthopoedist confirmed a Grade III about 3 days later.

    The doc I saw is the team ortho doc for the 76ers. We went through the option of tightrope surgery or no surgery. I had already done a significant amount of reading prior to my appointment so I knew that if surgery wasnt necessary I wasnt going down that road. He said I could do either but that he has only had one tightrope where the clavical didnt move at all afterward and that studies have shown that Grade III's have just as much a chance of full recovery with or without the surgery. Since its my left arm and I am right handed, he agreed with me that he wouldnt do it unless I wanted to for cosmetic reasons. I can live with a bump on my shoulder, I named it Kuatto. I am seeing him in about 2 weeks, at that time he'll assign me to PT. He told me to get out of the sling as soon as I could handle it.

    About a week into the injury, I was able to take my arm out of the sling. Today I have the sling with me but I am not wearing it at work. The pain is gone, certain movements do feel uncomfortable but not painful. My shoulder feels weak but I can tell the strength is coming back every day, ROM will take a while since I can tell there is some decent scar tissue buildup already that will have to get broken down. I am hopeful that I'll make a full recovery and be back on the DH bike in about 5-6 weeks, just in time to race the last race of the season and try to hold my top spot in the series overall.

    Last edited by dagmz6s; 09-08-2010 at 06:56 AM.

  46. #146
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    just did mine two weeks ago. Grade 3 and my collarbone was sticking up a full 2 inches above the rest of my shoulder. It's a bit gross to have to push your won bones back into place, but it felt a lot better after I did.

    Anyway, it's healing surprisingly fast, although I'm sure it feels better than it actually is internally. Going to get in the pool next week for some very light stretching and a bit of muscle work, but overall, things are going rather well.

    just ordered an EVS SB04 shoulder brace to help things along a bit too. Should be here soon
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  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos
    just ordered an EVS SB04 shoulder brace to help things along a bit too. Should be here soon
    Let me know what you think of the SB04. I have been researching tons of different products and need to pick something that I will run for DH. The SB04 looks good but I am concerned that it'll need a supplemental pad for the AC area.

  48. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by zon
    So I will never be 100%. That sucks.
    Yes it does suck. I had an Grade III AC Separation 2.5 years ago and my shoulder has never been the same. 4 months after the injury it felt fine, fast forward a couple of years and
    the pain is back as well as this funny disconnected feeling in my shoulder.

    Crap, I sure don't want surgery. Hope you get better soon.
    Nobody cares...........

  49. #149
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    Same here! The SB04 looks very interesting. But the thing is that I have no idea how this brace+shoulder bump will work with my Dainese armor. Just the thought of the armour rubbing against the bump gives me the chills.

    Still it looks way more promising than the other "Robocop" versions.

    Please do give us your thoughts on the SB04 if you can

    Regards

  50. #150
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    Thought I'd share my grade 3 AC separation story, which occured on May 9th this year. I'm a roadie, not an MTB'er (found your forum while searching for lights for night riding) and was involved in a head on collision with another cyclist at a local park. I was pulling off the front of a paceline when a guy on an cruiser type bike came around a curve wide left towards me, leaning on his handlebars, not paying attention. Several of us yelled and I hit the brakes, he never seemed to see us until he nearly hit the guy in front of me, then slammed into me handlebar to handlebar. I had slowed from 23 to maybe 15 or so, he was probably going the same speed. The impact was hard enough to completely break the top tube of my aluminum bike and severely bend my downtube and I fell over on my right shoulder. The other guy kind of laid there for a few minutes muttering something about not riding without a helmet again, then while everyone was tending to me and the huge lump in my shoulder, he got on his bike and road off.

    Anyway, my son meets me at the park and loads my broken bike and me into his car and takes me to the emergency room. The doctor comes in after the x-rays to tell me I have a grade 3 shoulder separation and gives me a sling. Prescribes hydrocodone for the pain and ibuprofen and ice packs for the swelling. First few days (especially the day after) were pretty uncomfortable. I was able to drive my car (6 speed manual) after two days but had to use my left hand to put it in reverse. Decided to wait longer to do that again. I kept my arm in the sling (and developed a nasty under arm rash...) and the ibuprofen/ice pack regiment up. At the ER doctor's recommendation, I made an appointment with an orthopedic sports specialist in Irving (TX) at a center that treats many of the Dallas area pro athletes.

    I went this past Tuesday (May 17) and met with the specialist. He took some x-rays and noted my range of motion (I was able to raise my arm level with my shoulder) and my grip to access muscle strength. I'm not the typical 130 pound zero upper body mass roadie, I did a lot of lifting when I was younger and he said that helped limit the severity of the bone movement. His x-rays showed the collar bone had dropped significantly in relation to the x-rays on the evening of the accident. He then said it would be best for me to simply to ditch the sling and go back to my normal routine as the pain allows. While he would love to do the surgery on my shoulder (says it is his favorite operation), he didn't feel I would gain any additional strength or mobility with surgery and my recovery would take longer. 3 days now since that appointment and my range of motion has definitely improved and the pain has noticeably lessened. My son said the bump is barely noticeable now and both shoulders are at the same height.

    I hope to be back working on Monday (I have a detailing business, hence my user name) and I think the motions of washing, buffing and waxing cars will provide some pretty good PT for my shoulder. I already have a new frame for my bike and plan on swapping everything off my old bike to the new frame sometime late next week-don't want to put it together too quick because then I know I will be riding it then

    I go back for a follow up in the middle of June, I'll post how that appointment goes and what my progress is. FWIW, I'll be 50 in a few weeks.

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