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  1. #251
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    I stuffed mine last Wednesday, so I'm in day 9. Absolute pain at the time, I had to drive myself an hour to A&E, sit around for 2.5 hrs "and all I got was this lousy sling". That's A&E for you.

    Yesterday they confirmed I had a Type IV and suggested I have surgery sharpish.

    Having had initial dispair of smahing my shoulder up, the rapid restoration of mobility over the past week had really got my hopes up that I would be fixed up in a couple of months, and had mentally awarded myself a Type II, so the recommendation to have surgery came as a bit of a shock.

    I'm getting a second opinion today but suspect for me it's more a question of what kind and who does the surgery.

    What I've learned so far:

    1) If the ligaments are completely torn, they are not going to grow back on their own.

    Your muscles can grow to adapt; however folk who are particularly active (that means you if you're on this forum), are more likely to aggravate it and never fully get back what you had using just Rest & Recover approach.

    It does make me wonder how your shoulder's going to be in old age when you can't constantly condition it however?

    2) Everyone's injury is different, so make sure you listen to your doc, not just the forums. Getting a specialist opinion and preferably more than one specialist's opinion is probably the best thing you can do early on.

    3) If you opt for surgery there is a difference between acting fast or acting later:

    i) If you act fast, some procedures allow for the ligament to grow back around an artifical substance (such as tightrope ACJ procedure). The longer you leave it, this stops being an option I think?

    ii) This forum has alot of reports of folk taking several months to recover using non-surgical approach. And of that, quite a few then either go for surgery or wish they had.

    My view is that I'd rather recover once than twice, which is what you will have to do if you leave it and then decide to operate later. Since I'm in grade IV camp the weighted opinion seems to be to go for surgery anyway, so that perhaps makes my decision easier. But from what I've seen, even grade II and III sufferers could/ should at least consider it as an early option.

    4) Quite a good website for ACJ dislocation is this one:
    ACJ Dislocations

    Len Funk is apparently a leader in this subject field.

    They do an iphone app called shoulderdoc aswell, for the biker geeks amongst us.

    5) Recovery from surgery looks like a monster downer. This looks like the biggest draw back.

    I've not really seen much on the 10% of "non-successes" (or failures) that reportedly happen with surgery. I'm hoping to learn more on that later today.

    Anyways, thanks all for your commentary on this forum; if nothing else it makes me feel part of a very large community! And slightly less stupid for doing it.

    ...now where's the helpful person who stuck a log around that corner...
    Don't fight the mountain

  2. #252
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    Hilarious, well I got my second opinion, which was that I've type II to III and that shouldn't have surgery... what to do heh!

    I asked about long term effects of not fixing it (re my point about relying on muscles when you're older), and it seems as long as it is pain free, you don't get arthritis or any other age related problems from relying on the muscles.

    In terms of what the surgery failures are, the failure rates I've been quoted are in the region of 10-15%. And a failure tends to mean the op isn't entirely successful, ie. the tightrope, or whatever else is done to pull the bones together, loosens a little after the operation so doesn't achieve quite what it set out to; so it's not as if that 10-15% is a high impact risk.

    There are other possible generic surgery complications, associated with anesthetics, infections or trapped nerves I would guess.

    Anyway, the fact I've received an entirely contradictory view between two specialists in the space of just 24hrs suggests to me that this is a fairly inexact science and open to alot of debate :-/

    As for my next steps, I'm going to push for an exchange of X-Rays between the two specialists and see if either will adjust their position to a point where I have something a little more consistent to work from.
    Don't fight the mountain

  3. #253
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    No offence, but this was one club I wasn't planning to join.

    Unfortunately, yesterday a momentary loss of concentration has landed me here. Oh well.

    I'm interested in what experience anyone's had with getting back to long distance swimming after an AC separation. While mtb is my first love (sport-wise), I'm a keen distance swimmer and terrified I've just killed that...

  4. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodpuddle View Post
    I'm interested in what experience anyone's had with getting back to long distance swimming after an AC separation. While mtb is my first love (sport-wise), I'm a keen distance swimmer and terrified I've just killed that...
    I'm not a distance swimmer by any means but did swim competitively in my younger days and now occassionally churn out laps during the off-season to stay in shape. I can say that after recovering from my grade-3 separation, swimming was different and took a while to get used to. I could definitely tell that everything was not connected the same as it used to be on that side. At times it felt like my collarbone was going through my neck.

    After a while however, I got used to it and don't even really notice much anymore. Maybe my stroke adapted, or I regained my strength, etc. Basically I think you will be fine eventually but it will be different at first, that's for sure.

  5. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burning Matches View Post
    I'm not a distance swimmer by any means but did swim competitively in my younger days and now occassionally churn out laps during the off-season to stay in shape. I can say that after recovering from my grade-3 separation, swimming was different and took a while to get used to. I could definitely tell that everything was not connected the same as it used to be on that side. At times it felt like my collarbone was going through my neck.

    After a while however, I got used to it and don't even really notice much anymore. Maybe my stroke adapted, or I regained my strength, etc. Basically I think you will be fine eventually but it will be different at first, that's for sure.
    Thanks, that's reassuring, although I'm still coming to terms with having done damage that is actually permanent.

    Saw the orthopaedic surgeon today and it seems I have a low grade 3. I was a bit surprised actually, because I'm not really in much pain now (day 3) and seem to have pretty good movement back already.

    Anyway, surgery isn't indicated, at least for the time being. Need to get some physio for the next 4 weeks along with regular NSAIDS. Then re-evaluate. The doc said I had a very good chance of being back to riding and swimming in 6-8 weeks, albeit with more caution required...

  6. #256
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    Pretty happy with my recovery 1 week out. Been hitting the pool several times a day seems to be helping a lot. ROM is coming back and did a 10 mile hike yesterday.

    Hope to start doing some easy road rides in a week.
    Go get that KOM "You Deserve" - http://www.digitalepo.com/index.php

  7. #257
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    Happy to say i am now part of this club. Not sure why i am happy about it but at least there is this forum for hope and information - seems to be a lack of it on the internet.

    I done mine 16 days ago wish i could say how but i was extremely influenced by alcohol and when i woke up in the morning i couldn't raise my arm in the air.

    2 weeks in the swelling has gone down and now i can see the dreaded bump! Haven't got it xray'ed as seemed very little point as ROM/Pain started to improve and there didn't seem like a bump so i thought it was just a grade 1 but now the bump and i get a little bit of a popping nose if i retract my shoulder blades gives me the impression that it is grade 2 plus the fact that i can't do any weights (bench/chin ups) without pain. Add in a delt strain and a trap strain for good measure

    As one of the other members said its a joy when you can wash your hair or put your tshirt on without pain, i am not 100% there but its getting better every day.

    Just started to tape my shoulder to see if it will push the clavicle back down (got every fingers and toes crossed) but not sure how successful this will be but will give it a go.

    Been doing my PT - i am in the profession so designed my own one - and can't believe how weak all the muscles are compared to my non injured side add to the fact that there looks like a bit of atrophy as well on the injured side.

    Will upload a couple pics from day 2 and now so you can see the difference. Getting it xrayed tonight just so i know the extent of the damage, wish i done it sooner to be honest but to suborn.

    Thank you for everyone story its reassuring to know that you get back to full recovery even it takes a while - 2 weeks before this i fractured my wrist so its going to be a good few months in total before i can do any sort of lifting

  8. #258
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    Just had it xrayed, not good. He said visually doesn't look bad added with the fact that i have full Range and good strength but the xray suggests another story and for that i am booked into see a shoulder specialist next week.

    Thanks to work i can't see them sooner as they wanted me in this week but can't make it. Will keep you updated.

    Not the best news i wanted to hear

  9. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by teckyb View Post
    Just had it xrayed, not good. He said visually doesn't look bad added with the fact that i have full Range and good strength but the xray suggests another story and for that i am booked into see a shoulder specialist next week.

    Thanks to work i can't see them sooner as they wanted me in this week but can't make it. Will keep you updated.

    Not the best news i wanted to hear
    Bummer, Sorry to hear. I am at about18 weeks after surgery and have been out for a few rides. I am going real easy as I don't want to have gone through all this to f*ck it up again! I just surrendered to the fact that I would be off the bike for a while and not be able to ride like I want to for 6-9 months. I let go of the "I can't wait to ride" thing after a while and know that if I do everything I am supposed to do, I will be back to myself and my riding before you know it. Don't rush anything with the recovery. Good luck!

  10. #260
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    Thanks for the reply Shawnie.

    What surgery did you have? How long you out for? And is it a big scar?

    My job is extremely active - picking up weights/coaching people in the gym etc so if i am out for a while means not good news - Plus i love to work out and at the moment i can't even do a press up. Hammering out some rehab stuff everyday.

    What are peoples experiences with taping it down? I am going to try it tomorrow to see if it reduces the bump for good, anyone experience good progress? Only concern i have is that i am a bit late and its started to heal in this position you know?

  11. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by teckyb View Post
    What are peoples experiences with taping it down? I am going to try it tomorrow to see if it reduces the bump for good, anyone experience good progress? Only concern i have is that i am a bit late and its started to heal in this position you know?
    I have no personal long term experience to report yet (day 5), but my physio today told me that taping won't do anything to reduce the bump, and that the research is that it makes no long term difference to appearance (my ortho dr said that too).

    Makes me kinda pissed that in the ER, on the day of the injury, I had two of them simultaneously hauling down on my shoulder with tape. Hurt like #$&%.

    Having said all that, the physio did tape my shoulder up today, but for the purposes of taking some of the weight off the shoulder muscles & joint and providing a bit more stability. It didn't involve yanking down on the clavicle or anything horrible.

    It did, however, involve me shaving down my chest - I thought real mountain bikers didn't shave down anyway...

    I think my liberal use of emoticons today reflects my far more upbeat mood about the situation - I feel noticably better and stronger than just a couple of days ago. And I caught myself looking at new bike gear again, so I must be on the mend.

  12. #262
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    Yeah from what i have read it will not do much but i have read the occasional one that says it changed everything and there is no bump.

    I will carry on as you say it takes the pressure off the joint and actually feel a lot more pain free when its tapped down. Only problem is find someone to do it for me daily.

    It is amazing how quick you start to feel better, still have pains washing my hair or spraying deodorant but getting a lot better. Can actually put weight down on it, take my covers off my bed - which used to be the most painful thing in the world or reach over and pick something up - still a bit painful but a lot better.

    Hopefully i will get some off your optimism bloodpuddle

  13. #263
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    Well 10 days out I was on the trainer yesterday bored out of my mind and since things felt ok sitting on the bike I took it for a real spin, 19 flatish miles. Felt great to get out and this morning there have been no bad side effects from doing it, so I'm stoked to be able to ride again, even if it is just the road bike, be a few more weeks before I get the nerve to try the mountain bike.
    Go get that KOM "You Deserve" - http://www.digitalepo.com/index.php

  14. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by teckyb View Post
    Thanks for the reply Shawnie.

    What surgery did you have? How long you out for? And is it a big scar?

    My job is extremely active - picking up weights/coaching people in the gym etc so if i am out for a while means not good news - Plus i love to work out and at the moment i can't even do a press up. Hammering out some rehab stuff everyday.

    What are peoples experiences with taping it down? I am going to try it tomorrow to see if it reduces the bump for good, anyone experience good progress? Only concern i have is that i am a bit late and its started to heal in this position you know?
    Had a grade 5 separation. They repaired what they could of the existing ligaments and looped a cadaver ligament around clavicle for extra support. Tightened up the joint and sewed me up. Nice size scar a little over 2 inches long which I could care less about. I have been able to work because my job doesn't require lifting but I have to avoid lifting anything more than a coffee cup with that arm for several weeks. Much better now in terms of being able to lift things etc. Basically full range of motion back but have to be careful still. Can probably get back on single track at around 16 weeks post op.

  15. #265
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    Well its 3 weeks today when i fell over and i am looking on the whole picture a bit more brightly. Well i took the tape off yesterday and my skin is raw lol so i left it off all day and the bump hasn't got any bigger or smaller so i am not going to tape it today.

    My gf says she can hardly see it and that the fact that i have big red raw tape marks on my skin is the only obvious marker. Just have a nagging feeling about it all, soon as i look in the mirror i can see it but i think its because i know its there. Hopefully if i add on a few kilos i have lost through not working out i will look normal - in my eyes.

    Still seeing the surgeon this week just to assess all my options. Very annoying here in the UK as there is a 3yr window once a week to see a shoulder specialist and when i said i couldn't make an appointment the amount of grief i got of the nurses was incredible, how about you do a more realistic window of appointments and i might be able to make one of them!

    All i am now concerned about is that i can return to full fitness and be able to push myself like i used to before the accident and hopefully not get any signs later down the line. A friend said she still gets issues 3 yrs later alas she never done any rehab so hopefully all the work i am doing now will help.

    Great to hear you are back out on the road TahoeBC!

  16. #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodpuddle View Post

    I'm interested in what experience anyone's had with getting back to long distance swimming after an AC separation. While mtb is my first love (sport-wise), I'm a keen distance swimmer and terrified I've just killed that...
    Did my Grade 3 sep skateboarding rolling of the deck of a pool and free fell to the flat after a kid in the bottom screamed at me (should've just taken him out...) I would rather surf than anything else in this world - did mine in early Sept. after training my ass off for Fall / Winter. I was beyond bummed - knew I was shot for at least Fall. Family friend / doctor was the Portland Trailblazers ortho guy at the time and he was against surgery of any kind - the fix is a screw through the collar back to the scapula. I was super paddle fit and that was a big help in recovery. That was a few years ago - I'm now back to probably 95% on that side, funny it actually feels better than the intact one at times. Put in some marathon paddling sessions without any issues. I also swim in the pool regularly. My bet is you'll be fine.

    Funny sidebar - my entire chest and side was bruised. The bruise migrated down and eventually pooled up in my ankle (!!!!) Six months after this I was in shorts and a lady saw my ankle and commented that it looked horrrible, my ankle must be very painful. I just smiled and laughed, didn't bother to explain.

  17. #267
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    Did you get pain while swimming? Did you do freestyle or avoid that?

    Thinking of doing some this weekend as a form of rehab for it

  18. #268
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    Thanks, pigdog. Reassuring.

    Saw a 2nd ortho dr this week whose recommendations re non-surgical route confirmed what the 1st dr said: no point for me to rush into surgery, and chances are I'll get back to normal - with a humpy shoulder - just with exercise and physio.

    He wants me to start breast-stroking (in the pool) at week 4, keep that going for 4 weeks and, assuming no problems, freestyling (in the pool) at week 8.

    Funnily enough, he said he'd be happy for me to ride the bike pretty much now (day 11), since the pressure from holding the handlebars would actually be pushing the shoulder back to a more normal position. He told me I couldn't fall off, however, which is something I've never managed to achieve in the past...

  19. #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodpuddle View Post
    since the pressure from holding the handlebars would actually be pushing the shoulder back to a more normal position. He told me I couldn't fall off, however, which is something I've never managed to achieve in the past...

    I've found this to be quite true, I'm more comfortable riding the bike than just walking around, I'm am staying on the road bike as I really fear falling on it again right now. But 17 days out an I've logged nearly 200 road miles in the last 6 days. I continue to swim also. it's helped a lot.
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  20. #270
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    Well, back in a sling again. Separated my right shoulder 2 years ago...it still hurts from time to time, but, it's not that bad. Separated my left shoulder Wednesday evening...now 2 days later, hurts like a mother. I have been advised against surgery.....for now, I'll take that advice. It is a good thing that I am a desk jockey most of the time....
    gotta find a new hobby......maybe bird watching....hahaha
    I asked God for a bike, but I know he doesn't work that way so I stole a bike & asked for forgiveness.

  21. #271
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    Had physio the other day for the first time, was bloody painful to say the least. Felt great after and the bump had actually dropped down a bit after, so probably tight tissue pulling it up. May get it strapped down next appointment and see if the scar tissue will help keep it down.

    Feeling a bit better this week, could actually do one full press up without too much pain. 4 weeks today so still pretty early, i am aiming for 6 weeks back to weight training.

    This board has been invaluable for info and knowledge that it will get better

  22. #272
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    I'm at 3yrs now, no surgery. I can't throw very well, the clavicle slams into the process it was attached to. The only other thing that bothers me is if I sleep on that side.

    That said, don't worry about reducing the bump. Whatever you do.... It's probably not going to make a difference. You actually want some distance between ends of the former joint as those bits coming into contact is what hurts after things heal.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  23. #273
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    3 weeks to the day, I returned to Dirt, fairly easy 1 hour ride, hopefully I can do a more extended ride next weekend.
    Go get that KOM "You Deserve" - http://www.digitalepo.com/index.php

  24. #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    3 weeks to the day, I returned to Dirt, fairly easy 1 hour ride, hopefully I can do a more extended ride next weekend.
    Great stuff! I'm also coming up to 3 weeks this weekend - planning a cruisey road / firetrail ride to celebrate.

    Went for a fast walk today, but after about an hour my shoulder was feeling a bit achy. Had been planning to jog, but that's definitely going to be too bouncy at this stage.

  25. #275
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodpuddle View Post
    Great stuff! I'm also coming up to 3 weeks this weekend - planning a cruisey road / firetrail ride to celebrate.

    Went for a fast walk today, but after about an hour my shoulder was feeling a bit achy. Had been planning to jog, but that's definitely going to be too bouncy at this stage.
    I have found riding to be easier than hiking as long as your not taking big drops

    Here are a couple pics from yesterdays ride, planning a much bigger dirt ride this weekend.



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