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  1. #276
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    A growth experience?

    Great pics. You're lucky to have local trails with views like those.

    I got back on the bike for the first time today(day 20): rode about an hour, mostly on the road but also some easy singletrack. Shoulder felt fine the whole time except when I forgot I was protecting it and yanked up on the bars to climb a small step. Even that didn't really hurt but the twinge reminded me that things are still a bit rotten in the state of Denmark.

    Speaking of luck, this whole episode has made me realize how lucky I am that I didn't do more damage in my crash. When I think about how high and fast I was going and how mentally disengaged i was from what I was doing when I crashed, I realize just how bad this could have been. In a way I'm now kinda glad I've had this injury, cos it's made me realize how much I'd been taking for granted.

  2. #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodpuddle View Post
    Speaking of luck, this whole episode has made me realize how lucky I am that I didn't do more damage in my crash. When I think about how high and fast I was going and how mentally disengaged i was from what I was doing when I crashed, I realize just how bad this could have been. In a way I'm now kinda glad I've had this injury, cos it's made me realize how much I'd been taking for granted.
    I feel the exact same way about my injury. When it happened, I was screaming down a long ski slope during a race, hit a large hole with my front wheel, flew over the handlebars, and landed FIRST on my head, then my shoulder. I sat for a minute, then got up and walked away from that crash with only an AC separation. I could have been paralyzed or dead. The guy behind me said we were going about 30 miles an hour at the time. That was about 4 years ago, and I am still lucky enough to be riding today.

  3. #278
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    I don't know who the Rider Down Mod is, but since the OP hasn't posted since 2007......Could be turned into a poll? Surgery-Happy/Unhappy, No Surgery-Happy/Unhappy. The thread won't die and it would be nice to have a graph of posters as to how their recovery has gone without reading 300 posts.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  4. #279
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    I found reading others' posts very helpful - much more info than a poll could deliver.

  5. #280
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    I am 9 weeks post Grade III injury. Been doing PT for almost 2 months with range of motion almost completely restored. The only pain I have sometime is a muscle spasm around the shoulder blade area after exercising. PT thinks I may be overworking muscle. Seems like it may be dimishing as I heal but had another episode today. Has anyone experienced this??

  6. #281
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    Well i joined the club this morning. I over shot a decent sized table top bailed and landed on my right shoulder. all in all I have a class 3 separation. luckily though this was the first day that i got to use my full face helmet which pretty much kept me out of the ER for brain damage, because my head was next to hit the ground hard and i blacked out (i think, i dont really remember that part lol). once i collected myself i walked me and the bike back to the car so i could drive to a more visible spot to meet an ambulance because my car is standard and shifting wasn't fun and i was alone.

    Only question is how do you guys sleep, every move i make hurts my shoulder when laying down and its keeping me up which is why im posting this at midnight.

    ps: great thread sooooo glad i found it, it has kind of put my mind to ease about recovery and stuff, so thanks again

  7. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaneman View Post
    Well i joined the club this morning. I over shot a decent sized table top bailed and landed on my right shoulder. all in all I have a class 3 separation. luckily though this was the first day that i got to use my full face helmet which pretty much kept me out of the ER for brain damage, because my head was next to hit the ground hard and i blacked out (i think, i dont really remember that part lol). once i collected myself i walked me and the bike back to the car so i could drive to a more visible spot to meet an ambulance because my car is standard and shifting wasn't fun and i was alone.

    Only question is how do you guys sleep, every move i make hurts my shoulder when laying down and its keeping me up which is why im posting this at midnight.

    ps: great thread sooooo glad i found it, it has kind of put my mind to ease about recovery and stuff, so thanks again
    Welcome!

    Sleeping gets easier pretty quickly. I found the first couple of nights uncomfortable, but what helped was lying on my back propped up against several pillows, so that my upper back and shoulders were both supported and my torso was elevated from horizontal. I woke up plenty of times during those first nights to shift around a bit, but still slept ok in between times like that.

    The pain in my shoulder dropped hugely within 24 hours, so hopefully by this time tomorrow you'll be (a) a whole lot more comfortable and (b) asleep!

    I stopped sleeping elevated on the pillows after about 3 nights. The next few days I slept better but still woke up several times a night to shift from lying on my back to lying on my left side (like you, it's my right shoulder that I stuffed up).

    Since the end of week 1 (I'm now approaching the end of week 4 from a grade 3), I've been sleeping pretty well and the last few days I don't think I've woken at all. I found trying to sleep face down uncomfortable until about a week ago, but now it's fine.

    Hopefully some of that is helpful for you too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burning Matches View Post
    I feel the exact same way about my injury. When it happened, I was screaming down a long ski slope during a race, hit a large hole with my front wheel, flew over the handlebars, and landed FIRST on my head, then my shoulder. I sat for a minute, then got up and walked away from that crash with only an AC separation. I could have been paralyzed or dead. The guy behind me said we were going about 30 miles an hour at the time. That was about 4 years ago, and I am still lucky enough to be riding today.
    So, I'm curious then whether this has changed your riding style, the risks you'll take etc?

    My regular riding buddy is sending me the usual vimeo links etc to get me psyched and pushing myself again, but I honestly can't see myself hitting jumps again in a big way. I feel like this has been my warning that I'm not so young anymore (38) and not quite as indestructible as I thought I was.

    Just getting the confidence back to tackle tricky terrain is going to be a battle, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigdog View Post
    I also swim in the pool regularly. My bet is you'll be fine.
    As of today, I know I will be too. Did a couple of tentative laps of breaststroke last weekend, and today did 600m of breastroke without any pain. Also did some gentle, stationery freestyle movements in a standing position and didn't have any pain. Yeeha!

  8. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodpuddle View Post

    So, I'm curious then whether this has changed your riding style, the risks you'll take etc?

    My regular riding buddy is sending me the usual vimeo links etc to get me psyched and pushing myself again, but I honestly can't see myself hitting jumps again in a big way. I feel like this has been my warning that I'm not so young anymore (38) and not quite as indestructible as I thought I was.

    Just getting the confidence back to tackle tricky terrain is going to be a battle, I think.


    I would say it has. Not so much with the risks I will take, but I am now a better, smarter, and more in control rider than I was at the time. I was simply going way too fast and did not maintain proper control of my bike and speed when that accident happened. I've since learned how to maintain the right level of control for the trail conditions and my speed.

  9. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodpuddle View Post
    Welcome!

    Sleeping gets easier pretty quickly. I found the first couple of nights uncomfortable, but what helped was lying on my back propped up against several pillows, so that my upper back and shoulders were both supported and my torso was elevated from horizontal. I woke up plenty of times during those first nights to shift around a bit, but still slept ok in between times like that.

    The pain in my shoulder dropped hugely within 24 hours, so hopefully by this time tomorrow you'll be (a) a whole lot more comfortable and (b) asleep!

    I stopped sleeping elevated on the pillows after about 3 nights. The next few days I slept better but still woke up several times a night to shift from lying on my back to lying on my left side (like you, it's my right shoulder that I stuffed up).

    Since the end of week 1 (I'm now approaching the end of week 4 from a grade 3), I've been sleeping pretty well and the last few days I don't think I've woken at all. I found trying to sleep face down uncomfortable until about a week ago, but now it's fine.

    Hopefully some of that is helpful for you too.



    So, I'm curious then whether this has changed your riding style, the risks you'll take etc?

    My regular riding buddy is sending me the usual vimeo links etc to get me psyched and pushing myself again, but I honestly can't see myself hitting jumps again in a big way. I feel like this has been my warning that I'm not so young anymore (38) and not quite as indestructible as I thought I was.

    Just getting the confidence back to tackle tricky terrain is going to be a battle, I think.



    As of today, I know I will be too. Did a couple of tentative laps of breaststroke last weekend, and today did 600m of breastroke without any pain. Also did some gentle, stationery freestyle movements in a standing position and didn't have any pain. Yeeha!
    THANKYOU, thats how i ended up sleeping after a while it seemed to work alright even though i still woke up a few times because i move a lot when i sleep and i end up rolling onto my shoulder.

  10. #285
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaneman View Post
    i still woke up a few times because i move a lot when i sleep and i end up rolling onto my shoulder.
    Sorry. Forgot to mention that I also put a pillow along the right side of my body to discourage me from rolling onto that side.

  11. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodpuddle View Post
    Sorry. Forgot to mention that I also put a pillow along the right side of my body to discourage me from rolling onto that side.
    lol all good im just glad i managed to get some sleep

  12. #287
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    Well i am about 6 1/2 weeks post injury.

    Seen the surgeon and he said surgery was pointless and rehab/PT would be enough. So i have been seeing a PT (physio here in the UK) for about 3 weeks only for a 30min session. Generally she attacks my upper back/neck and rotator cuff along with sorting out my front of my shoulder.

    It has got a hell of a lot better since the physio, annoyed i didn't go sooner, and the strength is returning. Its mad what difference a day or a couple of days make in the pain scale on certain exercises. I can no do press ups albeit still with some pain but loads better than before. Funny enough if i do them inclined off a step they feel a lot better. Bench press feels really weird, my shoulder blade feels trapped and can not move properly and i haven't got the stability yet to do Dumbbell press. Apart from that most exercises are fine.

    Sleeping on it is now much better, still have pain but i can actually lie on it for a bit but not my favorite position. I generally don't notice it through the day anymore if i pull my shoulder blades back i feel like a stretch and a pain in my joint but apart from that full ROM is back with little pain at all, only when i fully cross my arm over my body.

    Went on a friends scooter today messing around and hit some rough ground, boy did my shoulder feel that! a while yet till i get back on the bike for sure. I give it till 10-12 weeks before i am back to 90-100% - mine was a grade 2 if anyone is interested

  13. #288
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    I don't think I shared mine here yet, but I went OTB off a 30ft high(the other rider with me obviously can't gauge distance and keeps saying it was more like 2ft ) platform, landing smack onto my right shoulder and tearing my AC and CC lig's.

    After hiking all the way back to my friend's house 14miles (again.. in his erroneous thinking, he says it's only 1/4mile... yeah... right dude ) uphill on slippery shale in the dark...
    I went to the ED, got some 'happy juice' and after some xrays, went home with a sling... that was mid-February this year.

    The local Ortho suggested waiting 6 wks, then after that I told him to cut, he said to wait until the new guy came in (experience in sports medicine/surgery... AND... it turns out he's a MTB'er too!) 2 weeks later.

    I was this guy's first surgery since he arrived and it seemed to go well until...
    I got out of surgery and found out I have a poor tolerance to the anesthesia they gave me

    Two weeks later the fix was sagging and he opened me back up, repaired it again this time putting me in a solid brace instead of a soft sling/pillow (everyone at the hospital told him he wouldn't be able to hold me still very well ).

    Basically, the surgeon looped allograft ligament (cadaver) around my coracoid process then passed the ends up through two holes drilled through my clavicle, then held in place with synthetic screws.

    The first repair stretched, but the second one has held well since April.
    I started PT on my own, then made a few visits to our PT'ist at the hospital getting advice on other movements I could do along with strengthening exercises later on.

    I had my brace taken off after a full 6 weeks (I had already 'biked' some on my trainer at home watching MTB videos.. only problem was getting into the action and trying to 'jump' when they jumped in the vid j/k)

    My surgeon, being a MTB'er too, knew how hard it had been for me to remain compliant all that time, so his advice when the brace came off... "Now dont' go out and do anything STUPID... even if that IS your middle name!" He rides with me now... I think he's just tagging along so he can claim "First Dibs" on another surgery when I go down... err, I mean.. IF I ever go down again ... just wish he'd quit calling me GRAVY TRAIN

    For the past few months now, I have been gradually working on my stretching, ROM stuff, and strength building. I do all the usual shoulder stretches, and I also lift dumbells and do assisted pull-ups and regular pushups and dips.
    I'm gettin' there!

    Been back to riding all this time as well.... NICE...
    The first few times I tried bunny-hopping, jumping, and manuals I could definitely tell my shoulder wasn't ready for too much of that so soon, but it just keeps on getting better.
    Me: "Hey Doc! Will I be able to ride a MTB really well after the surgery?"
    Doc: "Could you ride a MTB well before surgery?"
    Me: "Uh, well... I'm here aren't I... duh!"

    I have the slightest bump to my shoulder, but considering what I did to it... I'm really happy with the outcome. I would have rather had surgery from the get-go, but in retrospect, it was worth the wait for the new guy. The older surgeon is great, but the new guy took a different approach to the repair that I'm happier with.

    The first pic is my x-ray pre-surgery... second is my shoulder during the 1st 6 weeks (without the 2 lig's attached, my shoulder is actually drooping. It looks to folks like the clavicle has raised instead)... third is the first surgical repair and my soft sling/pillowblock. This didn't keep me from moving the arm around, taking it off for showers, etc. = me bad patient... fourth is the first surgery catching some slack. The picture is reversed... it's NOT my left shoulder! That one is still in good shape so I land on it now instead of the right one ... fifth is my second surgery and new brace which worked MUCH better! The trophy was put together by me and some friends at a LBS.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ac Separation (shoulder Separation)-rtshoulderxray.jpg  

    Ac Separation (shoulder Separation)-marksclavicle.jpg  

    Ac Separation (shoulder Separation)-post-surgery-4_21.jpg  

    Ac Separation (shoulder Separation)-photo-2011-04-28-15.46.jpg  

    Ac Separation (shoulder Separation)-photo-2011-05-11-11.38.jpg  

    Last edited by wsmac; 10-12-2011 at 03:17 PM.

  14. #289
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    At first, when I got the new brace... I realized it was in the PERFECT anatomical position for riding! Since it was so rock-solid, I knew nothing was going to happen should I fall on that side again while wearing it!
    If you were at the RedBull Rampage, you probably saw me tearing it up on the course STILL IN MY BRACE!
    I... AM... SO... RAD! does anyone use that term anymore???

    eta: my pics are still reversed... bleh
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ac Separation (shoulder Separation)-photo-2011-05-11-12.07.jpg  

    Ac Separation (shoulder Separation)-moredirt2.jpg  


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    I severed my ac ligament when I was 18 (31 now) thanks to an endo jump on my dirt bike. It took years before I could function similar to before. Now, the shoulder can routinely come in and out if of socket if manipulate it, but feels pretty good. It probably took a solid 3 years before it really stopped bothering me.

  16. #291
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    Hey Crawlaway,

    What kind of issues did you have? I'm 12 weeks post ac sep injury. PT went well but I get those horrible knots in my back, clicking during basic movements and straps on shoulder irritate it.
    Did you have any of these problems? I am trying to locate someone at this forum who had any of these experiences.

    Thanks!

  17. #292
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    Lots of dislocating and pain sleeping. I had a hard time carrying heavy loads and had lots of grinding. The worst part was the sleeping. I would sleep on it and wake up with everything stretched out and in pain. I still get lots of popping and grinding, but it doesn't really hurt anymore.

  18. #293
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    Thanks for responding CrawAway!

    I heard from someone that there is a magical 2 or 3 year period where a lot of nagging stuff goes away.
    What Grade level was your injury? Do you have more strength now and full range-of-motion?

  19. #294
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    Quote Originally Posted by caskifun1230 View Post
    Thanks for responding CrawAway!

    I heard from someone that there is a magical 2 or 3 year period where a lot of nagging stuff goes away.
    What Grade level was your injury? Do you have more strength now and full range-of-motion?
    I don't know the grade; it has been too many years. However, the ac ligament was completely torn and never healed or was repaired. I have strength in it and it is almost as strong as the other side. I am a little more cautious with it, but it works and seldom gives me any trouble. However, the more extreme the angle of the shoulder, the weaker it feels.

    I have a full range of motion and, in fact, have a little more flexibility on the injured side because I am no longer bound by the severed ligament.

  20. #295
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    Thought I'd post a little update FWIW...

    I'm now exactly 6 weeks out from a grade 3 in my right shoulder, and it's really feeling strong.

    I've been pretty conscientious with the rotator cuff, scapula, bicep and tricep exercises (about 10 mins twice a day) that my physio gave me, as well as stretching and concentrating on my posture.

    I've got no pain at all, and near normal range of movement.

    Lifting heavy stuff (eg. my 4yo son who weighs about 23kg) with the right arm is a bit uncomfortable, but less and less so every day.

    I've been swimming a couple of times a week since week 3. Started with breaststroke, but quickly found freestyle was ok too, so now I'm doing 1500m sessions which are about 40:60 breastroke:freestyle. And that's getting easier every time too. In yesterday's session, I did some fairly fast freestyle laps without pain.

    As for riding, I've been back on the road for several weeks and today went for my first proper dirt ride. It's a mostly XC track with a few bigger obstacles, none of which were ever a problem before (just bombed straight down/over them), but today I was really freezing up, riding tentatively and basically not riding well. None of it is because my shoulder won't let me, just that my confidence has definitely taken a hit after the crash.

    Anyone got any jedi mind trick suggestions?

  21. #296
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    Did my G3 AC right side two weeks ago

    Went down at Whistler, concussion, broke a rib and a finger too. Figure I'm lucky and it could have been much worse. Doc in the ER and my Ortho said no surgery. Don't even think about it. Had a Doctor friend at a teaching hospital ask around, all the Orthos agreed, do the rehab and get on with it.

    I've had two other major joint injuries. Left rotator cuff tear and surgery in high school that took six months to heal and a year to be back to "normal", about 90% of before. Back then they didn't do it as a minimally invasive, they cut through all the muscle in the front of my shoulder, and I permanently lost a lot of strength from that. Now they do that with minimally invasive methods and the muscle damage and recovery time are so much less. That's something to think about here - from what I can see they still haven't totally figured out the AC repair (there are competing methods and approaches) but they're making a lot of progress so maybe that's a reason to wait.

    I also had a right knee ACL tear (basketball), just barely still attached, that was ten years ago. I never had surgery, and except for no more basketball or long distance running it's been fine.

    So for me surgery is out. So what if I have a bump? I know from my rotator cuff that with shoulders if the muscles are strong, the joint works well. After two weeks the swelling is minimal, I'm in the gym doing light exercises and I'm riding a little (not trails yet).

    I have to say I was feeling kinda down, like why do I love this sport so much if it's so dangerous? Then I was reading a sports illustrated at the doctor's office on "The Lost Art of Tackling" and they were talking about the new rules to prevent injuries in football. Troy Polamalu had a quote about how they shouldn't regulate too much, because facing our fears is what makes us men. Riding fast and hard, and doing it well, is only so much fun because there are consequences for making a mistake. I'll be back out there as soon as I can, with maybe just a bit more caution

    Thanks to all who posted here this was a great source of info!

  22. #297
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJMTB View Post
    ... talking about the new rules to prevent injuries in football. Troy Polamalu had a quote about how they shouldn't regulate too much, because facing our fears is what makes us men... I'll be back out there as soon as I can, with maybe just a bit more caution
    I agree that over-regulation can be more detrimental than allowing people to learn limits through experience. Not so sure about it "making a man" out of me since I am already a man

    After my shoulder surgery, I did take it a bit easy, but I've found that I don't even think much about my shoulder at all now. If anything, I've been trying to focus on lessons learned. In my case though, it may be more about having my accident doing something off-trail instead of on a bomber run.

    Perhaps if I had injured myself as speed on a trail I might be even more cautious today...
    but, once I feel the air pushing harder against my body/face as I increase speed, as my mind slide into a more hyper-focused state as the ground features hurtle at me almost quicker than I can pick them out, and as the bike absorbs then pushes off bumps, waterbars, and features sending that energy up through my legs and arms... well, I just lose all sense of possible impending doom and ride the ride.

    Mmmmmm... gotta love it all!

  23. #298
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    Shoulder separation back in July. Off all bikes until 2 days ago. Shoulder felt fine, not completely healed, but good enough to ride. Did 2 road rides this weekend, shoulder doesn't hurt, just doesn't feel quite right. Must be time for some rehab/strengthening. Anyone have a link to a great separated shoulder rehab workout?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by #1Hammerhead; 10-24-2011 at 05:27 PM.
    Ride hard or ride home alone

  24. #299
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    guess ill post an update. I am just over 4 weeks out from a grade 3 ac tear (no surgery). 1st week was good because every day i got noticeably more and more movement back in my arm, 2nd week was also good because i got noticeably less pain every day in my arm. 3rd week sucked because i had 99% movement back, with about 95% pain free but any force behind that movement hurt like hell, so i felt good but still couldn't do anything. But last weekend (27 days after accident) i went on a ride and could handle everything pretty well, just not as fast as before (it was actually my wrist which i also broke that hurt more than my shoulder), I stayed away from big drops/jumps though. So all in all im happy with my recovery at the moment, ill try to remember and update this in a few months .

    luckily I dont have the bump that everyone else seems to have and my shoulder only sits 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch lower that my good shoulder.

  25. #300
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsmac View Post
    At first, when I got the new brace... I realized it was in the PERFECT anatomical position for riding! Since it was so rock-solid, I knew nothing was going to happen should I fall on that side again while wearing it!
    If you were at the RedBull Rampage, you probably saw me tearing it up on the course STILL IN MY BRACE!
    I... AM... SO... RAD! does anyone use that term anymore???

    eta: my pics are still reversed... bleh
    Thank you wsmac, your action photo made me feel much better!

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