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  1. #201
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    Hello all, so about three to four weeks I took a little tumble and ended up with a concussion and a grade 3 AC seperation. I could barely move it for about a week but once I stopped using the sling it started to feel so much better and I started getting my range of motion back. Now I have all my range of motion, a little lump on my shoulder and it only hurts when I lay on it.
    The doctor told me basically not to use it for 2 to 3 months but that seems like a very long time. I was just curious how long you guys waited before lifting again and any good strength training exercises to start with? I am so tired of only doing legs at the gym.
    I also went for my first ride today since I injured it. It seemed ok but I cant help but feel that if I fall directly on my shoulder or an out stretched arm it will hurt like hell. Since so many of you guys seem to have experience with this type of injury I was wondering if it is the type of injury that I can expect to be reoccurring injury every time I fall on it wrong?
    Any input would be greatly appreciated

  2. #202
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    Hi poo,

    I'm 3 months into my separation I think mine was a grade 5. My shoulder had dropped about 3 inches.

    I taped it down nearly every day for 3 months and now I only have a 1/2 inch bump. I will continue to tape until I think that there's no more point. I would highly recommend doing this. I use zinc oxide tape in 5cm widths and strap it down hard, get someone to help you.

    I rode very carefully at 4 weeks and built up from there. Now I ride all trails but not as confidently as before. I have had a crash recently, put my arms out to save myself, and the shoulder did hurt like hell, but is better after a couple of days. Many of the top riders in our sport have this injury. Personally I'd avoid putting yourself in a crash situation for 2-3months, but will depend on you. I still can't do a press-up, maybe you can. Perhaps consider getting some road miles in for fitness.

    I tried doing weights at about 5 weeks, but I didn't like how it felt so I stopped. Will give it a try again in another 2 weeks, but will start with really light weights. I think weights are a good idea to give the shoulder some extra support, but give yourself a bit of time to heal.

    Surgery is an option, but you will be out of action for months. Personally I now wish I had it done straight away.

    Everyone is different, and what may work for some won't for others. There's a lot of opinion on this injury out there even among professionals, so do your own research. All I'm doing here is sharing my experience.

  3. #203
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    Undecided on shoulder surgery:

    Hello all. I stumbled upon this forum and have found that a lot of you have had a similar experience to my own. I actually separated my shoulder Approx. 10 years ago. There was never a real event that I know of to cause the separation. I played college soccer and I was always struggling with minor injuries. My girlfriend (now wife) noticed the clavicle protruding and asked me about it. I honestly had not even noticed at the time. Eventually I started to get sore and went to see an Ortho doc about 10 years ago. He took x-rays, said it was separated, but no surgery b/c the surgery was too painful and I should wait until I'm older and in more pain before I go that route. I don't know the grade of the separation. My guess is 2, maybe 3 at the worst. Fast forward 10 years. I've gotten pretty active with lifting weights and riding. The shoulder is starting to hurt more now. Sometimes it takes several minutes in the hot shower in the morning to reduce stiffness. I'm having trouble deciding when enough is enough. I don't think my separation is as serious as a lot of the ones I've read about in this forum. I do have the slightly unsightly bump on my shoulder. I was hoping there had been some medical advances in this amount of time. Any guidance would be appreciated.

  4. #204
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    Carter, I'm a week out of surgery for grade 5. How long were you off even a road bike? I haven't been able to pin down my Doc...too early still. I'm 44 and the thought of losing all my conditioning is incredibly depressing. Thanks - Chris
    If ya ain't bleedin'...ya ain't ridin'.

  5. #205
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    Turbo,
    You need to find a really good surgeon who will talk you through your options. There are apparently over 100 different types of surgery to deal with this injury. The success rate is around 90% according to my surgeon, but I've seen lower statistics. There's still not much agreement on what the best method actually is, so I guess the procedure will be down to your surgeon.

    I'd do some searches on AC separation or shoulder separation, and get up to speed. There's a lot of voices against surgery, but they are mostly from those who didn't try it. I think most of those who had successful surgery probably don't bother trolling forums for AC separations like the rest of us do.

  6. #206
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    Thanks g00mba. I think I'm going to spend the summer getting up to speed on these surgeries. I didn't know there were that many types of surgery for this. I also don't really want to ruin good times at the lake and pool with my daughter this summer. I agree in that I'm much more likely to give feedback on something when I'm upset than when I'm satisfied. After my research I think I will have some serious talks with some surgeons in the fall. Sorry for the reasons you guys are on this forum, but I appreciate your posts.

  7. #207
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    No worries, very sensible to wait until summer is over. I'll be doing the same, and I'm looking forward to picking up the kids again without considering how much its going to hurt all of the time.

    After surgery The recovery time is several months depending on what procedure you have and who does it. I'd like to link some articles, but I haven't made enough posts to provide links. Here's some searches instead:

    About the success rates of different types of procedures:
    "Clinical results of coracoacromial ligament transfer in acromioclavicular dislocations: A review of published literature"

    About the different types of procedures (there are lots and lots of variations, but this boils them down to just a few types):
    Shoulder doc.co.uk Stabilization of the Acromioclavicular Joint

    In a nutshell, the first article reveals that whichever type of procedure you have, the results are similar, but notably that 1. screw fixation carries a higher risk because the screw can break, detach, and migrate to other parts of the body, and that 2.non-disolvable threads used to tie the bones together can cause bone erosion.

    There seems to be a preference for modified Weaver-Dunn procedure, and from what I have read, people seem most happy with this procedure. It involves removing the end of your clavicle and attaching a redundant ligament to keep it in place. It sounds brutal, but to me seems like the best option. In the US Cadaver tendons are used to help keep it in place, and this sounds like a good idea to me as long as you don't mind the idea of it. They will dissolve slowly while the ligament transfer heals.

    People who have had Weaver Dunn surgery seem the most content, while those that seem the least content are those that have had a k-wire to hold the bones together. These seem to pull through the bone more frequently. I read somewhere that using two k-wires is a much better option, but I can't remember where I read that.

    Of course I'm not a doctor, but I have spent 3 months obsessing over this injury and have therefore done many hours of reading, but the key to success I think is to find an experienced specialist surgeon who understands sports injuries and has had plenty of practice at fixing people.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #208
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    About a year ago I was going through a rt hand sweeper; narrow path lined w/ pine trees, flat hardpack, so speeds were fairly quick (around 20mph), my rt arm & shoulder clipped a 'misplaced' tree on the inside of the turn which pushed me & the bike upright, partially tossing me off the bike.

    My left shoulder hitting a pine tree on the outside of the turn is what stopped me. I don't remember the degree of seperation, but here's the xray (remove the spaces to use the link since I don't have enough posts for links yet)

    http: //i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/pj350/Xrays. jpg

    I went to a few secessions of PT, but at over $40 a visit I refused the remainder and started doing the exercizes at home. The doctor and the PT people placed a huge emphasis on maintaining a full range of motion and to fight through all but the most severe pain to do so even if it ment using my good arm/hand to pull my left arm through its full range; as it would preserve the range of motion as the healing process occured.

    After 1-2 months of not being able to move my arm on it's own without extreme pain I was weight training with very light weights, then progressed to 'full weight' weights a month or two ago. Regarding the current situation, every so often there is a little grinding/popping, and what feels like minor joint weakness; but since I continue to do weight training, my shoulders have never been stronger.

    I also have the satisfaction of having a good story... having to ride 3 more miles through twisty singletrack and 6 miles back home just using one arm

  9. #209
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    Did it look like this:

    http ://s1109.photobucket.com/albums/h430/grantbroome/?action=view&current=shoulder-public. jpg

    Great trick with the spaces!

  10. #210
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    Thankfully my dislocation was much less severe (a grade 2-3), just a small bump remains on top of my shoulder.

    I still can't ride at speed with the same confidence as before, just knowing what another "off" could mean for my health and job; then again it's much safer not going 10-10ths.

    Some great info in this thread!

  11. #211
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    This is my reply fully 20 months after my injury. And it's aimed at those in some serious job/family situations where losing time at work is a big deal.

    I am finally back to 100% but still not riding. I guess I got to the age (I ain't telling but I bet it's more than you) where injuries were more severe than before 'cause of the healing ability and time. This is the longest stretch of time I've been injury-free for about 4 years and I love it. I'm strong in the gym, I don't hurt much, I'm not recovering from my latest injury (read: going back to zero in my fitness only to start again only to be hurt again etc etc).

    What I'm saying to you older riders is, as addicted as I was to riding, I'm addicted to being in one piece and functional these days. You gotta consider your obligations outside riding and family obligations is a lot. Who here has a job that allows you to be laid up for months every year? I don't.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  12. #212
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    Just took a spill yesterday trying to work my way out of a rut on a downhill,got chucked in the air and landed on my shoulder!OUCH,separated shoulder!!! I am amazed that I was sent home from the ER same as I walked in,there was nothing they could do for me.A shot of Morphine and a splint is all.I always thought a shoulder could be popped back into place??? My next step is to see a specialist and get an MRI done!

  13. #213
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    A dislocated shoulder is what's popped back in. A separated shoulder is where the ligaments that hold the clavicle in place are damaged. I just had surgery, so its all still pretty fresh in my mind.
    If ya ain't bleedin'...ya ain't ridin'.

  14. #214
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    Oh,o.k...Was your surgery from a dislocation or separation?Most people opt for not having surgery,yours must have been bad!Here is a pic of my Nomad,im 210 lbs. and crashing down on my shoulder sucked!Hopefully I will be able to ride again REAL soon!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ac Separation (shoulder Separation)-phone-063.jpg  


  15. #215
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    Chris, can I ask a few questions?

    1. How long after the accident did you have surgery?
    2. What procedure did they do? Weaver Dunn?
    3. What have they told you about the recovery time? I've read its quite long.

    Can you also let us know how long you need a sling, are you allowed overhead lifting etc...

    Thanks.

    Grant

  16. #216
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    I had a grade 5 separation. The ligaments were completely torn. I had surgery 1 week after my crash. I have to wear my sling 24/7 for 6 weeks and then might be able to start a little PT. I was told 3 to 6 months before I could get on a bike and probably 12 months before "unrestricted mtbing". I was released last week (2 weeks from surgery) to ride a stationary recumbent and do computer work and hiking. I'm progressing faster than expected, so I hold out hope of mtbing earlier than 12 months.
    I'm not sure of the name of the procedure, but they used a cadaver ligament to pull the clavicle down and drilled two hole in the clavicle to thread the ligament through. Then put two screws in the holes. Also, I have an anchor on my shoulder for the end of the ligament. By the way, I saw two docs before having the surgery. I went to a sports shoulder specialist in Dallas, TX for the surgery.
    If ya ain't bleedin'...ya ain't ridin'.

  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisf_999 View Post
    I had a grade 5 separation. The ligaments were completely torn. I had surgery 1 week after my crash. I have to wear my sling 24/7 for 6 weeks and then might be able to start a little PT. I was told 3 to 6 months before I could get on a bike and probably 12 months before "unrestricted mtbing". I was released last week (2 weeks from surgery) to ride a stationary recumbent and do computer work and hiking. I'm progressing faster than expected, so I hold out hope of mtbing earlier than 12 months.
    I'm not sure of the name of the procedure, but they used a cadaver ligament to pull the clavicle down and drilled two hole in the clavicle to thread the ligament through. Then put two screws in the holes. Also, I have an anchor on my shoulder for the end of the ligament. By the way, I saw two docs before having the surgery. I went to a sports shoulder specialist in Dallas, TX for the surgery.
    Almost the same exact deal for me. Grade5, had surgery two weeks from accident because that's the soonest the Dr. could do it, Sling for 3 weeks post surgery(I see yours is six which is a bummer), I am just over 4 weeks post surgery and starting PT next week. I have been able to improve my range of motion alot during the last week but still hurts real bad at the arm just above parallel point any direction. Not supposed to lift anything more than coffee cup in that arm (very hard to keep from doing that without sling). Was told off bike for three months and then very slow when I can. Can't ride hard for about year without increasing risk. I had the same surgury you did with cadaver ligament. My Dr. is Sports Medicine Dr. who specializes in shoulders only. This whole deal completely sucks but I have to move on and be positive like everyone elseI

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisf_999 View Post
    I had a grade 5 separation. The ligaments were completely torn. I had surgery 1 week after my crash. I have to wear my sling 24/7 for 6 weeks and then might be able to start a little PT. I was told 3 to 6 months before I could get on a bike and probably 12 months before "unrestricted mtbing". I was released last week (2 weeks from surgery) to ride a stationary recumbent and do computer work and hiking. I'm progressing faster than expected, so I hold out hope of mtbing earlier than 12 months.
    I'm not sure of the name of the procedure, but they used a cadaver ligament to pull the clavicle down and drilled two hole in the clavicle to thread the ligament through. Then put two screws in the holes. Also, I have an anchor on my shoulder for the end of the ligament. By the way, I saw two docs before having the surgery. I went to a sports shoulder specialist in Dallas, TX for the surgery.
    Almost the same exact deal for me. Grade5, had surgery two weeks from accident because that's the soonest the Dr. could do it, Sling for 3 weeks post surgery(I see yours is six which is a bummer), I am just over 4 weeks post surgery and starting PT next week. I have been able to improve my range of motion alot during the last week but still hurts real bad at the arm just above parallel point any direction. Not supposed to lift anything more than coffee cup in that arm (very hard to keep from doing that without sling). Was told off bike for three months and then very slow when I can. Can't ride hard for about year without increasing risk. I had the same surgery you did with cadaver ligament. My Dr. is Sports Medicine Dr. who specializes in shoulders only. This whole deal completely sucks but I have to move on and be positive like everyone elseI

  19. #219
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    Man,my recovery sucks so far,grade 3 with no sergury required! I feel for you guys,im sure for you as well,the biggest pain is not doing the things you love to do!

  20. #220
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    It's been 24 days since my grade 3 shoulder separation. I was out of the sling after only 6 days and have been very disciplined in doing lots of PT on my own since then. I figured that if I was able to go out and ride for 3 hours then I can find 90 minutes a day to speed up my return to the trails. I do lots of pendulum arm circles while leaning over, a huge series of partial strengthening exercises with resistance bands (like just the final push of bench press with injured arm already fully extended or a small lat pulldown movement without ever bending my elbow), also internal & external rotation work for my rotator cuffs with the resistance bands, shoulder shrugs with dumbbells, and lots of stretching work either against the wall or with the assistance of using a wooden stick which I hold with both arms so the healthy arm can help the injured one. So it's lots of strengthening, stretching & range-of-motion stuff, then I ice it for 30 minutes, do it all twice a day for 45 minutes at a time. It's a long process ... my injured side is noticeably more functional every single day but also still a long was from full healing.

  21. #221
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    About 2 months out from a grade 3, no surgery. Strength and range of motion improving, but small movements like brushing my teeth or washing my hair causes poping/clicking in my shoulder. Anyone else go through that? Does it go away? More rest or more PT to get rid of it?

  22. #222
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    Yep -- four years since my grade 3 separation, no surgery, strength and range of motion are 99% of pre-injury, but yes I have a clicking/popping in that shoulder with basic movements. Hasn't really bothered me much, but it's always there.

  23. #223
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    today is 6 weeks since my grade 3 separation ... yeah, i had a lot of that popping/clicking with little movements like washing/drying hair, brushing teeth, shaving, etc., especially early on, while i was building up my strength, flexibility & range-of-motion. but the situation improves more everyday ... just keep at it ... stretch it constantly, massage it, use resistance bands while twisting rotator cuffs in every direction, lean forward over floor and do pendulum arm swings, use light dumbbells to do shrugs, shoulder rows (without bending elbow), shoulder bench press (without bending elbow), hold a light medicine ball with both hands and SLOWLY draw circles or figure-8's with your arms, be creative & persistant ... it's just a matter of time.

  24. #224
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    I had a complete separation on my shoulder...my clavicle actually moved down almost 2" into my upper chest... I was in the middle of nowhere so slowly manipulated the clavicle back up into position... Picked up a bag of ice at the store and headed home.. Next day was at ER... Dr tells me I separated my shoulder big time... He explained my surgical options and concluded by stating that I might not have a problem do to my muscle structure.. Well iced it for about two weeks then right back to the gym...Working shoulders hard..

    It's been two yrs... I can bench press 445lbs shoulder press 235lbs Only issue are flys, shrugs and dead lifts... (I can do them but sometimes it looks like the clavicle is going to pop through the skin ) ohh and the bump is hardly noticeable 99% of the time..

    My buddy suffered basically the same injury had surgery last yr... He still can't throw a ball..

    I'm glad I waited and didn't jump at a surgery I really didn't need..

  25. #225
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by pk123 View Post
    About 2 months out from a grade 3, no surgery. Strength and range of motion improving, but small movements like brushing my teeth or washing my hair causes poping/clicking in my shoulder. Anyone else go through that? Does it go away? More rest or more PT to get rid of it?
    4yrs later since my seperation.... all pain is gone, full range of motion, still have some poping/creaking in it every so often.. doubt youll ever get rid of it all... just give it some time...

  26. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedjester View Post
    My buddy suffered basically the same injury had surgery last yr... He still can't throw a ball..
    yeah, that is something i'm really looking forward to doing again. as of now, i can only throw a pebble 12 feet!

  27. #227
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    4 1/2 weeks after my grade 3 and im ive been doing some lite XC...My pain is still there but minor.I attribute my speedy recovery to being a gym rat prior to getting hurt! I have also spent alot of time in the jacuzzi stretching and working on range of motion.Im actually doing some triceps/biceps workouts at the gym now!

  28. #228
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    I got mine the evening before 911, by showing off and hitting hard after an endo. The doc said, you can pick a big bump or a big scar. I picked the bump. I was hurting when 911 unfolded, and it gave me an excuse to stay in bed and watch TV. But in six weeks, I was back riding, and bump and all, have not slowed down since.

  29. #229
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    Nice to see some good results with the non-surgical route. I wish I had the same experience.

    After 5 months I decided enough is enough and booked myself in for surgery. I started riding again at 3 weeks, and gradually did more and more and I've just come back from a week in the alps. The shoulder works well on the bike apart from pulling up hard on the bars, where it just feels loose, but picking up the kids, pushing a wrench, attempting to do a press-up or tying my shoelaces just aggravates the injury and causes me pain.

    My separation is quite severe (grade 5) with zero stability. I can move my clavicle over an inch in any direction, I can pull my arm in towards my body so far that the tip of my clavicle protrudes further than my shoulder, this also happens when I sleep on my good side. I don't get much popping or grinding because the tip of my shoulder sits below the tip of my clavicle.

    The surgeon is going to use a Nottingham surgilig to replace the CC ligaments. From what I've read its a very successful technique and eventually becomes as strong as the original ligament. Movement and exercise is encouraged after only 2 weeks, but heavy lifting should be avoided for 3 months.

    I wish I could have avoided surgery, I gave it 5 months, but its time to bite the bullet and to be honest, I'm also looking forward to getting rid of the lump. I'll let you know how I get on.

  30. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by g00mba View Post
    Nice to see some good results with the non-surgical route. I wish I had the same experience....
    Good luck with that, g00mba, keep us posted on your progress. Today is 8 weeks since my grade 3 separation. I've mostly been keeping active with 3-hour hikes, 35-mile road rides and this week I touched weights for the first time since the injury (could only flat-bench 35 pounds and lat pull 70 pounds) and of course doing a ton of PT. I'm planning to return to mountain-biking next Wednesday with an outdoors group I've gotten involved with (coincidentally lands on the exact two-month anniversary of my crash, lol). But I'll be wearing a jersey from Troy Lee Designs that has 28 protective pads in it since I still can't manage any kind of a crash otherwise yet.

  31. #231
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    Thanks Jim. Good luck with your ride and rehab. A padded shirt sounds like a very good idea.

    I guess that on the plus side if you have a grade 3 separation you can't really damage it much more than it already is (although there are grades 4,5 and 6 to consider), but you still have to go through the pain. I've had a couple of minor spills on that shoulder or outstretched hand, and they all hurt. Best idea is to take it easy and walk the bike rather than fall off. This is easier said than done when you are out on the trail though

    It seems that lots of people are making a near-full recovery after their injuries without surgery, so I hope you do too. It's worth giving it some time to see how you get on, but for me, although I've been active over the past 5 months my recovery reached a very low plateau (I'd guess 30-40% strength and constant residual pain between 1-3 on a scale of ten) and I needed to do something about it.

    Hopefully my surgeon knows what he's doing. He's a shoulder specialist and using one of the latest techniques, so I'm fairly confident he can put me back together

  32. #232
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    Hey all. This is my first post. On July 2nd I took a tumble on asphalt going 40-45 mph. I ended up with a grade 5 separation. It is raised to far up that it pulls my neck to that side. A good 3 inch or more drop in my shoulder. I had an internal battle whether or not to do surgery (3 docs highly recommend that I do.) and opted to have it done. I will go in Monday. I would have done it earlier but the surgeon wanted my road rash and broken ribs/arm to heal a little first. Right now I am VERY weak on that side and have like 75% range of motion. Pain is substantial when reaching across and reaching up especially when there is resistance. They're throwing some cadaver ligaments in me, slicing off the end the the clavicle, drilling holes in it and anchoring it to the coracoid. I'll post an update post surgery.

  33. #233
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    Pretty banged up!Good luck with that sergury!What were you riding/driving on the pavement?

  34. #234
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    I did mine too, "just" a grade 2, here's a pic of it with me doing my best to hold it all in position to minimise the pain:

    SEE MY BLOG HERE



    12 weeks on and I just won a 24hr race with my girlfriend! Had to drop out of ones at
    5 weeks and 10 weeks after though as the shoulder couldn't take it :-(

    Here's me getting taped up before trying to race 24hr solo at 5 weeks - a tad optimistic it turns out!



    A really nasty injury an AC separation

  35. #235
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    the road bike heals

    Quote Originally Posted by carl1266 View Post
    I had a type 3 seperation in spring last year. My doc told as long as I don't experience any pain I can do whatever I wanted. After 10 days I was back on the road bike and after 6 weeks I did some easy trails. About 3 more weeks and I could ride everything I did before. Today I have no pain or any issues, just a lovely cycling lump.
    i've always thought that once i can get back on the roadbike and or exercise bike , that just about any injury would heal quicker, due to improved circulation.Hell it might just be that it makes the down time from mountainbiking pass quicker,i'll take that.

  36. #236
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    Grade 3 on May 11, 2011

    Took a bad fall on a trail and got my grade three certification in May of this year and was very down and depressed for a few days (I also had a broken rib, collapsed lung and dislocated fingers). I then read this whole thread and it did me a world of good to see others bouncing back. I went to the Doc and it turned out he was THE shoulder doctor for an NHL team. I got lucky on that one! He told me to keep my arm in a sling, but take it out if I was comfortable doing it. He said to move it and let the pain let me know if I am doing too much. I joined the gym and kept my legs in shape with a recumbent bike. At first, my arm seemed to be stuck in a downward position, but each day it gained a little more range of movement. But I had to sleep sitting up for about two months, which wasn't easy at first, but later it almost seemed normal. I only wore the sling for about the first 3 days. I was back on my mountain bike after about 1 1/2 months riding very gentle roads. Rode a 64 mile race about 2 1/2 months after the accident, but I was extremely careful not to take another fall. I have a nice bone sticking up on my shoulder, but other than that, I think it will be ok. I am now almost to the point that I forget that I have it. My dislocated fingers are another story. I lost a great deal of flexibility with them and pt hasn't helped. I have to wrap an ace bandage around the handlebar to be able to fully grip it. I only have a few more months and then scar tissue will keep the fingers from getting any better. But ride I will!

    Thanks for your posts. They gave me a lift when I really needed it.

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    Like many others before me, it was a relief to stumble across this thread. I landed on my shoulder in a ski crash (it's winter in New Zealand) nearly three weeks ago - the result was a class 3 separation. The bump on my is ugly as can be but at least I'm in good company...

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    Continuing from above... Reading through the stories above, I find the personal variation in the injuries to be quite interesting. As for myself, although I have this hideous bone trying to pop out of my skin, I actually have very little pain and a nearly full range of motion. And this has been the case since about Day 3. Maybe because I had been doing regular shoulder exercises prior to the injury?

    Sleeping has been a pain but I can now sleep on the "bad" side for at least short bursts. I was worried about being able to run and did lay off for a couple of weeks. I'm back at it now with no problems.

    Even though the bump grosses my wife out, I have not considered surgery. Good luck to all!

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    Today is 11 weeks since my grade 3 separation. I went back to road biking & hiking after just a few weeks ... and finally 2 1/2 weeks ago (on the 2-month anniversary of my crash), I started mountain-biking & weightlifting again. Thanks to endless PT, I've got good strength, flexibility & mobility ... it's the "stability" that's still a problem. Like I can only bench-press 50 pounds nine times right now before my shoulder feels like it might collapse ... and hitting the bottom of a ditch on my bike after even a small hill while my chest & collarbone are leaning way forward gets a quick wince out of me. But I just keep at all my exercises with the resistance bands, medicine ball & constant stretching, getting a little stronger everyday ... tick, tick, tick ... I know that I will eventually get completely back!
    http://www.Omega3Solutions.org - Getting Back the Balance

  40. #240
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    About a year and half ago I got on my friend's road bike and since I hadn't ridden a bike in years decided to see how fast I could go, 40mph later I was on my way to the hospital. Lots of stitches due to gravel and I couldn't remember the day leading up to the point where I opened my eyes to blood coming out of my face. Good times.

    After that I kept riding and eventually got my cannondale f8. I was only off for roughly two months. The doctor said I didn't have to get surgery for it since "you're no tennis star". I wish I had been more proactive about getting it fixed since it is still not properly attached. Aside pain (gets sore quickly) which I've gotten used to my only concern is hurting it again, which has lead me to use my face and other arm to break a few falls.

    I also have the lump thing although the size of it varies. It's covered a big puffy purple scar too.

  41. #241
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    zlander79, yeah it's true that ligaments that are completely torn do not re-attach so you have to build up all the surrounding muscles in your shoulder deltoid muscles (anterior, posterior & medial), your upper back (rhomboid & trapezius) & rotator cuffs to keep everything in place. I've done TONS of physical therapy with resistance bands & medicine ball but my shoulder still gets really tired after just 90 minutes of mountain-biking. This is 12 weeks since my injury and I'd really prefer to ride about twice as long. And yeah, I am still totally afraid of falling again but I have not yet so I haven't had to use my face. Good luck!
    http://www.Omega3Solutions.org - Getting Back the Balance

  42. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisf_999 View Post
    Carter, I'm a week out of surgery for grade 5. How long were you off even a road bike? I haven't been able to pin down my Doc...too early still. I'm 44 and the thought of losing all my conditioning is incredibly depressing. Thanks - Chris

    Sorry for the late reply. I did a couple of short rides at around 8-10 weeks, but was really too weak. I've done a few decent mtb rides, but am still extremely cautious. I'm still unable to pull on the handlebars. I did a 12 mile mtb ride last night with my old riding group and struggled desperately to keep up, and didn't do that good of a job. I used to be near the front of the pack. Unfortunately, I lost a LOT of fitness.

    I had CC re-construction and a SLAP repair.
    This past Monday was my 6 month surgery anniversary, I was released from surgeon's care and PT this week. They want me doing light weight lifting and continued ROM exercises. If I do this, they say I'll back to "normal" in another 6 months.

    Good luck!

    c

  43. #243
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    Grade 3 with a torn trap muscle.

    OTB on Paradise Royale 3 hours from the ER. After the shock of the accident wore off, I found my clavicle sticking way out. ER docs in Garberville told me there would be no surgery. I thought because it was a one room hospital in the Heart of the Emerald Triangle that there'd be other answers out there... After I got home, I researched solutions on the internet only to find the same. Two days later, an ortho doc also confirmed the non-operative rehabilitation.

    I pushed for a second opinion and exactly one month from the accident I was operated on.

    I wondered if I had made the right decision. There were so many people who chose the non-operative route with great success stories about how well they had recovered. I read about a guy who was able to do chin-ups right after separating his shoulder. I read about a woman who was a tri-athlete who returned to her sport successfully with a regimented rehab. Further pushing the doubt was my awesome recovery in-between the accident and the surgery. I was able to do push-ups right before the surgery, I was finally able to sleep on my injured side all night, I had complete range of motion and I could throw a football. Did I make the right choice?

    The doctor who performed the surgery is fresh out of his residency at UCSF. He had only done one AC surgery before but I was quickly sold on him. He told me that he would get the surgery done if it was him and that he would consult with his mentors. UCSF? Does it get any better?

    It has been a week and a half since surgery. Doc was happy after the surgery. He said that I had grown massive amounts of scar tissue that he had to cut away to sew up my ligaments. Yep, no Weaver-Dunn or Tightrope, just sewn ligaments. I thought that I was for sure going to have some holes drilled in my bones and that healing ligaments would be out of the question. Pretty stoked.

    I'm going to be sleeping in this recliner for a long time. I often wake in the middle of the night with pain in my deltoid. I'm supposed to be in a sling for 5 more weeks. Sometimes I feel like I do too much with my arm... buttoning my pants or my shirt or holding jars in my hand. I went to the A's game today and I started clapping my hands to cheer. Dumb.

    I'm keeping a blog if you want to follow my recovery. Gauchowork.blogspot.com

    ike

  44. #244
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    Fack, I just joined this club last Sunday, seeing my Orthopedic Surges tomorrow. Doctor I was riding with at the time believes it was a class 3
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  45. #245
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    I joined the club on a solo night ride 2 weeks ago. Grade 3 and no surgery. So far so good, I'm still in the sling for another 3 weeks. I started PT this week and am planning for the best. Ski season here I come.

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    Okay I am a month out of surgery for my grade 5 separation. Day one was terrible because the nerve block 100% failed so I spent the day popping oxys and sleeping. After day three there was really no need for narcotics and ibuprofin was sufficient. I was supposed to do range of motion exercises from day one. After a week and a half I felt better than I did before the surgery (which was performed a month after the accident.) Now at 4 weeks I am out of my sling, have close to 100% range of motion, practically pain free unless a lot of weight is applied towards that shoulder. It was about a 4 inch incision but definitely beats what it was before.

  47. #247
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    Criblo, what surgery did you have?

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    It was one with cadaver grafts. He cut off the end of the clavicle, drilled two holes in it tied it together with the shoulder blade, stitched the ligaments together with the cadaver graft. It was not any name brand technique such as tightrope or graftrope but seemed to work well. 4 weeks after surgery and i am able to go to the gym and strengthen it will little problems..

  49. #249
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    So Doc said grade 3 separation, prescribed 4 weeks of PT. Said really the only reason to get surgery was if I was a pitcher or quarterback and really I'd just be trading a scar for a lump in the shoulder. After some research beforehand I had pretty much decided this was the way I wanted to go also, seemed like the quickest way t get back on the horse so to speak.

    Got in my pool yesterday and found my arm can float up pretty much pain free and I can move it around with out the pain of gravity bothering it, seems like that will be good for rehabbing besides the PT, Doc agreed.
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  50. #250
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    USE THE POOL...Jacuzzi if you have acess,thats what I did! 2 months into it now and im almost at full strength,even in the gym with weights!The weightlesness in the water does wonders for the range of motion.I didnt even go to PT and I ditched the sling after a week!

  51. #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...
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  52. #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.
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  53. #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...

  54. #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.

  55. #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...

  56. #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.
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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

  58. #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

  59. #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!

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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?

  61. #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.

  62. #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

  63. #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.
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  64. #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.

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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!

  66. #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.

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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

  68. #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...

  69. #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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  70. #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.

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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

  72. #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.
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  73. #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.
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  74. #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.

  75. #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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    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.

  77. #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.

  78. #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.
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  79. #279
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    I found reading others' posts very helpful - much more info than a poll could deliver.

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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??

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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

  82. #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!

  83. #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.

  84. #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.

  85. #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.

  86. #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

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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

  88. #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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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.

  95. #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?

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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!

  97. #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!

  98. #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

  99. #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.

  100. #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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