• 05-20-2007
    JB800
    Ac Separation (shoulder Separation)
    I Recently Went Down Hard And Suffered A Grade 3 Shoulder Separation. I Am 5 Weeks Into This Injury And I Am Treating It Conservitively (non-surgical). It Is Very Frustrating Being That You Would Think This Injury Should Be Repaired Through Surgery But All The Doctors Are Telling Me To Leave It Alone And Physical Therapy It. I Am Also An Active Weight Lifter. I Used To Bench Press 340lbs And Now I A Struggle With 50lbs. I Know It's Only 5 Weeks Into The Injury But I Am Not Sure Where I Should Be At As Far As Lifting Weights And What's The Road Ahaed Of Me Going To Be Like Being That Is Being Treated Non-surgical. Any Info Would Be Greatly Appreciated!!!
  • 05-21-2007
    rugger
    Had the same grade shoulder seperation as a result of getting slammed to the ground in a rugby match. I went to a sports ortho who said they don't do surgery on that type of injury any more. Studies showed that 5 years down the road there was a higher onset of arthritis.
    I bypassed rehab as the doc said all the injury really need was time for the ligaments to heal. At about the 3 week mark I started light weights and I couldn't even bench press the bar. At about 8 weeks I went from 35 lbs to 135 to 150 over the course of 2 weeks. 12 week mark I was back to about normal. You'll know when it is healed. You can feel it. Don't rush it as you don't want to tear the ligaments and start over again. When it was all said and done - w/out surgey my shoulder is as strong as ever and I've got an enourmous lump on shoulder as a keep sake - which is actually the collar bone sticking up. But every other person I ride with has one of those.
  • 05-21-2007
    JB800
    Rugger, Thanks For The Reply. You Put My Mind At Ease. Just Don't Understand One Thing. You Said You Don't Want To Tear The Ligaments Again. I Thought With A Grade The 3 That The Ligaments Are Completely Torn And They Don't Repair. Your Body Just Adapts To It.
  • 05-21-2007
    rugger
    You are right. I should have used the word "healed". I am still not sure what that means but the doc said I would be healed in 12 weeks. I guess I never asked him what he meant by that.
    I do know that at 6 weeks I couldn't do anything and at 8 I could do the bar and at 12 I was feeling fine. I am 7 years out now and the only thing that still bothers me is the clicking of the tendons when I do shoulder presses. Otherwise there is no residual pain or weakness.
    On the other hand my wife thinks I look like a freak because my collar bone sticks up a good inch. And it is good for scaring the kids at the pool.
  • 05-21-2007
    K4LK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JB800
    Rugger, Thanks For The Reply. You Put My Mind At Ease. Just Don't Understand One Thing. You Said You Don't Want To Tear The Ligaments Again. I Thought With A Grade The 3 That The Ligaments Are Completely Torn And They Don't Repair. Your Body Just Adapts To It.

    JB800. Hope you heal fast. :thumbsup: Just a suggestion ... don't capitalize each word in your posts. It's a little hard to read. Welcome to the forum.
  • 05-21-2007
    JB800
    Thanks! I greatly appreciate the info. This injury has been very frustrating to me but I am now much at eased hearing the outcome of someone else. Thanks again!!!
  • 05-22-2007
    Nostromo
    I believe the AC joint is a pretty 'average' design left over from when we ran around on fours, hence why when the ligiments tear they don't stress too much about surgical fixes. Its a joint with a really really small range of motion but the whole shooting match of joint bits ie. cartilege and ligiments. If it realy packs it in later they just remove the whole joint and the end of the clavicle (saw a piece of the the bone off) and let it fill with scar tissue which makes a flexible connection, and apparently that works good.
    My shoulder sticks up on one side for the same reason, seems real common.
  • 05-24-2007
    ncjumper
    Hey JB, another AC joint cripple here.

    Both of them actually. My right shoulder was a very serious grade 3 and my left shoulder a mild tear/strain. My Ortho Doc told me he would not recommend surgery unless I wanted it badly due to constant pain and also aesthetic reasons, mainly that the shoulder now hangs down and there is a significant bump on my shoulder. Also, when I have my arms hanging down one arm is slightly longer than the other.

    If you can deal with the slight hunchback look and aren't in significant pain or have arthritis in 12 weeks or so, just let it be. If your young and take your shirt off at the beach and flex for the ladies...its your call. You will have that bump forever. If you get the surgery you will have a scar across the front of your shoulder. Take your pick.

    BTW, my ortho Dr. is a pretty good doc. He fixes some major figures from pro sports. ACL and shoulder surgery are his big things that he does. I saw a WNBA player in the office when I was there so he knows his stuff. If he says skip the surgery, I listen. Peace.
  • 05-25-2007
    Rower_CPU
    grade 2 separation here
    I'm about 4 weeks since the injury and not doing much except resting (partly due to the bilateral radial head fractures I got with it :rolleyes:). I got the same story - rest for a few weeks, less pain after 6-8 weeks with return to activity. I seem to have lucked out in the arm length/shoulder bump area because I'm not really seeing either one.

    I'd be careful with the bench (or overhead) presses because it can put a fair amount of load on the shoulder, depending on your form. I'm focusing on regaining range of motion and flexibility before worrying about strength, otherwise you risk letting too much scar tissue build up and not returning to full use of the joint (important for my throwing arm).

    Good luck!
  • 05-25-2007
    Nostromo
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rower_CPU
    I'm about 4 weeks since the injury and not doing much except resting (partly due to the bilateral radial head fractures I got with it :rolleyes:). I got the same story - rest for a few weeks, less pain after 6-8 weeks with return to activity. I seem to have lucked out in the arm length/shoulder bump area because I'm not really seeing either one.

    I'd be careful with the bench (or overhead) presses because it can put a fair amount of load on the shoulder, depending on your form. I'm focusing on regaining range of motion and flexibility before worrying about strength, otherwise you risk letting too much scar tissue build up and not returning to full use of the joint (important for my throwing arm).
    Good luck!

    Good point about the presses, overhead stuff BB is not at all good for my AC joint, bench is OK, but dumbell presses put a lot less strain on that joint so I mainly do those myself.
  • 05-26-2007
    StumpjumperUK
    :) Sufferred the same injury about a year ago but I don't remember what grade it was. Anyway, just wanted to say that some months later, and a bit of physio and excercises, it is like I never had it. I couldn't even tell you now which shoulder it was. Time is a great healer, so have patience.

    All the best!
  • 05-27-2007
    JB800
    Thanks for all the feedback! greatly appreciate it!!!
  • 05-27-2007
    bikingbob
    Listen to your Dr. and do the PT as they suggest. I didn't really do any PT and it took a very long time to get the shoulder back to feeling normal. I never really fully regained the strength, but eventually got to a point where I could crash on the shoulder without it feeling any different than crashing on the other one. That is until I broke the collar bone a month ago. Now I get to go thorough the whole ordeal again. This time I will spend the time and PT.
  • 06-19-2007
    sic_nick
    Had a type 3 AC separation two years ago and had surgery to fix. The very same operation and also the same surgeon as Steve Peat earlier that year.In simple terms they put a piece of tape around the collar bone and bone spur on the shoulder blade and in the doctor's own words "pull on both ends as you would fastening shoe laces" although this is meant to be the cutting edge method of fixing this injury. Convalescence was awful, two weeks with the shoulder completely immobile and no physio for 2 months. It took me 4 or 5 months to get back to riding to work and 6 or 7 months before I got back to using my shoulder as I used to.

    http://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/51...nt_post_op.JPG


    Shoulder only hurts now as I got knocked off my bike by a bus the day before Xmas and landed on the same shoulder although this is being dealt with by my solicitor not my surgeon!!!!!
  • 06-27-2007
    SkiBikeMan
    I suffered a third degree shoulder separation last November after crashing into a tree after a great ride and clearing some crazy ****.

    I opted for the surgery, modified weaver dunn, had it done December 28 2006. Today I was just released from Physical Therapy. Yes I have a scar on my shoulder, but very little lump and shoulder is almost as high up as before.

    Progressing well, mostly core and bodyweight exercises. Was in a sling for the first four weeks (sucked) then out of it. Initially PT was a *****, very painful. Right now I have almost all my range of motion back and some of my strength. Doc says 9 months (will be september for me) until it fully heals and a full year or more before it feels mostly normal. Cleared for biking this September.

    I know it sounds like a lot but I am glad I did it. Google Weaver Dunn Procedure. I would go for it!
  • 07-06-2007
    fosbibr
    oh wow.... i myself experienced a type II tear DHing this week. was told it would be a 4-6 week recovery. from what imreading here, i may be too optimistic
  • 07-06-2007
    Rower_CPU
    I'm 10 weeks out from my 2nd degree separation and here's a basic timeline of my healing:

    2 weeks - out of sling, range of motion (ROM) OK but still some pain/weakness with lifting
    4 weeks - almost full ROM, little pain with light lifting/reaching across body
    4-8 weeks - slowly regaining strength/mobility

    I considered myself "healed" by 8 weeks, but I still have a little ways to go to get back to full strength and flexibility in my shoulder. I still can't lie on my injured side without experiencing a dull ache.
  • 07-17-2007
    patch-rik
    I seem to be in somewhat of a dilemma. Apparently I damaged my scapula and a nerve that covers it when my 2nd degree seperation occured. My doctor says that I cannot do any PT because I risk damaging things worse witht the nerve and shoulder situation. So apparently I just have to let it heal with time. I'm at 4 weeks and I have full ROM but it still hurts to reach across to the other shoulder and if I push against something with my right arm my shoulder blade pops out of my back a bit. I'm concerned that not doing any PT at all is really going to make healing a ***** and take forever. Anyone else in the same boat? Should I get a second oppinion?
  • 08-14-2007
    cazloco
    Grade 2 seperation here.
    I'm thinking once we all heal, we should start the "Team Pointy Shoulder" and we'll get custom fit jerseys.

    I seperated mine last week on a night ride. (I'm gonna get that punk that put the stick in the trail) When I woke up the next morning and I noticed the high collar bone and droopy arm; I went to the urgent care. Doc diagnosed it at first sight but couldn't understand how I could have full range of motion with very little pain. I think he was just looking for an excuse to take more xrays. He explained what it was and said no surgery and that it will heal itself and I'll always have the bump. He didn't say anything about a timeline.

    I can go all day with no pain but sleeping hurts (still hurts to wipe my arse). Rolling out of bed is quite difficult.

    We'll live.

    Caz
  • 08-14-2007
    Rower_CPU
    I was amazed at how long it took to be able to sleep on my shoulder after my grade 2 separation. I'm a little past 3 months now and it's only in the last couple of weeks that I can lie on that side without any issues - I had full range of motion in the joint and was able to start lifting weights again after 2 months, but there was still some deep tightness/soreness that reared its head when I tried lying down on it.
  • 08-17-2007
    POG
    I've separated both of mine and I also had the problem of having pain when trying to sleep - took about two months before I could sleep through the night without waking myself up by rolling over on it.

    My right shoulder is the grade III and I did it about 12 years ago in a road biking accident. Anyway, I had a really bad wreck last weekend and fell on - you guessed it- my right shoulder. I felt my shoulder giving way as I slammed into the ground and I was having flashbacks about pain. Funny thing was it didn't hurt as bad to slam my already separated shoulder into the ground. I know it moved enough that it would have separated had it still been attached. I've definitely had some pain but nothing like before. I guess the point is once the bone is ripped free you don't have to worry about the pain of having it ripped free anymore!
  • 08-18-2007
    carl1266
    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.
  • 08-19-2007
    racerXX
    I also separated my AC joint. I am not sure what grade, but not bad enough to warrant a sling. I never had an xray. A guy on his motorcycle was riding illegally on the trails. I came around a bend and we were face-to-face. I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting him and flew over the bars. It hurt terribly. My arm/shoulder were weak for weeks. I rehabbed myself...started lifting light weights. To this day, the shoulder hangs different than the uninvolved shoulder.
    I dont think surgery is recommended unless the injury remains painful.
  • 08-19-2007
    grawbass
    Over ten years ago, I separated my shoulder pretty badly in a hockey injury. It took over a year to fully heal, but now its 100% and has been for years, never gives me any problems whatsoever.
  • 08-27-2007
    stys
    broken....but healing
    I've read the reviews on this thread. Lots of good advise, just Bcareful w/2nd hand doctoral advise. all injuries are person specific.

    I hopped on looking for time lines for shoulder separation. I've got 4 collar bone, 1 shoulder blade, 1 broken hand and several ribs injuries for experience but the separation is a 1st. I likely have to multiply the time by 1.5 since i':cool: i'm old.as in 41. Class ll is going to keep me from grp ride @ Gooseberry in Utah on 10/ 7.

    Anyway....My additional advise for those early in the healing stage and esp for the guy
    having trouble sleeping. I hate to say it as much as I hate to do it, but TAKE THE MEDS.
    You are likely too active in the day like me..so bedtime can be good healing time....but
    not if you keep re-injuring yourself.

    The true muscle relaxers (in addtion to the anti-inflamitories, not to be confused with) help immobilize your injury for a good 6-8hrs. So get in a good "resting your injury position" before you nod off. When out of codine type drugs...I use 2 glasses of wine....almost as good. Obviously not good advise if you have addictive personality! (disclaimer) :cool: