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  1. #1
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    Dislocated shoulder

    I dislocated my shoulder while riding at the Fruita Fat Tire Fest. I'll be going to a 2 week followup visit with my Ortho on Tuesday. Was just wondering what others have experienced in terms of when you start PT and when you can start riding again and full length of recovery period. I'm not suffering any pain now and I'm pretty much keeping the shoulder joint immobile. My dislocation was a posterior dislocation so the Ortho said I didn't really need to keep it in a sling. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Well I just dislocated my knee and the doc said I'd be out of action for a while. As with all dislocations though, once it's been out it is more likely to want to pop out again. Just take it easy and listen to the doc.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJBlur
    I dislocated my shoulder while riding at the Fruita Fat Tire Fest. I'll be going to a 2 week followup visit with my Ortho on Tuesday. Was just wondering what others have experienced in terms of when you start PT and when you can start riding again and full length of recovery period. I'm not suffering any pain now and I'm pretty much keeping the shoulder joint immobile. My dislocation was a posterior dislocation so the Ortho said I didn't really need to keep it in a sling. Any advice would be appreciated.
    If there is no swelling (if it`s tender then it has swelling),then use heat packs as often as possible,and get regular (daily if possible) massage (mustard seed oil helps connective tissue heal faster).The more circulation the shoulder gets,the faster it heals.
    Remember,everything heals.
    Feel better.
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  4. #4
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    27th of December 06 I was t-boned in my mini SUV and rolled it. Dislocated my left shoulder. My Family Dr slinged me up and it took two weeks to get to my Ortho shoulder specialist. He immediately took me out of the sling and said keeping the joint completely immobile was a mistake as in order to heal correctly the muscles need to repair in natural movement (no lifting or weight bearing load on it however). Due to being immobile for the two weeks some shoulder connective muscles has atrophied.

    1 month into physical therapy 3x per week I felt much stronger so I thought I could spin on the trainer to get my cardio base back. Well that was a big mistake. The 1- 2 hour sessions on the trainer led me to another 3 months of 3x per week physical therapy and I am now 1 month into an unproductive race season. It doesn't hurt when in use but at night it keeps me up and I use advil a couple times per day to help with the pain. I personally don't think it will ever be right.

    Bottom line, LISTEN to your PT and take it slow. You'll be much better off in the long run.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by arc angel adventures
    27th of December 06 I was t-boned in my mini SUV and rolled it. Dislocated my left shoulder. My Family Dr slinged me up and it took two weeks to get to my Ortho shoulder specialist. He immediately took me out of the sling and said keeping the joint completely immobile was a mistake as in order to heal correctly the muscles need to repair in natural movement (no lifting or weight bearing load on it however). Due to being immobile for the two weeks some shoulder connective muscles has atrophied.

    1 month into physical therapy 3x per week I felt much stronger so I thought I could spin on the trainer to get my cardio base back. Well that was a big mistake. The 1- 2 hour sessions on the trainer led me to another 3 months of 3x per week physical therapy and I am now 1 month into an unproductive race season. It doesn't hurt when in use but at night it keeps me up and I use advil a couple times per day to help with the pain. I personally don't think it will ever be right.

    Bottom line, LISTEN to your PT and take it slow. You'll be much better off in the long run.
    You can do cardio on an upright or recumbent stationary bike as long as you keep your upper body relaxed and put zero weight in the shoulders,but that typically means that the resistance level must be low also.Best thing is walking and the natural and gentle movement of the arms actually helps redevelop the posture of your shoulder girdle muscles,especially if you very gradually work your way up to a brisk pace (but don`t run).I`v had students recover from dislocations just fine,the number one obstacle is your mind.Because you think you've been out of it for a long time you don`t think you will ever be the same,and if you think that way then it may end up happening.But I have had more messed up injuries then you can imagine that have taken YEARS to heal and in the end if I keep pushing myself then I end up being more capable than before and grateful for the experience.I would lay off the OTC drugs (and any other for that matter) though.I`v learned not to judge pain so I am not bothered by it,I see it more as a Shepperd that reminds me to respect my body.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the advice. I don't have much tenderness at all and only wore the sling for one week, although I don't use the arm much...doc said ok for keyboard and writing, etc. He said since mine was a posterior dislocation, the sling position is counterproductive in healing but I still should keep the shoulder joint somewhat immobile. I haven't needed any pain meds or advil at all. Going back to Ortho doc on Tuesday and hoping he sends me to PT. Massaging it as we speak, thanks for that tip.

  7. #7
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    I can sympathise with your shoulder! I dislocated mine skiing in January and took four months off the bike. I ride fairly aggressive cross country. The news you probably don't want to hear is that I've found my comeback pretty painful. I find climbing where you are using your arms to pump the handlebars to be worse than the bumps on the way down! My two hour rides so far have all ended with me struggling to hold onto the handlebars and suffering pins and needles/muscle spasms! Probably not the news you wanted to hear!

    My advice would be get yourself a decent sports injury physio. I work as a ski instructor and it halved my come back prognosis. The difference is that your medical provider will aim to get the joint moving again but they won't prepare you for the stress and strains of your sporting activity. A lot of my PT was focussed on using the gym/Swiss ball to work on core stability muscles and other secondary muscles which support the shoulder.

    You'll find your proprioception (sensory ability) will be impaired and a good sports injury physio will include proprioceptive work into your routine. For example using wobble boards, medicine balls etc...

    I certainly would share the opinion that it might never heal itself properly but I certainly would advocate getting decent PT. I would also recommend not rushing back onto the bike - fight the urge! lol.

  8. #8
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    Wow, that is discouraging. I had no idea it could take that long to heal. So did you still have pain after 4 months of recovery or was that pain when you tried to ride during the 4 months?

    Just curious, why is the sensory ability impaired after a shoulder dislocation? Is it just due to time off the bike? My trainer had me doing some wobble ball stuff on Saturday along with lower body lifting.

    Good luck with your recovery.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcrawford
    I can sympathise with your shoulder! I dislocated mine skiing in January and took four months off the bike. I ride fairly aggressive cross country. The news you probably don't want to hear is that I've found my comeback pretty painful. I find climbing where you are using your arms to pump the handlebars to be worse than the bumps on the way down! My two hour rides so far have all ended with me struggling to hold onto the handlebars and suffering pins and needles/muscle spasms! Probably not the news you wanted to hear!

    My advice would be get yourself a decent sports injury physio. I work as a ski instructor and it halved my come back prognosis. The difference is that your medical provider will aim to get the joint moving again but they won't prepare you for the stress and strains of your sporting activity. A lot of my PT was focussed on using the gym/Swiss ball to work on core stability muscles and other secondary muscles which support the shoulder.

    You'll find your proprioception (sensory ability) will be impaired and a good sports injury physio will include proprioceptive work into your routine. For example using wobble boards, medicine balls etc...

    I certainly would share the opinion that it might never heal itself properly but I certainly would advocate getting decent PT. I would also recommend not rushing back onto the bike - fight the urge! lol.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJBlur
    Wow, that is discouraging. I had no idea it could take that long to heal. So did you still have pain after 4 months of recovery or was that pain when you tried to ride during the 4 months?

    Just curious, why is the sensory ability impaired after a shoulder dislocation? Is it just due to time off the bike? My trainer had me doing some wobble ball stuff on Saturday along with lower body lifting.

    Good luck with your recovery.
    Because connective tissue (tendons,ligaments) gets much less blood circulation then any other tissue in the body,it gets much less energy reaching it and therefore takes ALOT more time to heal.The reason why your hearing most people say that they don`t believe that they will ever fully recover is because they (as most people do) place similar expectations of speed of recovery as they would on muscle,organ,or skeletal recovery.So on average after 6 months to a year of applied effort to heal,most people give up the process and and except what ever level they have achieved.
    Proprioception is more specifically the sensory of different parts of the body to each other internally as opposed to extrioception which is the sensory of the body to its environment via the five sense organs.When cops make you touch your nose with your eyes closed when you may or may not be intoxicated,the are testing you proprioception and if it has been impaired by any substances.The organs for proprioception are sensory neurons located in the inner ear (these are responsible for your movement and orientation) and in the stretch receptors are in the muscles and the joint-supporting ligaments (for when you are still).Additionally to these are the non physical energy channels (meridians) that acupuncturist work on when you get needles or Yoga teachers work on when practicing Yoga (especially breathing),amputees are very aware of function of meridians in proprioception when they experience phantom limb (feeling your limb when something passes the space it used to occupy).Depending on severity of your dislocation,your proprioception need not be compromised,but it is not uncommon because the force of the blow can traumatize the proprioception organs.Yoga,juggling,painting with a brush,walking,acupuncture,medicine ball are great for rehabilitating this.Wobble board is more specific for lower body reorientation but does help some for the upper body.
    My opinion is if your not getting fully recovered working with a therapist of some kind,your not dealing with a pro.Finding a professional who is ready to do what it takes to get the job done is not easy at all,this is why I recommend that you take your recovery into your own hands and do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to heal and even become stronger then ever.Educate yourself and get off your a$$,but most of all be patient and never judge yourself or place inpatient expectations on your process.
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  10. #10
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    I have dislocated both my shoulders. One mountain biking and one playing rugby. Both injuries followed the same time line. First was the injury. Then time off. Then rehab.
    Intitial pain would go away and I would resume normal activities. Then shoulders would start popping out. At first once a week. Then increasing to almost a daily occurence. Ended up getting arthroscopic surgery on both. Had titanium staples put in to anchor 100lb test Revco fishing line. In a sling for 2 days and rehab started at day 10. Back on the road bike after 8 weeks. Back on the mountain bike (carefully) after 12 weeks. Full recovery 6 months.

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