Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 100 of 184
  1. #1
    Nim
    Nim is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    195

    Upset AC Separation Grade III Recovery

    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: merlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.
    Grade III...thats nothing I had a grade 5 Just kidding, I feel your pain Bro, it sucks. I did have a grade 5, 8 years ago. I had to cancel my MTB trip to crested butte . The good news is it will heel. After a couple weeks i started to go to spin class and ride the trainer then after about 5-6 weeks went on the road bike. When i finally did go on my first MTB ride I had kept a lot of my fitness. Iwould follow you MD instructions and take thing VERY slow. Do not do any push ups etc till MD says it's ok. Good luck
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  3. #3
    "Mr. Britannica"
    Reputation: roadiegonebad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,818
    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.

    3 words- range of motion... and no, that bump will not go away

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    6,762

    DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT push it....

    take your time and do EXACTLY what your Doctor tells you! Pushing an injury like an AC Sep can cause it to take much longer to heal, and should you fall, crash, or whatever that you did to cause the initial injury, you could EASILY make the injury worse. Or again prolong the recovery by re-injuring the shoulder. Another problem with AC Sep recovery is over use. It'll take a while to recover, but it will be well worth it. Spin classes and the use of the trainer can help you stay in shape. But DON'T ride until your doctor says it is okay to do so. And if he says light riding the TAKE IT LIGHT!!! Don't head off to your favorite DH run the second the MD says you can ride. Do it his way! That way you shouldn't have any problems.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  5. #5
    Cold. Blue. Steel.
    Reputation: OneGearGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,709
    I will have to agree with the above arguments for letting things heal...
    I have been suffering since summer with a grade III AC sep as well. My problem was that I did it right before 90% of my big races were coming up, and 36 hours before a 12 hour race that I stubbornly rode to a 3rd place finish on my rigid SS in the solo class.
    I have tried to take it easy, but have raced on it all season long. Now, I am finally giving in and taking it easy for the winter. It doesn't help that my Chrome bag goes across my injured shoulder, so I am not commuting either. Just road riding, some trail running and hiking, and of course the trainer (snore). But I want to heal up already!

    My .02
    OGG
    Spinning and Grinning...

  6. #6
    Mutha Flippin'
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    6

    Three time for me :(

    I just seperated mine in July for the third time. They were level 3, 2 and 3 respectively. Problem is, this time it is not reconnecting. It might someday but for now it just floats around inside. It feels mostly healed; that is, no more pain etc... but it is completely disconnected. I can't ride because when I pull on my bars it pulls away. Lucky for me I'm living in Chicago temporarily, otherwise the Colorado mountains (I'm from Colorado Springs) would lure me into certain handicappedness. Fact is, had I undergone proper rehab with the first injury I prolly wouldn't be in this predicament now. (The army isn't the best medical environment.) I would push for therapy and adhere to it strictly.

  7. #7
    JAK
    JAK is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    562

    Fully separated in '89 and...

    The doc said to quit climbing and MTBing. So I did. I experienced shoulder pain and stiffness. I did the 'light' therapy the doc recommended. It continued to hurt. They were concerned with me never doing anything that would stress the area. It continued to hurt. I went out and belayed a friend telling myself I wouldn't climb, I would just hang out. Well, it was a little SportClimbing area that had a thuggy 5.9. I gave 'er and have not felt the same stiffness since...15 years later!!...I still have crepitus, soreness and weird feelings of seperation...Maybe my slow going in the beginning helped? Like others said take it easy early...My doc still hadn't cleared me for physical activity when I went climbing . At the time there was no effective surgery and he said I wouldn't climb or bike again without great discomfort. WRONG! Be careful who you listen to and make sure they understand the 'actual', not theoretical mechanics of the MTB. FYI, I put DirtDrops on my rig and with the different hand position, I experience way less fatigue in my left, separated shoulder. I am a bit slower on the DH, but when I get to the bottom, my shouldewr feels solid and virtually pain free. After you get back on the bike you might want to check out some different handlebars if you get any weirdness in your shoulder. Get a good Sports Therapist and be vigilant in your therapy. Those surgical tube exercises did wonders for me. I have lightweight barbells I do military presses with and it strengthens the surrounding muscles. Also if you swim, hit that pool! It seemed to be an activity that helped to stabalize my shoulder.

    Hope that helps and Hang(pun intended) In There!!
    Night has fallen.
    And there's nothin' we can do about it.

  8. #8
    zon
    zon is offline
    Scofflaw Mountain Biker
    Reputation: zon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,706
    Been there, doing that. I seperated mine (grade 3) in September, 8 1/2 weeks ago. Doc told me the same thing. 6 - 8 weeks. Well I couldnt sit still so I went for an easy ride around the hood after 1 week. Big mistake. Hurt like hell fo a couple of days so I decided to lay off it for the suggested time. I tried to keep the range of motion going by just moving my arm as much and as far as I could several times a day. Seemed to help as I dont experience any limitations now.
    At 7 weeks I started riding again, nothing to technical, didnt want to chance a crash and agrivate the injury. Still did about 22 miles the first ride and felt real good afterwords. I have ridden about 6 times so far with lots of climbing and carefull downhill. I also started back at the gym. Cut the weight in half of what I was previously lifting and am doing OK. It kinda "pops" every now and then and feels tender with certain movements but it is definetly getting stronger. Still cant sleep on that side though. I'm 51 so my "heal time" may be different than yours.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ-ΛΑΒΕ


    .

  9. #9
    Bad Case of the Mondays
    Reputation: Jdub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,009
    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.
    Yep it pretty much sucks. I blew out a front tire on a downhill run this May and smashed mine up 3rd degree too. I was off the bike for about 6-8 weeks, and for a lot of that time I couldn't do simple things (like lift a gallon of milk, etc). It slowly gets better, but you basically have to build the strength of the shoulder up over time, it doesn't happen overnight.

    I was putting in miles on the trainer, but even that proved to be too much too early. Ice is certainly your friend as well is Naproxen or Ibuprofen to help the inflamation.

    Take it slow, even when it starts to feel better it will still be weak and easily subjected to injury again. Belive me I know all too well....

    And yeah that bump isn't ever going away. My Doc said that he could get rid of the bump via surgery, but I'd be trading the bump for a scar. Plus the recovery of both options (surgery vs no surgery) was pretty much the same. Surgery (in my case) would be strictly for cosmetic reasons.

  10. #10
    Just win baby!
    Reputation: X-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    360
    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.

    I had a class 3 separation in 2000 and 2001...same shoulder. The first time it healed great and I was back riding in six weeks. Road riding at first, then easy trails untill I felt I could take the pounding of harder trails.

    The second time wasn't so good. It took 9 weeks just to get on the bike and ride the road... I knew something wasn't right, but I left it go untill 2004.

    I ended up having a bone spur ground off that was tearing into my rotator cuff. I also had my clavical ( probably not the right name) surgically tied back down in the position it is supposed to be in. This was done because I had severe impingement. I literally couldn't swing a golf club without my shoulder catching and making a loud cracking sound. It is one and a half years since surgery... I wouldn't get cut again. It is different, but not really better. I guess I'll just live with it... at least it's an injury that I can brag about!
    The Autumn wind is a Raider...

  11. #11
    Shaman
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    636
    Quote Originally Posted by X-rider
    I had a class 3 separation in 2000 and 2001...same shoulder. The first time it healed great and I was back riding in six weeks. Road riding at first, then easy trails untill I felt I could take the pounding of harder trails.
    I have separated both of my shoulders and both were third degree seperations. You are the second poster who says he has has done it twice to the same shoulder. I am confused how this could be done. I am under the impression that once you do a thrid degree it is done (thats what both my doctors said) since you have basically snapped the ligaments that hold the shoulder together. The shoulder never heals like it was before (the ligaments never re-attach) so how could you do it again?

    Please explain what happened. I am curious, not trying to start an arguement.
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

  12. #12
    Just win baby!
    Reputation: X-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    360
    Quote Originally Posted by BetterRide
    I have separated both of my shoulders and both were third degree seperations. You are the second poster who says he has has done it twice to the same shoulder. I am confused how this could be done. I am under the impression that once you do a thrid degree it is done (thats what both my doctors said) since you have basically snapped the ligaments that hold the shoulder together. The shoulder never heals like it was before (the ligaments never re-attach) so how could you do it again?

    Please explain what happened. I am curious, not trying to start an arguement.
    The first time, the doc said it was borderline class 3... more like a class 2 3/4. The second time was class 3 all the way.

    When I was in recovery from surgery, the opertating room nurse that checked on me told me it was the worst separation she had seen in her 12 year career.
    The Autumn wind is a Raider...

  13. #13
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,990
    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.

    Mine was almost 30 years ago so it's a bit hazy. I wasn't off the bike (road) for long but limited the out-of-saddle stuff. I was back on the bike when the pain had gone. I remember it aching for months and months after and the worst time for me was when driving the car.

    I never did bench press more than 125lbs after that and had the feeling that something wasn't connected. The separation gave me more grief than the (year earlier) broken clavicle on the same side.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by roadiegonebad
    3 words- range of motion... and no, that bump will not go away
    Range of motion???? What's that? You mean you should be able to lift your hand above your shoulder??

    Don't push it, trust me, take the time to let it heal.

  15. #15
    Not Smart Enough to Quit
    Reputation: xray_ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    644

    Mine looked like this

    It took months to heal but I also had a broken wrist on the same side. I couldn't do any therapy on it for at least 6 weeks. That put me behind and made the range of motion harder to get back.

    The AC (acromio-clavicular) joint is where the clavical (collar bone) meets the acromian process of the scapula (that little piece of bone on the shoulder blade that points towards the clavical) Notice on the xray how the end of the clavical is raised. Definately take it slowly and work on range of motion. Lots of painful stretching.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    The standing eight count & three knockdown rules are in effect on this trail.

    http://compvelo.com/content/

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    8,286

    Working on your shoulder's range of motion is

    very important. Waiting for the pain to subside, trying to maintain your strength and fitness, not trying to come back too soon...these are all components of the healing process. BUT one of the most important things is making sure you keep the range of motion in all your working parts. For instance, if you can't lift your hand above your head using your muscles you can get next to a wall and walk your fingers up the wall to elevate your hand higher and higher as the weeks progress. Something you probably wouldn't think about on your own.

    I'm certainly no doc or physical therapist but I've PTd my way out of rotator cuff surgery so I've done a lot of "range of motion" exercises. These exercises don't really use the muscles in the affected area to move your arm/shoulder (gotta let those connections heal without stress) but your ligaments, tendons and muscles are all gonna permanently shorten up if they're not worked. If you don't have a physical therapist, get one, even if just for one session. They will enlighten you better than I can. You'll walk away from that first session with much needed knowledge about the ENTIRE healing process. Good luck.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wrongway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    99
    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.
    I had an accident at the 2001 Big Bear Norba nationals where I had not only a grade 3 AC separation, but also a fractured scapula, five broken ribs, and a collapsed lung, which immediately started to fill with fluid. I had to be airlifted. At the hospital I had a 1/2" plastic tube through my rib cage for three days attached to a suction device to suck out all the fluid.

    I did my first slow and easy 30 minute road ride on my mtb by end of the second week. I could not ride my regular road bike at the time because of the stretched out position. Did my first easy mtb ride after 5 weeks or so. The docs said that I could do as much exercise I could tolerate, that it was good for my circulation. I had trouble pulling up on the bars for more than two months.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TripleSteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    12
    I did a grade 3 a little over a year ago. It's still not 100% and I'm sure it never will be. I followed the PT religiously and didn't ride for probably 6-8 weeks. It still feels like it's going to pop out whenever I get knocked forward on the bike or over 300 lbs on the bench etc. All of my workout symmetry is out of whack.

    At this point I'm really thinking I should have went against the ortho's recommendation and did the surgery...I'd take a scar and 95% over a big bump and 80%. I don't see how a Dr can say you'll be 100% when your whole shoulder geometry is out of line...
    Of course, drilling a couple of holes in my shoulder and tying it together with a peice of my hamstring didn't sound that great either

    I saw one negative reply about the surgery as well...anyone else go through with the surgery? What were your results?

  19. #19
    zon
    zon is offline
    Scofflaw Mountain Biker
    Reputation: zon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,706
    Quote Originally Posted by NoWake
    I did a grade 3 a little over a year ago. It's still not 100% and I'm sure it never will be. I followed the PT religiously and didn't ride for probably 6-8 weeks. It still feels like it's going to pop out whenever I get knocked forward on the bike or over 300 lbs on the bench etc. All of my workout symmetry is out of whack.

    At this point I'm really thinking I should have went against the ortho's recommendation and did the surgery...I'd take a scar and 95% over a big bump and 80%. I don't see how a Dr can say you'll be 100% when your whole shoulder geometry is out of line...
    Of course, drilling a couple of holes in my shoulder and tying it together with a peice of my hamstring didn't sound that great either

    I saw one negative reply about the surgery as well...anyone else go through with the surgery? What were your results?

    So I will never be 100%. That sucks. Is the surgery you describe the standard procedure for this injury if elected?

    Good Links on AC seperation: eOrthopod
    and Sports Medicine
    Last edited by zon; 11-16-2005 at 03:45 PM.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ-ΛΑΒΕ


    .

  20. #20
    Shaman
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    636
    Quote Originally Posted by NoWake
    I saw one negative reply about the surgery as well...anyone else go through with the surgery? What were your results?
    I had a "Weaver-Dunn?" surgery in 1999 and it has held up well so far, knock on wood. Seven seasons racing downhill and it still feels good. My doctor also recommended no surgery but after 4 months it was still hurting so I had the surgery.
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    8,286

    100% after surgery? Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by zon
    So I will never be 100%. That sucks. Is the surgery you describe the standard procedure for this injury if elected?

    Good Links on AC seperation: eOrthopod
    and Sports Medicine
    that's why I elected NOT to have surgery because my case was such that there wasn't a huge tear in there and I never read that, even after surgery, my shoulder would be 100%. So I elected to just PT my way to 90% (or thereabouts) and skip the surgery and recovery.
    You know, getting dinged bigtime results in unwanted changes in your body. We like to think we're invincible but gravity teaches us otherwise!

    Rotator cuff tears and seperated shoulders are two different animals. Maybe surgery is the better way to go in your case, I don't know. My point is: do a lot of research on your own (the internet will provide a ton of info for you--I did my research at a medical school library) and see what percentage of folks who had the surgery that you need actually said, f!ckin' ay, I'm glad I had that surgery! Weigh up the cost of surgery, the recovery time and the chances that the end result will be better than just PT alone.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TripleSteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    that's why I elected NOT to have surgery because my case was such that there wasn't a huge tear in there and I never read that, even after surgery, my shoulder would be 100%. So I elected to just PT my way to 90% (or thereabouts) and skip the surgery and recovery.
    I think it's really a case by case basis...probably a lot depends on how bad the separation was. And then you have to take into consideration what you expect after the injury...I mean most of us here didn't get our injuries from rolling off the couch while grabbing another beer! I know I asked my Ortho that I needed to be close to 100% just to fit my lifestyle. Unfortunately the PT only got me to 75-80% after a year.

    Mine was a "100% Grade 3 separation", which depending on what you read, is the worse you can get with out breaking the skin. I had also had a grade 2 from football, so I'm sure that did not help my recovery just due to the scar tissue already in there.

    On the superficial side I think I would go with the scar instead of a big protruding bump that you can even see under a tight shirt.

    Cons are you never know what you're going to get when someone starts cutting you open!

    I would get a couple of opinions and get some realistic advice about what kind of recovery you can expect with your particular injury.
    Good Luck!

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    12

    Grade 5 Here

    Separated my shoulder in 2001. It was a Grade 5. First doctor said it was a grade three and didn't want to operate. Got a second opinion. He said two things. First: you look at a how old and active the person is... a young active person should get a grade 3 fixed. Second: I had a grade 5 and needed an operation anyway.

    I got the surgery and the shoulder is 100%. I have full range of motion and do whatever I want. Unless you fall, mountain biking isn't even a consideration for it. Weightlifting and wakeboarding put far more stress on it... but they don't bother it either. I highly reccomend the surgery. The bump goes away with the surgery.

    Good Luck

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TripleSteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by zon
    So I will never be 100%. That sucks. Is the surgery you describe the standard procedure for this injury if elected?
    My ortho said there are two types of surgery;
    The first is where they put a screw in. He said this type has a high rate of failure, limits range of motion and has common impingment problems.
    The second was the one I described where they take a peice of hamstring (I later found out you can opt for a "cadaver" donor) drill holes in your clavicle and scapula and basically "tie" them back toegether.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TripleSteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeLuv
    Separated my shoulder in 2001. It was a Grade 5. First doctor said it was a grade three and didn't want to operate. Got a second opinion. He said two things. First: you look at a how old and active the person is... a young active person should get a grade 3 fixed. Second: I had a grade 5 and needed an operation anyway.

    I got the surgery and the shoulder is 100%. I have full range of motion and do whatever I want. Unless you fall, mountain biking isn't even a consideration for it. Weightlifting and wakeboarding put far more stress on it... but they don't bother it either. I highly reccomend the surgery. The bump goes away with the surgery.

    Good Luck
    Wish I had found your second guy...Which surgery did you have? The Weaver-Dunn drill and tie one?

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    353
    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeLuv
    Separated my shoulder in 2001. It was a Grade 5. First doctor said it was a grade three and didn't want to operate. Got a second opinion. He said two things. First: you look at a how old and active the person is... a young active person should get a grade 3 fixed. Second: I had a grade 5 and needed an operation anyway.

    I got the surgery and the shoulder is 100%. I have full range of motion and do whatever I want. Unless you fall, mountain biking isn't even a consideration for it. Weightlifting and wakeboarding put far more stress on it... but they don't bother it either. I highly reccomend the surgery. The bump goes away with the surgery.

    Good Luck
    _______________________________________
    You have a good ortho surgeon...bottom line don't curse the pain... respect the pain...

  27. #27
    Just win baby!
    Reputation: X-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    360
    I had the Weaver-Dunn surgery. My shoulder works fine, with full range of motion. I only have about 90% of the strength I used to have. It has been a year and a half since surgery. I still experience some pain when doing certain things.

    I gave up lifting weights because my shoulder fatigues too fast and throws everything out of wack when benching, doing lateral raises, push-ups, etc... I have no problem at all with riding and doing what needs done on the bike.
    The Autumn wind is a Raider...

  28. #28
    zon
    zon is offline
    Scofflaw Mountain Biker
    Reputation: zon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,706
    Quote Originally Posted by NoWake
    My ortho said there are two types of surgery;
    The first is where they put a screw in. He said this type has a high rate of failure, limits range of motion and has common impingment problems.
    The second was the one I described where they take a peice of hamstring (I later found out you can opt for a "cadaver" donor) drill holes in your clavicle and scapula and basically "tie" them back toegether.
    Don't like the idea of weakening the hamstring. Are there rejection issues with a cadaver part? Are there any rejection drugs involved?
    ΜΟΛΩΝ-ΛΑΒΕ


    .

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mike Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    3,243
    I have a grade 3 AC separation that's a little different as it's secondary to an extremely severe "crushing blow" fracture of the last 2 inches of my clavicle as the result of a car cutting me off on the road bike. Had to have a plate put in to restore clavicle, that's good, on my 3rd month of PT, been fully released to activity.

    Here's what I've found. The shoulder works great for any ride of easy to moderate effort including 10-plus hour days doing a 2-day MTB race with my girlfriend at an easy pace. When I put forth my full effort for the first time in a 38 mile technical MTB race in early November, it hurt- a lot- for the next 4 days. It just couldn't handle the 4 hours or so of hard effort and rock gardens. I've got an appointment next week with my doc that's to determine if I'm going to get the second surgery- if there's any chance it going to give me back that 10% to be able to go all-out, I'm going for it.

    Don't know if any of that helps, Mike

  30. #30
    Just win baby!
    Reputation: X-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    360
    Quote Originally Posted by zon
    Don't like the idea of weakening the hamstring. Are there rejection issues with a cadaver part? Are there any rejection drugs involved?

    I had a variation of the Weaver-Dunn. The doc used all synthetic material to tie me back together. From what I can understand, any surgery that uses the same basic technique to tie things back togheter is generaly called a Weaver-Dunn. I don't know if that's true or not, just my take on it. I do know that when I went back for check ups, the assistent would talk into a recorder and say he was checking patient # so and so's progress on Weaver-Dunn shoulder surgery.
    The Autumn wind is a Raider...

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    12

    Surgery

    I think I had the Weaver Dunn. I can't remember. The second guy didn't give me the surgery. It was a third guy. I'm in the Air Force and they sent me to a specialist who only did shoulders. The first guy wanted to do it, but he said he only had done three of these type of surgeries in two years. The specialist said he did about 25 surgeries a month, but only 5 of those would be ac separations. I told him "your'e the man". He did a great job. I didn't really do any physical therapy. The doc told me to use it normally for awhile. 6 weeks later (I think, maybe 9), he cleared me to lift weights. I started out light and slowly worked my way up. The only time I notice any soreness out of my shoulder is when I lay off the weights and come back, but even that seems to be dissapating.

    The sooner you can get the surgery done the better. There are three ligments in there. Two are small and one is big. It must be left over from our tree swingin' days. The two little ones had been torn all the way through and had reabsorbed due to the fact there was too much time between the accident and surgery. The big one was still good. The doc said the shoulder would be as strong as it ever was, so don't worry about it.

    Keep the faith

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3
    So I just had a screw removed after having it in for 3 months to heal my Grade 5 injury. I still have a bump...you can see a lot of my clavicle, in fact. Will this go away with increased muscle up there? I feel like the surgery wasn't done well. Check out the picture and see my before and after shots. Incidentally I was road biking when this happened...got clobbered by an out of control biker that sent me into shock and knocked out a couple of teeth. I'd be really curious to hear what people thought of how it looks, because I don't see why you couldn't fully fix this injury.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  33. #33
    USB Rep'n
    Reputation: namaSSte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,413
    I can't believe how many of us there are.

    Im in the midst of all of this right now too. Grade III AC sep. I have to admit that Im a terrible patient. I injured the shoulder in 8/04 (yes, a year and a half ago). I tried anitinflammatories at first with no result. Kept riding. As time went on the pain increased so we went to cortisone shots (3 this year), results lasted approx 5 wks on each) then back to the pain. Kept riding. Its gotten so painful now that I began getting serious about surgery (I didnt want to be off the bike before so I said no). Well, the MRI revealed some unpleasant news. The arthritis (swelling and inflamation) in the AC joint has caused enough impingement that I have caused a nearly full thickness tear in the rotator cuff. Im sure riding contributed a lot to that as well. I know have numbness and tingling in the arm and hand and have only been able to ride light xc (normally I ride a lot of skatepark and urban as well as light FR). The pain is constant, I dont sleep well and I can't do many everyday things. I am on prednisone and PT and will be having surgery very soon.

    The point to all of this rambling is....listen to the doc. Take things easy and get better. Surgery is a very reasonable alternative if you can't get thigns calmed down in a more conservative manner. Just don't follow my course of action. In hindsight, I wish I'd have been a better patient. Hopefully, the recovery won't be terribly long for me (although Im not really that optimistic). Im sure the bump will remain and that's okay since it will remind me of what I should have done (my wife and kids already do!).

    Good luck man, take care and get well. Keep us posted on your progress.
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mike Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    3,243
    I'm getting the Weaver-Dunn using a cadaver tendon. My understanding of the risk wth cadaver tissue is only if science misses a bloodborne pathogen such as Hep B or HIV. Doctor said it was like the kind of odds in the Powerball, so I'm going to keep my hamstrings, thank you.

    Given this will be my second and third surgeries (second to get plate removed, see previous post and third to tie it all back together) I'm feeling a bit down, but hopefully the overall picture will be good in the end.

    Mike

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    I'm getting the Weaver-Dunn using a cadaver tendon. My understanding of the risk wth cadaver tissue is only if science misses a bloodborne pathogen such as Hep B or HIV. Doctor said it was like the kind of odds in the Powerball, so I'm going to keep my hamstrings, thank you.

    Given this will be my second and third surgeries (second to get plate removed, see previous post and third to tie it all back together) I'm feeling a bit down, but hopefully the overall picture will be good in the end.

    Mike
    shouldn't my bump be gone though? I'm guessing you're an expert in all of this after 3 surgeries and it just seems really simple to me, looking at my X ray that the screw could have gone down further and made me heal better. I'm really wondering why they didn't. My doc is really lax with this stuff too (Harvard doc at MGH so he knows what he's doing)...he didn't even think I needed physical therapy after the screw came out last week (??)

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mike Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    3,243
    Your repaired Grade 5 looks just like my unrepaired Grade 3. So yes, I would think the lump should be gone. Get a second opinion.

    Mike

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    Your repaired Grade 5 looks just like my unrepaired Grade 3. So yes, I would think the lump should be gone. Get a second opinion.

    Mike
    Thanks very much. Man this bums me out. I've been through so, so much with this.....and to think he may not have done it as well as he could have really kills me.....

  38. #38
    zon
    zon is offline
    Scofflaw Mountain Biker
    Reputation: zon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,706
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    I'm getting the Weaver-Dunn using a cadaver tendon. My understanding of the risk wth cadaver tissue is only if science misses a bloodborne pathogen such as Hep B or HIV. Doctor said it was like the kind of odds in the Powerball, so I'm going to keep my hamstrings, thank you.

    Mike

    Will you have to take any anti-rejection drugs?
    ΜΟΛΩΝ-ΛΑΒΕ


    .

  39. #39
    Nim
    Nim is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    195

    Late update

    Ok, 9 months later. Shoulder, well it will never be the same, but pretty good considering. Pain/random pain pretty much gone. Riding well, but the more techy stuff was physically difficult for a few months with the injury. Road (yes) riding helped get me back. Took a while to get the strength back for pulling up, drops, jumps, etc. Definitely ride a tad bit more cautious/sane these days. And heck, I think my golf swing has improved from the injury, but I don't have time for that - MUST RIDE!

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Anonymous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    2,799
    Just be glad button fly jeans went out of style.
    I did the same thing skiing back in the 80's. The first Q the doc asked was,. "Does it hurt to button your pants?". When I said that it did, and added "like hell", he correctly diagnosed it, before the xrays or MRI.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nuttymtbr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    154

    Complete seperation

    1 year of therapy SUCKED!!! But I elected to not have surgery and I'm SOOO happy with the results. When riding if I fall I try to remember not to catch myself with my right arm cause jamming the shoulder up into the scapula(sp?) hurts like heck. But besides that the shoulder works like it did before the accident. and my wife does not mind how the scapula protrudes up where my shoulder should be. If I have a good year of weight lifting the bump will go down considerably but now I prefer to ride instead of hitting the gym.

  42. #42
    Ami Schwein
    Reputation: k-stein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    304
    I had a grade three seperation after launching a kicker about 6 weeks ago. I decided not to go through with the surgery and laid off the bike for about 3 weeks. Things were healing up pretty fast. After about 3 weeks i took some short "laid back" tours and did experience shoulder fatigue fairly quickly, so id stop and take off the camel back and kind of stretch it a little. Anyways 2 weeks later im back rockin the full face and ridin the rough stuff. It still gets fatigued at times and im still not able to touch my elbows together in front of my chest without pain but im glad i chose not to go under the knife. Ive got a doc appointment monday and hell probably hook me up with a PT schedule. Ive still got the crazy protrusion on my left shoulder but ill get used to it. I think everyone recovers differently from stuff though. By the way whats a grade 5??? I went to a german doctor and he made it sound like grade 3 was as bad as it gets...i mean once the tendons/ligaments are all torn whats left to damage?
    Wait until Spring Bandini

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AlliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,385
    I did a grade 1 or 2 so hard to compare to some of your injuries. Swimming was the best rehab for me. I was teaching swimming so I used very low load full range motion and things got better quickly.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  44. #44
    Ami Schwein
    Reputation: k-stein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    304
    Doctor appointment went well. Said it was healing nicely and the stability is definitely improved. Said i should be able to lift weights in about two weeks. So all in all, 2 weeks pretty much light restricted movement. 3rd week dropped the sling, no more pain. 4th week started biking again safe n sane style. 5th and 6th couldnt hold it back anymore safe n sane pretty much out the window however still keeping the rubber for the most part on the dirt. next week we'll see how it feels. Overall thats about the time line i experienced. As of today im very pleased with the results and glad i chose not to operate.
    Wait until Spring Bandini

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1
    I suffered a shoulder dislocation and 3rd degree AC separation on July 20th in a training accident and 2 days later rode a 7 day, 500 mile touring event on a road bike. The guys I was riding with pulled the dislocation back in place at the accident site. I then went to the ER as we felt that I had fractured the collarbone. Xrays showed the AC separation. Consulting with the orthopedic doc in the emergency room, he said I could do whatever I wanted as long as I could handle the pain. After the first day, the pain subsided. I never took any pain meds during this whole episode. I actually found that the most comfortable positioning for the shoulder was on the bike as it forced the shoulder back up and in. After returning, I went to an orthopedic surgeon who recommended no surgery. He encouraged me to continue doing what I doing and said that in three months, the results will be comparable to surgery. I was happy to take the conservative route, but will see what happens. The separation is quite pronounced and I don't understand how those ligaments will repair themselves given the weight of the arm maintaining the separation.

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.
    I seperated mine last september so, I feel you pain. I was off the bike 4 weeks. Going back to riding didn't cause any shoulder pain but, now, a year later, I am just starting to get back my range of motion. It's going to take a long long time to get back to normal. Be patient and start of slow.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dwnhlldav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,047
    I did a grade 1 or 2 seperation in February in a skiing accident. Because of all the other injuries I sustained I was pretyt much couch bound for several weeks, then just walking. When I started physical therapy it was all range of motion stretching and what not. The were really conservative with any strengthening which I found very annoying. The pain ended up at a manageable level and when I started riding 6 weeks out it only took a few rides before it stopped feeling like my arm was falling off when I pulled up on the bars.

    I started light lifting after 3 months and got a little heavier and mixed in pushups and pull ups at about 4 months that is when I noticed the pain really subside. I'm not just past the 6 month mark. up untill recently I just thought I was going to have to live with some pain for ever, but I started taking a glucosamine supplement and with in a week pretty much all my shoulder pain is gone, it will just be achy for day if I sleep on it the wrong way or ride my cross bike instead of my MTB.
    Disclaimer: I fix bikes for a living.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2,271
    i have/had type 3 acromia (still have in my left shoulder) and had an operation to correct the condition in my right shoulder after severing my tendon.

    the fused the tendon back together, cut out bone and had my shoulder strapped to my side for about 6 months. after that, i was supposed to do physical therapy, but i didnt have time for it - i did take it easy, but made sure to follow most of what the PT program had outlined - gentle stretches, dont push through range of motion, etc.

    well, about a year after that, i needed to go back for a final check for insurance purposes - i hadnt gone to PT for pretty much the whole year and the doc was amazed at the recovery i had made - i gained 100% of my motion back and my shoulder is still nice and solid in the socket - no problems with dislocations like i had previously.

    now, even though i regained my motion, i know i still have to take it easy, even more so on my other shoulder since i could still possibly tear that tendon. i had to stop swimming 2 times a day, everyday - but i can still do most anything.

    i stay the f*** away from bench pressing and such though - thats just asking for a problem.

    oh yea, the operation was able to be performed using arthroscopy instead of the formal 7 inch incision.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    32
    My wife crashed her road bike and fell full weight onto her shoulder. Separation and dislocation. I reduced the dislocation on the spot and we went to ER. They hemmed and hawed and basically said - Yup, it's dislocated. Our family physician was a first class idiot, said - you, it's dislocated. At this time her shoulder was about 2 inches lower than the other one.

    Long story short - after about 18 months she FINALLY got to see a great ortho - he ended up shaving the end of the clavicle off and shaving down the underlying bursa because of the wicked impingement she was getting. She is now about 8 weeks post-op and feeling a lot better. Good news was the AC joint was healed up and no damage to the rotator cuff. The significant scar tissue that had built up is nearly gone too.

    She now does physio and massage therapy and is nearly back to normal.

    The moral - get a GOOD diagnosis the first time around, follow the instructions, do the exrecises and do not overdo things. Good luck on a speedy recovery.

  50. #50
    ballbuster
    Reputation: pimpbot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    12,718

    Dang....

    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.
    Grade III sounds nasty. Like your arm was severed and put back on.

  51. #51
    TurnURComputerOff&GoRide
    Reputation: rural's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    91
    Wow - I wish I found this thread 5 months ago. My story is very similar.

    First doc said it was grade 3 and I should put it in a sling and take it easy for 3 weeks.
    I couldn't help but notice the jagged bone end trying to rupture through my skin - so I found another doc..... I ended up in the hands of a really good Ortho that just does shoulders. I had done the ligaments, but I'd also smashed the end of my clavicle into lots of little bits. So surgery was the go.
    My ortho did 7 shoulder surgeries on the day he did mine. If you're living in a location that has specialists - I think you are way better trying to find a doc that does 7 shoulder opps a day rather than 1 every 3 months!!
    I had the Weaver-Dunn thing with some anchors and minor hardware (located further down the clavicle to get to a solid non smashed bone).
    The advice I got was that the big screw through the shoulder was not the way to go and had a high incidence of failure and problems.

    So 5 months....
    2 months of it really SUCKED - I mean depressing, intruded into work, ability to sleep, drive, etc. it SUCKED!!!
    I did no PT or any real movement for the first 2 months. Muscle wastage and all that sort of nasty stuff.
    Then 2 more months of recovery and PT.

    I've now been back on the bike for a month and fitness levels are returning.
    It's only been in the last 2 weeks where I've been having great rides where everything just feels great and the ride comes together.

    The arm/shoulder is 99.9% good now, with a full range of movement and only slight discomfort if I stretch it way up. My PT guy was blown away with how fast I managed to get my range of movement and strength back. I hit the PT exercises pretty hard as I was determined to get back on the bike.

    I'm so happy I found a good ortho and got the surgery.
    Post surgery I still had a bit of a bump, but that's gone away now.
    Now all I have is a cool looking scar.
    The memory of 4 months of pain and suffering washes away when you get back on the bike and have one of those rides where you're just in the zone.

  52. #52
    Ami Schwein
    Reputation: k-stein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    304
    Well, its been now over a year with mine as well and i have no problems with the shoulder anymore. Back to jumping, dropping whatever. Strength and movement is good to go. Ive done PT on it continously since I was able to. I'll always have the lump, but i find it endearing.
    Wait until Spring Bandini

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2,271
    oh yea - my surgery was just a lil over 9 years ago - april of 1998.

  54. #54
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2
    Hmmm, well, since it seems there haven't been any 2008 entries regarding AC separations, I guess I'm going to have to be the one to post. Did mine on 11-09-2008. Passed out on a buddy a couple of minutes afterwards from the pain. Thought I dislocated my shoulder, but I could still move my arm. Had the "bump" immediately afterward, so I knew something wasn't right. Eventually went to the emergency department, got x-rays, received a sling and prescription for percocets that I didn't fill, and was told to follow up with the Core Institute (PHX). "AC separation" they said. Put off the follow-up for a couple of days, went and picked up my copies of the x-rays on disk along with the diagnostic report. Looked at the pics on my computer and saw the damage done. Did extensive research and learned about the grading of separations. Entertained the idea that mine wasn't that serious. Found myself freaking out from the lack of pain late the following Friday. (Mind you, I had been riding nearly everyday up until the time of my accident.) I had been taking ibuprofen as instructed since visiting the E.D., but boy, was I starting to wonder about my pain receptors and nerve endings. Range of movement? Check. Not all I had before the wreck, but damn near. I could move my arm above my head, behind my back, and across my chest. Feeling in my hands, arms, and shoulders? Check. I actually pinched myself with my fingernails atop my hurt (right) shoulder to confirm. Started thinking about "Unbreakable"... Wondered if I could do pull-ups? I know, I know. You are probably thinking, "Is he insane?" Well, maybe. So, I walk down to the spare bedroom housing my Soloflex, which was left setup for pull-ups. I grab the bars and begin to do pull-ups. Not just a couple, but more than I had been doing before. I actually stopped before I tired my muscles out. Man, something is wrong. Should I be able to do pull-ups with a separated shoulder? The next day I talked to a buddy who is basically a physical therapist and told him what I had done. He started laughing before I even finished telling him. Especially, when I told him the part about "Unbreakable." Then, he says that I have probably created scare tissue very quickly as a result of metabolism and being fit. I end the conversation still in disbelief. Today, on the 18th of November, I finally got my follow-up with Dr. Marcus at the Core Institute. After he is allowed to view my x-rays, he puts me through some simple range of motion/resistance tests. I ask him if I should be where I am for the injury sustained? His reply is no. He tells me that I am definitely a grade 3+. With some doctors, he says that I would probably be a grade 5. He weighs my age against whether or not he would consider surgery. (I'm 37 with about 5% body fat. I'm actually underfat from dedicating so much time to riding. I rarely do more than this actively, I swear.) I mention "Unbreakable", during the course of our conversation, but I couldn't bring myself to tell him about the pull-ups. He's familiar with the movie. He then proceeds to tell me that if it were him comtemplating the decision, nobody would be touching him surgically. At 44, he has 7 years on me. He honestly tells me that he could actually put me in a worse position than I currently am in. I would definitely be in some sort of pain following surgery. My range of motion might not recover as quickly or be as good. I could possibly develop complications from the materials used in the surgery. I would be taking a huge step back as far as progress is concerned. And, other than aesthetics, I probably wouldn't benefit from surgery at this point, and that he couldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be some form of movement upwards with the clavicle forming a bump on top of my shoulder. Basically, it's a preventative maintenance gamble for me. He ultimately leaves the choice up to me, but in his mind it's a no brainer. I could possibly be a candidate for reconstruction with cadaver ligaments at some point down the road after problems arise, or I could have him perform an acute operation to tie down my clavicle to the coracoid process so long as it is within 3 weeks of the episode (a small window). I'd flip a coin, but I think I'll take it easy for a bit instead and gamble with the hope that I never meet Dr. Marcus again. You might not be so lucky.

  55. #55
    Crawfishy
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    78

    15 years later

    Jah Jah Man, I don't usually post here but I saw the word separation in the title and had to look. In June of '93 I was riding Walker Ranch outside of Boulder when I went over the handle bars and separated my shoulder. Still don't know if I hit a boulder or pulled on the front brakes.

    When I sat up and luckly avoided being hit by my best friend who was trailing behind, I too could tell I had messed up my shoulder. The doc in the ER, a orthopedic surgeon checking on another patient, told me I had a third degree sep. He said that he did not recommend surgery and that the sep. would close back up. He prescribed a certain sling. The place was closed so I could not get it that night.

    The next day when I went to see him in his office he started to look at it again. He had me stand up and he started pushing on the clavical. I soon asked him if I could sit because I did not feel so hot. He had me sit and went and got me water because he said I was turning green. He soon told me that the clavical had slipped behind the shoulder blade and he could not get it back up because it was being held down by a muscle. He said surgery was no longer an option.

    A few days later I was put back together with a big S on my shoulder. I was able to make it stronger than before. Later that year I had a slight sep. in my other shoulder from playing flag football and hit hurt worse.

    I think you will be alright without the surgery, maybe stronger.

    Good luck!
    "98% of us will die at some point in our lives" - Ricky Bobby

  56. #56
    wants a taco
    Reputation: nubcake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    498
    another ac sep for 08. Mine happened 2 days ago, went to the hospital yesterday and found out the news. In researching this it seems like recovery time is really based on the quality of your doc. It also sounds like alot of docs dont take into account how serious alot of us are about our riding and think 90% is a great recovery, and then hearing from those with that 90% recovery mention alot of complications when riding that make it sound more like 70%

    Im needing to set up an appointment with a specialist and am currios what i need to look for. Sounds like i need someone who also specializes in sports medicine but i dont know. Im ready to do whatever it takes to get on the bike quickly (at least the roadie) im just worried about a shitty doc that doesnt consider the fact i ride almost every day, race etc.. and hope he doesnt treat me "good enough" like he would for alot of seditary people that would never really notice the diff.

  57. #57
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jro75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    91
    Just did this last night. Riding the road bike home in the evening and took a corner while going at a decent speed and BAM before I knew it I was on the ground. Front wheel washed out on something I didn't see.

    Stood up and immediatly knew something was wrong. I actually thought I had broken my collarbone the way it was sticking up. Turns out it is seperated AC.

    So much for my trip to S.Utah I had planned for sunday-wednesday.

    Anyhow, just happened to notice this thread. I'll update later on how the recovery went.



    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2

    a c sep grade III

    Quote Originally Posted by Jah Jah Man
    Hmmm, well, since it seems there haven't been any 2008 entries regarding AC separations, I guess I'm going to have to be the one to post. Did mine on 11-09-2008. Passed out on a buddy a couple of minutes afterwards from the pain. Thought I dislocated my shoulder, but I could still move my arm. Had the "bump" immediately afterward, so I knew something wasn't right. Eventually went to the emergency department, got x-rays, received a sling and prescription for percocets that I didn't fill, and was told to follow up with the Core Institute (PHX). "AC separation" they said. Put off the follow-up for a couple of days, went and picked up my copies of the x-rays on disk along with the diagnostic report. Looked at the pics on my computer and saw the damage done. Did extensive research and learned about the grading of separations. Entertained the idea that mine wasn't that serious. Found myself freaking out from the lack of pain late the following Friday. (Mind you, I had been riding nearly everyday up until the time of my accident.) I had been taking ibuprofen as instructed since visiting the E.D., but boy, was I starting to wonder about my pain receptors and nerve endings. Range of movement? Check. Not all I had before the wreck, but damn near. I could move my arm above my head, behind my back, and across my chest. Feeling in my hands, arms, and shoulders? Check. I actually pinched myself with my fingernails atop my hurt (right) shoulder to confirm. Started thinking about "Unbreakable"... Wondered if I could do pull-ups? I know, I know. You are probably thinking, "Is he insane?" Well, maybe. So, I walk down to the spare bedroom housing my Soloflex, which was left setup for pull-ups. I grab the bars and begin to do pull-ups. Not just a couple, but more than I had been doing before. I actually stopped before I tired my muscles out. Man, something is wrong. Should I be able to do pull-ups with a separated shoulder? The next day I talked to a buddy who is basically a physical therapist and told him what I had done. He started laughing before I even finished telling him. Especially, when I told him the part about "Unbreakable." Then, he says that I have probably created scare tissue very quickly as a result of metabolism and being fit. I end the conversation still in disbelief. Today, on the 18th of November, I finally got my follow-up with Dr. Marcus at the Core Institute. After he is allowed to view my x-rays, he puts me through some simple range of motion/resistance tests. I ask him if I should be where I am for the injury sustained? His reply is no. He tells me that I am definitely a grade 3+. With some doctors, he says that I would probably be a grade 5. He weighs my age against whether or not he would consider surgery. (I'm 37 with about 5% body fat. I'm actually underfat from dedicating so much time to riding. I rarely do more than this actively, I swear.) I mention "Unbreakable", during the course of our conversation, but I couldn't bring myself to tell him about the pull-ups. He's familiar with the movie. He then proceeds to tell me that if it were him comtemplating the decision, nobody would be touching him surgically. At 44, he has 7 years on me. He honestly tells me that he could actually put me in a worse position than I currently am in. I would definitely be in some sort of pain following surgery. My range of motion might not recover as quickly or be as good. I could possibly develop complications from the materials used in the surgery. I would be taking a huge step back as far as progress is concerned. And, other than aesthetics, I probably wouldn't benefit from surgery at this point, and that he couldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be some form of movement upwards with the clavicle forming a bump on top of my shoulder. Basically, it's a preventative maintenance gamble for me. He ultimately leaves the choice up to me, but in his mind it's a no brainer. I could possibly be a candidate for reconstruction with cadaver ligaments at some point down the road after problems arise, or I could have him perform an acute operation to tie down my clavicle to the coracoid process so long as it is within 3 weeks of the episode (a small window). I'd flip a coin, but I think I'll take it easy for a bit instead and gamble with the hope that I never meet Dr. Marcus again. You might not be so lucky.
    WOW amazing recovery time.. I got a grade III sep. on the same day u did lol 11-09-2008 - fell off the bike during a jump... 1st doc said surgery.. I did not like that answer.. saw a 2nd doc and he said PT and left the choice for surgery up to me... Its now 3 weeks I have full range of motion (with some pain and popping) and can ride on the road went hiking yesterday but had some pain after 3 miles or so... I wont get on the trails for 2 months, i want to heal right.

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2

    a c sep grade III

    got mine on 11-09-2008 its great!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  60. #60
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    93
    Got mine in March, 2008. Looks pretty much like that X-Ray above.
    I had a little bit of pain for maybe 5 days and was off the bike for only 10 days.

  61. #61
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kahiwa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    151
    When i did my grade III, I went on my first ride on the 5th week. no trails. just slow fireroads. There was no discomfort but I still slowly got back into it and my first hard ride was after 2 months...
    F. B. I.

  62. #62
    BC
    BC is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    899
    Don't Know what "grade" mine is, but it's basically not connected at all. My collar bone just floats around in space where it's not connected anymore. Six weeks sounds about right but like the doctors always tell me.."Let pain be your guide". Thereapy will help the muscles perform what the ligaments can't anymore. Other looking nasty with that bump on my shoulder, it does not affect my riding. It only gets sore from lots of windsurfing from the constant pulling motion.

  63. #63
    Harrumph
    Reputation: G-reg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,597
    I'm 8 weeks from mine, it's sitting at about 90%. I was able to ride gingerly at week 4. Lifting the front wheel to get up curbs hurt a bit. I posted the full report in the other AC thread: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=300318
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  64. #64
    2006 Yeti AS-X
    Reputation: Lawson Raider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,187
    I had a level 1 separation back in July 2006 and it was about 5 weeks off the bike for me. Like everyone said, follow the doc's advice (It's hard because you want to be back on the bike so bad!) and with the Level 3 you definetly want to as soon as the doctor clears you to start working the range of motion exercises. With my level 1, the doc told me to work it ASAP.

    I pray you recover quickly!

  65. #65
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2
    Well I sustained what was first diagnosed as a Level 3 separation and after 4 months of PT with no improvement, while I went scuba diving 4 weeks after I did it with no problems at 4 months I still couldn't lift my children, push or pull on anything and had 24/7 pain, I went for a second opinion to learn it was Level 5 spearation. If I could figure out how to post my xray I would - my clavicle shot up and tented my skin and my arm fell a couple of inches. I did this in July 2007 tripping over a bump I never saw. I went up in the air and came down with the full weight of my 5'10", 140 lb body (I'm a female) on the tip of my right shoulder in the back. I still have the scar from the impact. I had no choice but to undergo the surgery - my arm was not going to realign itself. I had the surgery in November 2007. Cadaver graft, distal end of my clavicle cut off so that my clavicle could be put back where it belonged. I traded a huge bump for a 3 inch band scar. My problem now is at 12 months post op (of which I spent 2 months totally immobilized and 9 months in PT - and I'm fit) I still have pain and lack of function. I have full ROM but I can't throw a ball, lift more then 20 pounts, hang from anything (never mind a pull up), push, or hold weight in my hands and move my arms around. It just hurts too much (and I have a pretty high tolerance for pain) and it "clicks", "clicks", "clicks". I just went to my surgeon and he said that my biceps tendon is inflammed and I have a lot of scar tissue in the joint (and in my actual shoulder joint). I now need my 4th MRI of the year. Has anyone out there had such a severe separation and the surgery? If so, does any of this sound familiar? I just want to get on with my life and enjoy my 2 small children. I haven't been able to pick up my 4 year old since I did this. Thanks for any input.

  66. #66
    Shaman
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    636
    I am sorry to hear about your long road to no recovery. I had a similar surgery in 1998 (I believe it was called a "Weaver Dunn" after the two doctors who invented it) and it took a lot of pt but after a 2 months it was close to 100% but with some pain (not near what you are experiencing).

    Here is the interesting part. On new years day 2006 I re-separated the shoulder and blew the surgery up in a crash. Other than looking like a freak with my shirt off it has felt fine ever since. Not that I recommend you "fix" the surgery by crashing on it but, it is an option.
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

  67. #67
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2
    You actually made me laugh, thank you. When I hit and did this it was on asphalt. They had to pick asphalt embedded in my skin out in the ER and give me a tetanus shot. I've been told that I hit basically as hard as you can. In addition, I'm a female and apparently us girls don't have as much "padding" around our shoulders so an impact like that is devastating. My surgeon now says he wouldn't be surprised if I messed something else up in my shoulder at the same time. What pisses me off is the fact that I've been complaining about this since 6 months post op when I realized I got back my full ROM but was still have problems with daily living, never mind sports. I went to an anatomy book and determined that my pain was emanating from the area of my biceps tendon. I actually put "Xs" on my shoulder where the pain was coming from - which went from the upper biceps tendon to the area right under my scar where the graft is located. He looked at me like I was crazy and now he's saying "maybe it's your biceps tendon". I really don't know what to do. Hopefully, it's mainly scar tissue impinging on stuff in there and if they go in arthroscopically (I had open shoulder surgery the first time) they can scrap away the scar tissue and things will be better. I can't seem to find too many people with as severe a case as I had - I went to the top shoulder doctors in NYC - the ones who work on the famous people

    Maybe another fall would do the trick instead!

  68. #68
    Shaman
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    636
    Glad to make you laugh.

    Have you seen a surgeon here in Colorado? Famous people rarely hit the ground hard where as a lot of skiers, snowboarders and mountain bikers do (I left out skaters because they don't have insurance). I believe (and have been told) the best orthopedists are in Aspen, Vail and Steamboat.
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

  69. #69
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    573
    I feel the pain along with you. in '98 I did something to my right shoulder playing football my freshman year of high school. I didn't see the ortho about it until it started really bothering me in December when I started wrestling. He said it was a grade 1 rotator cuff tear, and that I needed therapy. Long story short, I was cleared to wrestle on the day of my last therapy session, and that night, I tore it again. I went back and the doc said it was a grade 3, but that I didn't need surgery. Just no more wrestling and football. To this day, it still bothers me.
    Then in '02 I separated my right shoulder, though I don't remember to what degree. That came from playing tackle without pads against a guy who was easily over 300lbs (I'm about 165lbs). At least I took him down! It took about 5-6 weeks before I was able to actually use it for everyday tasks, and even longer before the pain completely went away. I had the option of surgery, but the doc said it would mostly be for cosmetic purposes. Fortunately, it healed to nearly 100% on its own. It just looks deformed now.

  70. #70
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    156

    had surgery

    I had a grade 5, where you could stick your finger under the clavicle. I'd really freak people out before the surgery when I showed them how screwed up it was.

    I had the dunn weaver done and a couple years later it looks really good. The scar is almost gone and there is no hump.

    Problem with the injury is I was an avid surfer for 20+ years and after the injury I really don't have the same kind of snap in the shoulder to get into waves and out of critical situations while paddling. I only ride longboards in head high and under surf now, which I'm not always into, and have kind of left a sport and lifestyle I cherished behind.

    Anyways, get the surgery if you look like a freak. I don't think it does much for your strength though.

  71. #71
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    93
    My orthopedic surgeon friend told me that, unless you NEED the surgery, to not go for it. He said that it's a pain in the butt to do as a surgery and it's pretty much for cosmetic reasons or to prevent the bones from hooking each other in the wrong position.
    I don't know anything about the subject, but he's an expert in the field, so I just wear my bump with pride.

  72. #72
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    156
    I wouldn't get the surgery done just to reduce just a bump. This is heavy duty surgery, where you're knocked out and wake up in major pain. The pain lasts well over a week and it is almost impossible to get out of bed the first couple nights to pee. Recovery sucks, vicodin won't help with the pain and you'll be off the bike for about 3 months, maybe more. In my case there was a huge void and a big step from the clavicle to the scapula. It was pretty nasty looking. I also feel as if the surgery helped to tie the shouler back together in order to prevent more scaring, arthritis, bone spurs,etc. I did it, it looks good and I'm pleased. I have no idea if I'd be stronger or not if I didn't do the surgery. At least I was able to go on disability and chill for a bit

  73. #73
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pstaff15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    40
    i've got one of these. EARNED it on Sunday morning . . . saw an ortho today, he said a lot of the same things about surgery not always being the best option. I'm waiting for two weeks to see him again, Jan. 5th to be exact. I want to do whatever it takes to ride ASAP.

  74. #74
    Natural body armor
    Reputation: Zen_Turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,173
    Quote Originally Posted by BetterRide
    Glad to make you laugh.

    Have you seen a surgeon here in Colorado? Famous people rarely hit the ground hard where as a lot of skiers, snowboarders and mountain bikers do (I left out skaters because they don't have insurance). I believe (and have been told) the best orthopedists are in Aspen, Vail and Steamboat.
    You're a funny guy Gene
    I didn't have a surgery, but I'm always wondering what would happen if I crashed again on my already separated shoulder. Is the collar bone going to cut thru the skin?
    At that point I'd have it really sticking out and look like a freak

    Do you think the wever Dunn was worth it?

    ZT
    "There is no A-line"
    Savvy Bike

  75. #75
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1
    I am 16 months out from a type-V AC separation (which boils down to a very severe type-III) and just wrote about my experience on my blog. It's pretty long, so I won't repeat it here. If you are interested in hearing how it went for me to recover without surgery, you can read about it here. I went over the handlebars near the end of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Some day I'll go back and ride the last seven days...

    I did not opt for surgery and did rehab in the weight room on my own. I don't necessarily advocate this option because every injury is different and every person is different - but it is an option. I'm a woman, 35, a multi-sport athlete, and have been a weight lifter since I was 19. This obviously helped me in my recovery. I'm probably at 95% now, and anticipate being at 100% before I hit the two year mark.

    I hope to be able to give some ideas to other people in the same situation.

    cheers,
    Michelle

  76. #76
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SC Slugger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3
    Hey Michelle,
    I am a week into a third degree separation. Most of that time was spent researching surgical vs. non--surgical approaches. Originally, all the pain and the look of the x-ray made me think that surgery was the only viable option. That's what the ER doc's when they saw it. The thought of surgery scared the hell out of me, but I thought it was necessary in order to maintain my strength. Apparently this is not so.
    The journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons had an interesting article in April 2009 entitled "Acromioclavicular Joint Injuries: Diagnosis and Management." It seems that recently more and more doctors are recommending the conservative treatment (not usually for a grade 5 like yours!). That, in combination with your detailed log, (and my doctors advice) has helped me in making the decision to take control of my situation and rehab it myself.
    Anyways, just wanted to thank you for posting here and linking to your log.
    Thanks!!

  77. #77
    Harrumph
    Reputation: G-reg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,597
    Slugger, that could be my X-ray. As I've said previously in this thread I didn't get surgery. I'm 8 months out now and I'm really glad I didn't get surgery. The only time I notice is trying to do wide grip pull-ups. There is some scapula/clavicle interference in cases like that. Otherwise I'm 100%. I do get an odd look when someone sees the bump.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  78. #78
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    31
    How can you live without any surgery after this accident ? I had this too, AC 3, and im very happy that i had a operation. My shoulder looks better,i feel better and i think that im in balance with my shoulder.The doc told me that i can live with this accident without surgery, but i have to workout my shoulder until the rest of my life to get no osteoarthritis ?

  79. #79
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    193
    I had a grade II AC seperation last riding season. It happened after a really looooong 35 ride with 80% climbing. Anyways, I was going down a rocky section and was so tired that I somehow went off trail and there was a nice stump waiting for me. I endo'd off the bike landing on my shoulder. At the time I thought it dislocated and popped back in but found out later the my clavicle was sticking out.

    I'm a surgery tech so I had one of the local ortho docs give it a look over. Like most of you, surgery wasn't recommended since the turnout usually isn't worth it. The area was sore for about two weeks but didn't really hinder me in any way. However, I the area can sound a little like rice crispies every now and then, snap! Crackle! POP! I'm only 22, I am hoping arthritis cripple me one day.

  80. #80
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1
    Has anyone had experience with arthroscopic surgery for a type III as an alternative to the Weaver-Dunn procedure. A doc in WY is describing it as "the way to go" but has only done one of these procedures.

  81. #81
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3

    Grade 5 here

    Hey everyone thought Id chime in. My situation is a bit different. I race motorcycles and on 7-10-09, a drunk driver hit my on the highway. My helmet saved my life but i was wearing jeans and tee shirt. I donated 31% of my skin to the asphalt gods but hey, what can you do?

    I discovered a bump on my right shoulder and went back to the hospital. 2 weeks after the initial accident, I was told I had an extreme type III or even type 5. The doctor told me i needed surgery. I am a skinny guy. We tend to be as lightweight as possible for racing. I am 6-1, 185 lbs and mid 20's. I am having all sorts of problems moving my arm and it is SOOO weak.

    I am also uninsured. Turns out full coverage on a motorcycle doesnt include medical and the a-hole that hit me, well they never stopped. I was left for dead on the side of the road. So I am stuck raising funds for this operation AND I start law school on Aug 17th ...

    So, Im thinking of going through surgery in December. The doc told me I could wait a long time for the surgery since all three tendons are torn. He told me to use the shoulder as much as I could tolerate. He said take it easy but that surgery was needed. He also said there would be a bump but nothing like what I have now. He also said I could regain full ROM on my own without surgery but I had a better chance with surgery. He was going to do the WeaverDunn and I would have a 5" scar.

    Being that I am not as fit as the rest of you, I wonder how this will effect me. Any suggestions or advice on HOW TO recover?

  82. #82
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3
    ^^^ Also I would like to add Im almost 3 weeks into this injury and it still hurts and is very sore. Im better than before as I am able to do things and move my arm but just about everything I do hurts a ton.

  83. #83
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    331
    Separated my right shoulder, grade II spring of 2005 playing lacrosse. Had to miss 2 weeks of practice could hardly throw righty for a while after that and my arm would fatigue very fast. Fast forward to the present and arm still hurts sometimes, grinds occasionally, don't sleep on my right side(if i do my arm kills me when i wake up). I have come to the conclusion that it is always going to hurt to some degree and that i will probably get arthritis in the joint.

  84. #84
    Shaman
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    636
    Having separated both of my shoulders 3rd degree (what the heck is 4th and 5th?, my doctors said what I did was the worst kind of separation. How can you get more separated than that?) one when I was 21 the other at 32 I will say the pain lasts longer than any other injury I have ever had except broken ribs (which hurt just as long but not as much). So pain three weeks later is normal.

    I had the Weaver Dunn surgery done and about 6 years later I wrecked and un-dunn it. Most doctors don't recommend surgery unless it is still painful or has movement issues months after the initial injury. The Weaver Dunn would probably be fine for someone who isn't likely to take multiple hard hits to the shoulder again but in my case I abused it a little too much.

    My advice is to wait a few more weeks and see how you feel. The WeaverDunn takes as long to recover from as the separation itself. The WD always calls for a lot of painful rehab work.
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

  85. #85
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3
    thx for the info.

    There are 6 types of seperations. type 1-3 refer to the level of seperation. Type 4 and 6 are unique deformities and the Type 5 is the most severe often mixed with an extreme type 3. Point being that surgery ... surgery, what really is the big deal? Im honestly scared to go under the knife, but why is that?

    Why are people so much against surgery? Im just curious. I have my speculations but Im curious because I think I dont have a choice in my case. I have to undergo surgery so Im just wanting to get ready for the big op.

    thx

  86. #86
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5
    Sustained a Grade 5 shoulder separation on 6/7/2009 with about 40mm displacement. I had surgery on 6/24/2009. The surgeon said that the ligaments were completely shredded and installed a hook plate to reduce the separation. The plan is to leave the plate in for 6 months and allow everything to fuse into a scar mass. It has been about 5 weeks and I have been on hydrocodone 7.5/550 which has helped with the pain. Just recently the doc reduce the hydrocodone to 5/325 which cause some withdrawal pangs lasting about 2 days. I decided not to even screw with pain meds the last two days, just to see where the pain was at. It has been a tough two days with very little sleep and obvious depression, but the pain appears to be lessening. Pain varies throughout the day so it is really hard to gauge day to day.

    I have not found anyone having this "fusion" type surgery on the ac and was wondering if anyone else has had this type of correction.

  87. #87
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5

    Follow-up from Surgery for Type 5 ac separation

    After 5.5 months of having the hook plate, I had my surgery to remove the plate yesterday.
    During the last 5 months, I only felt pain when I slept on the side of the injury. When lifting.
    The hook plate itself lets its presence be known all the time. Not so much pain, just the feeling that something is there. Over the last month, this presence feeling has increased and there are twinges of dull pain every now and then, making it easy to decide that it was time to come out.

    There is localized pain from the incision that I am treating with Tylenol3. According to the surgeon, there remains a slight dislocation of about a 1/4", which is significantly better than the 1-1/2" separation after the accident. This was done using only the hook plate without any tethering. Time will tell to see how the shoulder will be, but it looks very promising. I am really hoping to heal quickly so I can get into some mountain biking this coming spring.

  88. #88
    2006 Yeti AS-X
    Reputation: Lawson Raider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,187
    Quote Originally Posted by Nim
    Separated my shoulder. Doc says it is a grade III ac separation. Does not recommend surgery. Said it's a common MTB injury. Doc said 6 to 8 weeks recovery time. Web info suggests up to 12 weeks. So for you who suffered the same, how long did it take for you to get back on the bike? Road riding first? Can getting back on the bike early cause healing problems? That is, don't push it and wait until no pain or suck it up and start riding? Recommendations/info on your experience? Thanks.
    I had a grade 1 a few year back, it was 4 1/2 weeks before I was healed up enough to get the sling off and 30 days after that to get back on the bike.

    The main thing is don't go outside of your doctors recommendations for physical activity. He or she will let you know what you can and cannot do and how well you follow their advice determines the speed of recovery and the reduces the likelihood of long term effects from the injury.

    When the doctor says to stretch and move your arms in range of motion exercises and at the right time, they will tell you to start doing this. Do it religiously. Failure to do this might make your arm stiff and less mobile than before the injury.

    Do expect from time to time your shoulder will ache even years after it has healed up. It's been 3 1/2 years since mine and it still once in a while ache up for a little bit. Also, realize that once you separate your shoulder, it is prone to reinjury. Of course, healthy or not, crashing on it at the crazy MTB speeds and such probalby don't make much difference anyways.

    Once you are healed up, if the doc gives you a full clear, you can go back to mt biking. You don't have to start out road for a while then go to off road.

  89. #89
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2

    Level III/V AC Separation without surgery follow-up

    Thought I'd follow-up after a little more than a year. To those that it's happened to, I can only tell you to do your research. It is a fairly common injury in the sport. Much is available on the 'net. Educate yourself and know your options. Write down any questions and ask your orthopedic surgeon when you see them. Things like: How many AC separation surgeries have you performed/do you perform in a year? Which technique do you use? What is the success rate like? What can I realistically expect as far as recovery?, etc. While it has probably worked fine for those that have had it done, I would elect for the "tightrope" procedure over the "Weaver-Dunn" if surgery absolutely has to be done. Dont' think that you HAVE to have surgery, though. I can tell you firsthand that you can function with this separation.
    I took 2 months off to be safe and I was back riding with little loss in stamina. Sure, that first ride was sort of scary from a nervousness standpoint, but does one quit riding horses when falling off the first time? Okay, well maybe, but that damn horse stands a bit taller than your bicycle.
    Surgery is a gamble. There are no guarantees and complications can arise no matter what. Every person is different and what works for one may not work for the next. Oftentimes, after surgery, one is never what they were like beforehand. A complete reconstruction can always be performed down the road should you develop pain or limitations later. Why not see how you get along?

  90. #90
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5
    Appreciate the input.

    I won't know what the residual pain will be for sometime. I suspect that there is the possibility that there may always be some discomfort. Also, of concern is that in reducing the dislocation, you could end up doing too good a job and put the ends of the joint in contact with one another which could lead to a severe arthritic condition. A little dislocation might actually be helpful in this regard. My surgeon indicated that he could not see the scarring directly, but would be evidenced by how well the joint aligned after removal of the hook.

    At least the joint didn't spring back open when the hookplate was removed. If it had, then the surgeon would have had to tether it or install a permanent hook plate. So right now, being in somewhat unexplored territory, I am still hopeful.

    I will try to get back every now and then to remark on how it is working out in hopes that someone might find the information helpful.

  91. #91
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    4
    Rick K. thank you for posting on your progress. I too have had a hook plate intalled, it has now been a bit over a month and it's planned to come out in three months. I too will get back with information on my recovery as time passes. Best wishes to your and everyone else's recovery from AC-separations!

  92. #92
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    47
    6-8 weeks is no time bro. That's where I was on my 1st total dislocation. Now I'm 1 month fresh out of surgery from my second dislocation and I'm not supposed to kayak or mtn bike until May. That's right, 6 months of down time!

    Do yourself a favor now and do everything the Doc says! Its a good idea to stay on top of the rotator cuff exercises afterwards too because most likely, your shoulder will never be the same again. Good luck bro!

    BTW- my injury was a Hill-Sachs lesion and a large Glenoid Labrum Tear.
    Last edited by Dr willy; 12-11-2009 at 09:51 PM.

  93. #93
    Generally causes trouble
    Reputation: morsetaper2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    65
    I didn't read through all the posts.... Your injury sounds way worse than mine, mine was not a shoulder seperation so you might want to ignore my post.

    I was working under a PU truck and it rolled and pinned my head and shoulder to the ground under the engine & suspension. After getting out from under it I knew my shoulder was F-ed up, and collarbone broken. After all said and done I was lucky, broken & dislocated collarbone, cuts, bruises, and lacerations. If I was a bigger guy I'd be....maybe dead?

    Dr & PT guy encouraged going to the gym about week 4. Working weight machines w/ no weight at first to see how it went, work the range of motion. let pain be your guide, if it hurt, stop. reduce weight, make some adjustment so no pain. Low weight barbells & dumbells at high rep #'s were preferred. If all is good, have a focus on stretching. Only increase weights after I could do 15 reps they said. At 4 weeks I was riding a bike around the neighborhood. At week #10 I went out on a MTB w/ no issue other than my reduced endurance.

    It is now week 12 and I still have a few issues w/ stiffness. I've been so focused on getting back, I feel I am in really good shape. I have a feeling your timeline will be a bit longer than mine if you are 50 yrs old like me. If you are younger hopefully you will bounce back quicker.
    Last edited by morsetaper2; 12-12-2009 at 06:35 PM.

  94. #94
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5
    Just a follow-up 3 weeks after the hook plate removal surgery. I only had to take the pain meds for 3 days, then I took my sutures out after 5. Its a good looking scar!
    The shoulder has a minimum bump, if any, so I am pleased about that.

    All in all, I am pleased with the surgery. I have pretty good range of motion, although there are points of weakness which seem to be diminishing as time goes on.

    My instructions from the doc were to use the shoulder (arm) as much as I can tolerate. So I am gradually increasing using the arm to lift things, especially, like putting things up on a shelf. Also, I occasionally do stretching exercises to keep it loose. If I were younger, I would probably be doing more exercises, but at 58, I am just going to take things moderately.

    The shoulder feels a little weird like it has a weight on it, but that was to be expected since the joint is held together with scar tissue instead of ligaments.

  95. #95
    Sweep the leg!
    Reputation: Caffeine Powered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,803
    I skimmed the post and I'm feeling pretty fortunate. While I've broken both clavicles I suffered a Grade 1 separation just before Thanksgiving. Nothing spectacular about the crash, riding at night with a group and the front wheel found treachery under some leafs. I thought I'd broken the clavicle again but xrays said otherwise. I'm 5 weeks out now and I'm possibly at 80% normal strength.I find I have reduced strength lifting tools at work (commercial electrical construction) and I tried pulling the string of a compound bow before Christmas and couldn't without a fair amount of pain.

    I don't feel any pain riding and I skate skied for 30 minutes today and there was no pain pushing the poles up hill.

    I guess I'm fortunate.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  96. #96
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    226
    I had a grade 3 separation two summers ago from biking. The doc said 9 to 10 weeks recovery time. I was back on the trails in 7 1/2 to 8- though, I was pushing it. I rode VERY easy and made an extra effort not to fall. It took a little while longer (total of 14 or 15 weeks) for me to be able to ride at my normal intensity again.
    As far as surgery, I skipped and just did physical therapy. Today, my shoulder is 99%. The 1% difference is when I do weights, especially incline press, where my shoulder seems to eek a little at the extremes of my range of motion.

  97. #97
    I dream on two wheels
    Reputation: Simonns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    761
    Im on my 2nd 3rd degree AC seperation, both from snowboarding. Did my left shoulder first about 4 years ago. Its 100% back to normal. I just did my right shoulder a week ago. It is seeming to heal faster than the last one as I did my 10 mile commute on the bike this morning, it felt fine. I have a bump on both shoulders now. I didn't do any surgery for either of them, I didn't even go to the doc for the second one. Im going to start lifting light weights soon to get the strength back.

    -Simon
    Whiskey

  98. #98
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    8,286
    [QUOTE=Simonns]Im on my 2nd 3rd degree AC seperation, both from snowboarding. Did my left shoulder first about 4 years ago. Its 100% back to normal. I just did my right shoulder a week ago. It is seeming to heal faster than the last one as I did my 10 mile commute on the bike this morning, it felt fine. I have a bump on both shoulders now. I didn't do any surgery for either of them, I didn't even go to the doc for the second one. Im going to start lifting light weights soon to get the strength back.

    I'm not doubting what you say but still, no problems with your second third degree separation? Are there different gradations of a third degree separation, like, you've got a minor third degree separation, like the collarbone didn't get ripped completely up off your shoulder? X rays I've seen of others' third degree separations look pretty dam painful and look to entail a long recovery. One week and your right shoulder feels fine? If only all of our injuries would heal so fast.
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  99. #99
    I dream on two wheels
    Reputation: Simonns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    761
    [QUOTE=xcguy]
    Quote Originally Posted by Simonns
    Im on my 2nd 3rd degree AC seperation, both from snowboarding. Did my left shoulder first about 4 years ago. Its 100% back to normal. I just did my right shoulder a week ago. It is seeming to heal faster than the last one as I did my 10 mile commute on the bike this morning, it felt fine. I have a bump on both shoulders now. I didn't do any surgery for either of them, I didn't even go to the doc for the second one. Im going to start lifting light weights soon to get the strength back.

    I'm not doubting what you say but still, no problems with your second third degree separation? Are there different gradations of a third degree separation, like, you've got a minor third degree separation, like the collarbone didn't get ripped completely up off your shoulder? X rays I've seen of others' third degree separations look pretty dam painful and look to entail a long recovery. One week and your right shoulder feels fine? If only all of our injuries would heal so fast.
    I wouldn't go so far as to say it feels fine. It is defiantly painful. I still have to sleep on my back and can't lift anything too heavy or lift my arm above my head, but riding my bike on the pavement feels alright. I guess it could be a more minor 3rd degree, but the bump is the same size. I am even impressed with how much faster this one is healing. I thought maybe it had something to do with it being my right shoulder, and Im right handed so maybe it would heal faster, but that might not be true at all.

    -Simon
    Whiskey

  100. #100
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4

    2010 Grade III Seperation

    Thank god I've found a forum that actually has people who've done this... I'm not actually a mountain biker but die hard snowboarder but had a lack of luck finding one with snowboarders and this injury.

    Well I guess its officially 3 weeks today, first time doing this. Did it snowboarding falling full impact onto my shoulder on some stupid S box that was more sticky than it should have been... After it happened I realized something wasn't quite right. It looked like a regular fall but I felt like vomiting as I was sitting there clutching my shoulder. Rode down to the bottom and the meds there told me to go to the hospital.

    At the hospital they told me I had a grade 3 ac separation, 22.5mm on the xray. I've been doing lazer treatement, chriopracture, and some minor acupuncture along with PT (however they haven't been much help). I opt out of getting surgery but from reading this thread I feel like it may be a viable option.

    Most of my pain has gone away, I've only noticed the bump this week and have been frantically trying to push it back down so itll heal properly but I'm doubting it. I still have the sling on, but I feel like I can do without it, guess I'll see what they say tomorrow at PT.

    Was really into working out, I play rugby as well, not sure how thats all gonna work out, let alone going into another rail jam snowboarding with the chances of landing on my shoulder... Does anyone know of a shoulder brace or something that you can wear for some more stability? I've found some but they're mostly in the UK and I'm not sure how effective they are cuz no ones really reviewed them or anything.

    I guess I'll keep whoever reads this posted on how it goes.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Members who have read this thread: 6

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.