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Old 04-05-07, 10:35 AM   #1
Riles
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Ruptured AC joint/ligament

Has anyone ruptured their AC joint/ligament before ? it is the ligament that connects the collar bone to the shoulder.. it is acommon cycling injury I hear.. I landed on my shoulder during a crash which caused mine

Wondering how long before I will back on bike and if it will always be weak ?
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Old 04-05-07, 10:59 AM   #2
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Riles-

You might try posting this in the Road forum. There are several actual doctors who read and post consistently over there, and their knowledge would probably be more useful to you than anybody else's.
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Old 04-05-07, 10:59 AM   #3
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Oh, nothing for me here. I interperted it as ACL (knee) I'll just be moving on now. So sorry.
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Old 04-05-07, 11:28 AM   #4
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Riles-

You might try posting this in the Road forum. There are several actual doctors who read and post consistently over there, and their knowledge would probably be more useful to you than anybody else's.

Good idea, but an even better one is to see your own doc.
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Old 04-05-07, 12:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riles
Has anyone ruptured their AC joint/ligament before ? it is the ligament that connects the collar bone to the shoulder.. it is acommon cycling injury I hear.. I landed on my shoulder during a crash which caused mine

Wondering how long before I will back on bike and if it will always be weak ?
You may wanna PM HarlieJ...he nuked his going over a log one day. That's how he got his nickname "Thud". That's the noise I heard when he hit the ground, hehe.
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Old 04-05-07, 12:57 PM   #6
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Not much in the way from me regarding the AC joint, BUT, I did break my collar bone a few years back and it took months to heal. My advice is that you make sure you see a physical therapist. Although I didn't hurt my rotator cuff, all those things work together and I lost some range of motion because I had my arm in a sling for 3 months. Rehab properly!
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Old 04-05-07, 12:59 PM   #7
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I separated mine playing soccer a few years ago and it was sore for about a month or so after....But the time off the bike was minimal although i was riding pretty much exclusively on the road....just don't push it too hard and listen to your body it will tell you when to stop....also do the physical therapy it will make a huge difference

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Old 04-05-07, 01:27 PM   #8
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I assume you saw a doctor since you said that you tore your ligament, which I assume you mean the acromioclavicular ligament (not usually stated as ACL, anterior cruciate ligament, that's in the knee). If it's really bothering you I would go see a physical therapist as someone has already suggested to see what they recommend. Injuries of the same name can be so different Oh by the way I'm sure a physical therapist can suggest exercises to help strengthen the area.

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Old 04-05-07, 05:05 PM   #9
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First of all, see a doctor. With me, as soon as I was able to get up, I felt my shoulder with my other arm and just by pushing on it and could tell it wasn't right. Went to the ER, got x-rayed, then passed out after the doc moved it around. I spent the next week in a sling - and eating a lot of Percocet. The othopod that I saw 10 days after the injury (that's the earliest I could get in) immediately had me take the arm out of the sling and exercise it. If it hurts too much, rest your shoulder by putting your hand in you pocket (no sling needed). The key is: initial pain control and rest with recovery. My injury was a grade 2 - not the worst and not the least. 6 months post injury, it still hurts some. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 04-05-07, 05:20 PM   #10
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Get yourself to a doctor. You're going to need surgery. Once done, do what the physical therapist tells you to do. Also do not hurry yourself back.
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Old 04-05-07, 05:46 PM   #11
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I did a 3rd degree separation of my right AC 7 years ago. I was advised to just let it heal while eating Vicodin. I broke my right collarbone in a M/C accident 4 years ago. No operation then either. I now do a lot of shoulder strengthening exercises a few times a week. Get it checked out, but I'll bet they won't operate on it. Edit: It takes a few weeks to heal from the AC, but you'll regain strength if you do the recommended exercises.
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Old 04-05-07, 05:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrsddn
I did a 3rd degree separation of my right AC 7 years ago. I was advised to just let it heal while eating Vicodin. I broke my right collarbone in a M/C accident 4 years ago. No operation then either. I now do a lot of shoulder strengthening exercises a few times a week. Get it checked out, but I'll bet they won't operate on it. Edit: It takes a few weeks to heal from the AC, but you'll regain strength if you do the recommended exercises.
A rupture isn't a seperation, a rupture is a tear, a lot more serious than a seperation.
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Old 04-05-07, 06:57 PM   #13
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Oh, well mine hurt a lot. Whatever the diagnosis, sticking to rehab is very important. Get it fixed and get back out there!
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Old 04-05-07, 07:22 PM   #14
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my leg

I broke my leg.
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Old 04-09-07, 08:38 PM   #15
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I suffered a Grade 5 separation when I flew over the handlebars and slammed into a tree. I had surgery to put my shoulder back together and was in a sling for 6 weeks. Then 5 weeks of physical therapy and a it was still a few weeks after that before I started riding again. That's a worse case scenario
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Old 04-10-07, 07:22 AM   #16
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Fractured my collarbone in 2003 and tore the AC in 2004. Of the two injuries the AC tear was more painful and more problematic. My tear was not that significant; the dx was to immobilize it awhile and then take it easy. I was off the bike 6 weeks. It still gives me trouble here and there. I would definitely see a Dr. and follow his advice.
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Old 04-11-07, 07:06 AM   #17
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Ok I know more now - have seen 2 consultants..

It is a dislocated AC joint - which actually means a rupture of the tendons which connect to the clavicle(collar bone).

I have a type 3 rupture and one consultant said no operation and one said it is probably worth the operation.. which leaves me not knowing what to do.. I have put more q's into the consultant before I decide..
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Old 04-11-07, 07:08 AM   #18
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I went through all the physical therapy on mine and was able to avoid surgery. That was about three years ago I believe. It still hurts from time to time.
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Old 04-11-07, 12:17 PM   #19
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I went through all the physical therapy on mine and was able to avoid surgery. That was about three years ago I believe. It still hurts from time to time.
Same here. I also have a noticable "drop off" in my right shoulder. Apparently surgery is only for REALLY bad cases, as it sometimes does more harm than good.

Riles: I'd look for a GREAT ortho guy (sports medicine would be best) who specializes in shoulders, and get his opinion. Good luck!

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Old 04-11-07, 05:46 PM   #20
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I suffered a grade 2 AC joint separation to my left shoulder 8 weeks ago. I was off the bike altogether for 4 weeks, off the MTB for 6 weeks, both at my Doc's advice. Got permission to hit the trails again 2 weeks ago with the the guidance "if it hurts don't do it". So far it's been good, no major pain while riding.

The sharp pains that come from movement were there pretty much for the first 4 weeks and started dropping off from there. Still get twinges here and there, but not near as bad. Still get dull aches and tightness in the shoulder when riding the road or trail. I still can't lay directly on my left side (which is my preferred sleeping side). Taking vicodin at bed time really helped me sleep, and I'm still taking tylenol at night. I also ice my shoulder after riding and doing the exercises the PT gave me to do.

I know quite a few folks that have been thru this and it sounds like this is definitely one of those things that can take time. I may be running on a slower recovery schedule as I'm almost 40 y/o and I hear us "older" guys heal slower.

I agree with the poster above, talk to your cycling buddies and find out who the best Ortho guy in town is. My doc is not only top-notch, but a cyclist as well.

Hope your recovery goes well.
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