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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Labral tear/shoulder dislocation

    Have any of you have a labral tear in your shoulder, or had a dislocated shoulder due to a crash?

    If so, were you able to keep cycling? How long till it healed? Did you go through physio or did you have to have surgery?

  2. #2
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    I separated my shoulder, 2nd degree, in 2001 in a bike crash, along with 3 broken ribs and a collapsed lung. I only spent 3 days in the hospital. I didn't have my shoulder repaired, while talking to the surgeon he didn't recommended it unless I didn't like the knot that I have on my shoulder. I have full movement of my shoulder, but the surgeon told I wouldn't be able to put my arm over my head if I had it repaired. I went to PT and it was about 5-6 weeks before I got back on the bike. I think the big thing about this much time was the broken ribs, boy did they hurt. I wasn't able to sleep in my bed for 2 months because of the ribs. I'm OK now and ride doubles a triples with no problems. Although I do do exercises to take the supporting muscles in my shoulder strong.
    Make mine a double!

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    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    Oh machka, sorry to hear. Best to stay on the trainer? Getting your elbows up, as in a tuck, should feel vulnerable, no? Talk to your doctor.

    I've had a Bankart performed by the same guy that did Magic Johnson's knee and Orel Herschiser's elbow. My shoulder's still better than new and with near full range of motion. But ony after popping it out on an average of once per year for 8 years. That got me to finally get the surgery done. What I learned through hard knocks: If it's not right, don't mess around.
    Joe

    Veho difficilis, ago facilis

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    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Man sorry to hear about that. My wife had a grade III separation of the shoulder with an impingement on Christmas Eve. 6 weeks out of commision. First two in a sling.

    Best of luck and lemme know if you need some chocolate. I'll mail you some.

    Rest up and come do the Arrowhead 130 next year!

  5. #5
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Have any of you have a labral tear in your shoulder, or had a dislocated shoulder due to a crash?

    If so, were you able to keep cycling? How long till it healed? Did you go through physio or did you have to have surgery?
    I had a labral tear (SLAP tear-superior labral anterior posterior), not due to a crash, but a throwing injury (ultimate frisbee, if you must know). My understanding (which you should take with the usual amount of caution when it comes to medical 'advice' over the internet) is that the labrum will not heal itself, even if immobilized for a long period (actually, on this one, I skimmed a medical article, so it has at least a hint of veracity), however, strengthening the supporting muscles can help.

    In my case, I could no longer throw without pain, so I opted for surgery. I think it was a month of immobilization, and then several weeks (16?) of PT, progressively improving my mobility to 'normal'. The PT was something like: heat-pack, massage (oh, that felt good), gentle movement, strengthening, and then the therapist would rip my arm out like a chicken wing. Finish with ice.

    Ah...good times.

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    Yep, done mine twice this year, both times over the bars. Its not perfect but I can definately ride. Throwing a baseball is not as much fun as it used to be. I did PT myself with dumbells, it seemed to help a lot. I also flushed all the Vicodin down the bowl, that really helped.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Upon investigation/assessment, it appears that I pulled my left pec all along the collarbone (likely came really close to breaking my collarbone). My subscapularis and infraspinatus are pulled, but probably not torn like originally thought. My supraspinatus is likely in a "protective spasm". And apparently the pain and lack of ability to move my arm to certain positions is consistant with tearing my labrum.

    Because I have absolutely no memory of what my upper body (besides my head) was doing during the crash, I can't provide any information to the dr and physiotherapist, so the guess is that my shoulder was my third landing point and was either dislocated and popped back in, or nearly dislocated.

    It has been recommended that I should have an MRI and further testing to be sure. Knowing the system here, that could be months. Meanwhile I am in physiotherapy right now.

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    First off, I am not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV. From experience though I can say, it takes a week or two for everything to settle down, so you can move your arm. Then just take it easy with the movements. I started by laying flat on my back and slowly moving my arms striagh up and then straight out. I had fractured my humerus as well so this had to be a slow and gradual process. However the Orthopedic surgeon said I could move it as much as the pain would allow. Anyway after a few weeks of just practicing moving my arms in a controlled manner I was able to try some excercise with very light dumbells (2lbs) a soup can works well too. I got gradually better after that. Then I crashed again in a 24 MTB race. The second time was not as bad an injury but really set me back on the rehabilitation. So my advise after all that is to take it easy and slowly recover, you will be OK. It will hurt for a while, but it will get better. It's only pain.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTx
    First off, I am not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV. From experience though I can say, it takes a week or two for everything to settle down, so you can move your arm.
    It will be 2 weeks tomorrow ... and if anything it is getting worse. I'm not even comfortable just sitting ... my very bruised hip and my shoulder ACHE. Sleeping isn't even comfortable. I just get nicely to sleep ... then change position slightly in my sleep .... and become very awake because of all the pain of that movement. Painkillers etc. don't even seem to help at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by DonTx
    Then just take it easy with the movements. I started by laying flat on my back and slowly moving my arms striagh up and then straight out. I had fractured my humerus as well so this had to be a slow and gradual process. However the Orthopedic surgeon said I could move it as much as the pain would allow. Anyway after a few weeks of just practicing moving my arms in a controlled manner I was able to try some excercise with very light dumbells (2lbs) a soup can works well too. I got gradually better after that. Then I crashed again in a 24 MTB race. The second time was not as bad an injury but really set me back on the rehabilitation. So my advise after all that is to take it easy and slowly recover, you will be OK. It will hurt for a while, but it will get better. It's only pain.
    I've got fairly good forward movement. If I lay on my back and moved my arms straight up and straight out, that would be OK. I have no problem raising my arms straight above my head ... in fact, one of the most comfortable positions is lying on my back with my sore arm straight up by my ear, and then bent in an "L" over the top of my head (above my head).

    The pain comes if I try to reach back at all. And the worst is when I stand (or sit), and stretch my arms out perpendicular to my body, parallel with the floor so that I form a "t", then bend my left arm up at the elbow so that it becomes and "L". That's painful, but if I then try to move my elbow back at all ... that's not only horribly painful, but impossible. I can't move the arm back at all. But I can do that just fine with the right (healthy) arm.

  10. #10
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    It will be 2 weeks tomorrow ... and if anything it is getting worse. I'm not even comfortable just sitting ... my very bruised hip and my shoulder ACHE. Sleeping isn't even comfortable. I just get nicely to sleep ... then change position slightly in my sleep .... and become very awake because of all the pain of that movement. Painkillers etc. don't even seem to help at all.
    what works is always a little different for everyone.
    After my major 'off' a little over 2 years ago, it took 4 to 5 weeks before I had brief periods without considerable pain. But then most of my upper left side was pretty much bashed up. 5 broken ribs, 3 of which punctured the left lung and scarred about 1/3 of it, shattered scapula, collarbone had 5 breaks, glenoid fossa was split (thankfully the impact was direct on, so the labrum was 'bruised' but not torn or displaced much), humerus was mostly okay except for bruising (a surprise). BY shattered scapula, I mean so many pieces that the docs saw no way to do any surgical repair. They said 'Let it heal' and whatever happens will be better than they could do.
    Anyway, drugs aside, the only thing that really got me through most nights for the 1st month was my hospital bed, which we rented after I got out of hospital. Bringing it up to about a 40 degree incline from flat, at the hips, really relived the pressure and also kept me from 'rolling' at night. Gradually over a 6 week period I was able to slowly lower the incline until I was nearly flat. But even a slight incline helped stop the rolling, and I kept it that way for another 4 weeks after the first six weeks.
    Now I'm not suggesting you rent a hospital bed, but maybe try that position supported on a sofa while awake and see if it relieves the pain somewhat, if so then work on getting something to wedge your upper body up while in bed. It might help, never know.
    Oh, and imobilizing the arm with a sling at night, even though I had no real arm injuries, helped a lot in reducing the 'surprise' blasts of pain due to inadventent movement. During the day it came off.
    Hey, good luck, here's to a proper heal, 'quick' usually doesn't happen.
    its all a matter of time. I just had one of my little triumphs the other day, did 6 pullups 6 months ago I still couldn't manage even one. I'm shootin for 10 by July 4.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dagna's Avatar
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    I dislocated my right shoulder four times before finally having surgery to fix it permanently. The first time it happened, the doc told me about 15 per cent of people will have a recurring problem. So, it's very likely once you're healed, you will be in the 85 per cent that don't have further problems.

    The doc also told me, after I was cleared for normal activities following a couple weeks immobilization in a sling, that two exercises would strengthen the area and help prevent recurrences. I think these are aimed at people who dislocate their shoulder to the front--disclaimer: it was a long time ago, so check with your own medical sources. One exercise was pushups with hands wider than shoulder width, and the other was pull-ups with hands wider than shoulder width.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    There's no way I could do either push ups or pull ups right now!! I'm having enough trouble with the little "tubing" exercises my physiotherapist gave me.

    But maybe after I've healed a bit more ....

  13. #13
    Senior Member dagna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    There's no way I could do either push ups or pull ups right now!! I'm having enough trouble with the little "tubing" exercises my physiotherapist gave me.

    But maybe after I've healed a bit more ....
    Yes, DEFINITELY after you've healed pretty much completely...these aren't for helping you regain range of motion, they are for building up muscles that will prevent a recurrence. Please don't try them until your shoulder feels close to normal again.

    By the way, I could predict bad weather for about two years afterwards...I flew into sunny California and my shoulder started hurting so badly I couldn't even make a fist. I checked the weather forecast and sure enough, there was a huge storm inbound for that evening. Fringe benefit? You decide.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dagna
    Yes, DEFINITELY after you've healed pretty much completely...these aren't for helping you regain range of motion, they are for building up muscles that will prevent a recurrence. Please don't try them until your shoulder feels close to normal again.

    By the way, I could predict bad weather for about two years afterwards...I flew into sunny California and my shoulder started hurting so badly I couldn't even make a fist. I checked the weather forecast and sure enough, there was a huge storm inbound for that evening. Fringe benefit? You decide.

    I'm wondering if that "weather predicting" feature is why I've been aching so much the last few days. Over the first 8-10 days after the accident, I was gradually feeling better ... but the last few days I've been SO sore. As it happens, about three days ago some sort of weather system moved into this area and has dropped 10 inches of snow over the past 3 days ... it is still snowing now, but is supposed to let up tomorrow.


    And yes, I'll wait on the pushups etc. ... I'm at the stage where simply getting dressed in the morning is a long and difficult task.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    So here's a question ....

    Tomorrow I'm supposed to put in a shift in the pressroom of the local newspaper where I've been working part-time for the past 1.5 years. It will be my first shift since the accident, and will likely involve a lot of repetitive heavy lifting ... because that's what I do there. It's been great for developing shoulder and some upper body muscle, but this repetitive heavy lifting caused me to develop triceps tendonitis in my right arm just before Christmas, which is just now starting to heal. It's a lot of work!

    My physiotherapist tells me that I won't likely damage anything worse than it already is ... but that she has no doubt I'm going to be really sore by the end of the shift. I'm sore (achy) right now just normally, nevermind slinging thousands of newspapers for 6.5 hours.

    I wear a brace for the tendonitis, but there really isn't a brace for the shoulder.

    I'm not sure what to do ... call in "injured" (again), or go in and tell my supervisor that I'll work till I feel I can't do it anymore ... which might only be a couple hours at this point. What would you do?

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    UPDATE:

    Last night was my first night back since the accident. I lasted 4 hours, and now I'm not so sure it was a good idea. I was SORE!! My shoulder wasn't too bad because I was protecting it (keeping it close to my body, lifting with my right arm, etc.) but it is definitely sorer than it was before the shift ... but my HIP is the really painful part. 4 hours of standing and walking, and I could hardly stand anymore because of the pain.

    Today my hip feels a bit better, but my shoulder is killing me. When I'm not moving it, and it is feeling its best today, it feels like someone is stabbing me in the shoulder ... the moment I move it, the pain gets worse.


    Oh, and I saw my regular Dr yesterday who looked at my injuries for about 3 seconds and told me I was fine. Not too happy about that. I can't even sit still in a chair without pain, and my range of motion is limited to about 2/3 of its usual amount ... and I'm "fine"????

    I'm seeking further medical treatment elsewhere.

  17. #17
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    ... and I'm "fine"????

    I'm seeking further medical treatment elsewhere.
    What did I tell ya. My wife was once run over by the rear duals on a 1-ton truck. She'll only ride stoker on the road now. Can't blame her. Never watch that. Anyway, the emergency room doc X-rayed her arm, which wasn't damaged particularly, said she was fine and sent her home. Missed the 6 totally busted ribs and the punctured lung. Saw the tire track on her back and said, "Oh, you can't break a shoulder blade." Idiot. After vomiting up pain medicine for a couple of days, she went to her regular doctor who was a real doctor (female) and who sent her for thoracic surgery post-haste.

    Time to see an orthopedic surgeon. If you need a referral, go back to the doc with a large friend. Discuss the Board of Health or whatever regulatory body you have up there with that doc. I'm serious.

  18. #18
    Senior Member dagna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I can't even sit still in a chair without pain, and my range of motion is limited to about 2/3 of its usual amount ... and I'm "fine"????

    I'm seeking further medical treatment elsewhere.
    Good for you--stick with it! While training for a marathon, I developed a foot problem. When I went into my doctor and said, "It hurts to run more than 5 miles" he said (I am not kidding), "Then don't run more than five miles." I finally paid for a podiatrist on my own dime, who immediately came up with an effective remedy.

    Moral: you know if you're not 'fine', not them. Stick to your guns and you won't end up like me (paying for treatment outside my official health care system).

    Good luck!

    PS. About the weather predicting: me with my bum shoulder and a friend with a bad ankle kept looking for a third so we could triangulate storm centers and make money with our new *superpowers* . Unfortunately, we didn't find the third for our super-weather-triumvirate before our superpowers wore off... .

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    carbonfiberboy, I sort of have an idea how your wife felt ... by the end of that 4 hour shift, I was actually nauseated and ...... my body goes through several annoying little "changes" when I am under stress. I have to be under a great deal of stress for one of these "changes" ... and to my surprise, it happened last night. Evidently that shift took quite a toll on me.

    dagna, there's a thunderstorm moving in tonight ... maybe that's why I'm as sore as I am!!

    And others ... I've had cracked ribs, so I know what that feels like. I couldn't lie on my left side for 8 weeks. The funniest thing when I had that accident was the Dr's parting words, "Don't forget to breathe". What?? How can I "forget to breathe"? That happens naturally, doesn't it? But I discovered that I was holding my breath till I was dizzy because it hurt too much to breathe! Fortunately this isn't quite that bad.

  20. #20
    I like beans eippo1's Avatar
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    Go to an ortho and not a reg. doc. My story is bad. Shattered collarbone in 2001 in a crit and did some rehab, but not much for it, so it never healed correctly. Then it started popping out all the time. At the time I was a triathlete and the swim would kill me b/c of the speed etc and then I couldn't steer in my aerobars afterwards b/c my shoulder would slip when I tried to turn left.
    Then it started disclocating with everything like when I sneezed, when I turned over at night, but I decided I had to get surgery when I dislocated it zipping up my fly. I could do a great impression of Meg Gibson in Lethal Weapon, though. I got surgery 2 years ago and got some titanium bolts in my scapula and that holds things together nicely. Can't swim anymore though. So now I just bike. Good luck to you.
    You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

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  21. #21
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    carbonfiberboy, I sort of have an idea how your wife felt ... by the end of that 4 hour shift, I was actually nauseated and ...... Evidently that shift took quite a toll on me.
    Oh lady, what can I say? Other than cut it out! You gave me some good advice, which I'm taking. My advice is: don't do anything that hurts if you can help it. Get thee to an orthopedic surgeon. Don't go to work. Don't damage yourself any further. It's not worth it. You have too much drive and not enough sense! I know the problem well. If I know what you're talking about, at least your change wasn't the other way, which would be more worrisome. Remember, you've got your whole life in front of you and lots of things you'll want to do. Back off. Take the long view. This is one wall you won't be able to rush.

    You were talking about doing some heavy duty pampering on the Island. Do that now. Do you subscribe to zip.ca? If not, now would be a good time. IIRC you are working on some career change stuff. That would be good, too.

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    In order to go to an orthopedic surgeon, or any other specialist for that matter, I need to be referred by a GP. I've been to two GPs now, neither of whom seem to be taking any of this very seriously. How can a doctor make a diagnosis by getting me to move my arm into 5 positions (none of which were the painful positions) .... and then ignoring me when I tried to explain where the pain was, and the positions I can't move my arm into? They won't refer me to a specialist, they won't send me for X-rays ...

    One of them is the same GP who refused to send me for a bone density scan because it would be a "waste of time" for her and the technicians. She told me that she doesn't send any of her patients for bone density scans until they are well into their 50s because she believes that there is no way anyone under 50 could have bone density issues.

    It seems like all the GPs here are extremely overworked (or greedy) and they book as many patients as they can into their day so that they are spending about 5 minutes with each patient. They rush us in and rush us out, and don't seem to care at all what our situations are.

    I really miss my medical staff back in Manitoba!!

    As for the job, I'm debating what to do.

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    I got hit by a car last August and, among other things, dislocated my shoulder, which resulted in a complete labral tear and and a torn rotator cuff (supraspinitus). I had shoulder surgery on November 28, 2007. I have been cycling indoors since January, and I started riding outside in the begining of April, after the roads were clear of salt and snow. My ortho thinks riding is fine, but swimming is now out of the question, and I've been warned that I could have some problems if I reinjure the shoulder after so much work was done.

  24. #24
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    In order to go to an orthopedic surgeon, or any other specialist for that matter, I need to be referred by a GP.
    Yes, problem. Same problem here, but not as bad. I see that wait times for MRIs in Canada are about 6 months and wait times for orthopedic surgery average 9 months (after the MRI!).

    I'd be almost positive there's a appeal process for denial of health care in Canada, which this is. A first step might be getting the GP to sign a document stating that he/she has denied you the health care which you have requested.

    Check this out:
    http://www.nationalsurgery.com/FCSC/index.php

    I think this is a private clinic. Which means expensive. But I also understand that Canadians are prohibited from using private health care, so I don't know how that works. You know what I would do? Call the clinic in the link. Explain your problem. Ask them for advice, or for someone you can call for help with your case. Also, contact your MP. That sometimes does wonders down here. Sometimes a day or two on the phone can really make a difference, following up leads, getting information, etc.

    Can you get help back in Manitoba? Would it be worth traveling back there to get it? I'm sure you've already thought these thoughts.

    Good luck to you.

  25. #25
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Well the good news (I guess) is that they are dissolving my shift at the very physically active job I have in about a month. Not just my shift, the entire afternoon/evening shift is being cancelled. We've got the option of moving to the day or night shift ... or of finding alternate employment if we need/want to.

    That's OK with me. I've been wrestling with the idea of giving the shift up anyway so I can heal. So in a month's time I should start seeing more improvements to my shoulder, hip, and triceps tendonitis!!

    Plus it means I'll be able to cycle more ... and maybe even get more sleep!! WooHoo!!

    Meanwhile I worked a full shift tonight. I'm sore, but not as sore as I was last week, so that's a good sign. I'll see how I feel tomorrow morning.


    BTW - Carbonfiberboy - unfortunately I really can't do any expensive options, including travelling back to Manitoba (much as I would like to). In fact, I'm going to have to quit physio soon because I can't afford to continue to go. Although I'm working right now, I'm saving money to live on for the 8 months I'm in University (again) starting in September. It's a toss up between $30 for a physio appointment now, and $30 for a week's worth of groceries next March.

    However, I'll be seeing one of my Drs again tomorrow ... with any luck he'll book an MRI.

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