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Recovery time for seperated shoulder

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Recovery time for seperated shoulder

Old 04-26-11, 01:55 PM
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HenryL
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Recovery time for seperated shoulder

Gentlemen some words of advice would be appreciated. 2 weeks ago, while in a typical group ride sprint, I went down and ended up with a grade 3 left shoulder seperation, assorted bumps bruises and road rash. After a trip to the ER the Ortho doc is telling me 4 - 6 weeks minimum for recovery. Feels like S%$# and motion range is better but limited.

Anyone every experience this type of injury and have some pearls of wisdom to share?
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Old 04-26-11, 02:08 PM
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What's a 'grade 3'? Was it all the way out for a while [what they use to call dislocation] or not full displaced [what they use to call separation]?

Dislocation = FUBAR for some time.

Separation = A couple weeks [in my world]
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Old 04-26-11, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Agave View Post
What's a 'grade 3'? Was it all the way out for a while [what they use to call dislocation] or not full displaced [what they use to call separation]?

Dislocation = FUBAR for some time.

Separation = A couple weeks [in my world]
Grade three apparently means all the ligaments are torn. Non surgical approach is rest and I will have a lump for life. Surgical means more recovery time and no guarantee of different outcome. Couldn't dress myself for 10 days, but better this week.
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Old 04-26-11, 03:33 PM
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Yeah, torn.....but was it out of the socket so that it had to be 'manipulated' back in?

I'd guess you'll need to be very careful with certain movements for the rest of your life. I throw like a girl now and if I relax laying down with my arm resting behind my head I have to move it back with my other arm or it'll pop out. But I can still lift a train [small one] and do military/bench presses and lat pull downs without issue.

Short term, I bet you can ride as pain allows but you're more then screwed if you pop it out again.
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Old 04-26-11, 05:41 PM
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HeneryL, You'll get a better idea after the follow up exam, assuming you have an appointment for one to monitor healing progress. Heed your doctor's advice, I did and walked for about ten weeks.

Brad
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Old 04-27-11, 02:12 AM
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I have a separated shoulder from a crash coming down off of the Blue Ridge Parkway about 2 years ago. I have a nasty-looking bone that sticks up when I tuck my arm in. I use it to scare the chilluns.

I'm not sure which grade it was, but it's the one just below the one where you HAD to have surgery. It's the one where they say, "well you can have surgery if you want, but it probably won't help. The outcome is about the same whether you have surgery or not. Don't bother unless you're a professional baseball player."

It took a long time before I could even sleep on that side, let alone use it for heavy work. It was 9 months from the crash until snow-shovel season, but it still wasn't healed enough by then so that shoveling didn't just kill it.

I'm sure I was off the bike for at least two weeks, but I don't think it was much more than that. I had to be careful doing certain things, like pulling up on the bars on a climb, or even pointing to signal turns, but in general it wasn't too bad. I was on the bike much quicker than I expected.

Good luck!
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Old 04-27-11, 05:05 AM
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I had mine 20 miles from home. The ride back wasn't pleasant, but getting off the bike when done was pure hell.

Grade 3, left arm. Sleeping on that side took several years to get comfortable again. About a year for the weird feeling when certain movements of that arm happen. About 1-2 years for the slight pain to cease when lifting/raising overhead. About three to get used to the weird feeling when you thump it or push down on it.
Check out pictures of Hincapie for what it looks like.

My docs advice- unless your a painter, don't do the surgery.
Really, it was nowhere near the ordeal I imagined it was going to be.

BTW- cause was dogs... and a ditch...
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Old 04-27-11, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Agave View Post
What's a 'grade 3'? Was it all the way out for a while [what they use to call dislocation] or not full displaced [what they use to call separation]?

Dislocation = FUBAR for some time.

Separation = A couple weeks [in my world]
You're talking about two different injuries, two different parts of the joint.

I had a separation and had tendon transplant surgery in 1988. It took a year for the pain to subside but since then it has been pretty good.
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Old 04-27-11, 08:22 AM
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My left shoulder was banged up a couple years ago and still bothers me. Time to see if it is a labrum tear or rotator cuff. Riding and golf is no problem at all. Lifting weight (like splitting logs, etc) is rough on it.
Shoulders are funny. It seems like they either heal quickly without problems or are a problem. Nothing much in between.

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Old 04-27-11, 10:42 AM
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I had a grade 5+ separation which required 3 surgeries and a screw inserted for 90 days. It took a long time to heal. Now 15 years later I have full use and range of motion. But it still bothers me when paddling or wearing a backpack.

OP if you have torn ligaments it will take a while (weeks/months)to fully heal, follow the doc's recommendations.
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Old 04-27-11, 10:54 AM
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Coming from someone who has dislocated their left shoulder about 8 times (and had surgery) and dislocated my right shoulder about 6 times (no exaggeration here guys honest ) over about 15 years, I would say do exactly what the docs suggest and do all the physio.

About 2 years or so ago I went back to the physio and had some strengthening to my shoulders. They have been OK since but sometimes I feel some twinges that don't feel right. I have on occasion dislocated my shoulder when asleep and stretching my arms apparently and just picking things up awkwardly.

I wouldn't say that I didn't do all the physio but I only stupidly did it for a few weeks.

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Old 04-27-11, 05:32 PM
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I, too, have a type 3 left shoulder separation (courtesy of a little old lady who needed to drive better). Since she also destroyed my ankle, it was 6 months before I even attempted cycling. It took over a year before I was pretty much pain free.
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Old 04-27-11, 06:30 PM
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Ten years ago, I got a 3rd-degree A-C separation in my left shoulder, thanks to a pickup truck driver making an "improper right turn". It happened on April 1 (no foolin'), and I had my arm in a sling for at least 6 weeks (no surgery, but it was borderline), PT for the whole summer, and was back on the bike seriously the following spring, after a winter of vigorous nordic skiing. The shoulder still isn't 100%, and probably never will be. But I can ride (absurdly long distances) and ski.

SP
Bend, OR
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Old 04-29-11, 08:29 AM
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HenryL
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Thanks for the responses. It feels like this season will be quite different from my 4200 miles last season. 3 weeks in and it feels like it will be a bit longer before the shoulder will support me on a road bike. I figure the recumbent trike will get more ride time beginning in June.
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