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AC Joint Sprain

Old 02-17-22, 08:32 AM
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rumrunn6
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AC Joint Sprain

pretty sure I have a Grade 1, mild AC joint sprain. anyone else have the same?

Sunday 2/13/22 had a fall (to the left) today is Thursday 2/17/22. I will follow up with my healthcare provider next week I think

went down hard on ice, over pavement. landed hard on my left knee & left shoulder. the video shows my left hand & arm also taking some of the weight. not sure what struck the ground first, but good to know it wasn't just 1 body part.
no pain/discomfort in the lower arm, wrist or hand. the knee seems fine. there was some cushioning, I had on 2 layers down below, cycling pants & a double layer rain pant & 5 layers on top, thin base, quilted running shirt, fleece shirt, fleece jacket & 2 layer rain jacket

at the moment of the fall, there was immediate pain in the knee & shoulder. the knee pain went away fairly quickly. the shoulder, not so much. after sitting 5 minutes, I was able to ride back to my car, a cpl tenths of a mile
was going maybe 5-10mph tops, but that added speed didn't help. I much prefer slow speed falls

it is improving every day. rest, ibuprofen & acetaminophen helps. I am staying active, but no weight training. loaded the big water cooler jug at the office the other day, mostly w/ the other arm, but that's a good sign
almost rolled onto my left side, while resting bed, last night but, nope, not ready for that yet
more sore in the morning, after not moving it all night
the top of the shoulder at the AC joint is tender to the touch
shoulder does not look off-balance
there is no visible swelling or bruising
over the counter pain meds help
the rest of the arm seems fine
I don't have trouble moving the shoulder, wrist, or elbow due to stiffness
I am limiting my movement due to discomfort

not using a sling, thinking about getting a simple shoulder brace



in hind sight I should have ridden the grassy left shoulder or the other area way over on the right. but I had just ridden up this hill w/ no problem. saw this at the top of the hill

so I wasn't clueless. stupid maybe, but I had a clue

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Old 02-17-22, 08:56 AM
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rumrunn6 Wishing you a speedy recovery.
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Old 02-17-22, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
rumrunn6 Wishing you a speedy recovery.
thank you. would have been nice if the snow was deeper!
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Old 02-17-22, 09:50 AM
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Back in June 2014, I had a 12.5 mph crash. I suffered a complete tear of my left AC joint. my doctor recommended not having surgery at that time.

I did no riding and wore a sling on my arm for about 3 months or so. After that I was told I could resume riding as my comfort allowed. Been riding ever since.
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Old 02-17-22, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Back in June 2014, I had a 12.5 mph crash. I suffered a complete tear of my left AC joint. my doctor recommended not having surgery at that time.I did no riding and wore a sling on my arm for about 3 months or so. After that I was told I could resume riding as my comfort allowed. Been riding ever since.
ouch! ah good to know! long time in sling! looking forward to a professional diagnosis. did they use xray? just xray? not cat scan?
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Old 02-17-22, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
ouch! ah good to know! long time in sling! looking forward to a professional diagnosis. did they use xray? just xray? not cat scan?
I had two xrays. Then an orthopedic surgeon said that I should live with it as long as I can because the surgery recovery and PT are more painful than the injury. So far, so good.
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Old 02-17-22, 04:08 PM
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keep catching myself reaching for the seatbelt. I guess a sling helps immobilize it so it can calm down & dissipate

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Old 02-18-22, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
there is no visible swelling or bruising
still no visible swelling, but this morning, on day 5, I did notice this slight bruise mark


after looking at another shoulder illustration & comparing it to the location of the bruise, my amateur diagnosis is probably wrong. regardless hoping for some kind of "sprain" to some component & recovery will be similar to my original amateur prognosis. still planning a doc's visit next week

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Old 02-19-22, 07:40 AM
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I screwed my left AC joint up about 5 months ago, also broke the clavicle in 3 pieces and broke the scapula. Very annoying. It is a complicated movement, the shoulder that is.

Hope you heal quickly.
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Old 02-20-22, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I screwed my left AC joint up about 5 months ago, also broke the clavicle in 3 pieces and broke the scapula. Very annoying. It is a complicated movement, the shoulder that is.Hope you heal quickly.
awww thank you! ouch! that sounds super painful. how are you doing now? yes it is a very complicated part of our body. it is improving, found myself lying on my left side on a couch yesterday. but I can't do that in bed yet. funny thing is, the more it improves the more I use that arm, which isn't good for healing. some movement is ok but every time I feel a twinge I feel like I goofed. I hate to ask & don't want you to relive your accident, but curious how did it happen? car crash?
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Old 02-20-22, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
awww thank you! ouch! that sounds super painful. how are you doing now? yes it is a very complicated part of our body. it is improving, found myself lying on my left side on a couch yesterday. but I can't do that in bed yet. funny thing is, the more it improves the more I use that arm, which isn't good for healing. some movement is ok but every time I feel a twinge I feel like I goofed. I hate to ask & don't want you to relive your accident, but curious how did it happen? car crash?
Storm debris over a rise with double flat. Happened so fast, I thought the fork or stem broke. My big problem was pretty much ruining my humerus and elbow but two surgeries later, it is reasonable.

One thing to realize is that some of the pain you might feel now will subside. One Doc compared the muscles coming to a head (rotator cuff) as the tent and the bones as the tent poles. When you get an injury there, the muscles can drape down and then the bones can hit causing pain. It took me 4 months to sleep. Your joint will become more and more stable and that twinge will disappear or I hope for you. Your joint is probably still inflamed. I used a body pillow to keep off my left side, it helped a little but not a lot. Or just pile up some old pillows on your left, it might help you. GL on your recovery.
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Old 02-20-22, 09:56 AM
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I'm a side sleeper. For about a month after my crash I had to sleep on the sofa. Bed sleeping was out. I was wedged into the corner of the sofa, held in place by pillows, and with my feet on the ottoman.
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Old 02-20-22, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
I'm a side sleeper. For about a month after my crash I had to sleep on the sofa. Bed sleeping was out. I was wedged into the corner of the sofa, held in place by pillows, and with my feet on the ottoman.
oh that sounds like torture
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Old 02-20-22, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
took me 4 months to sleep
ooph!
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Old 02-21-22, 11:26 AM
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for the shoulder diary, some good news

even tho today is a holiday (Presidents' Day) I was able to get an appointment with a GP & got some x-rays

mild shoulder separation aka AC joint sprain (not to be confused with shoulder dislocation)
may take 2 to 4 weeks to heal
I can resume activities when it doesn’t hurt anymore (such as cycling, weight training, 2nd job in lumber/building materials at big box home improvement store)
doc gave me some physical therapy exercises to maintain my range of motion. does not recommend remaining motionless & did not recommend an arm sling
Advil and Tylenol are OK
they took several x-rays but because today’s a holiday they’re waiting for a radiologist to read them & they will contact me if there’s anything else to report

I asked the Doc but I was not able to take pics of the x-rays or get them emailed to me. he said I could go back to the x-ray tech & ask her, but I decided to just go back to work instead. hard to tell if he even saw them, he had a laptop in his hands. I could have taken a snap from his laptop but he didn't offer. he might have been too focused on the email part of my question. "we can burn a CD but that's usually for when we send ppl to specialists". took that as a good sign & skedaddled out of there!

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Old 02-21-22, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
I had two xrays. Then an orthopedic surgeon said that I should live with it as long as I can because the surgery recovery and PT are more painful than the injury. So far, so good.
I've had grade 4 AC separations in both shoulders now. The surgeon told me he could operate if I wanted, but outcomes were not appreciably different from just getting PT, so that's what I did. Wore a sling for 3-4 weeks, then just kept it with me for when my arm got sore. I started riding my upright Raleigh 3-speed to my PT sessions starting about 3 weeks after the accident. I didn't start riding a drop bar bike for several months. PT got me full strength and range of motion with only mild pain. Had a couple years of pretty trouble-free riding, then lately they've started getting sore after a couple hours of riding. Pre-medicating with ibuprofen helped, but this autumn my right shoulder really started giving me misery. Got a steroid shot in the joint, which helped considerably, but it won't last forever.
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Old 02-22-22, 12:56 AM
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Been there, done that, whined about it on bike forums so much I'm sick of myself. Hit by a car in 2018, broken coracoid process, Grade 4 separation, permanently humped acromion. Almost four years later it still aches sometimes. Depends on the weather -- barometric pressure shifts aggravate old injuries.

Normally I'd say go with your doctor's recommendations, but in my case I saw four different ortho docs and got four different stories, ranging from recommendation for surgery to almost total indifference.

I do my own physical therapy now, mostly following the advice of a PT clinic I attended for several weeks in 2019. After the COVID pandemic I realized I was on my own for physical therapy and pain management, so I don't even bother discussing it with my doctors anymore. My current GP sounds bored and indifferent if I even mention it so I don't bother.

Anyway, I've written enough about it here before so it's all in the archives somewhere.

End result, I've cut way back on bicycling, mostly because drivers in my area have gone insane the past couple of years. It's literal carnage on the highways, with daily fatalities from speeding, road rage and shootings. Neighborhood streets aren't much better. Texas law doesn't provide much incentive for drivers to be civil toward pedestrians and cyclists, and financial or legal deterrents are practically non-existent.

I've mostly switched to running and walking. I haven't been on the bike since last autumn, but I'm planning to dig out the trainer and start varying my workouts. But I doubt I'll ever resume cycling as my main exercise, at least not in my area. After six fractured vertebrae from the first time I was hit by a car 20 years ago, with permanent stenosis in my cervical vertebrae, and the shoulder injury from the latest incident, I'm not willing to risk any more of that nonsense at my age.
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Old 02-22-22, 02:53 PM
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post exam & x-ray report shows good news:

5 images encompassing 4 views were taken of the left shoulder.
The bones of the left shoulder exhibit normal alignment and
mineralization. No fracture, dislocation or significant degenerative
change is seen. No abnormal calcifications are seen.
Impression: Normal left shoulder.
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Old 02-24-22, 01:56 PM
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OK, this is super frustrating: storm tomorrow, office closed, aka freedom, but I have to stay off the bike!
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Old 02-28-22, 09:08 AM
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yesterday helped a desperate woman change her flat tire. her jack broke & since every passing car treated her like a mental case & because I carry two jacks, it was an easy assist. she had pulled into an office park to change her tire but when she had problems w/ her jack she had to walk out to the roadway to ask for help. since no one could see her car, she just looked strange approaching passing cars. I could never forgive myself for not turning around to investigate. was prepared to call 911 but I needed an address anyway. she had a cell phone but didn't want the police to tow her car. she did most of the work but I did participate. was on the way home from the gym where I was testing the shoulder but mostly doing leg & abs stuff. so yesterday was a big day for the shoulder. was careful, but used it more than I was planning. I've added Glucosamine Chondroitin back in to my daily supplements
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Old 03-06-22, 05:45 PM
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3 weeks from the crash
only minor lingering discomfort, as-in still can't sleep on my left side altho I can lean on my left side with proper support
normal daily activities don't create any twinges
I think I can start building back with some light weight training
better get the bike into the shop, so it's ready when I'm ready
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Old 03-06-22, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
...did they use xray? just xray? not cat scan?
Surprisingly A/C Joint injuries a pretty common in US Army Mechanized Infantry and Airborne Units. The old school teaching was to treat the injury as a fracture/separation until proven otherwise. An X-Ray was warranted right away but the CT was usually delayed as hairline fractures could take up to 10 days to show up. I have treated very painful A/C injuries that did not show any changes in X-Ray or CT. Some did not even have bruising at the site. Kinda like the old adage that a cracked rib can hurt more than a fractured one... Ha

Hoping for your fast recovery. Note... if it hurts don't do it...
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Old 03-06-22, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Surprisingly A/C Joint injuries a pretty common in US Army Mechanized Infantry and Airborne Units. The old school teaching was to treat the injury as a fracture/separation until proven otherwise. An X-Ray was warranted right away but the CT was usually delayed as hairline fractures could take up to 10 days to show up. I have treated very painful A/C injuries that did not show any changes in X-Ray or CT. Some did not even have bruising at the site. Kinda like the old adage that a cracked rib can hurt more than a fractured one... HaHoping for your fast recovery. Note... if it hurts don't do it...
thank you. yes, that's the plan. just did a few range of motion moves specific to the AC joint. I shud stay with these & only do weight training on movements that don't stress the AC. amazing amount of info out there. the internet is so helpful. my Dad used to have a Physicians Desk Reference when I was a kid growing up. he has a PHD but psychology not medicine but we trusted his research. of course we had a family Doctor. in what capacity did you treat ppl?
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Old 03-06-22, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
I have treated ...
would one of these be helpful?
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Old 03-06-22, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
would one of these be helpful?
Had a few guys that were helped by splints like these. Most of the time they wore them over long sleeve cotton T-shirts or on the outside of thier uniform. I think its a great idea but I never saw them used for more than a few days. The guys called them reminders in that they reminded them not do do stupid **** like pushups... Stupid **** is common in grunt units...
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