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Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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Has anyone had an injury to their shoulder due to a crash, specifically AC ligament tear? I had a big crash recently with a heavy hit to the right shoulder which has caused a grade 3 AC ligament injury (complete rupture of the ligament). The specialist is talking surgery but it seems that the treatment of a grade 3 injury is a bit of a grey area (ie surgery vs conservative management).
I would be interested in the experiences of anyone who has suffered a similar injury, particularly how it was managed and what the long term results were like. Any info would be most welcome
Depends on who your seeing here in Adelaide
Generally they rarely need surgery (mine included and I'm in the game)... Usually settles well with 2 or 3 weeks in a supportive sling...
A friend did this almost a year ago when a dog ran out at her bike. She was in sling and off her bike for several weeks. She eventually opted for surgery towards the end of last year but mostly for cosmetic reasons because she was unhappy with the bump at the AC joint. Another 6 weeks off the bike but all good now.
20 something years ago I stetched my left ac due to a collission with another big boofy bloke - on a rugby field. Managed conservatively, about 3-4 weeks recovery IIRC.
As for long term recovery, my golf game went to bits & I can tell you when the weather is about to change, but other than that it is all good, or at least it is in comparison with my right shoulder
Lost traction on my front handlebars and there goes my handlebars flipping around wrenching my shoulder and down I went HARD.
Initial diagnoisis bursitis. Not quite, 6 months later I had a partially frozen shoulder after 2 cortisone injections had worn off. Doc sent me off for a MRI and found I had frayed my suprasinitis tendon.
Physio focussed on strengthening the tendon and it was a gradual process. Took about a year to resolve. But in saying that. Those 6 months where I had full use of my shoulder I most likely had a very minor problem, and throughout those 6 months it got worse until the cortisone wore off and BANG. If that tendon had snapped instead of frayed, it would have been surgery for me as well.
I had a borderline grade 3 AC joint tear from a heavy crash three years ago. I was initially surprised that the doc recommended not to go with surgery, but I got a second opinion and unless I was mid 20s with an interest in upper body sports then the recovery can have complications. It took about 2 months to get back on the bike to do the Alpine Classic 200km, didn't experience any real discomfort. Sometimes it aches a little during 120+km rides and the 'bump' does look a bit weird, but I could probably just about escape out of a straight jacket now. The most challenging part of the recovery was not being able to sleep on the right side for ages. Nowadays, I find that if I do light upper body weights then the surrounding muscles hold the shoulder together just fine.
Saw the surgeon again today. He was talking surgery at the first consultation but 1 week later he was quite happy with my range of arm movement so looks like we are just going to let things settle. He said I would probably lose some overhead strength but I figured at age 40 my chances of being drafted into the AFL are slim. I have to say that there really isn't much pain but it just feels weird when I move my arm in certain ways - kind of like a "pulling" sensation. Having said that it seems to be just that tiny bit better each day & I'm not relying on the sling as much now.
Had both AC ligaments buggered at different stages during my "Downhilling Career" . The left shoulder was a Grade 1 injury which cleared up after a couple of weeks but still has a lump whilst the right was a full blown bad grade 2/almost Grade 3 (almost completely torn) after a huge spill OTB at about 40km/h whilst racing at Megalong Valley (Blue Mountains West of Sydney). No surgery but took about three months to repair and still have the scar on my shoulder where it connected with the ground and was used to stop me. Neither AC joint gives me greif but that is probably due to all of my other issues (left shoulder, knees, neck etc). In my experience and observations surgery is undertaken if an elite athlete or is completely torn, one fellow MTBer had his reconstructed after completely tearing it and breaking his collarbone in one huge off.
I'm 5 months into recovery from a grade 2+ ACJ with a labral tear following two accidents onto the same shoulder...it's very very slow progress (I'm 51). I had 4 months of physio, and cortizone which made no difference.
No surgery. I have full motion but after 5 months I still get pain with certain movements, wake up in pain if I turn onto it in sleep, but the non stop aching has almost gone.
Looking forward to the point where I have full confidence in it again. Takes a lot of patience is my lesson.
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I did a grade 3 going over the drop bars about 3 years ago. Specialist advised against surgery as I was 50+. I could lift my hand above my head after a week and then riding again in 3 weeks. I am not very good at chin ups anymore but basically regained 80% strength after a year.
Probably looking forward to a few complications with my AC joint....(as well)
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