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riding with a 2nd or 3rd degree AC seperation ??(14 posts)

riding with a 2nd or 3rd degree AC seperation ??JohnG
Jun 4, 2002 5:01 PM
I'd like to hear how anyone has ridden (or not) "through" a 2nd or 3rd degree AC separation.

It's been one week since I "banged" my shoulder (don't ask) and I finally went to the doc today. He was none too happy with me and will know more when the film and report come back in a day or two. He thought my shoulder injury looked moderately serious.... mentioned the possibility of surgery. :( Bottom line is my shoulder feels near normal while on the bike but hurts a fair bit when off the bike. I've got the typical raised clavicle of a 2nd to 3rd degree separation...... hard to say exactly how much it's raised but it feels and looks a bit weird.

Although I'm just using a mild anti-inflammatory (Napersin) and ice right now, I did have to use some codeine based pain killers for the first 3-4 days. Oddly enough, I seem to be peaking right now and have had a couple of breakthrough rides after the accident. ??? Seems a bit odd to me but I'm still all :) However, my shoulder hurts a LOT more after I saw the doc frown when he looked at my skewed shoulders. Funny how the mind works.

I'm not looking for a diagnosis.... just the typical prognosis and any helpful hints from people who have had similar injuries. I'll do what the doc says in terms of recovery but I'd still like to get some more personal experience info.

thanks and good rides to ya
JohnG
don't!!!weiwentg
Jun 4, 2002 5:32 PM
I don't know what degree of separation I'm at right now, but my clavicle is in a steel plate. it hasn't fully healed (been 7 weeks; can't tell from the x-rays whether it's better or not but there's no pain) and I'm riding.
what I would say is DON'T RIDE! you don't want to mess it up. your clavicle is broken enough to protrude? that's a bad sign. best to let it rest and heal up. take LOTS of calcium! 2 grams a day! get some tums and start popping them!
even if they do surgery and put a plate inside, you'll still need some time off. after my clavicle got broken and I had surgery, the doctor said it would be six weeks minimum. I more or less listened to him - I rode on the trainer, and I went for some short rides after 5 weeks. by then my shoulder was sore, and it was uncomfortable to wear a loaded backpack, but it was OK. when I saw the doc on week 6, he said to use pain as my guide. it didn't hurt, so I started hammering. it's now week 7.
I'm 21, and my collarbone was a 'multiple comminuted fracture', ie it was broken in 2 places and there were splinters. lots of splinters. if you can get on the bike, yours is less bad (duh) so you should be able to start riding faster (duh). the thing is, my friend said I recovered pretty fast, and the docs at the sports medicine center thought that it would be more like 3 months before I could start riding (but what do they know). the point is, I think I recovered pretty fast, and I'm young. I wish you all the best, but you have to be patient. I was terribly cranky for the first three weeks at least.
get well soon, and don't mess the shoulder up. who knows, maybe you need the rest. I had the ride of my life last Sunday - 50 miles at a scorching pace with some pretty good cyclists.
hard not too .... ;)JohnG
Jun 4, 2002 7:06 PM
BTW.... what's your first name??? You're a regular poster and I don't recall seeing you sign your name ever. ??? Perhaps I missed it.

Thanks for the well wishes. I'm fairly sure that my clavical ISN'T cracked. :) The "bump" in the outer upper edge of the clavical, however, is apparently "normal" with 2nd and 3rd degree separations. The degree of the bump and the orientation will be a function of how much damage has been done to the tendons and soft tissue inside the shoulder. It will be a few days before I know the technical classification of this puppy but my intution and "research" would say that it's probably between a 2nd and 3rd degree separation. I'm definitely hoping for a lower # here.

Like the following poster mentioned, my shoulder actually feels fairly decent when I'm riding with my hands on the hoods. Probably because the pressure is pushing back on the shoulder socket. Any force in the opposite direction is VERY painful though. :( Sprinting has been a problem and I did a bunch of sprints yesterday so that's probably why my shoulder really flaired up today...... or was it the bug-eyed look of my doc??? ;)

Thanks for the advice and good luck with your own recovery. That sounds like a very nasty break! :(

ride hard and watch out for those parked trucks. ;)
JohnG
not cracked? phew!weiwentg
Jun 4, 2002 8:23 PM
my bad, I'm not certain (as I said) what a 2nd degree separation involves. if it's just soft tissue damage, you could do a Hamilton ... I mean, I would recommend not doing that, but seeing that I'm riding with a half-(or so)-healed collarbone, who am I to lecture?
I suppose you would go back to using pain as the guide. if it hurts, don't do it. personally, I'd take a week off the bike (go on a trainer?). don't aggravate it - you don't want permanent damage to your rotator cuffs or tendons or whatnot.
anyway, as for me, my shoulder is healing quite well - enough for me to race. it would seem the surgeon did a very good job.
not cracked? phew!weiwentg
Jun 4, 2002 8:23 PM
anyway, the name is Weiwen.
racing already?JohnG
Jun 4, 2002 8:29 PM
Hey Weiwen

Now it's time for me to lecture! How long has it been since the surgery???? If less than 10 weeks it seems like you're taking a pretty big risk.

*** I knew a hammerhead skier who re-broke his leg by falling over in a ski lift line .... 8 weeks after the initial break.

good luck though
JohnG
racing already?weiwentg
Jun 5, 2002 4:49 AM
this Thursday, it'll be 8 weeks. fortunately, it's a road race on a flat course. this time, I'll keep the rubber side down. if anyone crashes in front of me (as happened last time), I'll pummel them before getting on the bike.
so, yes, I'm taking a risk, but it would seem not to be a big one. thanks for wishing me well :)
Been therejSheufelt
Jun 4, 2002 5:36 PM
Hey John, I had (have) a third degree separation as a result of a crash three years ago. The big local event of the year, a relay race, was in four weeks. The orthopedists I consulted said I could ride again as soon as I wanted, so i was back on the bike in about 8 days. Same experience as your's, on the hoods or in the drops it felt better than just walking around. My time in the race wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible. Main problem was I couldn't really stand to hammer up climbs.
All consults I had recommended against surgery, but my range of motion came back fine and I don't have any problems biking, though it does get sore if I'm holding my arms up over my head working on something for any time at all.

Funniest thing about it was my wife's comment (she was on the club training ride were it happened). She's an MD and looked at my shoulder a minute, then said, "Well, hopefully it's just a broken collarbone." Great bed(road)side manner.
"I did have to use some codeine based pain killers"Ahimsa
Jun 4, 2002 7:19 PM
Ah, codiene. There's a happy little chemical for ye.

Last time i manage to get me hands on some o' that potion it was in the form of a liquid cough medicine for a bout of pnuemonia. I saved every drop I could until the summer came (heavy drinking season....well, heavier than the other seasons at least).

My pals and I drank a shooter concoction made from equal parts codeine liquid, Jagermeister, and Everclear.

I vaguely remember George doing "fireballs" in the backyard with the remainder of the Everclear shortly before Dave put a bullet in the television set that went clean through to the bathroom shower tile.

Then I woke up in bed at home 'round noon the next day with no recollection of leaving the party and a large quantity of my own urine soaking the mattress.

Cheers!

A. (I like to believe that it was my own urine...)
Damn, dudemickey-mac
Jun 4, 2002 8:33 PM
I like you more with each post I read.
................................................................Spirito
Jun 4, 2002 9:43 PM
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................................................................Spirito
Jun 4, 2002 9:44 PM
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That's fine for moderate neighborhhood birthday parties...Crankist
Jun 5, 2002 5:34 AM
...but can't you find it in yourself to really let go once in a while and pound down the manly drinks? And what's with
having ANY recollections? I've enjoyed parties best via a
friend's terrified expression awaiting arraignment, days later. But hey, gotta start somewhere. :)
M
I did itDougSloan
Jun 5, 2002 5:52 AM
After a week I started riding on a trainer, one handed. A week later I rode a mountain bike on the road.

However, I had the surgery. The doc said that immediately after the surgery I was "fixed", and there was no problem using the shoulder, subject to pain tolerance.

Doug