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hey j-son, how's the shoulder coming?(10 posts)

hey j-son, how's the shoulder coming?lonefrontranger
Dec 30, 2002 10:49 AM
I have a friend, also in law enforcement, who broke his ankles several times while chasing down thugs. He founded the Dayton, OH MTB police force and became an avid spokesman / expert for bike patrol. Cool guy.

I wondered how your rotator cuff rehab is going and what the prognosis is? I picked up a touch of "frozen shoulder" syndrome from the busted collarbone/rib episode. I'm doing some theraband stuff in the gym now and it seems to be working quite well. I had gotten to the point where I was experiencing quite a bit of nerve pain and tingling in the arm even on shorter rides. I was a bit creaky yesterday after 3 hours in the saddle and a long, cold, twisty descent, but it's nowhere near as painful as it was. Mine was only a mild AC separation, nothing approaching yours, and even that was damn uncomfortable. I count myself very lucky and hope your recovery goes quickly.

One of my local ride buddies smashed his pelvis in a nasty racing pileup last March. Several doctors told him he'd never walk normally again, never mind ride or race a bike. He held out for a Dr. willing to piece him back together again and do the necessary aggressive rehab, which merely proves that cyclists in general are stubborn lunatics with high pain tolerance. He rode a sub-4 hour century in June, and was back racing, and contending, in a fast and furious Mercury-fueled Pro/1/2 crit in July.

Here's to a brave new year for all of you injured and recuperating alike. Remember, doctors are used to providing worst case scenarios and dealing with Joe Sedentary Couch Surfer.
hey LFR, where ya been? nmJS Haiku Shop
Dec 30, 2002 11:05 AM
on vacation (sorta)lonefrontranger
Dec 30, 2002 11:19 AM
I went back to Cincinnati and had limited net access.

I've been pretty busy. My coach and SO have cooked up a plot between them to make me a better racer or kill me in the process. So I've been in the gym 3 days a week, running, riding a lot more than I thought possible, with time off for a bout of the Martian Death Flu - you know the flu that's so bad even your hair hurts?
qualifying the fluJS Haiku Shop
Dec 30, 2002 11:25 AM
had the flu last year when the dish guy was installing our OLN box. knew i was in poor shape when couch to coffee table was too far to change channel from lifetime movie network to OLN. LOL.

hey, if you missed it, i gave the 'cross thing a shot. pretty fun stuff. 'twas your urging (and death threats from my "training partner") that got me out there.
I read all your 'cross exploits with avid interestlonefrontranger
Dec 30, 2002 8:41 PM
Just because I've not had the time to post a bunch doesn't mean I'm not lurking :)

Along with the busy holidays, focused training and other stuff, work is getting busy as they've expanded our project team and scope. (hey, wait a minute, you mean I actually have to WORK at work??!!) I love what I do, so it's really cool that work is busy, plus I've been riding at lunch instead of surfing the web.

I love the recent pics of you horking the Surly 'round the course. Now that you have lived through that level of suffering, you will never look at hard training rides the same way again.

You haven't lived until you've puked in a race. About the only thing that tops that is getting puked on by someone else...

'Cross hearkens me back to the bad old days of partying / clubbing / raving / ingesting various exotic toxins to saturation point, then awakening from a stupor some hours later to discover that one's shitehole ghetto house resembles a third world war zone complete with the random effect of bodies dropped from a helicopter. The aftermath of a 'cross race is eerily similar, yet somehow so much more wholesome and satisfying.

Oh, and while we're on that topic, here's a little tip: do not EVER attempt to do a 'cross race hung over. Trust me on this one. You'd be better off to remain drunk. A good friend competed in a local B race immediately following his bachelor party. He was fine and dandy until about 4 laps to go, at which point he began to sober up...
re: hey j-son, how's the shoulder coming?j-son
Dec 30, 2002 5:27 PM
Healing nicely, thanks for asking. I just finished a round of PT today. I'm at about 75% range of motion, and I've finally been cleared to start building strength. Today, I benchpressed all of 50 pounds!

I've actually been riding a little bit lately, to my ortho's chagrin. He said easy road riding is acceptable (so long as I don't fall down), but mtn and cross are absolutely out. Too much risk of a crash. I should, hopefully, have a medical clearance to return to duty in another 4-6 weeks. The sooner the better, this desk jockey business is driving me nuts.

Ironically, I was subpoeaned a week or so ago for the trial of the guy I was injured arresting. He ended up being charged with battery of a police officer, Resisting arrest/obstruction of the legal process, and disorderly conduct. The trial is slated for late January, about the same time I hope to be cleared to return to full duty.

You are absolutely right about docs giving worst case scenarios. After I had the MRI, the ortho freaked me out by telling me I would probably be out for 6 months. Both my physical therapist and ortho are amazed at the speed of my recovery. I was talking to my PT about it today, and she said she found it refreshing to work with a highly fit and motivated patient who actually completed every 'homework' assignment. She said the vast majority of her patients are sedentary and out of shape; and, they simply will not work towards their own recovery.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Thanks for the kind sentiments.

Regards,
Jason
ortho storieslonefrontranger
Dec 30, 2002 9:19 PM
I'm really glad to hear you're ahead of schedule. The shoulder thing can be a real bear.

My orthopedic surgeon happens to also be a bike racer. He gave me the usual spiel about not riding outdoors until he'd had a chance to do my 4-week checkup. Well, that happened to be the Tuesday AFTER the last crit of the season.

I mend pretty quickly and know my body and pain threshold pretty well. I also felt like I needed to get back on the horse as it were, so I did a couple of easy(ish) reconaissance rides on the road a week before the crit and felt good enough to give it a go. I figured I'd get dropped pretty quickly since it was a hilly course and only my third race in the elite field, so when I got dropped I'd call it a day. For whatever reason the field wasn't super motivated that day, so I hung in for what was, ironically, my first elite field finish, 28 days after breaking my collarbone. It was a good break too - 3 pieces, 1cm full displacement, and I also broke one of the little ribs in the back, up high under the shoulderblade where it hurts like the bejesus. The funny part is that the broken bones all mended right as rain (well, there's a heck of a lump but that's typical), it's the very mild (maybe 1.5mm) AC separation that has lingered like the very devil. Don't get me wrong, it didn't feel rosy doing that race, especially on the occasions when I had to get out of the saddle to follow attacks, but I've hurt worse.

Anyway, the doctor about had kittens when my SO ratted on me about doing the race (not to mention riding before that). He gave me a ten minute lecture about what would have happened had I crashed again on that side, then promptly told me the story of when he shattered his tib-fib in a MTB wreck. He was in a full cast to the hip for a couple months. His Dr. told him he wouldn't be able to ride until after the cast was off, maybe 4 months. Well, my ortho said the very minute they put him in a lower leg (below the knee) cast, he went home, cut the back of the cast down behind the knee, stuck a platform pedal on that side of the bike, and went out for a spin. Felt fine, so the next day he rode from Boulder to Jamestown and back (20 mile ride, 7 mile climb). Continued on in this vein through a couple of new casts - his Dr. couldn't figure out why they kept cracking at the ankle. He even considered asking them to install a Look cleat on the bottom of one, but decided they wouldn't go for that. He rode this way for several months and believes it vastly shortened his recovery / rehab time.

Which merely proves my point. Know thyself, be reasonably careful, and you'd be surprised at what the body can accomplish. Good luck and keep us posted!
Pain & recovery.Len J
Dec 31, 2002 5:15 AM
It seems to me that one of the reasons that we heal so much faster than normal people (in addition to starting in good shape) is because of our knowledge of and experience with the different types of pain our bodies experience. This falls under your "Know thyself" mantra, however I think it's a specific attribute of it. Because we spend so much time seperating the "good" pain from the "bad" pain, constantly trying to ride the razors edge, we are very familiar with how much, and what type of pain we can bear. Consequently, when we are recovering, we are willing and able to push thru the pain more readily than somone who doesn't do this regularly. Obviously, occasionally (just like in riding) we push to hard and extend our injury (which is exactly what the MD's are afraid of) but mostly it shortens our recovery/rehab time.

Just my experience, but I think tolerating pain can be a learned behavior.

Len
do you have your range of motion back?weiwentg
Dec 30, 2002 6:26 PM
I'm lucky and I do seem to have mine back already. as an added bonus, I can now crack my shoulder (ie, in the same manner as one would crack a knuckle, which bursts the nitrogen bubbles accumulated in the joint).
yeplonefrontranger
Dec 30, 2002 9:31 PM
Glad to hear you've mended well too. My range of motion was never really much of a problem. I could put my arm fully over my head at 21 days, and I could link my hands behind my back and stretch both shoulders fully at about 6 weeks. Where the AC separation and subsequent beginnings of "frozen shoulder" began to manifest was probably about 8 weeks after the crash. I noticed that I was beginning to get numbness and stiffness in the shoulder, and pain in the surrounding muscles. It got somewhat worse until I started lifting in the gym, at which point my personal trainer (also my teammate) noticed a distinct "catch" in my rotator cuff when doing any overhead work. She immediately cancelled the overhead lifting and put me on theraband PT. I've always had some shoulder stiffness when riding - partly it's the way I ride, partly chronic carpal tunnel / keyboard jockey issues. This meant the rotator cuff problem was kind of hard to isolate until my trainer diagnosed it. With therapy, the catch and stiffness has gradually been improving over the last 2 months, and I actually have less shoulder trouble on long rides now than I did prior to the injury - the ab and core work in the gym has definitely done its job there.