Separated Shoulder, how long to heal?

MN KDXer

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#1
Last Sept, I took a nasty cartwheel, and ended up with a #1 or #2 (out of 4) shoulder separation.  I've been doing the rubber band-on-the-door-handle number, as well as lifting free weights within the painfree movements.  The Quack-a-practor gave me a clean bill of shoulder health over two months ago.

Here's the Q-  It's been getting slowly better, but I just went downhill skiing, and WOW, did that thing hurt the next 5 days!  Just how darn long do these take to heal?  Any suggestions to speed recovery?  Spring is coming, and I need to get mended! (btw-  Those are not 12oz weights I've been lifting.  


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Vet A Enduro & Hare Scrambles Rider
Hey, I USED to be fast!
 
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#2
That's sounds a lot like what happened to my dad sometime last year. He went to the doctor and everything and its better but it still hurts him everyonce in a while I don't know if his just didn't heal right or if it is one of those injuries that can hurt the rest of your life. Sorry I don't know how long it will take to completely heal or how to speed up the healing.

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Matt
     '93 XR250L
     '99 XR200R
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oldguy

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#3
I had a similar separation altho in the process also ripped rotator cuff in 4 places.  I tried rehabbing until ski season and tore 1 new spot so went in for surgury.  Took about 3 weeks til I could use it limited then another month til I was able to go back to normal rotation.  # months later it was really worth it and I am now looking at redoing the other one from old football/skiing injuries.  
Have a sports dr look at you for tears in the cuff, often the rehabs will only compensate and not repair or eliminate the ongoing pain
goodluck
 
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#4
I suffered a total separation of my shoulder back in '88.  I think that is considered a 4th degree separation.  Anyway, I had reconstructive surgery a couple of days after the injury.  I had a pin in the shoulder for a little over a month and then another operation to remove it.  I had to keep the shoulder/arm immobilized for about 3-4 months with the exception of occassionaly hanging my arm straight down and doing small rotations.  Amazingly, when the doctor felt I was healed enough to start exercising it he didn't put me through PT.  He felt I was in such good shape before the injury that I could do it myself.  I sometimes question that decision.  The hardest thing I found was breaking the adhesions that formed from the lack of movement.  The key is getting your full range of motion back and increasing the strength to more than it was before the injury.  You will be more susceptible to injury from this day forward.  I can tell you my shoulder has never been completely normal and sometimes feels like it has popped in/out of joint.  It took me about two years before it felt somewhat normal and I didn't think about it.  I suggest going to some physical therapy and getting a set of exercises to perform.

P.S.  It was pretty wild seeing the x-rays of my separation.  I had 4-5 inch gaps between the bones in my shoulder that came apart and also between my arm and shoulder.  My arm was literally hanging by a thread.

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Darrell
Upper Marlboro, MD
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wardy

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#5
A bud of mine seperated his shoulder thanksgiving, no surgeroy but he still hasn't gone back to work yet, i think he is going monday. Lots of idle time and now is doing excercise's to get movment back.

I seperated my shoulder very slightly like three years ago, you know where you can see that little bump on the top of the shoulder. Anyway it took liked a year for the nagging little pain to go away totally, good luck shoulders i think can be more of a pain than knees sometimes

wardy
 

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#6
Thanks for the replies, guys.  

Some of those injuries sound mighty painful.   I'm planning to speak with the C-practor again; he seems like a pretty knowledgeable guy about sports injuries.  I'm not sure if I re-injured it while skiing or just overworked it, but I'll find out.


If nothing else, my plan for the summer- a big honkin' bottle of Advil!!  


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Vet A Enduro & Hare Scrambles Rider
Hey, I USED to be fast!
 
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#7
MNKDXer, Ibuprofen is my favorite thing before just about every ride.  I've had prescriptions for 800mg, so that's usually what I take for over the counter (Advil, Motrin, etc.).  My brother works for the FDA and knows the scientist that dealt with Ibuprofen.  He says you can safely take up to 1000mg, but make sure you eat some food or drink some milk with it.  Also, don't make it a regular habit (can cause bleeding ulcers).  The thing that I like about ibuprofen is that it is an anti-inflamatory plus a pain killer.  Where as things like Tylenol just work on the pain and do nothing for inflamation.

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Darrell
Upper Marlboro, MD
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#8
I too separated my shoulder last summer riding my beloved KDX.  Mine was a full separation but did not require pins or surgery, but it took me a full 3 months before I was riding again.  It took that long before i was pain free, and about a month longer before I had FULL range of motion again.  Something I never hope to experience again.
Best of luck in getting back to riding.
 
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#9
I had the same type injury as wardy. Mine was a #2 separation of the clavical joint. It took about six months for the pain and numbness to subside. It's been over two years now and at best I've got 95% of normal function. Good luck with your recovery.
 

Tennessee Thumper

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#10
I had the same injury and it did take a while to heal completely but i did go through some rehab on it and they had me to lay on a bed and hang the injured arm(of shoulder injury)off the bed and i would bring the weight outwards till the hand is sticking straight out from your body  and I did this twice a day 3 sets each time and about 12-15 reps also I did standing lateral raise arms to the side and raise the hand a little higher than your shoulder height this and stretching the shoulder did seem to strengthen it faster than not doing it.Like someone else already mentioned lots of ibuprofen and time.Oh yeah ice pacs and then heat pads do one for 10 minutes and then do the other for 10 minutes that really loosened my shoulder up a lot.Maybe this can help some I know how it feels it does take some time im 31 so my body doesnt heal like it used to.one last thing that really helped me was a cortizone shot that thing would make my shoulder feel like new for a few weeks but that sucker hurts going in.Good luck with it.
 
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#11
i have no idea how a dislocated shoulder compares to a seperated shoulder, but it my dislocated one 3 weeks before i could lift more than a spoon.
it took about another 2-3 weeks before i could lift 10lbs.  it is pretty slow going, especially the older you are.

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Steve Unruh - V29 TCHSS
98yz250, 81yz125, 77yz80
 

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#12
Everybody-  thanks for all the pointers!

C-practor says that I re-injured it a little with the ski ordeal, because he thinks the bone is sticking up a little higher than before.  He says I should take it e-z for the next week or so, ice-heat-ibuprofen it, LIGHTLY excercise, and, of course, come back for an appointment next Monday.  


I'm also planning to go see a shoulder specialist to get a medical doctor opinion.

My big concerns right now is not to injure the joint any worse, and hopefully get back in tune for the summer.  I'm almost 39, so the healing is not so fast these days.

Steve-  A separated shoulder is when the ligament connecting across the shoulder blade to the collar bone (out close to the shoulder socket), gets stretched or torn.  Class 1 is a minor tear, class 4 is a full rip in half.  A dislocation is when the socket gets popped out of the socket.  Neither is fun, both hurt like #%&!!

btw-  Doesn't it sound like we're all a bunch of old wrecks!  
  

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Vet A Enduro & Hare Scrambles Rider
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#13
   Took a bad fall...found my shoulder under my peck and just about sh.. my pants.  Im 28 and have worked hard to get it back to normal.  Its all about how it feels when you're working the shoulder out.  I take it as hard as I can when it comes to my shoulder.  Don't over do it is all that I am saying... it took me 2 months to get back in racing shape.  Feel for ya dude.  
 
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#14
I seperated my shoulder (which is a level three) that is where the tendions are not connected to the clavacal,no surgery was done at the time of the accident. Due to the surgery done to my femur that broke at the same time. The accident happen in Sept. And I am still not ready to start racing yet. I think I will be ready by the end of April. So I guess it depends on how severe the seperation is.

            WHEN IN DOUBT GAS IT
            TCHSS
 

WoodsRider

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#15
I don't mean to be an a$$, but why are you going to a chiropractor? They're not a real doctor. They don't go to medical school. They're nothing more than a glorified massage therapist. I can hear the negative comments already. Hell, my ex-girlfriend became a chiropractor, and she couldn't give neck rubs for $hit! Do yourself a favor and go see an orthopedic surgeon. I had chiropractors "adjust and align" my back for years. In 1994 I fractured four vertebrae in a skiing accident. The OS I saw didn't perform surgery, but he fitted me with a brace and put me through a strict physical-therapy regimen. Six years later my back fels better than it did 10 years ago.

WoodsRider