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  1. #1
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    Shoulder AC Separation

    I was diagnosed with a type 3 shoulder separation 2 weeks ago after a snowboarding accident. Basically the ligaments that connect my clavicle to the shoulder are torn. The doctor said I could go with or without surgery. I am really conflicted what to do. On one hand if something is broken, I feel like it should be fixed, but on the other not sure if surgery is necessary for a decent recovery. The ligaments obviously can't fuse back together without surgery. But now after 2 weeks my should feels pretty good, but I can definitely feel the loose bone move around a little when I reach in different directions. I have heard people being just fine without surgery.

    I am fairly active. Run, Bike, weight lift, snowboard, play guitar, racquetball, ect. Nothing super competitive though. I want to still be able to do these things.

    Anyone else suffer this injury. What did you do? How is the shoulder now?


    Last edited by ccyclonepower25; 02-24-2012 at 06:16 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    AC injury....no surgery....there are movements I am restricted in, but if you know your boundaries then it poses no problem.



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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    Did this in high school football a few years ago. Played through it and opted for no surgery but it still bothers me sometimes. Found out the following spring(It was still hurting long after they said it was supposed to) that I had also broken the bottom half of the bone off. Really painful.


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  4. #4
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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    Had a grade 1 separation, so no surgery for me, but it hurt terribly for many weeks afterward if I slept on it wrong or overexerted it. I can't imagine having a worse grade injury and not having surgery. I would fear that the pain would last a long time, but kudos to you if you can sack up and get through it.



  5. #5
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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    I had a subluxation of my right shoulder. Went to physical therapy and it got worse. It would come out of the socket when I reached into my closet for a shirt or out the back if I pushed through a revolving door. Had surgery in 1996. Mark Bowen, the Bears team ortho doctor did it. It's sound and probably better than my left shoulder as he said it would be. That said, it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced in my life. It was hell the two weeks following surgery. It's fixed and I couldn't live without it being fixed but it was awful. That probably doesn't help but that is the reality of shoulder surgery. Get used to wiping your *** and brushing your teeth with your opposite hand (if that's your case) - bleeding gums and dirty butt!



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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    Pop it back in and go get back on your snowboard.

    Signed
    Jake Knott



  7. #7
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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    If it is torn get it fixed.



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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    Ask your doctor? If it's going to cause problems for you later in life, or limit what you are able to do now to an extent, then I'd say go forward with the surgery.



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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    as a pt I've seen big surgical and non surgical cases of type three.

    I would personally choose nonsurgical. unless you are a very serious baseball player.



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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    by that I mean I would just hit a lot of rehab for a few weeks and then decide. I really would give it a nonsurgical chance though



  11. #11
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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    Did pretty much the exact same thing 3 years ago...tore the ligaments completely from my clavicle...specialist said that she could do surgery but the success rate for completely reattaching them wasn't that great so I went without surgery...but the specialist said i will get arthritis in it...

    No real problems...my shoulder now sits about 1/2-3/4" lower than it used to...a little bit of limitation as far as mobility along with a little pain now and then but that's only when I try and put it in awkward positions...

    I can still do everything I used to...golf, flag football, running, etc...with just some minor pain now and then...



  12. #12
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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    Mine was torn. I did rehab and now that I lift properly I have no issues. Other than not being able to lay my forearm back by head when lying on my back. But I dislocated this thing a couple times and just put it back on my own. Same with my pinky, and it will never be straight again. So I'm probably not the best to give advice.



  13. #13
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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    Had a grade 3 slap tear (not same as a/c, but shoulder) a couple years ago. Tried to rehab it for a couple months, and got a lot of motion back and a lot of strength back. But after about 7 weeks I couldn't do some daily activities so I went in for surgery and am glad I did. If I had gone the surgery route right away, it would have been open, in an immobilizer sling for 8-10 weeks, and probably facing almost a full year to get back to full strength.

    Instead I had an arthroscopic procedure, was out of a regular sling in 4 days, and back to full strength within a few weeks. I have absolutely zero pain and 100% mobility. I rock climb, ice climb, mountain bike, ski, snowboard, play rec league softball, canoe, kayak, everything strenuous outdoorsy that you could imagine. No problem.

    I'd recommend rehab first. I couldn't do basic daily things, and it was my dominant arm, so I went in to get fixed what rehab couldn't. They cleaned up a couple bone spurs and shaved off a few 'fibers' of the labrum that were catching on the bone -- things rehab couldn't fix. Glad I did it, but surgery isn't always necessary. I just felt it was for me after rehab.



  14. #14
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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    I've dislocated my shoulder after falling on it wrong during a slow-pitch softball game. It pops out without much trouble, it's starting to become a mental thing to wonder when it will pop out and what I might be doing when it does. Actually popped it out somehow while sleeping (that was a new low) about a month ago.

    Tried the PT route without much success. Really resisting doing surgery, but at some point I'm going to get tired of it popping out so easily. The other half is I hated PT the first go round, really not looking forward to post-surgery PT.



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    Re: Shoulder AC Separation

    I know ankles aren't the same as shoulders, but I did a 3rd degree sprain on my right ankle the first day of lineman camp my senior year of high school. My parents took me to a FirstMed type of place (cheap bastards, even with very good insurance ). The doctor initially said I was going to need surgery, but 3 days later said I was going to be just fine. Should have gotten a second opinion - it took about a decade for the ankle to "heal normally", if that's what you want to call it. For years all it would take was the slightest unevenness in the sidewalk or the unexpected stone or divot on the ground and I was on the ground holding my ankle and swearing. I could also tell there was something structurally wrong because for years when I held both legs out my right ankle hung at an awkward inward angle compared to my left ankle, and to this day the ligaments in my right ankle don't look anything like my left, and I still have aching pain at times, particularly after high impact workouts. And it's still easy for me to unexpectedly roll my ankle. Should have gotten a second opinion with a doctor who knew what he was doing. Might have saved me more than a decade of problems and pain.

    The morale of the story - if you're not convinced of the advice your doctor is giving you one way or the other, get a second opinion.


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