General Discussion Triathlon Talk » AC separation update Rss Feed  
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2012-08-02 10:08 PM

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Eat Cheese or Die
Subject: AC separation update
I've posted in other threads about my experience with ac joint separation do I thought I would update the BT community with the latest developments.

First, a little background. I suffered a grade 3 separation of my left shoulder in September of 2007, the result if a mountain bike crash where i fell from about 6 feet up, landing sqaurely on my shoulder against a log. Because of a missed diagnosis and moving from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin with an 8 week layover in Tennessee it was 12 weeks post injury before it was officially diagnosed. By that time I had self diagnosed and used the rehab protocol from the grade 2 separation I suffered of my right shoulder. I was riding and swimming so my orthopedic doctor said to just keep going. I got on with no major issues for a few years.

By 2010 I found that I had to keep my swimming yardage under 6000 yards a week or I would have more irritation in my shoulder than I wanted to deal with. In the summer of 2010 I was getting pain with any more than 400 or 500 yards. I went to a new doctor who is a sports med orthopedic surgeon known for his work on shoulders. We discussed surgery, but eventually I figured out that I was not getting my new wetsuit on correctly so surgery went off the table. It should be noted that during the summers I swam almost exclusively in open water so the wetsuit issue set me back quite a bit. Even with limited training I swam a relaxed 1:25 at IMWI without shoulder pain.

After IM that year I burned out on triathlon and went back to focusing almost exclusively on cycling.

This summer I started swimming and running again and wasn't having any issues. Then, in June had a relatively minor fall while mountain biking, landing on my left shoulder. I had some pain in my shoulder, but nothing that was concerning.

Over the next few days the joint started subluxing without warning. Subluxation is when a joint becomes dislocated but slips back into place on its own. Usually within a second. It hurts. The first time was when I held out my phone to hand to my wife. It put me on the floor in pain. The second time was while riding over train tracks. I almost crash. It's become an almost daily event. I've also found that I can't ride, swim or do pretty anything requiring load bearing or repetitive motion with my left arm.

I went back to my orthopedic guy and after a thorough examination he determined that I tore the muscle fascia in the area of the AC joint making it a grade 5 separation. Because I had completely severed the ligaments in the ac joint, my muscles were having to do all the stabilization of this joint. Tearing the muscle fascia has caused the joint to become completely unstable. I've been off the bike since July 1st. I had stopped swimming prior to that. Surgery is scheduled for October 11th. It'll be 3 more months off the bike after surgery, not sure about swimming. I'll let you all know how the surgery goes.

2012-08-13 11:15 PM
in reply to: #4344698

Subject: RE: AC separation update
Oh mannn!  that stinks.  Sorry to hear of your injury.  I had a grade 3 tear going over the bars of my mountain bike.  It was the grace of God I'm not a quadraplegic - cracked my hemet in 2 places.  Be praying for you. 
2012-09-07 6:30 PM
in reply to: #4344698


Subject: RE: AC separation update

Was taken out by another bike at IML 3rd degree AC seperation with 2 broken ribs. Been 2 weeks was back in the pool for the first time today. Did very easy 500, hurt a little bit then did 1000 yards of kick. Plan on running this weekend.


2012-09-07 6:51 PM
in reply to: #4344698

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Subject: RE: AC separation update

I have been dealing with an ac separation myself dince Aug. 1st so I feel your pain 

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