T Nation

Separated Shoulder Anyone?

I separated my shoulder almost 4 weeks ago in a mountain biking accident. It’s a grade 2-3, could have been worse. Was in a sling for 2 1/2 weeks, no surgery required, just a lovely bump on my shoulder permanently.

Anyone who’s been through the same have any feedback regarding any lifting problems (or not hopefully) for the future?

How similar are seperated and dislocated shoulders? Mine dislocated while mountain biking, but its more of a repeated thing.

I just stay away from benching for a while and I’m usually ok until I do something else to pull it out of socket. I think it would be better to have surgery done, but the idea just scares me.

What did your doctor recommend?

I had a 2-3 AC joint degree separation over a decade ago. There is still a deformity. You can see the arm “hang” a little lower than the shoulder.

Now, after several years, this finally went away. You couldn’t tell. Then I started doing oly-lifts. It “pulled” something down or something. But it functions fine.

I cannot bench press, and the most I could bench press before my shoulder would go nuts was around 220 pounds. I have no troubles doing overhead pressing or dips.

But it’s easy to re-injure. So it’s something you’ll need to be mindful of for the rest of your training life.

I had a grade 5 A/C joint seperation; completely tore the trapezius off the bone. (I was snowboarding. Hit a jump in the early morning hours. The area behind the jump was shaded from the sun and not thawed out…that’s read “ice”. When I landed, my feet came out from under me and I fell on my left side) This was in Dec '98. They told me I may not regain full mobilty and may not be able to extend my arm overhead. I’m happy to say I had a good surgeon and I do have full mobility. I was in a mobilizing sling for about 6 weeks afterward to allow the tendons and ligaments to reattach. No real issues to date, although I can’t touch the BB to my chest on incline press, and usually don’t for flat BB press either, as it puts a lot of stress on the shoulder joint.

I had a shoulder injury in March of 2002 that went undiagnosed, but it fit the symptoms of a separation to a T. I can’t tell what grade it was or anything, but it did not require surgery.

It took about four weeks before I could do anything other than let my arm hang at my side.

After about eight weeks, I was around 60%.

It took about six months before it was back around 95%.

As for long-term effects, it hasn’t affected my bench pressing much at all, but I’m still a little iffy whenever I do overhead pressing.

I’m okay as long as I don’t do very high volume or very high weight, and if I don’t bring the weight any lower than my chin or lock it out at the top.

I know that sounds pretty restrictive, but it’s really not. If that’s the worst injury I ever get, I’ll count myself lucky.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
I had a 2-3 AC joint degree separation over a decade ago. There is still a deformity. You can see the arm “hang” a little lower than the shoulder.

Now, after several years, this finally went away. You couldn’t tell. Then I started doing oly-lifts. It “pulled” something down or something. But it functions fine.

I cannot bench press, and the most I could bench press before my shoulder would go nuts was around 220 pounds. I have no troubles doing overhead pressing or dips.

But it’s easy to re-injure. So it’s something you’ll need to be mindful of for the rest of your training life.[/quote]


Yeah, the Doc says fuction won’t be a problem once it’s healed, but the bump is permanent as the clavicle is in that postion for good. He mentioned you can have surgery to push the clavicle down a little, but it’s not necessary for fuction, it’s just for hiding the bump.

I can see what you mean about your benching. While it’s healing right now, any pushing movements are still painful, pulling fells ok. Picking up my kids is not fun either. I’m glad you mention no problems with overhead presses, I thought they might be a problem down the road.

Thanks for the input, much appreciated.

[quote]whosyobobby wrote:
I had a grade 5 A/C joint seperation; completely tore the trapezius off the bone. (I was snowboarding. Hit a jump in the early morning hours. The area behind the jump was shaded from the sun and not thawed out…that’s read “ice”. When I landed, my feet came out from under me and I fell on my left side) This was in Dec '98. They told me I may not regain full mobilty and may not be able to extend my arm overhead. I’m happy to say I had a good surgeon and I do have full mobility.

I was in a mobilizing sling for about 6 weeks afterward to allow the tendons and ligaments to reattach. No real issues to date, although I can’t touch the BB to my chest on incline press, and usually don’t for flat BB press either, as it puts a lot of stress on the shoulder joint. [/quote]


Grade 5, Ouch! Your’s was much more serious, I feel for ya! Glad you had a good surgeon.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
How similar are seperated and dislocated shoulders? Mine dislocated while mountain biking, but its more of a repeated thing.

I just stay away from benching for a while and I’m usually ok until I do something else to pull it out of socket. I think it would be better to have surgery done, but the idea just scares me.

What did your doctor recommend?[/quote]

Thanks Airtruth. I believe a dislocation is more chronic, it can pop out in the future. With a separation, you basically need to re-tear the ligaments to separate it again.

[quote]tGunslinger wrote:
I had a shoulder injury in March of 2002 that went undiagnosed, but it fit the symptoms of a separation to a T. I can’t tell what grade it was or anything, but it did not require surgery.

It took about four weeks before I could do anything other than let my arm hang at my side.

After about eight weeks, I was around 60%.

It took about six months before it was back around 95%.

As for long-term effects, it hasn’t affected my bench pressing much at all, but I’m still a little iffy whenever I do overhead pressing.

I’m okay as long as I don’t do very high volume or very high weight, and if I don’t bring the weight any lower than my chin or lock it out at the top.

I know that sounds pretty restrictive, but it’s really not. If that’s the worst injury I ever get, I’ll count myself lucky.[/quote]

Sounds like a separation to me. In my case Doc says no weights for 10 weeks, then lighter when I resume. The doctor I saw has actually separated both of his shoulders, biking falls also.

[quote]Tom Highway wrote:
I separated my shoulder almost 4 weeks ago in a mountain biking accident. It’s a grade 2-3, could have been worse. Was in a sling for 2 1/2 weeks, no surgery required, just a lovely bump on my shoulder permanently.

Anyone who’s been through the same have any feedback regarding any lifting problems (or not hopefully) for the future?[/quote]

I separated my shoulder playing football. It was a grade 2, but very painful. I couldn’t lift my arm at all and I did not do any upper body lifts for about 8 weeks. I couldn’t even squat because the shoulder would be stretched too much in that position. It is the only major injury I have had and I have never had a problem since recovering. However, I always warm up, stretch, and perform rotator cuff exercises once a week. These have been very helpful in creating shoulder stability and reducing my shoulder injuries.

[quote]Tom Highway wrote:
whosyobobby wrote:
I had a grade 5 A/C joint seperation; completely tore the trapezius off the bone. (I was snowboarding. Hit a jump in the early morning hours. The area behind the jump was shaded from the sun and not thawed out…that’s read “ice”. When I landed, my feet came out from under me and I fell on my left side) This was in Dec '98. They told me I may not regain full mobilty and may not be able to extend my arm overhead. I’m happy to say I had a good surgeon and I do have full mobility.

I was in a mobilizing sling for about 6 weeks afterward to allow the tendons and ligaments to reattach. No real issues to date, although I can’t touch the BB to my chest on incline press, and usually don’t for flat BB press either, as it puts a lot of stress on the shoulder joint.


Grade 5, Ouch! Your’s was much more serious, I feel for ya! Glad you had a good surgeon.
[/quote]
Yeah, my entire shoulder socket and all was hanging there about 2" below the other. There wasn’t anything to hold the shoulder in place. To make it worse, I had to ride a bus for about 12 hours after the injury to get ot the hospital, and then fly from Germany to the US for the surgery, which I didn’t have until over a week later. I think they had given me darvaset (sp) to hold me over.