Shoulder cycling injury

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Anonymous's picture

"Had a bike on bike crash on the GWB last Saturday after a delightful 55 mile club ride and now know, never take your eye off the road on this busy thoroughfare, even for two seconds. Ride had already dispersed so it was everyone for him/herself. Thanks though to Hal Eskenazi for staying with me to the Columbia ER and watching out for my Seven.

I'm left with a ""Type 3"" Acromioclavicular joint injury (torn ligaments in the attachment of the clavical to the shoulder) and a ""you decide"" recommendation from a good orthopedic surgeon as to surgery or no surgery. She in fact leans towards surgery because I am an active cycling.

Question: this is a common cycling injury. Anyone out there have any history of with this injury? Any recommendation of a sport medicine (especially cycling) specialist who might provide another opinion/perspective?


Anonymous's picture
el jefe (not verified)
I'm not a doctor

If the doctor is 'leaning towards it' and your insurance company will pay for the surgery, and you're willing to do all the rehab afterwards, have the surgery. Torn ligaments will never heal themselves.

Anonymous's picture
Peter "Banana Guy" Kouletsis (not verified)
As a frequent faller..

Recommend the surgery. I lost a ligament from my thumb last October. I would not be able to squeeze the brake lever had I not gone to surgery.

Anonymous's picture
onyourleft (not verified)
Fifth Degree Separation operation

"I suffered a 5th degree shoulder separation (all ligaments and tendons torn) in Feb. 2002 from what I thought was a very ""minor endo"" and after consideration (mostly because it just looked disgustingly malformed) I had the operation in August that year. I then learned 6 weeks later that the operation was not successful. So I had 6 months of major rehab and therapy after which I gained almost 99% full range of motion anyways. I can always have another attempt at surgery but I have elected not do so because of the the recovery involved and the inability for activity between operation and recovery. I went on to riding 3 consecutive tours of the Colorado Rockies each year (400 plus road miles in a week) and successfully conquered the Triple Bypass this year (120 miles/10,000 vertical in one day). I seldom experience any pain or even recognize that my right shoulder is not held in place correctly. I've been told that the only need for this operation is cosmetic and who knows what the future health of my shoulder will be, but 3 years after the ""incident"" I have accomplished way more in my cycling ability and am not the worse for wear. For example, I have put nearly 7,000 miles on just my road bike that I purchased only 14 months ago. In your decision for surgery, think about the time and inconvenience of being immobilized in addition to the recovery period and weigh it against the severity of the injury. From what I was told I can always have the surgery in the future so your decision can possibly wait."

Anonymous's picture
Matt P. (not verified)

"I suffered a Grade 3 AC separation last October when I was struck by a hit-and-run driver. I've had phys. therapy on and off for about six months. I've been advised by two doctors and two physical therapists not to have surgery. The recovery is supposed to be brutal. But I still have pain. Not weakness, necessarily, but pain when I stretch the wrong way or lift something incorrectly.

It does not, however, affect me during or after cycling.

I spoke to a PhD in exercise science the other day who also suffered an AC separation last year. He said it took him a year of diligent physcial therapy to get back to ""near normal."""

Anonymous's picture
jesse (not verified)
AC Separation

I have a type 2 AC separation that I got about 20 years ago playing racketball. Sugery wasn't recommended in my case. I recovered near but not full range of motion and don't find it necessary to restrict any physical activities. Type 3 seems to be the point where the surgery decision comes into play. Here's a usefull link that explains

Good luck with your recovery.

Anonymous's picture
barbara levitan (not verified)
A-C separation

"Had one myself 9 years ago (did an endo on 9W). Also grade 3, but nobody suggested surgery. the recovery and rehab were brutal and it took 2 go-rounds of PT to get full mobility back. I'm also left with a knob sticking out of the back of my shoulder where the clavicle ends in the wrong place. so i agree, go for the surgery.

for a subsequent shoulder injury (other shoulder, lucky me) i was operated on by Dr. Frank Cordasco at Special Surgery - (212) 606-1636. He's not a cyclist as far as I know but he's a runner/athlete who ""understands."" He was very strict about me staying off the bike while the repairs ""took"" but by doing so and being diligent with rehab my shoulder is tip-top. I think Frank's terrific."

Anonymous's picture
Matt P. (not verified)

I've seen Cordasco for my knee. He is a cyclist. He can occasionally be found riding around Central Park with his colleagues.

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