Type 3 AC Joint Separation - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Type 3 AC Joint Separation



While trying to improve my board slides on a flat round rail I leaned to far forward and from what I remember (happened in a flash) my front edge dug in and sent me flying to the ground ahead of me. The end result was a type 3 ac tear .

after quick use of the search tool this appears to be a somewhat common injury and i'm hoping to recover soon enough to ride again in march.

Good news for me being a student at a D1 university with the schools health insurance is access to damn near free PT.

In any case I'm meeting with the schools ortho surgeon to determine where I stand. It looks like most went without surgery, and i'm hoping I'll be the same.

requesting some + vibes or any personal experiences with similar injury's.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ouch !

Get well soon and make sure you kill it with the PT.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MarshallV82 View Post
Ouch !

Get well soon and make sure you kill it with the PT.
Yeah it killed for the first few days, but now that i'm just over a week out most of the pain is gone. After my meeting with ortho on Thursday, everything should start rolling.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I did the same, it's not that big of a deal if you exercise a lot. All my exercises involves shoulder stability too. Not the end of the world. I've had a few friends who had surgery for it and well... the screw popped out for all of them. So no thanks
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jml22 View Post
I did the same, it's not that big of a deal if you exercise a lot. All my exercises involves shoulder stability too. Not the end of the world. I've had a few friends who had surgery for it and well... the screw popped out for all of them. So no thanks
The screw popping out sounds awful. Do you have a permanent lump, and if so does it get in the way of your range of motion?
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, mine isn't that bad though. ROM is fine, itll pop and click here and there but whatever.
You really have to do functional rehab with it. It's never going to be 100% but you can get to the point where you're confident with it in anything.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a grade 4 ac joint separation around this time last year, fully tore all the ligaments. I'm about a year out now and everything went well. The surgery aspect sucked for a while but it wasn't as bad as my knee surgery. I was able to go back and ride for the last day of the season and it's been fine ever since.

You'll definitely have to work at rehabing it either way, so be diligent about that.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had labral surgery on my other shoulder
Sucked balls, stupid ass surgery.
You can fix the impingement syndrome and labral stuff without surgery. Damn surgeon talked me into that one
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default 7 week update

I'm giving a 7 week update for anyone who might search for info on this injury.

As per my own decision after being diagnosed with a type III separation, I waited about until I was strong enough and started PT. The therapists were great at stretching me out and trying to improve range of motion, but it was clear on their faces they did not see a positive outlook judging by how displaced my collar bone was. We hit a stale area where I did not feel pain day to day, and looked like a normal individual to anyone who was unaware of my injury. As the point I still had only about 60% range of motion. I told my surgeon (Dr. Anikar Chhabra) how i was feeling and we went ahead operate yesterday on 2/14/14.

The planned procedure was the twin tail tightrope that basically uses #5 fiber wire to mimic your natural ligaments. Upon arriving at surgery I the doctor told me that if he found a need to strengthen the wires he would use either cadaver tendons or parts of my hamstring, and I opted for cadaver tendons. I was also told that he no longer wanted to use a never block since an immediate post op check required me to be able to move my arm. I agreed since a never block requires a long needle to the neck and i'm just not with that. After signing all the paper work the nurse gave me a lidocane shot to number the area where the IV was inserted making that process easy and pain free. Soon after the anesthesiologist came and walked me through the drug process and I was asleep. I woke up with pain similar if not more than that of the accident, nausea, and unable to move my body. This wore off within a few hours.

I was discharged right away and began cold therapy using the provide DonJon Iceman clear cold unit (best thing since sliced bread) and relaxed on my reclining portion of my living room sectional. The pain slowly went away with drug use to about a 4 on the 1-10 scale. Current drugs are percocet, 800 mg ibuprofen, a stool softener, and nausea medication. Taking 1 percocet every 4-6 hours has me feeling comfortable.

I emailed the doc once I was thinking clearly and he called me within the hour to tell me how everything went. I was told that the original diagnosis of type III (done by comparing the xray of the damaged side to the good side) was incorrect and that I was closer to the type V border, thus I should of had surgery sooner. The surgery lasted for an hour and 15 minutes and no tendons were used. I'm told that I should be off the meds in the next 3-5 days and will start a video journal and post here once i'm done and at that point.

Now that the surgery is complete my road to recovery is set at 6 week sling, 6 mo mark should be full range of motion, 1 year mark fully healed. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

ps forgive me on the grammar and spelling, i'm currently drugged up and some errors are expected. Happy riding and here is a little clip I made of my last trip out on 2.9.14 trying to teach my gf to ride. also its only 15 seconds since it was for instagram


Last edited by bmaniga; 02-15-2014 at 10:34 AM. Reason: youtube embed
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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On Jan 10th (5 days before my damn birthday), caught my toe edge while charging on a black diamond trail, did a great Superman impression through the air, tucked, rolled and landed all 220lbs of me on my right shoulder. Heard a "crunch" and knew I was in trouble. Oddly didn't feel any pain unless i tried to move my shoulder...everyone was shocked and had that "this dude is tough" look on their face. I just figure it was adrenaline and shock and when that wore off (and it did) I was gonna feel all types of pain. End result a Type 2 AC joint separation.

No surgery required. Had to take 2 weeks off work and I'm at physiotherapy twice a week. We work on strengthening the muscles in the shoulder, traps and shoulder blade area. Its been nearly 5 weeks since this happened and i can pretty much do all the basic things we take for granted. When this started, putting on deodorant was the hardest thing to do. Shoulder still lacks stability in the joint but I'm hoping to get back out in about another 3 weeks. I have a trip to Whistler already booked and I've told my therapist that not going is not an option. I figure I'll just take it easy and cruise...no hard charging or park play.

If anything this injury has made me realize how much I love snowboarding. Really miss just being out with the team and having fun. Also made me realize that the best thing I can do is get in better shape to handle injuries.

Side Note...2 years ago I broke my baby toe and that hurt a lot worse than this shoulder separation. Go figure.
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