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Old 05-30-2014, 06:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Shoulder Injury

I thought I'd throw my hat in the injury ring along with some of the other old men on here.

I injured my right shoulder on Jan. 15 trying to 180 onto a box. Last run, of course. I had been progressing nicely since the start of the season.

I caught the front of the box with my edge and I slammed shoulder first onto the box. First thougtht was, I just ruined 2 planned trips to Colorado and second thought was, well at least I wipe my ass with my left hand. I thought I was done for the season. I've never heard my body make a noise like that. I couldn't move my arm at all and my shoulder was not where it used to be. I walked back up the hill (parking lot is at the top of the hill) and laid by my truck for a good 30 minutes. My truck is a manual and I was trying to figure out how I was going to drive home. I finally got in, placed my right hand on the gear shift, put it in 3rd and drove home slowly. Going up my drive, I needed to downshift into 2nd. I shifted and my shoulder relocated itself and I screamed like a little girl. Trying to get my tight base layer shirt off was absolute hell.

I went to the family dr. and he said I dislocated my shoulder, broke my collar bone and torn my AC joint. He sent me straight to an orthopedic surgeon.

The surgeon took an x-ray and did some movements to arm. Nothing broken, said I didn't dislocate it, and said I probably had some torn ligaments. Told me to take it easy for 2 weeks and come back if it wasn't significantly better (I wasn't going to argue with him about the dislocation).

2 weeks later (2 days before first Colorado trip), it was way better. I could finally put deodorant on myself, so I thought I was well on my way. I hadn't ridden my board any in that 2 weeks.

I went on my Colorado trip and it wasn't too bad. I did the Woodward at Copper and that was great except trying to get out of the foam pits with a bum shoulder.

My shoulder didn't really get any better after the 2 weeks. I continued to snowboard and run, but the pain was annoying (especially running with the constant pounding). I took my 2nd trip to the mountains the end of March and felt about the same.

Season was over for me at the end of March so I decided I had better go back to the surgeon to see what he thinks. He did an MRI and found I have a severly torn bicep tendon and a partially torn rotator cuff tendon. He said I could have surgery now or do occupational therapy for 4 weeks to see if that helped. Today was the last day of OT and if anything, it has gotten worse.

I go back to the surgeon on Wednesday. I'm assuming I'll be having the surgery to repair the tendons. The OT told me it will require my arm being in a sling for 6 weeks which sounds terrible at the moment.

I'm sure this is a common injury in snowboarding. Has anyone had this injury and/or surgery that could shed some light? I'm assuming surgery is the best option for a full recovery, but I can't really get anyone to say one way or another.

I wakeboard in the summer, so that will probably not happen this year, depending on how long I'm restricted after the surgery. I imagine they won't want me getting my arms yanked on by a boat any time soon.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do the surgery, you will be down for 4-6 months with rehab until your 90-95%. 100% will take a lot of work and by that time, if you rehab properly! you will be in overall better shape than you were to start.

We probably fix 6-7 of these a week here. The results are way better than when you just try to rehab.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argo View Post
Do the surgery, you will be down for 4-6 months with rehab until your 90-95%. 100% will take a lot of work and by that time, if you rehab properly! you will be in overall better shape than you were to start.

We probably fix 6-7 of these a week here. The results are way better than when you just try to rehab.
Ok. What can I expect to be able to do during the second half of the recovery? I'm 40 and have never had a major injury minus concussions. Somehow I've escaped relatively scotch free through all these years of snowboarding, mountain biking, motocross, football, baseball, etc. I realize a lot is up to the individual, but I'm a little concerned about quality of life for those 4-6 months. It won't affect my decision about surgery, just concerned as I am an active person and I do a lot of physical labor around the house that I'm sure will cease for quite a while.

Thanks for the response.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey
What kind of pain are you having and where abouts?
Unless it's a really bad ac sprain you don't necessarily need to have surgery. Good rehab Will fix most of it, most of the time. I say do the rehab first because it improves post surgical results.... and regardless you'll have to do rehab with a surgery.

Best to try what you have to do in the long run right now and you'll probably find the pain goes away.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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After the first 6-8 weeks of being immobile, you will be weak and lack full range of motion. The rehab after that will be to regain the range and strength lost while the BT and RC heel from surgery.

Typically you will not heel from this kind of injury on your own, the PT/OT is more to strengthen every thing around it and help you compensate for the injury. That injury will remain and it will pop up throughout your life, especially if you slack on working it out.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When someone says torn ligaments there are grades of tears
If he didn't separate his shoulder, if he didn't break anything, if he didn't dislocate it, they aren't completely torn and most likely healed by now. He needs mobility and strength not to loosen the ligaments up.

Trust me, they want to do surgery to do a subacromial decompression and scrape all the bursae and stuff away. They're not gentle in there and you'll have to do rehab and exercises anyways.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey
What kind of pain are you having and where abouts?
Unless it's a really bad ac sprain you don't necessarily need to have surgery. Good rehab Will fix most of it, most of the time. I say do the rehab first because it improves post surgical results.... and regardless you'll have to do rehab with a surgery.

Best to try what you have to do in the long run right now and you'll probably find the pain goes away.
I just finished 8 sessions of OT over 4 weeks and the pain has gotten worse. When I started rehab, the pain was about a 1 all the time and would go to a about a 3 during certain movements, especially behind my back and extended reaching. Now it is a 3 all the time, especially at night and is going up to a 5 or 6 during the same movements and my range has decreased since the start of therapy. The pain is deep in my joint and on my shoulder blade area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argo View Post
After the first 6-8 weeks of being immobile, you will be weak and lack full range of motion. The rehab after that will be to regain the range and strength lost while the BT and RC heel from surgery.

Typically you will not heel from this kind of injury on your own, the PT/OT is more to strengthen every thing around it and help you compensate for the injury. That injury will remain and it will pop up throughout your life, especially if you slack on working it out.
Thanks for the insight. The OT told me the same thing I think, just not explained as well as you just said. I was under the impression the therapy would heal the tendons, but she said only surgery will heal them. The therapy was only to help ease the pain, which obviously hasn't worked so far.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Popping clicking in your shoulder? is that popping and clicking painful?
Do what you want, i've been through two shoulder surgeries. Both now that i've learned we're completely pointless, as are most shoulder surgeries.
Unless something is ruptured, broken or (torn labrum), Surgery will just remove the inflamed areas that are causing the pain. The inflamed areas mean your body is trying to heal the area, they are not the problem.

Go see a PT certified in SFMA or FMS not an OT.
The whole point of rehab is to fix imbalances not compensate for an injury like you just said. That is a 30 year old model and is out of date. It does not belong in healthcare.
GO see someone competent.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, if that BT is pulled off at its insertion, we would drill an anchor into the bone and strap it down with a thick non absorbable stitch(cord). If it is torn in the middle we stitch it back together with the same kind of cord.... Typically we use a product called ethibond and it feels like a soft nylon cord..... That tendon is large and tight and won't just heel on its own.

RC will wear away more which helps pain go away eventually but you have a loose shoulder. With repair it will be tight and able to strengthen without pain or further dislocation as well as gain full range of motion. The cuff is basically a muscle group with four tendon attachment points that keep shit together. Getting it fixed is similar to the BT with smaller anchors or cord used for repairing.

I also agree with the PT, OT has their place but not in sports medicine.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The keys to my suggestion for surgery were you saying you have a "severly torn BT and a partially torn RC". That won't fix itself......

The facility I work at is a world renowned sports medicine center..... Both for surgical repair and rehabilitation.....
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