Shoulder update

First, thank you so much to Mel who has kindly loaned me her copy of Dean Karnazes’ book 50/50. I have heard nothing but great reviews and can’t wait to crack it open this afternoon.

I saw the specialist yesterday morning. After some poking and prodding and another series of x-rays, the diagnosis is a Grade III Separation. The images below illustrate a healthy shoulder compared to this type of separation of the AC joint.

Grade III – A complete separation of the joint. The acromioclavicular ligament, the coracoclavicular ligaments, and the capsule surrounding the joint are torn. Usually, the displacement is obvious on clinical exam. Without any ligament support, the shoulder falls under the weight of the arm and the clavicle is pushed up, causing a bump on the shoulder.


In my case, one of the coracoclavicular ligaments was able to hold so the separation is not quite complete. Still, doc measured a 6mm (non weight bearing) separation. Just looking at the x-rays made me cringe. Ever notice how an injury hurts more when you know what it is?

The prognosis is several weeks of rest. Surgery is optional but not required. It should heal naturally and completely with just a permanent bump on my shoulder to remind me of this unfortunate incident.

I will continue wearing the sling for comfort and can use my judgment and remove it when I feel ready. In the mean time, I have to take it off at least 4 times per day to perform light mobility exercises.

I will see the doc again in three weeks, at which point I can begin physiotherapy. He expects significant improvement before that time and I hope he is right.

Next week I will go back to work on ‘light duty’ and I also hope to start incorporating exercise back into my life. I’ll use the bike and treadmill to keep my fitness up as much as possible. At this point I have no idea when I’ll be able to run again. It’s disappointing because I have really been enjoying my clinic and was looking forward to some great races this spring. I will just have to let myself heal and take it a day at a time.


26 thoughts on “Shoulder update

  1. Oh god, that looks terrible! I’m glad that you’re going to be able to take it easy and let it heal a bit.We’re rooting for you and we’ll continue to run miles for you. You’ll be back on the streets in no time.Enjoy the book. Also, Bart Yasso’s book was excellent!

  2. enjoy the book, and sorry for the delay with Terron’s sudden interest LOL. Ya, i know what you mean feeling worse when you see it… sorry about the running and spring races, hopefully you’ll heal quickly so that you can get back on the road soon! Hang in there. šŸ™‚

  3. The pictures make it look painful! Ouch! I hope you heal quickly. I know once you can run again, you will get right back into it – you have the motivation and the talent!

  4. That hurt me just looking at the photos.I hope you are able to get back to your routine soon.Sometimes one day at a time is all we can doBest wishes on a speedy recovery

  5. ow that pic looks painful! i imagine no-surgery will help with a quicker recovery so that’s good. get your rest, take it easy, and we’ll keep logging miles for you until you make your comeback! so, get well soon because i don’t want to be pulling all the weight here on 20 mile runs šŸ˜‰ kidding kidding. GET WELL!

  6. I’m glad you’ve been seen and now have a diagnosis-follow the advice, rest up and try to enjoy the time off running with a view that your body is recharging and getting ready for the next training regimen.

  7. You will love 50/50…. the picture of the separation is nasty! I hope you’re not in too much pain. Seriously ,what a bad luck…. the bike should be fine. Missing running will only make you come back stronger and more motivated!

  8. Glad to see that you are moving closer to healing fully. You might actually be able to start running after about 6 weeks–but with the sling. When I was at the Toronto marathon/half last Sept., my friend who came with me had a broken collar bone and was wearing a sling. She managed to walk most of the race and throw in a minute or two of running per mile–at 4 weeks out. I’m sure you will have good luck being able to get back to it soon!

  9. Just catching up, and am very sad to read this news. Get well and you’ll be out there with us during the beautiful spring and summer running season..

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