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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am now 14 months post AC joint separation and am continuously having issues. I have posted in the AC separation thread, but am looking for specific info from those who have had the surgery.

I would like to know if it was worth it and what complications you may have now. It seems like the Weaver-Dunn is the primary procedure to fix this, but if your was something else please tell.

My biggest hesitation on scheduling it is ending up back to my current state. Grade 3 is like 50/50, but with the chronic pain issues I have it looks like surgery is the best option.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I'm about 14 weeks post injury, went to PT, did the exercises and am having reconstruction surgery a week from today. Mine didn't heal, it happens, I can't live with it the way it is. At least this way, I know it will get better.
c
 

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I had what is called anatomically correct AC reconstruction. It takes a while to recover from, but it provides the same level of strength as before. Another name is tight rope. It is one of the strongest repairs. Strength of the repair is only until your own ligaments grow back over the implanted ligaments. I would not hesitate for a second to have it done again, but only by the doctor who originally performed the first surgery.

1) Do everything they tell you. Rehab etc.
2) Do not push yourself to soon. Allow your joint to heal.

I am a year out and have full range of motion and am weight training to gain full strength. I raced in Tour of White Mountains in Oct at 7 months. Just completed 24 hours of Old Pueblo.
 

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I'm not sure what they call the procedure that they are doing to me, but it sounds like the same as your Sonoran_Flyer. They will be grafting 3 ligaments, 2 across (or through) the clavicle and one at the end of it.
The toughest part of this right now is the anxiety of having the interscalene block and knowing that I won't be completely out while they do this. Doctors says it's about an hour and half procedure and I'll be home by noon Monday after the surgery.
How long before you were riding? I want to give it time to heal, but am curious if I'll be able to ride road or dirt roads soon. The thought of spending our free time this summer laying on a beach is killing me, I need to ride, it's already been over 3 months-longest time off a bike since I was 5yrs old (I'll be 50 in April).
c
 

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I have positive things to say

My surgery was in the summer of 2008.
The injury was from a jump in Pacifica, and the surgeon rated it as being between a class 2 and 3. It was my choice to proceed with the operation, and I did it partly in vain because I didn't like the way my clavicle made a huge bump. I also had this naive blind faith in modern medicine, thinking I would be put back together good as new so to speak.

The procedure was a kind of a modified weaver-dunn. They drilled a hole in the clavicle and one in the scapula, and then inserted an "AC Graftrope" built with cadaver ligaments. There is an animation of the procedure on this page at the top right.

I can't exactly recall the recovery time, but I had to wait about three months between the injury and the surgery. My best guess is it was maybe 4 months b4 road bike and then another 2 months before mountain bike following the surgery

I'm thrilled to say that I can ride without pain!! I do long road rides on a racing bike with pro geometry (think lots of weight on the arms and shoulders) for hours at a time and everything is fine. I also still do freeride, downhill and ride a sport bike regularly. Throwing a baseball isn't a problem either. Occasionally it feels stiff when I keep my arm supported on an armrest (or desk) at an elevated level, and I need to return my arm to my side.

The bigger downside (depending on how you look at it) is that I have to go to the gym regularly. If I stop working out (or doing pushups) for more than a month then some minor discomfort sets in. I'm guessing it would get worse if I let the muscles weaken but no reason to test that. And if I'm lifting heavy weight I feel it too - but that seems to make me stronger such that the next time I can lift the same amount w/o pain. This was also experienced during rehab - each time I would feel more pain but only because I was pushing it hard. For reference I'm 30yo, 6ft, 170lb (160 b4 injury and regular gym). I guess the upside to this is I built more muscle mass and generally feel healthier.

So yeah, I feel happy with my decision. Based on conversations with my surgeon he would have pushed me for the surgery if I was a full class 3 as you are.

I know what all of you are going through, and it totally sucks. My hopes are that you are able to heal up soon and get back to life with minimal pain. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.
 

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I had surgery year ago in February. In a sling for six weeks doing ROM exercises.
Next six weeks was physical therapy. I was officially released by the doctor after physical therapy.

I waited until 3 months to ride (May). Started out on rode, dirt roads, and bike paths with short rides; nothing more than 10 miles.

Did not ride dirt until 6 months,(August) tried just to do moderate rides nothing to rough.

Eight months out rode in first endurance race.(October)

During this whole time I was still doing dumb-bell exercises for rotator-cuff.
 

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Like quinndo said... it is important to keep it moving to avoid pain and stiffness.

I had a Grade 2+ that still causes me some discomfort (mostly a day or two after significant MTB activity). The doc's were amazed that I didn't break my clavicle or have a concussion when I got an MRI after endo slammage to the max that destroyed my helmet.

I started messing with hand held weights right away and kept working my arm to get full range of motion back. I went on a trail ride 6 days after. It took ~6 months before I could pull the front end off the ground or ride through rough stuff without significant pain.

Typically my clavicle aches more than anything else with popping and creaking at the synovial joint on my right side where it meets the chest wall. I've got the telltale big knot on my shoulder- doesn't hurt there very often.

I recently went snowboarding for the first time since I busted my shoulder up and was concerned about irritating it. No problem at all- felt like $1M.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sonoran Flyer, you mentioned tightrope procedure in your initial reply. From what I have found so far, the tightrope is a device used to augment the Weaver-Dunn. Was this the case for your surgery or was it tightrope only?
 

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Was not a Weaver Dunn.

http://arthromed.org/pdf/shoulderelbow/Brochures
/The%20NextGenerationinShoulderRepairTechnology.pdf

Look at page 10 right bottom corner AR2258. This or something vary similar was implanted in my shoulder. I saw the coracoid button on top and an endo button underneath in an x-ray 2 weeks after my surgery. Anatomically correct refers to the spacing of the holes where the grafts are placed. Same location as the original tendons, and distance separating the bones.

Good luck and heal well !!
 

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My situation was a bit different. I had only a grade I separation, BUT I had arthritic changes in the AC joint as well. I went the resting route and it did no good. Cortisone injections provided temporary relief. Pain woke me up repeatedly at night. Not fun...

So I ended up with a modified Mumford procedure where they cut 10-20mm off the end of the clavicle where it meets up at the AC joint. It got rid of the pain because there was no more bone on bone grinding.

PT is vital and it was 3 months before I could go back to easy trials riding (motorcycle).

Good luck if you proceed with surgery!!
 

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whew. Got through the Percocet withdrawals!

First post op visit today and got photos of the inside of my shoulder. Cool metal disc and some screws to hold the new ligaments in, what looks like metal fishing leader material tying up the cartilage damage and a bruise from the dislocation (the Doctor confirmed during the surgery that in addition to the separation, I also had dislocated the humerus (which we reset on the trail).

I start PT this week, but have to take it easy for another 3 weeks. This is getting old quick!

Be careful out there.

c
 
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