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Home Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Dislocated Shoulder?

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    So, I imagine many of you have had this happen. Happened to me in the terrain park the day after Christmas at Mt. Bachelor. So, I’m wondering how long it typically takes to heal, any recommended therapy/exercises, etc. I think I got off easy since I’ve got almost full range of motion at this point, though it still hurts in certain positions.

    And the fact that I was actually able to go boarding on New Years Eve (stupid though that may have been!) I figure is probably a good sign… 🙂


    go swimming at the pool unless it hurts to actually swim… start slowly with a few lengths separated by just kicking and work up from that

    it’ll do wonders and you might end up stronger in the end 🙂


    Did it come completely out? If so, you can count on it coming out again, prolly at very bad time, like when you’re solo 5 miles from the nearest human at 12k’ up Lundy Canyon, or something like that. I’ll show you how to put it back in. Fun fun.

    If it was bad, go to a rehab therapist. He’ll give you some specific exercises to target the weak spot in your shoulder. They usually involve big rubberband-like thingies instead of weights. Swimming sounds like a good all-round therapy.

    I would say that at this point the last thing you want is to pop it out again so soon. It could form a easy exit point in your cartilage/tendons, leading to a chronic conditon and eventual surgery. Be careful for 3-6 weeks.



    it can always happen again,
    so keep strong.
    train with dumbells for the rest of your life.
    I am serious, I had my first one when I was about 10 yrs old, then it happened another 4 times over the course of 15 years.
    once on a monoski, alone and just a few minutes before the lifts were closing! the last time waterskiing in the evening, they had to cut me out of my wetsuit in the hospital! and everytime it will get more painfull.
    so I followed my doctor’s advice to keep strong, and that’s what I have been doing the last 15 years, training with 5kg dumbells when I wake up. 😉


    Did mine on a mountain bike – I’m actuallly surprised you haven’t done yours that way yet? Terrain Parks keep the ER doctors pretty busy around here too though.

    Does (or did) it feel like it was just hanging out of the socket for a few days after the injury? That’s the body naturally relaxing those muscles to try and get the thing to heal. It’s a wierd and uncomfortable feeling. My remedy was physical therapy where they do heat, ice, weights, stretches and a lot of shoulder fatigue! Those guys can make a grown man cry with a 2 lb weight! It was a full 2 months of PT to get it totally fixed.

    I think I need to get back to some stregthening, as Fall time mountain biking and a ski crash or two have reminded me it’s still weak compared to the right shoulder. Take care of it, old people tell me shoulder surgery really sucks.

    I learned a lot from some Ttips vets, might want to do a search there.


    a dislocated shoulder really sucks!!
    my right shoulder was injured 4 times (“swimming”, snowboarding, cleaning and gambling. don’t ask…) before the doc told me to undergo a surgery. this was 6 years ago. the following year i crashed my left shoulder, again while snowboarding. consequence: surgery.
    and in 2004 i (more or less) completely ruined my right shoulder (again in the snow. (damn. maybe i should i try another sport… 😕 )), followed by the second surgery on the right side.

    the problem with a dislocated shoulder is, that the dislocation-process can cause lasting damage on the shoulder. it’s not only the fact, that the shoulder is “on a wrong place” for a certain time, but it can happen, that a…hm…it’s hard to describe even in german…ok, the humerus (upper arm bone) “lies” in the shoulder-pan (is this correct?) and is fixed by a band (labrum), that goes around the pan. when the shoulder is dislocated it is possible, that this band is being detroyed at the point the shoulder went out. and due to this, it is probable that the shoulder will be dislocated again (and easier than the first time).
    this happend to me, so i needed the surgery. the docs did a good job on my right shoulder, but since half a year i again have trouble with my left shoulder (without being injured. i have no idea why it’s aching; it occured while i was doing exercises in the gym (to stabilize the shoulders…looks like a counter-effect… 😡 ).

    i think the online way to see a labrum-damage is a magnetic resonance imaging (i have no idea whether this is the correct term. it’s what the dictionairy says 😉 ).

    were you able to set the shoulder back by yourself?

    after “my first dislocation” it took about 10 days (+-) before it wholly stopped aching.

    if it happens once again i would recommend you to visit a doctor.

    regards, fabian (still waiting for the first tour in bc)

    ps: sorry for my poor english


    @dsdl wrote:

    i think the online way to see a labrum-damage

    online = only :mrgreen:


    Those guys can make a grown man cry with a 2 lb weight!

    Although I am quite fit, the weakness of 1 silly part in that stupid shoulder still shows when on a pulling-machine I have to pull diagonal upwards from inside to outside, then 2lbs still makes me cry. 😳
    A constant reminder to keep strong!!!


    Basically, Jim, your f……ed. 😯

    So what’s the moral of the story? Stay out of the terrain parks!!!!!!

    Seriously, hang in there. It sounds like your case of “dislocated shoulder” isn’t that bad.

    How is it landing big airs on the mtb?


    The key to healing your shoulder is maintaining range of motion and not doing anything stupid for the next few months.

    Young males have a 50 to 70% redislocation rate. You can greatly decrease your chances of being a chronic dislocater by not dislocating again in the next two months. If you let your shoulder heal and scar in it will be a lot more stable. But if you knock it out again before its healed you will do considerably more damage and probably stretch the tendons permanently.

    Bottom line: protecting it now and skipping a few ski days may save you a lot of trouble down the road.

    PS the most dangerous position is extension/abduction – like when you cock your arm back to throw a ball.


    Thanks for all the info everyone. I went for a follow-up about a month ago, and the doc told me what I already knew but didn’t want to hear – that it would probably take about 6 weeks from the time of injury to heal to the point where I could start physical therapy, and that it was probably a bad idea to have gone snowboarding 5 days after it happened (I didn’t tell him I was jumping off rocks and kinda ran into a tree – doh!) and mountain biking the following week.

    So I took it easy for a while. But I couldn’t help going to Utah the weekend before last. Too bad the snow sucks there and there is no good backcountry.

    Then, since it’s been like summer here in SC since then, I’ve been out on the mountain bike every day for the past week.

    @Ecobrad wrote:

    How is it landing big airs on the mtb?

    Could this be what you’re referring to?

    That was on Sunday. Actually, the shoulder has felt fine on the bike for a while now. Pretty much the only things that still kinda hurt are fully extending it straight up (like hanging from that arm), and trying to scratch my back.

    For my Valentine’s preset to myself ❓ I went to the doc today for another followup, and he says it’s good enough to “resume normal activity” again. 🙂 Guess I can start riding and snowboarding now… Got an appt with the physical therapist this week. All in all it seems like I lucked out as far as how bad it was.


    Man, it’s been too long since I’ve ridden SC. That video is awesome. Is that Mailbox or UCSC or other? Sounds like the shoulder isn’t too bad. Good job on seeing the doctor and PT.


    It’s “UCSC other”… 🙂 Relatively new trail (about 3 yrs old), off the main trails. About half the jumps were only built in the last couple months. The best thing is it takes about 10 minutes to ride there from my house. Come on out sometime and I’ll show you the new stuff!

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