How long to recover from shoulder injuries? (no broken bones)

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  • How long to recover from shoulder injuries? (no broken bones)
  • Premier Icon Stoner

    You didnt break anything?
    You faker! We nearly had a whip round here and were about to send flowers when we heard of your stack!

    sheeesh, milk it why dont you 🙂

    I suppose you could see it that way.. but great weather and bored shitless.


    Crashed in Feb, still hurts now and not got full stregnth or movement. i didn’t break anything, just landed hard on it.

    Sheldona; Thats what I fear.. prolonged recovery – did you have physio ?


    Separated my AC joint on the 12th of may, got about 80% movement now, religously doing the physio excercises and each week its noticeably better.

    Counting the days, hope to be back on my bike by the middle of July.

    Good luck.

    Sounds more serious than mine. Came off on ice and ‘strained’ my shoulder. Nurse looked at it and gave me some ice etc. That was November. I’m now almost 100% but up until a month ago I couldn’t move it properly and would wake up in the night ‘cos it hurt and would have to move it about a bit before I could sleep again! Now I can almost lie on my front with my arm infront of me and the pain has stopped. Apparently shoulders and ankles are very slow to recover. Maybe some physio would have helped me.

    Hope you recover fast.


    No just manned the F••• up and got in with it. I stretched when I could and as movement came back I stretched more.


    You will have some sort of AC (Acromio Clavicular) joint damage. If you have a lump on top of your shoulder and the arm hangs lower then you likely have a grade two or three, meaning that the collarbone has detached from the shoulder blade – that sort of damage won’t mend but generally you can get full motion back and 80-90% strength. The options for surgery usually have worse long term outcomes. You usually get this injury from falling on an outstretched arm or your elbow.

    The other area where damage can lurk is in the ligaments that attach beneath the collarbone. These can take a while to stablilise if they have been partially ruptured. The difference between a grade 2 and a grade 3 AC rupture is if these ligaments have also been damaged.

    I know this having had both types of damage in independent accidents affecting each shoulder.

    My grade 2 AC joint rupture (from biking) took me off biking completely for one month but has come back to 90% strength and 100% mobility in about 5 months but the AC joint is completely ruptured and won’t be coming back. The ligament damage on the other shoulder (skiing) took about 2 years to be pain free and has recovered totally.


    More to the AC there is waht people call the piano key.
    Press the end of the collar bone if you scream, bingo you have a dislocated AC.
    I would be uber careful with this one. I have dislocated mines twice, and the physio/doc have told me to do plenty of exerice/weight while waiting for the mend.

    Surgery is really a long and heavy option. So as frustrating as it sounds take your time on this one… Go to the physio, listen to him carefuly.

    My doc told me I would have been better off with a broken collar bone…

    Waiting to go see Fracture Clinic on Friday – 10 days after a stack that put me in casualty..
    X Rays taken at time show no broken bones although could not rule out the potential for a fracture on a shoulder blade.
    Meantime have been constantly taking painkillers and anti-inflam’ tablets
    My left shoulder does not have the mobility range of my right shoulder and every couple of hrs pain starts to build up..
    Anyone suffered similar ? not asking for any medical advice but trying to
    work out what sort of recovery time I am looking at..
    Missing my previous lifestyle.
    7mths, Lordy, I hope I can be on my bike sooner but from what I can deduce from the responses to this post – there is no predetermined length for recovery, my age probably doesn’t help (over 50).. (most of us are probably fitter to start with and have better muscle tone than the non sporting fraternity than we realise – that should put us ahead of the game come recovery but it doesnt seem to follow that rule)-
    roll on Christmas..

    Thankyou to all responces – gonna put he bike in mothballs (still in the back of my car) and find something else to fill the free time in with. Bugger, Bugger, and Bugger.


    I landed heavily on my shoulder last September and it still causes problems.

    Sorry NeverFE I didn’t mean to give the impression I’d been off the bike. I cycled into work the next day but it was agony! I wasn’t off the bike at all. I couldn’t pull up on the bars at all but could ride OK. I can now do all that again. It was mainly during the night after biking that it was sore. I still don’t have 100% strength (can’t lift my 42lb STD above my head with my right hand to go through styles anymore) but it’s getting better all the time. I’m 33 or 34.

    I really hope that you’re back on the bike quickly mate. Incidentally a physio I had out on holiday last week told me that the best thing was to start using it as quickly as possible after the injury and to go to a physio.


    Did my AC. Was doing gentle XC rides, effectively one handed after 10 days. Took 2 weeks to be able to drive (couldn’t change gear) and 10 weeks to get to 90%. Probably 6 months to stop twingeing altogether. One year before I put a big hit in on the rugby pitch and it survived so I don’t worry about it anymore. At about the 6 month point I had another off on the same shoulder that took loads of skin off. I was really relieved to be able to get up putting weight on it despite the claret everywhere. Broke my helmet in that and the original crash but that’s another debate………..


    I fractured my acromion on my left shoulder at the end of march. I took 2 months off biking and have pretty much regained full movement. Strength is on the low side but otherwise I don’t even notice it when riding. There is a little pain when stretching strange movements but for cycling ok.
    Off for an xray on Friday which will hopefully show a decent repair to the fracture.



    fell hard on my right shoulder at the start of May, still hurts now, 95% movement but weak. Aches by the end of the day, and just this week started riding again. 3 weeks of doing nothing then, part time back to work. Put about a stone on! Bugger

    Premier Icon darrell

    4 years and counting (collarbone break and shoulder damage). got about 80-90% mobility and it still **** hurts sometimes


    Did my AC back end of April. Lots of physio. On road bike in 2 weeks, gentle mtb after 5. Still hurts a bit but have 90% mobility and strength. Will give myself another month before I hit the heavy trails.

    Think Physio was the key.

    Good luck!

    Premier Icon votchy

    Went in to a hedge in January 2008, full impact was the front of my left shoulder, trip to casualty diagnosed a sprained shoulder, no fractures on the X-ray, off the bike for about 4 weeks, have been back and forth to the orthopaedic clinic and physio since then, only 70% range of motion and pain when in certain positions etc, scans etc have not picked up anything but there is an impingement in the joint so I am going under the knife in 2 weeks time. Would have preferred not to but am so fed up with not being able to do lots of ‘normal’ things (can’t get my hand behind my back so have to put a belt through my trousers with them on the bed, can’t wash the opposite shoulder easily because I can’t reach, can’t swim etc, etc) I am willing to take the risk.

    Good luck and healing vibes to you


    Wow looks like I got off easy. Nose dived off a drop off and landed on my shoulder a few weeks ago. Still hurts a little bit but I have full strength back now. Apparently baring any serious injury it’s important to keep it moving as you can easily develop a frozen shoulder. Because there are many tendons going through a small area in the shoulder, any injury or inflammation takes a relatively long time to heal :(.

    dislocated a collar bone 8yrs ago & tore rotator cuff – still swollen, still doing physio. Still racing 😉


    I did something similar.
    Instead of my clavicle snapping, the AC joint took the fall, chipping some of cartiledge.
    An ultra sound showed this and cost me £165 from my local BUPA hospital. I had this done withing 3 days of the fall.
    That cartiledge doesn’t re-grow and there is no medical procedure to sort it out.
    I can’t even raise my right arm above my head with any weight. That was maybe 5yrs ago.
    I hope you do not damage the cartiledge!
    ps- I’m VERY right sided so it’s a problem.

    Premier Icon Drac

    Depends on the damage if it just separation of the AC joint it’ll be a few weeks, damaged and it’s months. I did my Bicep tendon a few years ago and it took months to heal and was pure agony for weeks constantly. No need for ultra sound or private clinics for me Nurse diagnosed it there and then asked me to come back the next day to make sure to see the Doc who confirmed it, God bless the NHS.


    I only read the OP but…

    I did something similar, nasty crash flat-out at the bottom of the wall on the fort bill DH track (that’s fast there). Ended up strapped to a bed in intensive care in a neck brace…bad times. Anyhow, i mashed my shoulder (and face) into the ground pretty damn hard, but luckily turned out (14 xrays and a ct-scan later) that nothing was broken. My arm was in a sling 3 weeks, i was (tentatively) on a bike after that (was told to do what i want but let the pain stop me) and riding in the alps 8 weeks after (but not at my usual pace, and being cautious).

    However, I was still getting pains in my shoulder/chest from the crash, daily, for about 7 months. And a year later when I thought I was better a velodrome session set the chest pain off again. So it took over a year for the soft tissue inside me to recover from hitting the ground that hard. So to answer your question, 6 weeks and I was back on the bike, but more like 6 months to somewhere back near normal.

    EDIT: reading again i see this was still relatively recently for you. IME (from other crashes also) the first 3 weeks or so are the worst, then fairly rapid recovery, if there’s no specific problem and you’ve just twatted yourself off the ground proper hard.


    My experience with the NHS at Watford is very poor. I was told I’d have to wait 3+ months for a ultra sound scan so I paid for it; that took 2 days notice.

    My mother broke her tib & fib 2 weeks ago, and foolishly ended up at the Lister in Stevenage instead of Addenbrookes in Cambridge. They took 4 days before they operated and when she went this Monday to the fracture clinic the specialist was furious that the other surgical team had put her in a pot.

    She was horrified at what she witnessed whilst on the ward, eventually being cleared by all the medical staff to go home – ‘cept social services who took another 36hrs to get a note to her about what support services are in place that she might call upon. It has proved to be both out of date and next to sodding useless.

    Go private if you can!
    ps – her downhill racing days now seem to be behind her I’m please to say!


    Had a crash at mountain mayhem Friday before the event, now it may look like a joke but hit my right shoulder very hard amd have a bruise right across my chest I am still taking pain killers and don’t have full movement yet, very embarrassing!


    Dislocated and fractured shoulder. Bone bruising and a bone spur under one of the rotator cuff tendons. Took best part of 5 months to get back on bike with EXTENSIVE physio. Still have pain but work at it a lot in the gym to keep everything strong around it. 2 years later its good but will never be the same.

    On a side note. Those little muscles in your shoulder are very sensitive. Had a little crash on the weeekend. Didn’t feel it and then come monday I had shoulder issues. Couple of days rest and they were better.

    Premier Icon Drac

    Go private if you can!

    Did BUPA provide your mother with an Ambulance to take her to hospital?

    Premier Icon leftyboy

    Dislocated arm, A/C joint and ‘shattered’ my shoulder blade about 12 years ago. Had extensive physio and was back on the bike after 12 weeks. 2 years ago the constant pain and lack of movement, despite twice monthly physio and stretching exercises, I gave in and consulted a surgeon (shoulder specialist). He did an MRI and discoverd that my A/C joint was re-fracctured and had been for some time (at least 2 years in his opinon).

    Long story short I had the A/C joint removed and was back on the bike in 6 weeks and now I hardly notice it at all.


    No, Ma just called 999 – as she’d had to drag herself to a house on her walk whilst out with the dogs in the morning and doesn’t carry a mobile. She does now!


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