When would you get back on the trainer after a grade 3 shoulder separation?

Title. I crashed on a descent on Saturday March 26. Currently, I feel ok and generally pain free but there is zero strength in that muscle (I can’t move my arm up without using my other arm to help)

I’m currently wearing a sling everywhere

Just try with something easy and maybe raise the front of the trainer a bit so there’s less strain on your back and arms

When I did mine I got back on the trainer after about a week but was still wearing the sling so didn’t try anything more than zone 2 whilst riding 1 handed/sat upright. I thought about turning my bars up but in the end couldn’t be bothered :slight_smile: I was mainly focused on the shoulder rehab to initially regain range of motion and strength. 6 weeks later I was back riding outside but 2 years later whilst I have full range of motion I don’t seem to have fully regained the strength but maybe I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough in the gym :wink:

Good luck with your rehab.

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Same :point_up:. I’ve had grade 3 separations on both shoulders :roll_eyes: and was on the trainer in a week with a sling. I’d recommend raising the height of your handlebars as high as possible. Then only do z1-z2 rides. You are clearly not looking to build fitness but rather minimize loss. It goes without saying, but work with your doc and physical therapist regarding your cycling. Take your PT very seriously and you’ll be back to near 100% in 6-8 weeks.

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I have had shoulder surgery twice (different shoulders) and both times I did the following:
1 waited a week so that I could get off the hydro morphine and other drugs
2 waited an additional week so that my balance became better and my calorie input was sufficient to support healing and training
3 started slow in zone 2 for fifteen minutes and increased it by five minutes per day. No more than two days in a row with my kickr bike front end at ten percent elevation to promote upright riding ( remember supporting yourself with the arm you are asking to also do everything in normal life for you is asking to much)
4 after a month I was riding at a five percent grade and leaning forward with some zone 3 efforts
5 after two months my sling was off and I could use my injured side a bit and alternated between light hand on and hand off sessions
6 third month I started using adaptive training and have improved consistently since

I have not had any major setbacks and although I am still working on shoulder strength and some sleep positions suck I will be able to ride outside ( once it warms up) and am in full training mode.

For reference my surgery was in November last year. Be patient structured and methodical. Listen to your doctor and do the physio like ur future riding depends on it.

It’s honestly a pain tolerance thing (I am a PT and have had a grade three separation in the past). The AC joint might be sprained but it’s not inherently unstable, BUT putting weight through that arm will hurt like hell for a little while.

Putting weight through your arm is usually more challenging than lifting it and not something we do immediately after the injury (unless pain is low and strength is decent), and if we do try it it’s definitely not the kind of weight you use in a road bike.

I wouldn’t try using that arm on the trainer until you can put gentle weight through your hand (like opening a door) and have started strengthening with PT. Also tell your PT you want to ride the trainer and they should be able to tailor your rehab to this goal and set up a makeshift way to simulate it in the clinic to see how it feels in a controlled setting.

Until then you can keep your arm in a sling (if directed to do so) or relaxed and just mess with your trainer so your other arm doesn’t get too tired. (And don’t start messing with your fit too much. Sitting upright even with zone 2 for a long time can he killer on your sitbones).

Good luck. I was on the bike outdoors a month later but felt every pothole. A month after that i was mostly there. This injury is actually what spurned me to go into PT

Be a bit careful about raising the front of the bike. Raising the front also changes the seat angle and that can lead to a sore undercarriage.

I have a kickr climb, l usually put it on the most rained setting as it feels much better on my behind too

I would be on the trainer right away. I had labrum operation and was back on the bike at 7 days and back in the gym at 7 days. I was able to muster about 30min a day for the first week back.

I’m currently rehabbing a grade 2 separation from a snowboarding crash in January. My ortho is a cyclist, and gave me this strict instructions to not do any out-of-saddle work until the pain subsides. I’ve started a PT program to strengthen the cuff, and noticing a very rapid reduction of pain, mobility is coming back, and it’s less “grindy.” I’m also making sure I eat enough - especially protein (and getting a bit pudgy from lack of upper body work and surplus of calories), sleeping as much as I can, and supplementing with Turmeric/Curcumin instead of NSAIDs.

It’s forced me to focus on longer power efforts - my 1-5 min seated power. Which, for someone who lives to get up and out of the saddle to drop watt bombs, is helping me become disciplined about improving other areas.

In terms of recovery, 2 months post-accident, I was out in LA climbing Latigo, Piuma, Stunt, and Topanga canyons (seated, of course). Listen to your pain, and don’t do more than your body will allow. You’ll set yourself back if you rush.

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Rode for 45 mins today no handed Z2. My rotator cuff might also be torn according to my orthopedist. Trying to stay positive, getting an MRI this next week.

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