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Old 06-08-2009, 09:31 PM   #1
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How to reset your own dislocated shoulder - the Cowboy way . . .

I had my first get-off at speed Saturday. I was wearing All the Gear, in the sense that I had all the bases covered: boots, pants, jacket, helmet, gloves. But the pants and jacket were among the least protective in my collection. I chose them because I expected to do some energetic riding, and I wanted light weight and breathability. So I donned aTourmaster mesh jacket, with CE armor in all the normal places, and a pair of Answer MX pants, that have no real padding anywhere except the hips. They have some fairly wimpy pads in the knees. Here's the outfit. I'm the guy nearest the camera.

We were having a real hoot riding forest roads in South Park, Colorado, with lots of whoops, berms and an occasional stream crossing. Good times. Were were doing a lot of bike swapping through the day. I started out on my KLR, switched with Haasenpfeffer and rode his KLX250 for a while, then switched with D-Train and rode his race model WR250. As I got on, D-Train told me "Don't be afraid to jump it!." That was all I needed to hear.

I had an absolute blast on that bike, flying over the whoops and scraping the top edges of the berms, generally having a ball. We reached a section of graded gravel road, and I was having fun there too. Too much fun, it turns out. I carried too much speed into a blind, downhill corner. Speed, an unfamiliar bike, and a bit of target fixation all conspired to send me into a lowside at around thirty MPH. I slid and then tumbled around forty feet. The bike and I both settled on the edge of the road, half in the ditch on the outside of the corner.

I sat up, and immediately felt something horribly wrong with my left arm. It didn't hurt, but it was numb, and definitely felt like it was in the wrong place. I could move my fingers, but couldn't really move the rest of my arm. I reached over and moved it with my good arm, and it still did not hurt.

I was in the lead, and BigLV was the first to reach me. She asked about my condition, and then started moving the bike out of the way, so another rider didn't come along and make the pile of misery bigger. Opie came along next and stopped his bike well up the hill, parked it in the middle of the road, then took off his bright yellow helmet and placed it in the road above his bike, as a warning to approaching riders. (That makes twice in a month I've seen Opie do that at accident scenes, and I think it is a really smart practice.)

I sat up on the edge of the road, and caught my breath, debating whether I needed an ambulance. I saluted Opie's smart management of the accident scene, and his camera:






I had a Spot Messenger on my bike, and bought the rescue insurance, and I was tempted to use it. But I had heard my brother-in-law tell a story about restting his dislocated shoulder time after time when he had trouble with it popping out frequently. He's an engineer, and his story was typically detail-oriented. It included a description of the working of the joint and the muscles and tendons that hold it all together, as well as a description of the movement that will help the joint pop back together.

Because I was really weirded out by the feeling of having my arm in the wrong place, I wanted desperately to fix it quickly, if possible. I asked the gang if someone would grab my arm and pull it outward, so it would pop back into the socket. Hmmmm . . . no takers. Dunno why they would be so reluctant to try a simple roadside amateur medical procedure . . . on a lawyer.

So I did what any self respecting cowboy would do. As Opie put it: "He gritted his teeth in pain and asked if anyone would be willing to pull his shoulder back in place. We looked at each other and started debating who should do it. Seeing that we were clueless, Cowboy decided to take matters in his own hands.

Here's the fix: "




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In the end, I did "get it" back into the socket. I experienced the briefest stab of excrutiating pain as the humeral head popped back into its socket in my scapula. (you'll see it dropped me to my knees in the video) The pain was gone almost immediately, and the sense of relief was simply joyous, accounting for the goofy grin on my face and the silly expression I used. (I don't think I've ever uttered the words: "Fuckin' A" before, and I have no idea where it came from Saturday.)

So in the end, the gear did its job. I'm not sure there is any gear I could have worn that would have prevented the dislocation. I came away with a jambed thumb and a big raspberry on one knee. The raspberry is just a fabric burn. Despite my memory of sliding a significant distance, none of my gear shows any damage, not even so much as frayed threads from abrasion on the knees, elbows or shoulders. That mesh is tougher than it looks I guess. I am surprised and very pleased with it.

I was wearing wimpy Fox motocross gloves, that did their job and protected my skin and knuckles, despite being thin. If I knew I was going to go out and lowside again, I think the only thing I would want to wear that I did not have on that day is a pair of knee pads or knee/shin guards. They probably would have saved me the raspberry on my knee.

As I sit here typing, forty-eight hours later, my shoulder is mildly sore, and has stayed in place, and pain free since I popped it back into place. I'm planning to do some physical therapy to strengthen the joint, in hopes that it will not develop a habit of popping out.
A big ADV salute to the gang I was riding with for taking care of me! You guys are the best!

Cowboy screwed with this post 06-08-2009 at 10:38 PM
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:35 PM   #2
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:28 AM   #3
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Glad your OK. That first Pic is front page material.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:37 AM   #4
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Great story.

Never confuse what a guy does for money with who he really is.

I love that the fix was caught on video. And, I love that now your BIL will never stop telling you detailed stories, no matter what.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:15 PM   #5
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Did the same thing ~14 years ago after I dislocated my shoulder in a low side.

It still isn't right. Make sure and stick to your phys therapy.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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Dislocated mine 25 years ago. Seemed fine until the arthritis. Damp days are a B*tch. Work the PT, get your strength and range of motion back.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy
I don't think I've ever uttered the words: "Fuckin' A" before, and I have no idea where it came from Saturday.
Well considering that was your first time using the expression I must compliment you. Your usage, timing, and execution were perfect. You're a natural.
I would add, however, that the most appropriate response from your riding companions (and from fellow ADVers) would be to immediately reply with:

"Fucking A right"
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CopaMundial
Well considering that was your first time using the expression I must compliment you. Your usage, timing, and execution were perfect. You're a natural.
I would add, however, that the most appropriate response from your riding companions (and from fellow ADVers) would be to immediately reply with:

"Fucking A right"
While it may have been the first time I used the expression, I have certainly heard it all my life. No doubt, the timing and inflection should come naturally to me.

As for my riding companions . . . I suspect they would be as surprised to hear "Fuckin' A" come out of their mouths as I was! Actually, it would be entertaining to hear any of them say that! And if Haasenpfeffer said that, he would deserve to have his mouth washed out! (Our grandmother would have put hot sauce on my tongue if she had heard me! That's how my language got so genteel . . . lots of hot sauce in my formative years.)
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:48 AM   #9
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Bad ass

Thats pretty full on,

I did mine a few years ago snow boarding, had to get to the bottom of the hill to catch a chair to the top, that nerve "pinch" that you described is horrible, every bump in the snow would make the nerve pinch and i was sweating pretty bad by the time i got to the bottom.

Had a massage lady put it back in because the medical center said i would be waiting a few hours till they had time to see me.

Anyway as some other people have pointed out, keep up the physio, i didn't and it still hurts and tries to pop out whenever it gets the chance.

Good work COWBOY
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:34 AM   #10
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Damn !!!!

As the old guy on the ski Patrol, I get to man the Patrol First Aid Clinic often.

Shoulder dislocations are generally the most painful we see. I've seen many men, women and kids cry.

Do seek professional care, these injuries can be life altering.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:50 AM   #11
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Hmmmm . . . . It seems I got lucky that I didn't experience any pain, except for that instant when the joint popped back together. I've been reading a lot, and apparently dislocations are usually extremely painful, as the last couple posters suggest. Mine must have dislocated in a way that closed off the pathway for pain to reach the brain. Call me lucky!
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:00 AM   #12
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Mine must have dislocated in a way that closed off the pathway for pain to reach the brain. Call me lucky!

I'd just call you tough!
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:20 AM   #13
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can't see the video. Can someone link me to it ?

Thanks

John
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenvt
As the old guy on the ski Patrol, I get to man the Patrol First Aid Clinic often.

Shoulder dislocations are generally the most painful we see. I've seen many men, women and kids cry.

Do seek professional care, these injuries can be life altering.
Yup, skiing is how I popped mine out. Humerus was far enough displaced that it looked like I had a breast . Not fun. Took two doctors and two nurses to get it back in. Thank goodness for demerol!

But I coulda done it on my own if I had to...yea right.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powershouse
Yup, skiing is how I popped mine out. Humerus was far enough displaced that it looked like I had a breast .

Ooooh. Gauno may think I'm tough, but it makes my stomach do flips just thinking about that!
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