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* Acupuncture following shoulder injury

Case history shoulder injury following ski and climb accidents:


Patient is a fortysomething, fit, ex GB Athlete who fell while skiing in 2005, breaking right collarbone.

The incident led him to undergo two operations to fix the collarbone as the first metal plate broke, re-breaking the clavicle shaft. Patient was unable to use his arm for nine months resulting in it being substantially weakened. Although he healed well, this weakness lead to further complications suffering sharp pains at several points around his rib cage. For quite some time he was extra careful not to fall while skiing and climbing was limited to inland and easy to bail out routes.

Patient fell while climbing and dislocated the shoulder in 2009. An operation to stabilise shoulder was required and patient resumed normal life. Two years on, having not regained full muscle strength, another climbing fall lead to further injury. Patient felt as if arm was about to fall out of its socket when he leant forward. He was treated with first aid acupuncture on site and advised to seek medical help upon return to Britain. His arm was about an inch lower and out of place. The next morning he felt better, the arm was back in place and he has been pain free ever since.

Upon return, patient underwent medical check. No further operation is needed at this stage. Patient has been having regular physiotherapy and acupuncture.

Patient goals: to start bouldering indoor within 3 months and to go skiing 5 months after the climbing accident took place.


Right shoulder medical history:

First operation: Clavicle shaft fixation, in France, unsuccessful due to breakage of the metal plate.  Substantial loss of muscular mass occurred.

Second operation: Internal fixation and bone grafting to a right clavicular non-union.  This healed satisfactorily.

Scapulothoracic imbalance and weakness of shoulder lead to dislocation on climbing fall. 

Third operation: Glenohumeral joint arthroscopic stabilisation in 2009. Acupuncture and physiotherapy rehabilitation.



*Published with patient’s consent.