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  1. #1
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    Shoulder surgery (SLAP tear) - What to do???

    So I was diagnosed with a SLAP tear in my left shoulder (tear of the anterior and posterior labrum). The tear has extended into the bicep tendon which hooks into the shoulder. It's pretty bad.

    Very reputable Doc (CU Sports Medicine surgeon in Boulder) recommends surgery since PT and rest hasn't done much to shoulder.

    Shoulder hurts, especially when I sleep and when I do shoulder workouts or bench press. Otherwise it's not too bad. Definitely annoying, but I've been doing my MMA training with the pain, and I manage. Surgery means 2 weeks of complete rest, 2 months of only very light therapy, and another 2-4 months (total of 6 months) before I will be back at 100%.

    Should I do surgery:
    a. as soon as possible (would be October 2nd)?
    b. postpone as long as possible? (could possible be several years before it gets worse?)
    c. postpone juts enough to compete in BJJ/MMA for several events in October?
    d. postpone long enough to enjoy the upcoming ski season (do surgery in Spring 09)?
    e. Other options??

    I've scheduled surgery for October 2nd but I'm at a loss. I really don't look forward to being away from BJJ/MMA training for 3-4 months. I'm also sad I'll be missing half of the ski season.

    If I do surgery - what would be advisable to do to keep myself in shape? I can probably do the elliptical without stressing the shoulder, anything else (running) would probably be bad. I could do leg workouts (body weight squats, lunges, etc) and ab crunches. Really worried I'll lose everything I've worked up to till now if I do surgery

    -b

    Cliffs:
    - need sugery on shoulder
    - 4-6month rest after surgery
    - do it now or wait?
    - what to do to keep in shape if I do surgery?
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  2. #2
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Mighty Matt's Avatar
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    How did you tear it?
    “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” - Mahatma Gandhi.

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  3. #3
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    Good question. The pain started after pulling a trick on skis (http://www.vimeo.com/894829 ) and crashing into a tree.
    Wasn't too bad though. That was in January. Been doing intense BJJ, Muay Thay and weight lifting since then and pain has been there ever since ... I guess the training didn't help.
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    Registered User MusclesMarinara's Avatar
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    You'll heal faster at 23 than 33, 43, 53, etc...

    Also if you keep training your good side it will inhibit atropy in your "bad" side...
    Life is about balance between family, work, friends, lifting, hobbies, etc.

    Each one should be independent of one another, yet somehow productively connected.

    If one starts to overshadow the others, they all suffer.


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  5. #5
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MusclesMarinara View Post
    You'll heal faster at 23 than 33, 43, 53, etc...

    Also if you keep training your good side it will inhibit atropy in your "bad" side...
    Seriously? Meaning I should train my right arm normally as if nothing happened? Do right delts, biceps, triceps, and maybe even flies? Would that not lead to much more developed right side? If more people suggest that would be a good idea, I'd definitely keep working out my right side.

    Good point about healing faster at 23 thouhg ... hadn't considered this at all yet.

    -b
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    I had the same surgery, except it was an anterior labrum tear, so pretty much the same thing. Just get the surgery, you're going to have to eventually. I had my surgery recently (July 14th) and haven't been able to lift, which is killing me. But you're going to have to do it sooner or later. What my surgeon told me is if you're 80 and all you want to do is push a shopping cart then maybe you should just get pt and not bother. But young athletic guys (us) pretty much always have to get the surgery, so might as well get it out of the way
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    Registered User gregr507's Avatar
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    btw there is a big thread on shoulder injuries in the injury recover/prevention forum, it's stickied, i suggest you check it out
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  8. #8
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gregr507 View Post
    I had the same surgery, except it was an anterior labrum tear, so pretty much the same thing. Just get the surgery, you're going to have to eventually. I had my surgery recently (July 14th) and haven't been able to lift, which is killing me. But you're going to have to do it sooner or later. What my surgeon told me is if you're 80 and all you want to do is push a shopping cart then maybe you should just get pt and not bother. But young athletic guys (us) pretty much always have to get the surgery, so might as well get it out of the way
    Cool, this is good information, thanks.
    Wondering how you managed immediately after surgery? Can you use your arm at all? Can you drive a car (stickshift)? Can you do basic tasks, or are you just completely handicapped?

    thx bro
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  9. #9
    Registered User gregr507's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bernardo View Post
    Cool, this is good information, thanks.
    Wondering how you managed immediately after surgery? Can you use your arm at all? Can you drive a car (stickshift)? Can you do basic tasks, or are you just completely handicapped?

    thx bro
    Immediately after the surgery is very painful, you will be counting down the minutes til you can take percoset/vicodin. For the first week or two your arm is completely immobile and it WILL atrophy. What I've tried to do is keep eating and taking protein as best I can and I haven't lost TOO much weight, and I'm hoping it will come back quickly when I can hit the gym again (soon, light weights and machines only though)

    So pretty much I would say for the first few weeks you won't be able to drive a stick. It sucks, honestly get used to being in your recliner (can't lie down). Buy some video games or some good movies because you'll need them.

    Although, once physical therapy starts (a few weeks after surgery), improvement is pretty rapid. I don't even notice it bothering me now. I can't really lift anything very heavy, but ROM is back for the most part and in daily tasks I don't even notice it any more, unless I do something stupid (like try to pull something heavy)
    Last edited by gregr507; 09-11-2008 at 09:46 PM.
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  10. #10
    is staying positive! :) Miz-Zou's Avatar
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    wow sounds exactly like my pain, I've got a torn labrum as well but they think it doesn't have anything to do with where my shoulder pain is (under my collarbone midpoint between shoulder and neck).

    It kills me when I sleep, and definitely notice it on pressing movements (especially bench)

    like if I do a fly type movement my right arm doesn't feel/look like my left one does.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Miz-Zou View Post
    wow sounds exactly like my pain, I've got a torn labrum as well but they think it doesn't have anything to do with where my shoulder pain is (under my collarbone midpoint between shoulder and neck).

    It kills me when I sleep, and definitely notice it on pressing movements (especially bench)

    like if I do a fly type movement my right arm doesn't feel/look like my left one does.
    holy crap that's EXACTLY where my pain is located!
    under my collarbone midpoint between shoulder and neck.
    exactly like you described. werd.

    good luck with yours.
    thx for the input gregr!
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by Bernardo View Post
    holy crap that's EXACTLY where my pain is located!
    under my collarbone midpoint between shoulder and neck.
    exactly like you described. werd.

    good luck with yours.
    thx for the input gregr!
    Not a problem man. Honestly it sucks, believe me I know, and it sucks to have to go through. Especially with guys like us who pride ourselves on being active. But it's not gonna go away on it's own, so get the surgery. If you really feel like you need to, delaying a few months won't kill you. But you're only delaying the inevitable. Good luck, if you have any more questions you can PM me or check out the thread in the injury recovery/prevention forum
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    i tore my labrum twice in two different places. had surgery to repair it twice.i could lift and do everything fine i just played baseball and couldn't throw. i had lingering tendonitis in my biceps tendon for about 5 months after the first one and tendonitis for about 7 months and now its off and on after the 2nd one. After surgery you are in a sling can't really move it AT ALL for like 2 days then you can but you can't move your arm away from your body or you'll tear it again...rehab is slow as you can easily **** it up. I rode the bike and just did all the excersises my PTs allowed me to do to keep in shape. However i was so depressed after my 2nd one i didn't keep up with the legs and went from squatting 400+ to about my bodyweight. Key is to do SOMETHING. Your gonna lose but better to lose a little than everything.
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    do it now, you dont want the joint/bone etc degenerating further
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    I've had surgery done on both my right and left shoulder. SLAP tear and an RC tear to the bone. Arthroscopic surgery has come a long way. Do the surgery because the tear will not heal on its own. It will only get worse.

    After the surgery you will not be able to move the shoulder for at least 4 weeks. You will be in an arm sling to immobilize the shoulder. You will be given an analgesic pain killer directly into the shoulder for the first 48 hours.

    During rehab you'll have to work on strength and range of motion every day to get normal function back. This is done slowly in stages. Don't push it to fast. Allow the normal healing processes to work.

    During my time off....I did lower body work and ab work. Mixed in some cardio with it. So good luck with the surgery and hang in there. It's tough but worth it.
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    Thanks for all the info & good words guys, keep it coming, it's very reassuring to read about others' experiences
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    is staying positive! :) Miz-Zou's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SquatTilYouDrop View Post
    I've had surgery done on both my right and left shoulder. SLAP tear and an RC tear to the bone. Arthroscopic surgery has come a long way. Do the surgery because the tear will not heal on its own. It will only get worse.

    After the surgery you will not be able to move the shoulder for at least 4 weeks. You will be in an arm sling to immobilize the shoulder. You will be given an analgesic pain killer directly into the shoulder for the first 48 hours.

    During rehab you'll have to work on strength and range of motion every day to get normal function back. This is done slowly in stages. Don't push it to fast. Allow the normal healing processes to work.

    During my time off....I did lower body work and ab work. Mixed in some cardio with it. So good luck with the surgery and hang in there. It's tough but worth it.
    are you back to normal now? Does it feel ok when you're doing pressing movements?

    i say this b/c when I'm doing mine (especially noticeable on Hammer chest press machines) my right arm takes a weird path, and I don't get near the pump or anything in my left arm.

    Right now I look like that freak from Lady in the Water (one side bigger than the other).

    I tore my right acl few years back, and still is smaller than my left (due to me subconsciously favoring it during squats etc), and now this thing for my right shoulder will mess up my right side. I'm going to be a mess, subconsciously favoring my left side on upper AND lower body movements
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  18. #18
    Registered User TerpMuscle's Avatar
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    surgery. shoulder tears dont heal and will never be 100% without surgery. Ive had two shoulders done. i can answer any questions man.
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  19. #19
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    **** brah...im 3 months post op my self..and still have roughly 3 more till im 100%
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  20. #20
    is staying positive! :) Miz-Zou's Avatar
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    I guess it's good in the long run, but you know us and how we love to workout and stuff. what am I going to do with a job and everything. "Thanks for hiring me, but I won't be able to start for a few months due to shoulder surgery/rehab in my writing arm"
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  21. #21
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    So, wondering if I'll be able to use a computer post-surgery?
    I write software for a living, type a thousand lines a day ... Will I be able to unsling my shoulder and kinda use my desk to support it so I can use my left hand to type?
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  22. #22
    former 90lb weakling Von84.'s Avatar
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    i had this surgery a couple years ago. I was playing baseball and dove into the outfield wall and dislocated my shoulder. When the shoulder came out it tore my anterior labrum. I experienced a lot of the symptoms you are currently going through. I eventually had the surgery and it was the best decision ever. I no longer have to worry about my shoulder ****ting on me while i'm doing something active.
    Fair warning though, rehab sucks! To me, the rehab was worse than the initial dislocation. You will be counting down the minutes until you can take your pain reliever medication. But all in all....surgery>no surgery.
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  23. #23
    former 90lb weakling Von84.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bernardo View Post
    So, wondering if I'll be able to use a computer post-surgery?
    I write software for a living, type a thousand lines a day ... Will I be able to unsling my shoulder and kinda use my desk to support it so I can use my left hand to type?
    i could take mine out the sling, in fact they advise you to every once in a while, as long as my arm stayed close to my stomach. Any oblong movements are going to be out of the question for several weeks.
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  24. #24
    だいす& homerandabe69's Avatar
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    the longer you wait to do the surgery the more damage will get done to it. i dislocated my shoulder 5 or 6 times before i had it fixed and 2 years later it still pops out of the socket at odd times. you should get it fixed as soon as possible.
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  25. #25
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    Thanks again EVERYBODY for all the positive input.
    I've decided doing surgery now is the right way to go.
    Surgery scheduled for October 2nd.

    Very anxious to be 6 months in the future and being over this and training at 100% again.
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  26. #26
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    how did you do it???








    And good luck, i hope all goes well.. Maybe its a crap ray of hope but i had a torn quad then ACL problems and thought it was game over for my right leg, but everything worked out.. Times a healer
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  27. #27
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by frownyunicorn View Post
    how did you do it???
    ^^^
    VVV

    Originally Posted by Bernardo
    Good question. The pain started after pulling a trick on skis (http://www.vimeo.com/894829 ) and crashing into a tree.
    Wasn't too bad though. That was in January. Been doing intense BJJ, Muay Thay and weight lifting since then and pain has been there ever since ... I guess the training didn't help.
    Thanks for the support!
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  28. #28
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    So just to let everybody know what's going on.
    I'm having surgery October 2nd, next Thursday.
    I decided it's definitely the best way to go, get it over with, recovery for 4-6 months, and get back in the game ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.

    Kinda stoked now.
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  29. #29
    Registered User Itadienekes's Avatar
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    Aaaand another update:

    Had surgery this past Thursday.
    Doc said it was worse than it looked like in the MRI, they actually had to reattach the bicep tendon to the shoulder bone. But everything went well, they did a good job, and I've not had one bit of pain post-op. Was prescribed a metric ton of oxycodone and vicodin but have only used a few pills to help me fall asleep, otherwise no pain - pretty happy about having done surgery.

    Had my first PT session today, arm & shoulder feel weird when moving but still no pain.

    Stoked to recover fast and get back in the game.
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  30. #30
    Registered User irondork's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Itadienekes;229106791]Aaaand another update:

    Had surgery this past Thursday.
    Doc said it was worse than it looked like in the MRI, they actually had to reattach the bicep tendon to the shoulder bone. But everything went well, they did a good job, and I've not had one bit of pain post-op. Was prescribed a metric ton of oxycodone and vicodin but have only used a few pills to help me fall asleep, otherwise no pain - pretty happy about having done surgery.

    I've been mulling around this forum for the last cpl weeks getting ready for my own sugery. Just had my bicep tendon reattatched (5-6-10). Thanks for all the input guys.

    I had pretty loud pain the day after surgery, a little less day two and none by day three. Still a little achy doing regular tasks (getting dressed, etc...) but idle - no pain. I'm really bummed not being able to do anything but situps and the bicycle. Six months seems forever away.
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