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  1. #1
    Registered User avianofdarkness's Avatar
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    Slap Lesion Tear in Shoulder, 100% recovery possible?

    I recently had an MRI which showed I have a tear in my glenoid labrum (Slap tear). I have to see a specialist next week but was wondering if any of you have ever had a Slap tear before and if you ever got back 100% use of your shoulder. I hear recovery for this injury is long (like six months) but I'm hoping that at the end of it I'll be able to get back to where I was. Anyone have any info or stories? thanks.
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    Registered User midget's Avatar
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    All I can say is I hope 100% recovery is possible. Everyone recovers at different rates depending mainly on the seriousness of the injury. It is very frustrating at times and I speak from experience. I had rotator cuff surgery back in May and still cannot lift 5 lbs above my head with the bad arm.

    I would now only do surgery as a last resort. Get all the info you can about your situation and you will be a lot further ahead than I was. Good luck.
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    This is an injury to the superior labrum at the long head of the biceps origin. Slap lesions begin posterior to the biceps anchor and extend anteriorly. There are 4 types of slap lesions. Type II is the most common and is associated with a posterior impingment. It is usually caused from compression from FOOSH (fallen on outstretched hand), or traction on arm by an overhead sports type motion like throwing a ball. I recommend finding an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in the shoulder area. The rehabilitation protocol after surgery for a type II slap lesion is 6-9 months to recover your prior level of function. It takes roughly 4-5 months to complete the protective phase and advance to the strengthening phase.

    Good luck
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  4. #4
    Registered User moto1320_OLD's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    ^^^ reps for a great post. Concise and informative.
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    I have the same injury as you, and am seeing the specialist in a month... i already saw him 6 months ago but put it off due to uni... I am actually doing pretty well training without surgical intervention and can lift pretty decently... but i would rather get it fixed... I was told i would be able to start lifting after 3 months but i think that is a bit optimistic... and i was told the shoulder is effectively 100% after full recovery. The worst thing for me would be to do the surgery, take time off, and then the shoulder bieing the same if not worse... think of both sides of the story before you make any rash decisions... best of luck to you!
    "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."
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  6. #6
    Train smarter, not harder $AJ's Avatar
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    can't speak for that, but for most muscle tears it'll take years before you're at 100%. like when i tore my radial head, took almost 2 1/2yrs before it was at the point where it didn't randomly pain me off/on for no reason.
    <->
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    Registered User avianofdarkness's Avatar
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    aj - what did you do when recovering from your radial head tear? Light weights, just physical therapy? Do you still have any pain now or can you do everything you did before?
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    In The Realm of Ooshwabla xenithon's Avatar
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    I didn't have a Slap Lesion but I did have severe impingement syndrome in the left shoulder, with an additional case of bicep tendonitis caused by the impingement. I didn't see a specialist until 2 years after the pain started (I was very young, naive and stupid). Since then I have done a lot (probably too much ) research into these things.

    After about 3 cortizone's and about 8 weeks off, I went through about a month of massage therapy (with the assistance/oversight of a biokineticist) mainly to aid the inflammation and break up scar tissue. After that was another 8 weeks of rehab - mainly drills and stretches, along with strengthening exercises with very light weights but mainly elastic physio bands.

    The left shoulder is about 95% back to normal. I still get some pains with certain movements and about a 99% ROM, but that is primarily due to the excessive amount of time I wasted before tending to the problem. That is what made it so severe and left a considerable amount of scar tissue. I have just started with some castor oil treatment to try get rid of the final bit of scar tissue. If need be sometime in the future I will look into deep tissue massage to break up the deeply embedded ST.

    X
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  9. #9
    Registered User chickeneater's Avatar
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    I had my shoulder scoped in jan due to nagging pain. Mri showed tear. Did not know where until scoping. Surgery showed labrum tear that was trimmed, shoulder joint cleaned out (whatever that meant) and acromian bone grinded bk for joint room. Could move arm around in 2-3 days. Overhead in a week or so. Did pt and no painkillers (cant stand em) The surgical experience I had was a piece of cake compared to what I expected. The recovery was a peice of cake too, considering I work outside in the freezing cold, so being home on the internet ruled.

    I recall not being able to conjure up any pain at precisely the 4mo mark.

    pre surgery, lifting on and off my best bench was 220. 6'2 ecto. I thought that was my max for life. After finding and reading bdybldg.com I bench 255 11 mos now after surgery. No pain whatsoever. I used to be able to mil press 55 db's for 1 rep. I can now do 60's for 9.

    Based on my personal experience I reccomend the surgery. Once I came out of the surgery room I pretty much came out of this depression funk I was in for 6 mos or so. I'm big on mind-body connection and the "feel" of things. I'm not big on medical terms, the less I know the better. All I know is I feel great now. I truly believe your attitude towards the surgery and recovery are 90%of how your'e gonna turn out. Good luck.
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  10. #10
    Registered User avianofdarkness's Avatar
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    Well that's great news chickeneater; I'm glad to hear a positive story. What's your age by the way? Do you think this and your physical fitness contributed to your good recovery? And did you do a lot of physical therapy? I'm 22 and was benching about 250 before I stopped lifting a month ago due to nagging pain and the labrum tear diagnosis. I hope to get to 315 by early 2008 maybe depending on how things progress.
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    In The Realm of Ooshwabla xenithon's Avatar
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    chickeneater - glad you had a great success with the surgery and continue to have a strong comeback. However I still suggest to take your quote
    Based on my personal experience I reccomend the surgery
    with caution. It is very difficult to tell if it is really necessary. Too often people rush into surgery, when other avenues can be just as if not more successful. Yes they make take longer, but are far better in the long run.

    In general surgery should be a last resort, but if it must be done then so be it. Just make sure you identify possible alternatives. I know a number of people who got surgery (sometimes minor) and were worse for wear afterward. Alternatives include: massage and rehab physio, ART, deep tissue massage, ultrasound, even accupuncture etc.

    X
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  12. #12
    Registered User chickeneater's Avatar
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    Talking

    I see what your'e saying. I should'nt and don't go around telling people to get a surgery w/ out trying alternatives. But.......medical technology is so good nowadays. The doc that worked on me told me how it is so rare to slice the skin wide open for any procedures anymore. They can do so much w/ scoping now. In the last 15 yrs he told me that a average shoulder surgery recovery has gone from 6-12 mos to 6 weeks. (6 weeks to get bk to a normal job, unless your job is sport related) The day of my surgery I saw the doc's schedule. He had 7 knee scopings before lunch. And I was one of 4 shoulder surgeries post lunch. That would freak some out. Not me, I like a doc w/ repetive experience.

    Avianofdarkness, Im 33 and was in the worst shape of my life previous to surgery. I lifted until @ a year b-4 my surgery. I could probably have benched 175 just b4 I had my surgery. I fell into depression for a year previous, and at 6'2 my normally athletic bodyweight dropped from my normal 208 to 195. I now weigh about 224 (I'm doughier than I should be, but hey I'm bulking). So I don't think I was in the kind of shape that helped me recover in the first place.

    I accepted that I would never bench again. Just db's. I worked up from 20# to 40# then 50# slowly. I couldnt stop reading about bodybuilding. Then I joined a gym, and couldn't help myself. So I warmed up and threw on 175. Did 3 slow strict reps. No pain! I was psyched. Did 185 the next week for a few. That was July. I jumped on the max-ot bandwagon and bulk eat. If you told me I'd be benchin 255 right now, I thought you were crazy. My goal is to bench 315 also by late next year. And I would be thrilled to hit 275 in Jan 1 year post surgery. How cool would it be to have added 100# to your bench on your 1 year anniversary from surgery!

    edit: BTW, I'ts not that surgery cured the depression I went through , I was going through multiple problems that hit me all around the same time as the shoulder pain, that have now since been resolved.
    Last edited by chickeneater; 12-18-2005 at 05:23 PM.
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  13. #13
    Registered User avianofdarkness's Avatar
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    What kind of labrum tear was it? 1, 2, 3, or 4?
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    Train smarter, not harder $AJ's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by avianofdarkness
    aj - what did you do when recovering from your radial head tear? Light weights, just physical therapy? Do you still have any pain now or can you do everything you did before?
    physio (which i think was a waste, heh), but the biggest thing was just rest. lots of rest and coming back slowly. ~NOW~ I"m as close to 100% as i'll ever be - no noticeable problems.
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    Registered User chickeneater's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by avianofdarkness
    What kind of labrum tear was it? 1, 2, 3, or 4?
    He just said minor tear, I don't know if by the #"s you mean severity or not. And cleaned up scar tissue due to past inflammation. If anyone saw UFC 2nd series where the dude tore his labrum right off his bicep and it curled up into his upper arm into a bulge, that was pretty extreme. But the trainers/coaches felt bad for him because of his loss in the fight and not the injury, because they said the injury would be fixed.
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  16. #16
    Rocky Training Mod Nainoa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by avianofdarkness
    I recently had an MRI which showed I have a tear in my glenoid labrum (Slap tear). I have to see a specialist next week but was wondering if any of you have ever had a Slap tear before and if you ever got back 100% use of your shoulder. I hear recovery for this injury is long (like six months) but I'm hoping that at the end of it I'll be able to get back to where I was. Anyone have any info or stories? thanks.
    Well during the process of diagnosing, mis-diagnosing, and evalution of my shoulder injury, there was a point where they though I had a SLAP lesion... Turned out to not be the case...

    But I did ask some questions, and do some reading...

    In ALL shoulder injurys you want to see surgery as a last resort option...

    Any joint you cut into will never be exactly the same... Hell every joint I've ever suffered a serious injury to (Football) has never been the same...

    Now can you get that joint to operate at 100% work capability again? Yes...

    From what I understand with SLAP lesions, is that the mild ones, it's preferable to try a few months of PT... The torn area will not reattach itself, but what happens is that the PT specficially targets strengthening the Bi-cepetal attachement which is still healthy, making it just as strong as it was before the tear...

    One of the major complications that can form from this approach is that since the little frayed area of BT is still there, it can form a small osteophyte bone spur over the course of time, and require a minor procedure to remove the spur.

    If the SLAP is serious, it will need surgery... Depending on the degree of tear, will vary how long it takes to heal... But realistically they say an average person it's 4-6 months... Athletes (Like us) 6-9 months before complete return to sport.

    ***
    One thing you may want to look up, and definitely ask your Doc about is "Prolotherapy."

    Prolo is in it's infancy, and trust me getting joint injections will never be a F*ckin' ride at Disneyland... But it's showing great results, in healing injuries that were previously thought to only be repaired surgically.
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  17. #17
    yo yo yo Flex500's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by avianofdarkness
    I recently had an MRI which showed I have a tear in my glenoid labrum (Slap tear). I have to see a specialist next week but was wondering if any of you have ever had a Slap tear before and if you ever got back 100% use of your shoulder. I hear recovery for this injury is long (like six months) but I'm hoping that at the end of it I'll be able to get back to where I was. Anyone have any info or stories? thanks.
    when I was still working with college sports we had a few football players that had SLAP lesions. It is a long process but they pretty much were back to normal. 2 of them were defensive lineman and they were both 400+ plus benchers and were close to getting their strength fully back. If you get into an aggressive rehab program (well aggressive as far as slap lesion rehab goes after surgery) you can get back to 95% I am certain.
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  18. #18
    Registered User avianofdarkness's Avatar
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    thanks for the input guys. I'm definitely going to look into prolotherapy. Flex, did the football guys ever lift more than pre-surgery? I know I didn't reach my potential before my injury and while I am willing to be patient and do upwards of a year of physical therapy I"d like to someday lift more than where I left off.
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    Originally Posted by avianofdarkness
    thanks for the input guys. I'm definitely going to look into prolotherapy. Flex, did the football guys ever lift more than pre-surgery? I know I didn't reach my potential before my injury and while I am willing to be patient and do upwards of a year of physical therapy I"d like to someday lift more than where I left off.
    I haven't talked to them in a year so I am not sure, but at the rate they were going, I would more than bet they were on track to eclipse their previous lifts. These guys were both over 280 (one was 285, the other 310 I believe) so they were very very strong and heavy guys. I think one of them actually plays for the chargers now.

    Anyway I am pretty confident they are on track. Of course after any surgery some people usually experience some odd and minor pains or aches, that seems to be normal no matter what the case. But I believe you can get pretty much back to normal.

    In general we are not quite as far with shoulders (surgery wise) as we are with ankles, knees, and wrists, but if you find a good shoulder surgeon you should be alright.
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    Registered User avianofdarkness's Avatar
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    Well I went to the orthopedic surgeon today and he said the tear occurred right before the bicep tendon and is more of an anterior lesion than a superior lesion (slap). This is supposedly less complicated than a slap lesion and he recommends conservative treatment, physical therapy for a month, and says there's maybe a 50% chance of becoming asymptomatic without surgery. He also said there's a good chance of retearing a labrum that's been operated on (30-40%) so he doesn't recommend it if possible. I'm getting a second opinion next week from a shoulder specialist.

    Good luck to Nainoa and Buff_Daddy on your recoveries; I feel your pain.
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    Rocky Training Mod Nainoa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by avianofdarkness
    Well I went to the orthopedic surgeon today and he said the tear occurred right before the bicep tendon and is more of an anterior lesion than a superior lesion (slap). This is supposedly less complicated than a slap lesion and he recommends conservative treatment, physical therapy for a month, and says there's maybe a 50% chance of becoming asymptomatic without surgery. He also said there's a good chance of retearing a labrum that's been operated on (30-40%) so he doesn't recommend it if possible. I'm getting a second opinion next week from a shoulder specialist.

    Good luck to Nainoa and Buff_Daddy on your recoveries; I feel your pain.
    Thanks for the well wishes Bro...

    Sounds like you're on the right track... Two oppinions and reserving surgery for a last resort is the right way to go.

    One thing you have to do now is focus on staying mentally positive...

    I have to say, that while I lost 8 months of effective upper body training, that it was indeed worth it...

    For one, I'd never been much of an ego lifter, but it definitely humbled me the rest of the way...

    For two... I eventually reached a stage where I could squat with no ill effects... And HOLY **** did it make my legs grow...

    Then when I did get back to the game and had to go low and slow, since my ego was completely checked, I was able to make a smooth recovery...

    And having taken that much time off of upper body work... Combined with spending 3-4 months being a squat maniac... Now that I'm back and just "Being Careful" Between rebuilding atrophy, and now my body reacting like I'm going through noob gains all over again, it's GREAT!

    On August 21st I weighed 210 pounds... All atrophied up... 12% body fat...
    Last week I weighed in, morning/dry... 3 times at an average of 235, 14% body fat. (Granted there's some creatine bloat in there... More like my sig 228-ish)

    The point is that right now I know you're feeling down in the dumps... And it hurts because you're in the darkest part of the journey through this... But I'm tellin' ya... When you get back to the light, you're going to find it's twice as bright as it was before... And all the better because when you finally get back to "Healthy" you'll appreciate every single second...

    Just hold on bro...
    It's gonna get better!
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    "This is where man finds himself these days, 10,000 years in the making. 10,000 years of endeavor in science, the arts and humanities. And within one generation he's been reduced to a feckless, bed wetting, parmesan shaving imbecile who revels in his own uselessness... Something has to be done." -James May

    "The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there."
    -Robert M. Pirsig
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  22. #22
    yo yo yo Flex500's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by avianofdarkness
    Well I went to the orthopedic surgeon today and he said the tear occurred right before the bicep tendon and is more of an anterior lesion than a superior lesion (slap). This is supposedly less complicated than a slap lesion and he recommends conservative treatment, physical therapy for a month, and says there's maybe a 50% chance of becoming asymptomatic without surgery. He also said there's a good chance of retearing a labrum that's been operated on (30-40%) so he doesn't recommend it if possible. I'm getting a second opinion next week from a shoulder specialist.

    Good luck to Nainoa and Buff_Daddy on your recoveries; I feel your pain.
    using shoulder surgery as a last resort is the way to go for the shoulder. Unlike the knee and ankle where we are very very good at the procedures and can fix you up like new.

    Usually with a SLAP lesion they biceps tendon is also torn. You didn't tear yours huh? Thats great news, one less thing to deal with. Keep your head up and focus on the rehab and you'll be back on track.
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  23. #23
    Registered User avianofdarkness's Avatar
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    I forgot I even had this account but logged into it accidentally today while trying to log into a recently made account. I received a PM from someone 3 weeks ago who found this thread from google and asked for an update on my progress and I wrote him a lengthy reply. I thought someone else might benefit from my update so I thought I'd repost my reply here. If it's against the rules to bump old threads or if you don't care, you can ignore or delete.

    "LOL wow, i accidentally logged into this account today when trying to access another account I started recently. Forgot this even existed. Anyway, I went to two orthopaedic surgeons. The last one was a shoulder and elbow specialist. They both said I should try rehab first. I thought it was pointless since based on everything I had read you can't regenerate cartilage in the shoulder because there's no blood flow there. But I went through the rehab and I think after 3 months I did a personal record on the bench (230)....at the physical therapy place. No pain. Kinda strange thinking back on it since I had stopped working out entirely except for doing the light work at the physical therapy place. I think that was my last session there.

    What helped me during physical therapy was downing bottles of Wellesse liquid glucosamine like it was water and mixing it with joint juice. I also took every kind of joint relief supplement I could find (Sam-E, calcium, shark cartilage, and tons of other crap that was probably pointless.) The liquid glucosamine helped a lot. Currently I take Animal Flex which I think is even better. I've also heard some good things about Orange Triad. Honestly I didn't lift regularly for about 3 years after my injury. Mostly because I started law school and then life got in the way. Considering i reached a PR on my bench during my physical therapy without pain, I doubt I had any real physical limitations. Maybe a few mental ones. But I am happy to report that today I just did 3 sets of dumbbell shoulder presses with 90 lb dumbbells with good form. No pain. Monday I did 295x4, 295x3, 295x3 on barbell bench followed by 3 sets of 6 with 120 lb dumbbells. I'd say my recovery went very well. I'm also 50 pounds heavier now than when I was injured though.

    To be perfectly honest, I doubt my shoulder will ever be 100%. It gets tired more easily than my right shoulder when I'm doing static holds. If I hold up a gallon of milk in front of me with my arm outstretched I would probably last a much shorter time than a regular guy. I also cut out some movements from my lifting repertoire. I refuse to do military press with a barbell. When I do shoulder press with dumbbells I turn the dumbbells in so they're at a 45 degree angle as opposed to even with my head. I also moved things around so I don't work my shoulders heavy too many times a weak. I'm also constantly re-evaluating how to perform lifts in a safe way. Apparently I've been benching wrong the whole time. Once I did it correctly, with powerlifting form, I stopped getting shoulder pain. My shoulder also stopped clicking. I also warm up my shoulders before every single upper body workout. I use 5, then 10, then 15 lb dumbbells doing raises, punches across the body, and punches to the front. With each dumbbell I do a set of 8 reps for each set. I also do a lot of warmup sets before I do my regular sets. For instance, with bench I do pushups, 115, 145, 180, 225, then my working sets (e.g. 295). I probably should add in a 275 to the warmups to be safe. Before I would just slap on 135 and then do 215 for working sets. I'm pain-free with my warmups and I'm benching more than I ever did. Same with all my lifts including shoulder presses, etc. Honestly all the extra warmup didn't slow down my gains for even a single week like I thought it would. I'm going for 3 plates on the bench on Monday. Gonna do it all natty, never even taken creatine. Didn't think it was possible natty even before my injury. Just gotta stick with it.

    If I were you, I'd get at least two opinions from a shoulder and elbow specialist. And even then if you feel your shoulder isn't hanging by a thread, do some rehab work on your own unless the doctors say you need surgery right away. No harm in waiting. Also remember that no surgery is guaranteed.

    Good luck and keep me updated.

    Cliffs:
    - after 3 months of physical therapy and downing glucosamine like water, I did a personal record on bench at the physical therapy place. That's when I knew my shoulder was fine.
    - my shoulder is maybe 90% of what it was and there are some ill effects like it gets tired a lot faster than my right shoulder but all in all it barely slowsm e down.
    - I'm a lot stronger than I've ever been for all exercises that utilize my shoulder. By far.
    - I work out a lot smarter, do a lot more warmup, eliminate some lifts and take joint supplements regularly (Animal Flex)
    - I'd try physical therapy first unless orthopaedic surgeon says you need surgery right away.
    - Your mileage may vary. I have no idea how serious your shoulder is. You might need surgery. In any case, just remember it is possible to come back a LOT stronger than you were before if you're smart and work hard. However, there are some things you may be stuck with (shoulder being tired faster)."

    *note that I wrote my reply to the user before I even looked back on this thread. Strong e-stats (wasn't benching 250, i failed 255 I think) and optimism by me (3 plates by early 2008, lol).
    Last edited by avianofdarkness; 03-29-2012 at 04:06 AM.
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  24. #24
    Registered User erock27's Avatar
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    I tore my labrum during my senior football season. It was a slap tear as well, pretty bad actually. The surgery required three anchors to hold it back into place. Anyways after 3 months of p.t. and a lot of rest I as able to make my way back in the gym. Of coarse not 100% but started VERY light weight and worked my way back up.
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  25. #25
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    I know this thread is a little old, but in my opinion do NOT have slap repair surgery. Explore EVERY other option you can think of before doing this. I had this surgery about 3 months ago and it has probably been the single worst decision of my life. In my honest opinion (also look it up, lots of info out there) fix it yourself the CORRECT way with TB500 and IGF-1 LR3. This is what I should have done and now am doing it the way I wanted to. You will heal in a fraction of the time and the tendons will grow back together and you will be fine. The medical community wont use these methods because they are ONLY in the business of making as much money as physically possible, not actually fixing people. Also, even with insurance, be prepared for very hefty bills. The other method can be done in an 8th of the time and will cost 1/1000th less.

    Sorry for my rant..
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  26. #26
    Registered User Vanks28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by erock27 View Post
    I tore my labrum during my senior football season. It was a slap tear as well, pretty bad actually. The surgery required three anchors to hold it back into place. Anyways after 3 months of p.t. and a lot of rest I as able to make my way back in the gym. Of coarse not 100% but started VERY light weight and worked my way back up.
    I know this is kind of old so this question will be answered accurate, but how is your shoulder now after the repair? are you lifting weights again and if so can you lift more weight than before? do you still feel any pain? and how long did it take to surpass your previous level of strength (if you did)?
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