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  1. #1
    Registered User mcloubr's Avatar
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    Labral Tear Surgery - pro vs cons

    Hey everyone,

    I have shoulder surgery scheduled in 2 weeks for a torn labrum. Its torn on the back of the shoulder, only a partial tear. It happened 2 years ago. Lots of pain in those first few months. Stopped doing overhead presses, and if I do heavy overhead stuff the pain comes back.

    No pain right now, clicking noises and some weakness on that side when benching but that side is weaker. The surgeon recommends anthroscopic surgery with sutures, he is a surgeon so no surprises there.

    Has anyone had something similar, what was your recovery like? Was it worth it? Did you lose range of motion from surgery? Did it make things worse? How much Time out of the gym?

    I'm having second thoughts as there isnt pain and I cant pinpoint weakness as being attributed solely to that. Love some feedback from those who have done this.
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  2. #2
    Registered User sowilson's Avatar
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    If you have the surgery, it will be fixed. If you don't it won't. It won't heal on it's own. You should use the search function. There is a 130pg discussion on labrum surgery recovery and issues. You should read. The most important part of the surgery is your rehab. It's best if your orthopedic surgeon is a sports team doctor (pro or high level college is best) and your PT has their DPT and works with athletes on recovery. My son was treated by a MLB and NHL team doctors, had a very good S&C Coach and trainers in HS, and his PT was a college soccer player and works with athletes exclusively. So, his recovery plan was extensive with lifting starting 4 months post op. It took him about a year to be cleared for football and two years to be completely recovered. He worked very hard at his rehab and we (doctor, PT, S&C coaches, and myself) worked hard on his lifting routine (it varied a lot as his ROM improved). He was successful and has had no issues with that shoulder. He went on to play college football and engaged in all the lifts associated with playing defensive tackle (BP, OHP, etc). You really have to own your rehab and be a pest of your surgeon and PT if need be.
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    Registered User mcloubr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sowilson View Post
    If you have the surgery, it will be fixed. If you don't it won't. It won't heal on it's own. You should use the search function. There is a 130pg discussion on labrum surgery recovery and issues. You should read. The most important part of the surgery is your rehab. It's best if your orthopedic surgeon is a sports team doctor (pro or high level college is best) and your PT has their DPT and works with athletes on recovery. My son was treated by a MLB and NHL team doctors, had a very good S&C Coach and trainers in HS, and his PT was a college soccer player and works with athletes exclusively. So, his recovery plan was extensive with lifting starting 4 months post op. It took him about a year to be cleared for football and two years to be completely recovered. He worked very hard at his rehab and we (doctor, PT, S&C coaches, and myself) worked hard on his lifting routine (it varied a lot as his ROM improved). He was successful and has had no issues with that shoulder. He went on to play college football and engaged in all the lifts associated with playing defensive tackle (BP, OHP, etc). You really have to own your rehab and be a pest of your surgeon and PT if need be.
    That's great news, glad to hear of your son's success. I'm doing both perusing articles on here and also trying to start another thread on this (I know there are a few). My surgery is scheduled in 8 days so I'm trying to get a broader picture. I was at the gym and was filling out suspension paperwork for when I'd be out and why, and a stranger overheard, came over to me and spoke like he had seen a ghost about his experience with this procedure.

    What was your son's motivating factor for surgery? My pain ended after I stopped doing overhead stuff and basically stopped working shoulders at any real weight. There is a small nagging pain, but this guy kinda freaked me out about all of this.
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    Brownie Diet Zealot wsteve30's Avatar
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    It's not as clear as it may seem. I had 2 doctors tell me that my shoulder didn't have a labral tear. The third told me that it was a severe SLAP tear.

    I struggled with pain bench and overhead pressing for a long long time. Then I noticed I wasn't properly balancing the bar over my head during OHP - pain problem solved. Switched from barbell to dumbbell bench press - pain problem solved.

    I've had pain in my shoulder for years, seen about 50 doctors and physical therapists, still no idea what's going on with the pain. But if you try different things and never give up, surgery may not be necessary.
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    Registered User sowilson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mcloubr View Post
    What was your son's motivating factor for surgery? .
    My son had a subluxation towards the end of his sophomore year in HS. It was decided at the time to rehab it (Orthopedic surgeon was a MLB team doc). Rehab went well and he was cleared for football. PT was a DPT and flew to Europe to learn a couple of new techniques on measuring stability (my son is very strong and the PT needed more leverage). Towards end of training camp next summer my son had scapular discomfort. Ortho and son agreed to an MRI-A after the season to see if there was something to fix. 2nd game of Junior season, son is making a tackle and one of his teammates blew up through my sons shoulder, subluxing it again this time with 270 degree labrum tear as well as parts of the scapula being torn off. That requires surgery to fix. Surgery was performed by NHL Team Orthopedic Surgeon who does research with the Army on orthopedic surgical procedures, as well as Big10 school director of athletic medicine, as well as professor of surgery. 6 anchors to fix. normal rehab through first 4 months. Around that time the PT, Ortho, me, my sons S&C coach, and a Big10 S&C coach worked on a schedule of lifts to bring into his routine as the PT progressed (so Ortho and/or PT would tell my son when he could start incorporating new lifts). Starting routine was lot's of pulls, some curls, no pressing, no deadlifts or squats. He was doing leg presses, belt squats, sled work for lower body. Initial pressing was bench press for form with a broom, followed by BP with just a bar, followed by 10lb weights and 6 boards (so a 6 board press). Continuing 6 board press until BP 135 (previous 1RM around 315). At BP135 gradually reduces boards until could do full ROM. Then start on progressive overload. At that point squats were brought in but he was still uncomfortable holding squat bar. So, light initial squat warms ups with bar, the switch over to SSB. Once he was up to 300lbs on squat with no SSB he started in on deadlifts. Around this time (7-8 months post op) OHP and other lifts were brought in, always light at first to get use to lift again and then progressive overload. at 11months post op (1 week prior to 1st game of senior season) he was cleared for all activities. Final check was 2yr post op and he had set new 1RM's in all lifts (385 or so BP, 550-600 or Squat). The recovery was very good and he has had no issues with shoulder. He went on to play 4 years of college football and is finishing up his college career throwing shot, hammer, discus, and possibly javelin. The key was that everyone was on board with his rehab and agreed to a fairly aggressive but very well monitored rehab (PT as well as S&C). All lifts were recorded, all rehab exercises were recorded (time, date, duration) so that the PT and Ortho could periodically review.
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