Anybody heard of a "labral tear" (shoulder inj.) : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread


Yesterday a shoulder surgeon told me that I might have a "labral tear." The labrum is a soft cartiledge lining that allows the humerus to move more freely in the shoulder. Now I need an MR Arthogram which is going to take one month to schedule (one MRI machine in Vermont and surrounding area). My question is, has anyone had one of these? What are the indications for surgery and if it is not taken care of, could it permanently affect shoulder performance related to climbing? Any info related to this would be great. Thanks.

-- roger murphy (, March 23, 1999


I don't know if I can get roger's email to work, so I'll respond here. I'm having shoulder surgery next week, and I have two problems, the first being that my labrum is torn where it attaches to the humerus. I am an active climber, surfer, and skiier and probably tore it from too much surfing in early january and the pain got much worse as I climbed and skiied with it. The docs could see an incredible loss of weakness in my left arm/shoulder two weeks, so I had an MR arthogram done which revealed the tear and an addiitonal, more serious problem. Due to the tear, some stuff got into my joint capsule and a cyst developed in the joint space, which is impinging one or two nerves. This is bad because irreversible nerve damage may, or has, occurred, which could results in permanent weakness in the joing/arm. So they have to go in there and remove the cyst and sew up the labrum. The docs would never have known about the cyst if they had not done the MR arthogram, so I suggest getting the MR done. And if it is indeed torn, from what I've heard it won't heal 100% on its own, so for young active individuals its good to fix it surgically. Good luck!

-- Steve Klisch (, March 25, 1999.

I am going throught the same thing right now. I just got an arthogram along with an MRI. My doctors told me that I also had a labral tear. I'm not sure how long this has been happening to you but I waited for almost 2 years to get my shoulder looked at and in those 2 years it became so instable that it now dislocates. My muscles have become extreamly loose and the doctors say that surgery will not fix it. So the answer to your question is...Get the surgery!!!! It only gets worse. :) Godd luck with everything too. : )

-- Amanda Bailey (, May 16, 2001.

Hi......I have had problems with my left shoulder since November....Had one cortisoneinjection adn helped for several weeks....had an MRI in January and revealed an anterior labral not an athlete and can not attribut this to any specific doctor suggests surgery to repair this....did three weeks of physical therapy and no results from this....some days it is worse than scheduled to have the surgery in April but still reluctant to do so.....I can not offer any advise for I am in the same boat with you.....good luck .........

-- Petra Landry (, March 21, 2002.

Yesterday, 5/1/02, I arthroscopic surgery on a labral tear, only mine was in my right hip. This was done by Dr. Michael Mayor @ the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon,NH which is not to far from where you are in VT. I had an MR done in Concord NH where I live but they also have that capability at Dartmouth Hitchcock. Arthroscopic surgery has extremely less impact and allows for much quicker recovery time. Mine was done on a SAME DAY PROGRAM and I will be back to work in a couple days. ----- As I was writing this my surgeon just called me to check on how I was doing. I asked him if he did shoulders as well and he advised me that the expert in that area is Dr. John Nutting at Dartmouth Hitchcock. If you are still looking to resolve your situation this is a great place to do it.


I am scheduled for an arthogram next week-6/11/02. I developed bicep tendonitis and frozen shoulder in my left shoulder. I don't know if I have a tear in my tendon or not so I am hoping this test will reveal why I am having such severe pain. I started lifting weights about a year ago and developed pain in my bicep--I just worked through it until it got to be so painful. I've been going to physical therapy for about 1-2 months for my frozen shoulder but progress has been very slow. If anyone else has had something similar to this, I would appreciate hearing from them.

-- Jana Harrison (, June 04, 2002.

Good Day Roger, I had my labral tear fixed at the end of February and It seems to be coming along fine. I actually ripped it in the weight room about 2 years ago and like a fool thought it would get better on its own. I tried everything you can imagine. Rest, Physical Therapy, Excersize, Prolotherapy (Injection Therapy)Message you name it. I actually had an Arthogram and the labral tear didn't show up. I can tell you from my experience that the longer you put off the surgery the weaker and more painful your shoulder will become. I waited till I coulden't lift my arm up to the side without severe pain. If I had to do it all over again I would have gone right for the shoulder surgery. Its just over 100 days since I had the operation and IM fully functional. The only pain I have now is from the repair work which in fact is becoming less and less over time. In addition to the labral tear, the surgeon cleaned out all the scar tissue that had formed and took care of a bone spur. Its not an easy recovery but its worth it in the end. The pain I had prior to the surgery is 100% completely gone. Get the surgery. Pick a good Doctor and just get it over. The longer you put it off the weaker the shoulder will be when you finally decide to get it fixed. That makes for an even longer road to recovery. Good Luck Bobby

-- Robert E. Meyer (, June 07, 2002.

hey did the test go? did you have the surgery? i too have injured my shoulder and i just got back home from having the xray series arthogram and MR arthogram, i dont have a diagnosis yet, waiting for doc to look at all the film but have a question for you or anyone reading......when they injected the dye into your joint for the test, did you have a huge amount of blood tinged fluid squirt out everywhere! that is what i just experienced and no one at the hospital would indicate to me whether or not that was normal, ,,,,they didnt seem like it was something they were prepared for or use to. thanks for any info and good luck with your situation

-- martha roman (, June 26, 2002.

I had a slap II repair done to my right shoulder in June of 94. All went well and my should was back to normal in the 3-4 month time. Over the past few years I've started getting the same symptoms I had back in 94 and the pain is getting worse. I went to the doctor yesterday and he decide to go in with Arrhroscopy and check out my labrum. I am having this done in three days. He thinks its probably ripped again. He told me I could either let them fix the tear again or remove the labrum all together with partial bicep tendon removal. He said they usually only remove it in patients 50 and older. I told him to use his judgement and if it doesnt look good to remove it. I hope all goes well..

-- David White (mrdavidmwhite@YAHOO.COM), August 20, 2002.

Hello fellow instable shoulder people, I am due for surgery in four weeks. I had the arthrogram MRI done a few months ago and that revealed a labral tear and a hill sachs defect. I unlike many of the stories told here do not have that much pain but my right shoulder once in a while reminds me that something is wrong. I am very active and this injury occured playing basketball. My right shoulder is bothered when I play baseball (throwing position) and basketball. Unfortunately I am addicted to these sports and can not stand babying them anymore. I was wondering if anyone out in www land was able to get back to full strength in regards to the throwing mechanism. Also, I suggest anyone with this problem like anything elses in the medical field is to get a second opinion. I am actually going to get a third next week. The labral tear procedure seems to be an across the board procedure with really no new medical technology to help us out. My final question is to anybody who received this surgery, please let me know how long it was untill you felt better and was able to do the same things you did prior to this stupid nerve racking injury. Thank you and keep strenghting those RC muscles. Hey, to think positive....Most of the female physical therapist are hot!

-- Sean Brother (, September 23, 2002.

Hey Sean I tore my labrum wrestling and after finding out i tore it I was under the knife in less then a week. This was partialy due to the fact that my coach has connections in Central Jersey and Philly and that I needed to wrestle Varsity that winter. I had surgery and I am doing great. Nothing is wrong and i havnt had any problems. I am fully able to use my shoulder and it is better then ever. Best of luck with your shoulder hopefully you didnt dislocate it 9 times.

-- (, September 23, 2002.

I dislocated my shoulder playing rugby league, (a team-mate landed on my arm as I was getting up..) It went back in by itself which I was told was a good sign.. but over the years (eight) it has dislocated/partially dislocated maybe six times (basket-ball, body surfing, volleyball) So I saw an orthopedic surgeon just recently, he found a spur but said it was related to some other injury from my childhood. He diagnosed a torn labrum and said he could fix it by screwing tiny little screws in the bone (scapula?) and sewing the labrum to the screws. He said I'd have a scar of about 6cm (2.? inches for the americans) on the front of my shoulder. I'm getting a second opinion. And hopefully an MRI.

-- marcus (, October 03, 2002.

Hi Roger, I had a torn labrum repaired in July, and am doing the physical therapy now. The pain is gone, but my shoulder still pops a little when I bend at the elbow, and lift up or reach for something. If anyone who had the surgery experiences this please let me know. Roger,Definately have the surgery it will relieve pain, and that's the main thing.

-- GP (, October 04, 2002.

Going under the knife tomorrow for this. Looks like I wont be Ice Climbing this winter. Injured this playing football and thought it would get better. HA! hope this works, will let you all know.

-- Roy (, October 08, 2002.

I like everyone else on this page have a labral tear. It has been this way from initially playing volleyball six years ago. rock climbing has only contributed to the problem and now i can't even throw with my bad arm without an amazing painful subluxation. I was finally able to be diagnosis after visiting the 3rd orthopedic, months of p.t. and years of pain. this winter i am having arthoscopic surgery and capsulorrhaphy which will shrink all of the tissues so my shoulder is less likely to sublex. if you have any problems similiar to this with your shoulder insist on getting an MRI/arthogram to see if you have a tear, and definetly consider surgery

-- Erin DeRosia (, October 13, 2002.

Hello all! I am typing with just one arm because two days ago I went under the knife to fix my labral tear(right shoulder). The procedure was done arthroscopically(sp) and prior to the MD.'s putting me completely under they gave me a nerve blocking drug through my neck for pain management after the surgery. I highly suggest you get that done. So far a little sore and just anxious to get back into the swing of things. I will be keeping a diary of how things work out week for week and if any one is interested in my recovery feel free to ask any questions.

-- shaun brothers (, October 18, 2002.

Hi Shaun, I am interested in your progress-I had a huge rotator cuff tear repair performed 2 years ago (an open procedure because it was so bad) and the therapy took so long...the worst thing is being locked into a sling for 4 weeks, it's mentally a killer. Then, I suffered a separated shoulder in rehab...boy, what a mess. Now, I injured my left shoulder last month, how I do not know, but I suspect the labrum is torn along with the bicep tendon and maybe rotator cuff. I have more popping and grinding than the transmission on a 1972 Dodge Dart. I go to the doc this week for tests, but until then, i'm curious if he just did a clean up on you (cut the torn edges off) or did he do a repair (stitch it back together)? Did you have any other tendon involvement/repair? Good luck with the therapy, and to those of you that are healthy, remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be kind to your body if you want it to last. I was not and now I'm paying the price.

-- Doug Harhai (, October 19, 2002.

I'm scheduled to have arthroscopy on Nov. 21st of this year. My right shoulder had been injured last fall adn I simply shrugged it off and went through two months of physical therapy. Don't do this! I played three sports in high school and now play lacrosse in college. As the spring season came about last year, as well as this whole summer, the pain in my shoulder continued to grow. At the end of the summer,I finally went to a specialist who suggested I had a SLAP tear. I had a second opinion after my MRI and CT showed nothing and that Dr. also agreed that I needed the surgery. Don't let it wait, get any shoulder problems taken care of, they just get worse.

-- Chris Cline (, October 22, 2002.

Hi, Well I dont have a answer for you, but I am going thro almost the same thing.In June of this year my husband and I had went gro. shopping, my husband had handed me A 3lb. can of coffee. He thought I had a hold of the can of coffe and let go, well I reach suddenly for the coffee and felt something tear in my left arm. I was in a lot of pain.The pain was so bad after about 2 weeks I went to the er.The doctor on duty just laught at me when I told him it was from a 3lb. can of coffe,he did not do any thing other then put me on a pain pill and said see my family doctor that following week.Well it was not just the can of coffee it was from the sudden jerk cause I was catching the can of coffee that my husband handed me and I thought it was falling.I went to the doctor on July 10th. and she said she did not see any thing wrong,on the xray and sent me to specislty he did a MRI and said it showed a cluster of cyst and maybe a torn roter cuff, he injected a cortisone shot and wants me to go thro therapy first and see if that will help before he dose any thing else. I have been in therapy for 3 weeks and the pain is bad at times and some times It dont hurt at all. The pain is mostly at night when I am trying to sleep, some nights the pain is so bad I cry with it, the pain pills dont help much.The cortisone shot dose not seem to help much either. I have found that 800mg of morton helps me the best and a heat pad.I go to doctor tomorrow and find out if he is going to do 1 more test to find out if I have a torn rotor cuff. So far everyone that has the same problem told me not to do the therapy and go for the sugary if it is a torn rotor cuff that therapy dose not help and the pain is still there.I still can not move my left arm from my shoulder to my elbow even with the therapy.I hope they can do something soon, this happen in June and here it is almost November and still in pain. Well I wish you luck and the very best and I will keep you all in my prayers.

-- Carla m. Hinkle (, October 29, 2002.

had the surgery on 6/12/02-think i injured it back in '88 when i had a fall that injured my foot, leg, neck and back (was deliberately mis-diagnosed by drs. for 5 1/2 yrs. because i fell in a store and the overpaid xcvdqws didn't want to do a deposition in case i filed a lawsuit against the store). Already had neck and back surgery with bone grafts and plates and screws. shoulder pain was ignored by drs until it got so bad in feb. that i cdn't use rt. arm. --finally had artho surgery because only thing found in mri was arthritis--then labrum tear was found and repaired. at end of three months therapy the therapist tore it again and now i have to have it redone!! because it wasn't done when it should have been, now it has irratated the rotator cuff, etc.

-- julie donnelly (, October 29, 2002.

To make this fast: tennis injury 5/28, waited to see family MD until mid July. Family MD almost immediately said labrum, need to see orthopedic surgeon. Saw OS mid Aug, confirmed likely labrum, recommended MRI with angiogram. Radiologist "did not see" tear in his diagnosis. OS said this is an easy thing to miss. Had surgery last Thurs (10/24), inserted anchor into shoulder socket to hold labrum to bone. Including other "house keeping" the total procedure, from time I entered the surgery center to stepping foot in my home was 4 hours 15 minutes. Although I won't be able to play tennis for 6 months, one of the worst sports on the shoulder, I'm told I should have 100% recovery. I strongly recommend going through all the preliminary testing but have the surgery if you want a chance to regain your ability to continue your physical activities.

-- Don Detar (, October 31, 2002.

I was wondering if anyone can describe what it feels like when they have a labral tear. My first visit for my shoulder was to my family physician. Luckily(?) the day of my appointment, whatever is causing the pain was acting up that day (from the day before when I pushed a door shut hard). She had me raise my arm in various positions and in one of them, I heard a grinding-type noise, and everything felt fine. Got home, twisted around in the car to get something out of the back seat and it acted up again. She diagnosed me with "shoulder instability" and suggested I follow up with an orthopedic surgeon if the problem occured again. Well, that very same day I made an appt. with an ortho. surgeon. My pain is under the clavicle and when it is "acting up", usually by a twisting a motion or lifting something heavy, I can't generally raise my arm all the way over my head before I have to put it down because it causes pain under the clavicle. Is this what a labral tear feels like?

-- Nikki Schroeder (, November 07, 2002.

Hello all, wednesday will be four weeks since the surgery. I started PT last week and they are taking things easy with the exercises until week 6 when the shoulder is to be totally taut and healed.The shoulder feels tight which is good and a little sore after doing the exercises prescribed....But it's a good sore. I am praying and crossing my fingers to be back to work in 12 weeks and get back into the swing of things. I'll update at week 6. Take care and good luck.

-- S.Brothers (, November 08, 2002.

my dr. wants me to have surgery for a roter cuff tear,is this the same as a labrum tear?

-- bob allen (, November 11, 2002.

Help wanted here too!

I have an acetabular labral tear that gives me grief, but it was misdiagnosed as the pain in my knee referring up to the hip, so they unnecessarily operated on my knee, and it took 4 months to heal? so it has scared me off the surgery for my hip. I was an active personal trainer and it has really impacted on my life...I dearly want to have surgery but need to hear what others have experienced. PLEASE WRITE TO ME IF YOU HAVE A LABRAL TEAR IN THE HIP and good luck Roger!

-- Julie Hellewell (, November 19, 2002.

Hi, my name is Youssef. About 12 weeks ago I dislocated my shoulder playing football (soccer in the US). It got put back in almost straight away. I had some fysio work done to it, but 3 weeks later I dislocated it again during football ( I know, I shouldn't have played at all). Both times it was done quite forcefully. I had a sling to immobilize my arm for 7 weeks, and then had a MRI scan to see if there was any ligament damage and/or bone shards. It seems that my labrum is torn, but the ligaments are ok, and no bone shards. They advised me to keep on resting and not have surgery. But reading the stories here,it seems I should have surgery. What do you guys think. I havent dislocated my arm since the second tme, haven't got much pain and can move my arm quite freely. ANy hep or advise would be great. Thanks

-- Youssef (, November 20, 2002.

Well, I have had shoulder problems for the past four years and have gone thru just about every possible solution. I had surgery in 1999; it was the ligament capsule shrinkage, where they heat shrunk the ligament cap arthoscopically. This surgery worked for about two years but then it loosened again. At the time I was playing competetive water polo year-round. Then last year I went through physical therapy, cortisone shots, and even tried accupuncture, nothing seemed to work. Last week I had the MRI saline arthogram, which showed I had a Labral tear, quite possibly an old one. Surgery has been debated for the past year, but I decided to just live with the pain and discomfort. Now with this new finding I have a lot of discussing to do with my doctors... My advice is if its causing you a good deal of pain and you remain active; have surgery if you can make the time to do so. It doesnt get better(at least in my case) over time and its better to have surgery when your more young and active. Get a second opinion too! Best of luck everyone.

-- Paige Runnels (, December 11, 2002.

Hi all. I was diagnosed yesterday with a "labral tear" after undergoing an arthrogram/mri. I injured my shoulder rock climbing about a month ago and have had a consistent dull ache since then. I have been undergoing physical therapy for the last two weeks to strengthen the rotator cuff and am now entertaining the idea of surgery. Has anyone had success with pt rather than surgery? Any suggestions....?

-- Jon Sargent (, December 13, 2002.

I was recently diagnosed with a SLAP tear (according to the MRI Arthogram.) Aside from my shoulder pain. I have also been experiencing pain and instability in my Neck (especially later in the day and at night.) Has anyone else been experiencing this? Any advice would be appreciated.

Regards, Aaron

-- Aaron Donde (, December 18, 2002.

I just found out that I have a labral tear (and a contusion of the rotator cuff). I found the following website that describes labral tears: .html

From the conversation on this website, it sounds as though surgery is the best route. I see my doctor Monday 12/28/02.

-- Hank Halle (, December 19, 2002.

I had athroscopic surgery 9 weeks ago on my Bankart lesion and I am wondering from someone who had this procedure done when exactly they were able to function 100%. Any info would be much appreciated.

-- Shaun Brothers (, December 22, 2002.

I had surgery in september to repair a labral tear in my shoulder. It's gotten a lot better since then, but it certainly isn't 100% and I'm aprehensive about returning to rugby in the spring. I'd appreciate it if someone could give me an idea of how much more time I'll need to give it.

-Chris 12/28/02

-- Chris Zwick (, December 28, 2002.

I have spoken with my Dr. about the labral tear that he thinks I have and found that SLAP Lesions are different then Bankhart tears. SLAP lesion repairs usually only require 1 week in a sling, where as the Bankhart requires much longer. The SLAP lesion is when the labrum becomes detached on top, near where the labrum meets the bicep. If anyone of you think you might have torn labral tissue, I would ask your Dr. if he thinks it is a SLAP Lesion or some other type of tear.

-- Scott (, December 30, 2002.

I just went to the dr.with pain in my shoulder & shoulder blade. The dr. said he thinks I have injured the roter cuff. He gave me a injection of cordazone and told me not to use it. I just went two days ago and I'm still hurting pretty bad. Should I give the medicine a while longer to see if it gets better? Will it get better soon. He told me to come back in four weeks. Thanks in advance for any information on this.

-- anita carper (, January 05, 2003.


I don't have an answer but questions. I myself went to see my primary care physican in September, 2001 because of pain in my left shoulder. He sent me to PT for several months...never got better. He finally sent me to an orthopedic. He said it was probably tendinitis. Without taking any xrays, he gave me a cortisone shot. It was much better, but after several months it came back. I went to see him again and he gave me another shot, which did not affect my pain...I was still in pain. He finally took an MRI and when I went back to see him, he still treated it like tendinitis and said to come back whenever I need to to get a shot.....I was not very happy with this answer. I want my shoulder to be fixed. It is a little over 1 1/2 years now and I still have pain. I got a copy of my MRI report and went to another doctor who said I could have a slight labal tear. On the MRI report is also stated to get an MR Arthrogram to get a definitive answer. I just want the surgery and after reading everyone's answer, I think I will just book it. My doctor basically said there are two things I could with it or have the surgery. He also said I could skip the MR arthrogram as this is just another step and since surgery would tell them more than an MR arthorgram, just have the surgery or live with the pain....I am so frustrated...does it make sense to just have the surgery? At this point I just want my shoulder to get better, but nothing is working.

Another question? When your arm is in a sling, can you take it out to take a shower etc?

Any comments would be helpful. Thanks.

-- Michelle Zahn (, January 07, 2003.

Yes,Michele, you can take it off for showering and if your not straining your arm, where it feels like you have rehurt it. Don't go that far with your arm. Thats where the sling helps. It keeps you from straining your shoulder. It needs to heal. We keep rehurting it. I hope I have answered your question. Good Luck. If you find anything that might help, let me know.

-- anita carper (, January 08, 2003.

I just had my labrum repaired in December and it's been a pretty hard month. I actually had "Tommy John" surgery on my elbow at the same time, which has made it none the better. Michelle, it seems like shoulder problems have frustrated your life, but don't underestimate the frustration of surgery... it won't just 'get better'. My arm was in a great deal of pain once the anesthetic wore off and felt very unstable through 3 weeks in a sling. It's starting to improve more quickly now, but movement continues to be interrupted by bizarre and incredible pain at random (particularly like if I were trying to pour a cup of coffee at arm's length). In fact it sometimes seems like the improvement is just a new-found tolerance of ubiquitous pain.

As far as whether or not to do the MR Arthrogram, just ask your doctor. When I went for my first appointment, my doc knew after pulling and twisting for about 5 seconds that my labrum was torn. He'd seen it a hundred times, but I still had to get the MR seemingly just for show. Same thing for my elbow, he just knew.

Good luck healing.

-- adam smeltzer (, January 10, 2003.

Folks: I'm tapping in to say thanks to all who have participated in this discussion. I'm getting arthro done on right shoulder Jan 16, 2003. And your stories are quite valuable to me as I seek to understand what it'll be like. I, too, was injured playing soccer and have elected to do this now rather than wait. I'll only be older, have less life-enriching oxygen carried through my system, and am concerned about degeneration in the injured shoulder (though my doc, Raymond Thal, of Reston, says that would have been unlikely). BTW, turns out that I stumbled onto one of the best in Thal. He's been doing these procedures for more than 10-years and reportedly did this exact same on Redskins RB, Steven Davis, in early Jan. According to two friends (who happen to be doctors), artho can be trickey (since your operating in 2-D) so it's important to choose a surgeon with "great hands" i.e. he's done hundreds of procedures!

Will keep board posted on how it goes!

-- Steve Jarriel (, January 14, 2003.

11/1995 open repair with an acromioplasty. My arm was wonderful after 3 months of healing. In late 2001 I started with terrible pain and restriction of movement.

2/5/02 I had arthoscopic surgery for a bakart repair. I had a really bda labral tear and I also had a tendon release of my right elbow at the same time. The MRI did not show the tear.

1/21/03 - My arm has never really improved with much weakness and pain in the right shoulder and shoulder blade. Shoulder instability has increased. A new MRI shows a lot of tendinitis still evident. An arthogram is going to be scheduled due to the fact that my recent MRI did not show the tear. However, from my history the Doctor feels that I still have a tear and would like to do a full open repair.

I am 49 years, Administrative coordinator, mostly office work. No one knows why the injury that I have experienced has occured. I am relucant to go through the surgery again since I have never really healed.

Any suggestions, or similar experiences, would be appreciated.


Fellow sufferer,

-- G Burns (, January 21, 2003.

Hi everyone, Please can you help me find a way to communicate with people who have an acetabular (hip) labral tear just as you have all found this webpage. I would appreciate it more than you know... I'm in pain! Please write to me even if brief... Thanks

-- julie Hellewell (, January 23, 2003.

"Short" history here: Broke up a fight between 2 students (I was a HS teacher)...had 3 separate surguries to try & fix it: an open acromioplasty, thermonuclear capular shrinkage (artho), and open capsular shift. Last one they did attempt to repair a labral tear, too. Was good at first, but still exhibiting same symptoms, and also subluxing several times a day doing simple things. Now they are talking about "prolotherapy", but not really thinking I'll go through with it...back in PT again (I'm a "repeat offender"), and hoping for the best. All of this has led to the development of arthritis, and a bone spur in the shoulder, as well as fibromyalgia. Glad to see so many of you have had good results, but anyone have any other ideas for me? Thanks in advance.

-- Colleen McCollum (, January 29, 2003.

Initial Injury December 7th, 2002: Hi,I too am one of those confused SLAP tear patients...I injured mine playing ice hockey, I am a goalie and someone decided to "run" me, I landed really funny with my arm woven between the other players legs, my shoulder was thrown forward. I was in a lot of pain, but finished the game, there was only three minutes left, then I iced and used ibuprophen like it was going out of style. Then I was stupid enough to play the next weekend, just thought I could "cheat" to the other side of the net -- then in the middle of the game, someone hit me again externally rotating my arm/shoulder, that hit took me out of the game. I waited until the first of January to actually call my doctor, and he sent me in for the MR Arthrogram, before he even saw me. He received the results, and had me sent for a surgical consult the next day...So I asked my friend who works in the PT field to reccommend a good surgeon as well, because I knew I wanted a second opinion, regarless of what the first doctor said. Well Dr. #1 said within 5 minutes of examination, that surgery was my only option. Saw Dr.#2 the next day, and he said PT for about 4 weeks, get it really strong, and the imminent surgery would go better, or it might just get strong enough to not need surgery. So needless to say, I see Dr. #3 in the morning, (he only does shoulders and elbows)and he is supposed to be the best in this area. I am a bit confused, but I think if he decides surgery, then I will just go with it! I was wondering, sometimes it hurts like crazy, and then sometimes not at all, is this common?

-- Becky (, February 03, 2003.

Hi All. It seems like most Dr.'s are telling us the same things. I have seen two Dr.'s regarding my shoulder and both have said either live with it, or have it arthroscopically repaired. Both Dr.'s feel I have a Slap Tear. I decided to book the surgery for next month. A few of you have wrote how sometimes it doesn't hurt and sometimes it hurts like heck. My shoulder has been like this for nearly two years now. I would say 90% of the time I feel no pain, but certain shoulder movements set it off and a sharp deep, fast pain strikes. It will then stay somewhat sore for a day or two after that episode and then the pain goes away again. Sometimes it is sore in the morning for about 10 minutes after I get out of bed. Anyway, two years and it is still there. I booked my surgery for March. My arthrogram did not show the tear, but the Dr.'s said that's common. The surgery is day surgery, out of there in two-three hours tops. Then the fun stuff, a sling for 3 weeks! Good thing I have a desk job, they said I can start typing after a few days. The first 3 weeks I am told I will be restricted to limited movement meaning you can reach up to scratch your nose, but not higher than that he said. Anyway, I would recommend the surgery it seems like labral tears will not go away without it. I hope I heal quickly, I'm going to Jamaica at the end of May. That gives me about 80 days or so to recover enough to use the swim up bars at Sandals!

-- Scott (, February 04, 2003.

Becky...To answer your question regarrding whether its common for it to hurt sometimes and not hurt other times. I lifted weights earlier today and had no trouble bench pressing 3 sets of 210 lbs. I weigh approx 208. I had no pain, and yet just the other day I felt pain in my shoulder after carrying groceries into the house. I think its all in the type of movement and type of tear that you have.

-- Scott (, February 05, 2003.

I hurt my shoulder 2 years ago working out in the gym. I went through cortisone shots, anti inflammatory's etc. The pain was always still there. I have lost basically all power in my L shoulder and arm. Over the last 6 months my shoulder has gotten to the point where I can't sleep at night. Over the last 1 month I have been noticing tingling and numbness in my hands. So I finally got an MRI and was diagnosed with a labral tear. I am having surgery on March 7, 2003. I want to thank everyone else for their posts and sharing their positive experiences about what they have gone through with their surgeries and rehab. It makes my decision to get mine fixed so much easier.

-- Jeff Rhame (, February 21, 2003.

I originally injured my shoulder sometime during the season playing college football. I later found out that it was a SLAP tear with a few other minor things wrong with my shoulder as well. I recently had got arthroscopic surgery and will be soon starting my therapy. I have read extensively on the injury that I have, and I think that I can answer a few of the common questions that I have read. The Slap and Labrum tear are often associated with a vague pain that is very difficult to pin point (not to say it isn't painful, just difficult to locat the exact area where the pain is). The shoulder pain is very rarely constant, it is typically painful at some moments and pain free at others. Also, a big reason that it is difficult to see the injury, even with MRI and Arthrograms is because even though the Labrun or Bicepts Tendon (SLAP)is torn, the torn area still lies the same exact way as if it was attached. This causes it to look no different than what it would if it were healthy making the injury difficult to see. What you can do to test if there possible tear is to 1) hold your injured arm fully extended, parallel to the ground, across your body, with you thumb pointed towards the ground. 2)have someone apply a steady force downward on your hand and try to oppose the force (basically don't let them push your arm down). If this is painful, you probably have a Labral or SLAP tear. From getting scoped I have 3 small scars, does anyone have any suggestions on some good home treatments to get rid of scars. Being a supersticious athlete I don't want to have any signs that I was ever injured. Good luck and health to all.

-- nick smith (, February 22, 2003.

Hi Nick,

I am scheduled for surgery March 1st for a right shoulder slap tear. I'd like it if you could let me know how your rehab goes and vice versa. I am going on my honeymmon in Jamaica at the end of May. I better be able to swim by then! That will give me 85 or so days which my Dr. said is enough. How did the surgery go, how long did it take? How much does is suck to not use one arm so far?

Ps Neosporin claims it minimizes the appearance of scars.


-- Scott (, February 25, 2003.

GLAD to have found this site! I injured my right shoulder surfing 15 months ago - turns out to be labral tear. At the time of injury it felt like I pulled something in shoulder - but no pain at time so kept going for another 2-3 hours (bad move!) - woke up that night in agony with deep pain in joint. Shoulder has never been same since. Doctors said was overuse injury (had been doing heaps of swimming and surfing - i.e. repetitive overhead activity) and had resulting shoulder impingement. Symptoms were regular diffuse pain coming and going with daily activities, popping/clicking, occasional sharp pinching pain, pain at night disrupting sleep, 50% loss strength but still have full range of motion, arm feeling "dead" when irritated. Since then have had tried heaps of physio, rest, cortisone shots, voltaren, stretching, rotator cuff (RC) strengthening, massage therapy, etc but nothing seems to make significant lasting difference. Is so frustrating!!! However taking Glucosamine over couple of months has worked in significantly reducing pain and inflammation/irritation especially night pain which is now gone - now often have pain free days but shoulder still not good enough for most sports.

Had Ultrasound scan which showed no RC tear then 3 months later had MRI arthrogram showed "possible small superior labral tear". Have seen OS several times but he keeps saying that he doesn't think surgery will help me (due to his view that instability is primary cause since i also dislocated my other shoulder a few times 5 years ago). Not sure whether i agree with him and am currently trying to decide what to do.

My advice to anyone with shoulder pain - make sure you get MRI ARTHROGRAM a.s.a.p. as this is best non-surgical method of detection of shoulder problems - dont settle for just MRI or Ultrasound scan. Then find a good OS to get their opinion on whether surgery can help your specific situation. Also keep using shoulder (within bounds of pain) to keep up strength but don't push it beyond this as makes it worse and apparently can result in RC tears which usually have to have surgery. Try liquid Glucosamine - - it is natural product and can really help reducing pain from joint injuries for some people (as it did for me).

Have done heaps of reading/internet research on impingement/labral tears -

Excellent site for info on all types of shoulder injuries:

Specific site for info on Labral Tear surgery: Thread_ID=255&topcategory=Shoulder

FINALLY, IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO HAS HAD LABRAL TEAR SURGERY AND IS NOW 100% AND BACK INTO SPORTS??? From what i have read they reckon surgery can achieve this but haven't heard of anyone who has successfully achieved this. Would love to hear from you and also from anyone who has had surgery a while ago to hear what long term results are like and how you are going.

Hope this helps and all the best for your recoveries!!!

-- Matt Comer (, February 28, 2003.

Hey guys,

I am getting somewhat frustrated with my doctors and physical therapists, because no one can explain what is wrong my with shoulder. So maybe if I were to describe my pain - someone might be able to spot it and let me know.

I hurt my shoulder last year, but it was a very gradual type of hurt. No sudden tears or anything of that nature. I began noticing a weird numbing pain in my right shoulder after doing bench, but it was so small that I just ignored it. Within months the pain started appearing outside of the gym and showed itself with a burning sensation. Eventually I stopped benching, because the pain was getting unbearable. However this wasnt the first time that my shoulder hurt from benching and previously when I stopped benching the pain left within a month.

Well, its been a year now and the pain is still here. Pressing on the front/inner section of the shoulder I can feel a sharp pain. Moving the entire shoulder up/down results in cracking/grinding in the back. Extending the arm parallel to the floor and moving it around results in sharp pain in the same area. Additionally, just 6 months ago a new pain appeared. It is above the elbow on the outise of the arm. In fact it appeared in the summer, initially as a bruise! The bruise left, the pain remained and is not as noticeable the shoulder one, but manifests itself during computer usage. Overall I can produce way more clicking in the painful shoulder by rotating and moving it around. I have read all of your posts and cant quite figure out what the hell I have. A few weeks ago I started going back the gym and lifting really lightly. Specifically trying to target the back shoulder muscles, because there might be some sort of an imbalance. I suspect some of you may recommend a MR Arthogram, perhaps I have a labral tear. Others suspects bicep tendonitis, but the last thing I want to do is go to the doctor and have her tell me - I see nothing wrong, just go to physical therapy.

I await your responses!

-- Arkady Kamenetsky (, March 01, 2003.

Hi all,

Today I had arthroscopic surgery to repair what my Dr. thought might be a slap tear. As you can see by the fact I am feeling well enough to be online, I lucked out. I had all the symptoms of a slap tear, but arthoscopy showed I had only small labral tears and also gunk or fluid or something in the bursar. I did not need the full slap repair which would have required sutures to mend it back to the bone. Instead he was able to clean out all the gunk and also trim off the small tears off the labrum. I'll only need a sling for 3 days. We won't know for sure if the pain will be gone for a month or so the Dr. said. He and I are hoping what he did was sufficient. The moral of the story is, even if you have all the symptoms of a labral tear, you really don't know whats wrong ntil they get in tehre with their mini cameras and start poking around. I also have some really cool pictures to remember this by. Hopefully the nagging pain thats been here for 2 years will be no longer and I can try to play baseball again. We shall see. But, the pain I had was enogh that I actually decided to go through with the surgery. So, if you are having this type of pain, its probably best to have it done and get it over with. Mine only took 45 minutes, where the full slap mend would have been 90 minutes. I just hope he got to the problem! As one person mentioned on this board, a good slap test is to reach your arm across your body with thumb pointed down and push down on your wrist. This killed when I did this despite only small tears. Also, cock your arm back like you are about to throw a pitch and slowly while keeping your elbow in one spot, move your hand further back. This also should cause some pain.

Good luck to you all.

-- Scott (, March 03, 2003.

I'm going in for and mri and arthrogram next week. Doctor says it is a painful procedure. Is this true? He suspects a labral tear to my left hip. Has anyone had this? Please help! Thanks

-- Laura (, March 04, 2003.

For the record, the day after shoulder arthroscopy is rough. The procedure itself didn't hurt because you are sleeping. The rest of that day isn't bad either because there is still a lot of anesthetic in you. However, it is now about 30hours after surgery, and the smallest shoulder movement is awefully painful. As stated in my previous post I did not have a labral repair because mine was still attached to the bone. Therefore I was told to do some minor shoulder exercises 24 hours after the surgery and I'm not gonna lie it is brutal. Thank god for the percacets! I cant move my shoulder more than a 1/4 inch without harsh harsh pain. However, if i keep it perfectly still there is only minor discomfort. I feel bad for those of you that actually had it sutured back to the bone, because this arthroscopic cleansing and scar trimming that I had is tough in itself. I might all my Dr. back tomorrow to see if it should be this painful. He told me I should be able to use that arm in 3-5 days.

-- Scott (, March 04, 2003.


Although my mr arthrogram was done on my shoulder, I am sure it is close to the same as the knee. They use a needle to inject dye direvtly into your joint. If I remember correctly the injection takes about 3-5 minutes. It doesn't hurt too bad because they first should give you a numbing injection(novacane) in a few different spots near the knee joint then they use the other needle to inject the dye. After that is done you will be in the mri scanner within 15 minutes. The mri is not painful at all if you've never had one. It just like a taking xrays but takes about 40 minutes. Make sure you get the novacane because the needle into the joint without that would probably be rough.

-- Scott (, March 04, 2003.

Scott, thanks for the info. I guess i have to live through the novocaine shots first. The thought of these just don't thrill me!! Sorry to hear you have so much pain, hopefully it will get better much sooner than later. Definitely make sure to check with your dr to make sure this pain level is normal! Good luck!

-- laura (, March 05, 2003.

Thanks to everyone for sharing. I have a LEFT HIP LABRAL tear and am due for surgery in one month. The doc intends to remove the labrum, not just trim it. Anyone have any experience with this? What about post-op physical therapy? He says scar tissue will replace the cartilage. I'm interested in running again...5K and 10K races. I miss being's been almost a year now. I'd appreciate any advice/info.

-- Alison Rees (, March 05, 2003.

Hi, I am scheduled for left, labral tear(pretty sure it is a SLAP) surgery on March 26 here in Phila.. My surgeon thought that they may not have to use general anesthesia.....a nerve block would do for the short, 1 hour surgery, I am guessing with light sedation. Has anyone else had it done this way??? I hate general anes., it always has made me sick in the past - just wondering how this procedure is without it. Also, is this really painful after and do the typical painkillers that DON'T help before, help after? (Percodan, Vicodin, or Oxycodin). Thanks, I need all the help I can get...I am a nervous wreck!!!! I am a massage therapist and was told I will be out of work for 3 1/2 months!!

-- Sara Blazo (, March 07, 2003.

Hi Sara, I'm going for my mri with arthrogram thurs. in Phili. at the Hospital of the University of PA. My doc. suspects a left hip labral tear. I don't know much about the surgery for I haven't gotten to that step yet! Who is your surgeon?

-- laura (, March 09, 2003.

Dear fellow labral tear sufferers,

I'm a 22 y.o. recent college grad, and I played NCAA Div I water polo all through college... with all that throwing and overhead movement from swimming, I came away from college with a fantastic SLAP tear. It began as pain every time I pressed weight (i.e. bench, military) that came and went. I first noticed the pain in 5/2002, but since it was off and on I didn't think anything was grossly wrong with my shoulder. After a visit to my college team in 9/2002, the pain got considerably worse. I saw an orthopaedic surgeon, got an MRI arthrogram--the results came back positive for a SLAP lesion. My doctor later told me that if the top of my shoulder were high noon, my tear ran from 12 to 8 o'clock--quite significant.

I had arthroscopic surgery for my SLAP tear on 2/27 (about a 9 days ago) and although I can't abduct my arm just yet (I can't raise it laterally) I currently experience little to no pain. I'm quite satisfied with my result as of now... I expected major pain, but it isn't all that bad really. I'm supposed to be back in 100% shape in 3 months.

btw, i had my surgery done at Columbia Presbyterian by Dr. William Levine, a shoulder specialist.

Hope you all get better soon. Best of luck.

-- Sean Cheng (, March 09, 2003.

Hi all,

Forgot to mention that my shoulder was anesthetized locally for the surgery (had nerve block injected through the lower neck). Columbia Presbyterian is located in NYC. I was on 2 Vicodin every 6 hours for the two days following the surgery, then dropped down to 2 Vics before bed, then after about 4 days I went off of it completely.

-- Sean Cheng (, March 09, 2003.

Hi everyone! I did actually go to the third Dr., and he did say that the arthoscopic surgery was the way to go, and to go ahead and play hockey and box if I wanted to, and to schedule the surgery for a "convenient" time. So, I have decided not to play goalie, but to skate out as a forward for the rest of our season, this seams to be working out ok as long as I don't fall on my left arm. I have also returned to boxing, which I have found very rewarding -- no pain, as long as I don't do push-ups or any other weight bearing straight arm movements. I find it odd that I can lift weights, go boxing, and play hockey without much added pain, but waking up in the morning is painful, and if I ever use my left arm to support any body weight, (like getting up from or lowering myself to sitting on the floor)it hurts like crazy for a couple of days! Well, I decided to have the repair done on April 11th, that is the Friday before Spring Break, I don't want to miss any work,(I drive a school bus) as the Dr. said that I would only experience "mild discomfort" for about 5 days...yeah right, did he read this web site? Scott, please tell me it got better after a few days. I am having aprehensions about the surgery, like will it actually make the pain go away? Tell me it works! Please?

-- Becky (, March 13, 2003.


Honestly it's hard to say how long you will feel the discomfort. My symptoms were very similar to yours. Some pain in the morning, not much trouble lifting weights. Sharp sharp pain only on certain arm movements, which I would avoid. Mostly when reaching my arm behind me, like grabbing something from my back seat when I'm driving. Dead arm tired feeling when I raised my arm over my head for a minute or so.

My surgery was on Monday 3/3. Now ten days later I have all my motion back. I still have soreness but not that bad. The first 3 days were bad, couldnt move my shoulder a half inch without a lot of pain. I was given Percacet that had 325mg acetomeniphine and 5mg of oxycodone every 4-6 hours. Two of these took away most of the pain, but the first two days I would wake up at night right when they wore off. Plus the smallest arm movement hurt a bit even with the pain killers. However, by the 4th day I could lift my arm almost to shoulder height and didn't need the pain killers anymore or the sling. By day 6-7 I could lift it over my head. Now day ten I can throw a punch without much pain, but it would be sore tomorrow morning if I threw too many. I still haven't slept on that shoulder. Despite not sleeping on it it is still real sore in the morning, more so than any other time of day. I went back to work a wekk after surgery, but I basically just type all day. Some soreness reaching for the mouse all day, but nothing that can't be dealt with.

The thing is, I was diagnosed with only Type 1 labral tears, therefore he only had to debride and not actually suture it back to the bone. Had it been the sutures, I would have been in the sling for 3 weeks. I also was diagnosed with subacromial bursitis. My bursarwas very inflamed and had excess fluid. That's just just a sac of fluid that acts like a cushion between that bone at the top of your shoulder and the joint. The Dr. told me they basically removed my bursar and it will come back more as scar tissue than as a fluid sac.

Hopefully you will have only minor tears that need debridement instead of sutures. If that's the case, you can heal pretty quickly. My follow up appt. was at day 9, and I was told I have to go to 6 weeks of threrapy, 2-3 times a week. Like I said, I do have some soreness but not sure if I need that much therapy. At least I'll be able to use the gym. Not to discourage you, but I honestly still feel like that sharp pain is still in there when I do that certain arm movement. My follow up the Dr. said there might also be a pinched nerve. It might be a good idea to ask them if they look for pinched nerves when they do the arthroscopy. But, maybe that pain is there because the Dr. did clean that spot and therapy will help it heal? That's what I'm hoping. I also only have 3 small X marks for scars which look small enough to fade out within the year.

Good luck!

-- Scott (, March 13, 2003.

Scott, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I do hope you heal quickly, please keep me informed as to how soon you are able to recover full use, even "those" movements that always caused pain - do you think you'll be brave enough to try them? I am hoping that my tear is only a type 1 as well, the Dr didn't elaborate as to the severity of what he saw on the arthrogram, he said it wasn't really clear, but he did see a tear, and it appears that the biceps tendon is in tact. My physical therapist informs me that he thinks surgery will take care of the probelem in my shoulder...I am still not sure, it feels "bigger" than just a cartilage tear. I will never know if I don't try, so I will try not to let my anxiety build too much before the surgery. Thanks again.

-- Becky (, March 15, 2003.

Two days from now i will have my second surgery on my labrum. When you have the surgery the labrum will heal back to full strength at least in my case in 8 weeks. Yet it is common to tear again like it did for myself three years after my first surgery. I hope this is helpful to you

-- Michael Barry (, March 23, 2003.

I had a SLAP Lesion type 4 repaired 7 weeks ago. I am undergoing physical therapy 3 times per week. I'm 47. I still have a lot of pain in my shoulder (and bicep at times), though I seem to be getting a little more flexible all the time. Sometimes the pain awakens me at night. I go back to the doc tomorrow, but just wanted to hear from anyone else out there who had pain seven weeks after surgery. Thanks!!

-- Hank Windsor (, March 25, 2003.

I just found out I have to have a MR arthrogram. What are the after effects? I hear you may have to keep your shoulder stable for 12 hours, then it may be painful for 48 hours. I am trying PT, but we are thinking it's a labral tear. Not good. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am a "social" triathlete and fear that my season is ruined this year.

-- AMW (, March 25, 2003.

MR Arthrograms are a little uncomfortable, but don't really hurt -- at least mine didn't. The worst part for me was in the MR tube, when they made me put my arm over my head for a scan, I couldn't physically bring it back into "normal" position, but had to have the lab tech move it for me. I was sore for the rest of that day, but was back to "normal" pain after that,(since I had a pretty good tear, most of the dye leaked out, so there wasn't a lot of extra fluid in there to cause much pain.) Good Luck!

-- Becky (, March 26, 2003.


I had a slap repair done on my left shoulder 8 weeks ago, and although it doesn't hurt constantly, it sure does hurt when I move my arm. The pain is still pretty tough. Sometimes I can get through the day without taking pain medicine, but I usually take something for pain every night before I go to bed.

Don't be concerned about having pain after 7 weeks. That seems pretty normal.

-- Todd Smith (, March 27, 2003.

Todd, Thanks for your reply. I finally got back in to see the doc yesterday. He said my pain was normal because, as he put it, "I did do a lot of work in there." I had a bone spur removed along with the SLAP procedure. It just seems like it sure hurts more than it should... I guess time will tell, but it was reassuring to hear someone else's comments. Again, thanks for the reply. Hank

-- Hank Windsor (, March 27, 2003.

Hi, I am 4 days out of SLAP repair surgery, had it 3/26 at one of the best Phila. Ortho hospitals..and it was much more painful and difficult than I expected. I thought I would have LIGHT sedation with a nerve block, but instead I had general anesthesia with the nerve block and ended up very sick and had to stay in the hospital overnight. They apparently had a hard time getting to the was stitched, with no other complications. They put me on Percocet, which seems to do almost nothing for the pain(I can't take the full dose though, without my heart racing). Sleeping is a do you find a comfortable position? If it wasn't for my job and the need for total use of my shoulder in it(I am not an athelete),I'm amassage therapist, I have to say, I WOULD NOT do this again. How long before this pain gets better????? AND I can't even begin P.T. or get out of the sling for 3 weeks!

-- Sara Blazo (, March 30, 2003.


I feel your pain--I mean I REALLY feel your pain. Surgery was 8 weeks ago for me and I still can't make it through the night without waking up in some sort of pain. But having said that, I AM making progress. At 48, I guess it just takes longer to recover than I would have thought.

Please stay in your sling so you can heal completely. I thought I was going to die in mine, but I just tried to take it "one day at a time." When you're instructed, go to a good physical therapist. If you don't like the first one you go to, find one you do like. PT is so very important to your recovery.

If you ever find the secret to getting a good night's sleep, please pass it along to me. GOOD LUCK. Hank

-- Hank Windsor (, March 31, 2003.

Hi Hank.... I guess you are right about us "old folks"(I'm 50). What do you take for the pain???? I am going to lose it! The Percocet and Darvocet do little for the pain and really mess up my head.....anything weaker is a total waste of time. What have you taken and did it work? I have radiating pain down my arm and down my back(much worse than BEFORE the surgery)and a constant ache. I guess I thought The pain would last a day or two, then be gone....boy was I wrong! Is this age???? I was in pretty good shape(ROM, muscle tone, etc) before the surgery...really didn't expect this..... I have a great P.T., when I get to it in 6 weeks, I used to work with him, so I feel confident in his ability. The problem is getting that far, Hank!!!! Thanks for hearing me out, it just upsets my husband if I complain to him. Good luck to you, let me know how you progress. Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 02, 2003.

As far as getting a good nights sleep, I haven't slept in my bed since the surgery. I had surgery 9 weeks ago and I'm still sleeping in my recliner. It's the only way I can sleep comfortably.

-- Todd Smith (, April 04, 2003.

Well Todd....that's not good news!!! I tried for the bed last night, gave up and went back to the couch(this is after 10 days post-op). I had hoped that I might be back to my bed in two weeks..the P.T. told me most patients can't sleep in their beds for about that time. I LIKE my warm, cozy bed in my dark quiet bedroom, this living room thing just isn't cutting it either. Besides pain med, I have to take Ativan to knock me out so I can sleep at least 6 hours thru(by the way Hank, this is the only way to sleep most of the night-Valium, Ativan, or the like to knock you out!!!). Good luck all..and please let me know of any solutions to these problems that you find! Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 05, 2003.

Hello- I have been diagnosed with a labral tear in my left shoulder due to a softball injury I got 2 years ago. I have chosen the surgery route, and I am calling today to schedule it right after my birthday (The week of May 5th). I was just wondering how long it took everyone to get back into their normal routines. 2 things I want to know- I get my driver's license on May 6th, and I am addicted to Six Flags and I'm excited to be able to drive down there. How long do you think it will take me to be able to drive/ride roller coasters again? I'm turning 16 then, and I heal fast. Thanks for the input.

-- Julie (, April 05, 2003.

I don't have any answers, just questions for "anyone" out there still having pain after 12 weeks post op from Labral tear repair. I originally went for arthroscopic surgery for a rotator cuff tear, and ended up with Sure-tacs holding my labrum in place. The doctor said it was "completely torn off the bone". I can function, but I still feel like my arm is dead weight at times, and I am still struggling with pain. My therapist thinks there still might be a rotator cuff tear. I recently had a CT arthrogram of my shoulder to check the Sure-tacs, due to swelling and increased pain. I am 50 years old, was not in good physical condition, but is this normal? I see the doctor on Wed. for the test results. For those of you wanting to get out of the recliner or off the couch, try hugging a pillow and laying on the opposite side and try the bed. I also can sleep on my back with a flat pillow propped under my shoulder. I would appreciate any comments from anyone that is still experiencing pain 3 months +. I am literally petrified of any further surgery that might set me back further. I am left handed, my surgery was (of course) my left shoulder,and I am also now having right shoulder pain!!! Thanks for any input. I feel so alone, and feel that no one understands. Karen

-- Karen Sutherland (, April 06, 2003.

Sara, I had been taking 750 mg Vicodin (actually the generic version from the Wal-Mart pharmacy) and, if I do say so myself, made me feel pretty darn good all over. The doctor then moved me down to the 500 mg and now wants me to get off of it completely. When I need something he says to just take 4 Ibuprofen. I'm not sure how my stomach will put up with that much though.

One thing that scares me a little is that I started having PT three days after surgery--and boy was that painful--especially when I tried to wean myself off of pain meds altogether right then---what a mistake THAT was. I just hope having the PT THAT early didn't injure anything.

Thankfully, I am sleeping a wee bit better now. To be honest, I have more pain in my bicep during the day than in my shoulder. Sleeping brings out the pain in the shoulder area though.

I had the tacks too. I understand they are sort of "biodegradeable"???

Hope everyone continues to improve and thanks for all the replies. Hank

-- Hank Windsor (, April 06, 2003.

Karen, Please let us know your I said, I am only 11 days out now, in pain most of the time(which doen't seem to improve), and the same age as you, so I will be VERY interested to see how you make out. I don't think the Drs. give you a real clear picture of what the pain will be like - mine only said it was a very rough rehab...I didn't think he meant pain. Maybe it is this bad because of our age....I don't know, I was in decent shape because of my profession - I am a massage therapist and obviously used my arms alot. The tear came from a fall last year which was worsened by my job. Hank, I have some Vicodin, maybe I will increase the dose, I have only tried 75mg at a time. Could be why it doesn't seem to work...I need to find something before I lose my mind(if I haven't already)!!! I started MILD P.T. 5 days after, very painful, and I wonder too if it isn't part of the reason for the pain. The Dr said they want to try and prevent a frozen shoulder. Also....A Dr. of Phys Therapy at Jefferson Hosp. here in Phila. mentioned to my husband they it is a GOOD idea to take narcotic painkillers before P.T. will get more from them if you are not in pain.....not sure our surgeons would agree, but it is a thought. Glad you are sleeping better...will try the bed again tonight and take Karen's advice. Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 06, 2003.

Regarding the painkiller thing before therapy, I take two percocet before each session. However, when my therapist stretches me at the end of my session, the pain is so intense that I yell out loud. I've found that bitting down on a towel helps at times.

For those of you who haven't been to therapy yet, it will be very painful. I think most people will scream at some point during the process. Sometimes I get a kick out of it. When I yell out in pain, the therapists tell me that I'm scaring the heck out of the new patients.

From what I'm told, the therapy is worth the pain. They tell me that six months from now I'll be happy I did it. Based on the research I've found, it seems that 4 months is a pretty normal recovery time. However, it may take many months longer to build up the strength that you used to have. For athletes, I read that you can normally return to full contact sports in roughly 7 months. Of course, the various sources I found have slightly different recovery periods, and each individual heals at a different pace, so this has to be taken with a grain of salt.

-- Todd Smith (, April 07, 2003.

Hi guys.....How soon after surgery did your surgeon allow you to drive? I have a stick shift, will that make a difference in the length of time? Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 07, 2003.


I drove about three weeks after surgery on the automatic transmission car and about 7 weeks on the 5-speed. It's still painful to shift into 5th gear--up and way over to the right, ouch! Hang in there.


-- Hank Windsor (, April 07, 2003.

Dear Sara and all, Thanks for your quick response to my email. I hope the pillows worked and you were able to get back in bed. I actually didn't get back in my bed until a month after surgery, so be patient. I have probably taken 2 pain pills since the end of Feb. I work for a internal medicine doctor and I see how quickly you can become addicted to that stuff. You guys be careful. After taking the Tylox at least twice daily for the first month, the first night without it I felt like I was crawling out of my skin. But it only lasted for a short time. I also only took my pain pills the first few days of therapy. I was afraid that they would mask the pain and I was afraid that the therapist would inadvertantly move me past my comfort zone. So, I really toughed it out, cried alot during therapy, and yes even yelled. It is very important to get started with a good therapist as soon as the doctor says and keep up with it. I suffered from really bad spasms in my upper arm a few times, that was worse than the therapy. Guess we all need to realize that we all heal differently and I am convinced that our age has a lot to do with how quickly we bounce back. I remember those first few days and weeks, and thought I would never have had the surgery had I known it would hurt so bad afterwards....but everyone reminded me how bad I hurt before. It is a lot better than at the beginning, I just don't understand why I still hurt, why I am swelling, and why I can't move my arm very much. Even my ortho told me if I were 18, was a pitcher I would probably be back in 3-6 months. However, he told me 6-12 months, I should expect full range of motion back. Yes to the questions that the Sure-tacs are "biodegradeable", after about 6 months!!! Don't mean to rattle on, I am just excited to be able to talk to someone that has been there! Sometimes I don't think anyone understands how I feel. I just want to be able to pick my grandsons up again and play with them like I used to. I will be praying for each of you and I will let you know how my appt. goes on Wed. Thanks again!!!!

-- Karen Sutherland (, April 07, 2003.

OK you are scaring me, my surgery is on Friday! Did you know what type of slap tear you had prior to surgery, or was it a surprise? My Dr hasn't told me how bad it is, I of course am hoping for a type 1. I am 35 and an athlete, I play hockey and Box. WIll I be able to do it again anytime soon? Help me out here!

-- Becky (, April 07, 2003.

Hi Becky, We don't want to scare you.....I just didn't think it would be this bad after(but then I am older than you...). I knew it was a SLAP tear, but it was larger than they thought and it was harder for the Dr to get to than he thought. I was told(even before) that i would not be able to get back to my massage business for AT LEAST 3 1/2 months...they tell me now it may be longer. Since it has only been 12 days, it is way too soon to tell. I like Karen(by the way, Karen, email me if you want to), wonder if I would have done it if I knew it was going to be this bad, but then again, if I didn't, my massage career would surely be over. I guess you need to way the pain and restrictions you have NOW with the nasty rehab after....the rehab and pain WILL BE worth it, if your life is restricted greatly now because of shoulder pain and limited use(which will probably only get worse without the surgery). I think that is what we all decided. Good luck to you, let us know how it goes! Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 07, 2003.


Surgery is Friday huh? Type 1 recovery isnt too bad. I am now 1 month after surgery and while my arm is still sore at night and a bit after I wake up, it is feeling ok during the day. I am doing therapy twice a week. I have just about all motion back and I can throw some shadow punches with little or no pain. The Dr. did not know what Type tear I had before surgery. However after surgery I was diagnosed with type 1. However, I was also diagnosed with Subacromial bursitis. My bursar was really inflamed contained an abnormal amount of fluid for a 25 yr old he said. He told me he basically removed my bursar and it will come back as scar tissue. There is definitely stil some soreness and stiffness if I lift my arm up over my head real quick, but not too bad. The frist 3-4 days after surgery are the tough ones to get past. Also, I don't think I slept on my right shoulder for atleast 2 weeks after surgery and even then it hurt if I stayed on it too long. Hopefully I will be completely soreness free someday. Anyway good luck.

-- Scott (, April 08, 2003.

Hi Guys, just one more question...My doctor doesn't refer to physical therapy after surgery, he says that I can do it all on my own -- does that sound really odd to anyone else? I went to my pre-op apt today, and that's what he said. He is supposed to be the best shoulder doc in the entire region (I live in Seattle)

-- Becky (, April 09, 2003.

Becky, I'm certainly not in the medical field, but from what I've heard PT is very important. In fact, the info sheet I got from the doctor a week before surgery said to make the call for an appointment before the day of surgery. It said to schedule the PT 3-4 days after the surgery.

I'm starting to come around now, thanks largely to PT. I believe you should ask your doctor about it again.

Good luck.


-- Hank Windsor (, April 09, 2003.

Becky, that does sound odd. My Dr. is a Navy Dr. who is affiliated with one of the best hospitals in the country (New England Baptist Medical in Boston) and does surgery on pro atheletes. He told me he does several labral tear surgeries a week. He referred me to PT and my tear wasn't bad.

About a week after my surgery, he was called in by the Navy. How crazy is that? My first follow up visit after my surgery was with his assistant. I don't even know if he is back yet.

-- Scott (, April 09, 2003.

Hi Becky, I, too, have been told that P.T. is very important for a full recovery and to insure the full use and return of shoulder ROM. I would ask him BEFORE surgery why he feels you don't need it...maybe he feels the tear is minor, surgery will be minor and you can rehab it yourself...but I think you should have the help of a therapist to AT LEAST get started! Please let us know how you make out and best wishes for Friday. Take care, Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 09, 2003.

Wow am I glad I found this forum! I just got my MRI results reviewed today and the doc tells me I have a superior labral tear. Like everyone, I'm going to get a second opinion before I go in for surgery, but as of now I'm scheduled for pre-op on Monday and surgery a week from Friday. I'll give it to 'em, they're fast here in Plano. Like all of you I'm nervous and hoping it's a Type I. Since I just found out today I'm still in the researching process but I've found out a lot about it and it looks like surgery is the best idea. It's hurt for about 3 months and I didn't even go to the doctor for the shoulder, I went when I sprained a ligament in my foot but I figured I'd have him check it out while I was there. It's a good thing huh? Like most of you, at least I had fun hurting it! Initially I was snowboarding then I really woke the pain playing some basketball landing on the conrete. It's the price we pay, but life is short so whatever (I'm only 22, hehe, going on about 80 so I feel right now). If you have anything encouraging, let me know, I could use it. Peace.

-- Jason Carroll (, April 10, 2003.

One more thing I forgot to long do you think it'll take before I can play guitar? How bout drums? I'm sure the drums will take longer. Any info helps, thanx!

-- Jason Carroll (, April 10, 2003.

Hi Everyone, Thanks for the feedback! I actually see my therapist in the morning, and surgery is Friday morning, I will see what he says -- I know he said before that he knew this Dr wasn't a big fan of PT, but didn't realize that he hardly ever referred to it. Maybe my PT will see me on the side, I've been seeing him for such a long time (I do play Ice Hockey you know) that he may see me on his lunch break. I find it pretty strange that the Dr told me to make my shoulder really strong before surgery, and told me to keep seeing my therapist to accomplish this, but then would cancel him afterwards, even if he thinks the repair will be minor, I would think he would have me go for a little while. I will ask him before the surgery, and maybe he knows that I will work like crazy to restore my strength and range of motion as quickly as possible. I just hope I don't overdo it, without someone to monitor me. I will let you all know Friday after I watch the video of the procedure! How exciting! Thanks,

-- Becky (, April 10, 2003.

Greets All,

I am so glad to have found this bunch of valuable information. Eyes have been glued to it for the last half hour. Like Jason who said he was 22 and 80 physically, I think I have him beat. 54 physically and about 228 physically but about 10 mentally so I think it works out . Have been through surgery after surgery and now was told they are going to do the MRI Arthogram on the 23rd to see if this will show where this horrid pain when I touch I think the scapula on the back of my right shoulder. By the middle-end of the day it is absolutely horrid.

Let me go back a few steps in the process they have used to create the ummm plumper version of the bionic woman. I am the guardian of a 93 year old man who has Alzheimers and on the way home with groceries I was in a rollover with an SUV in spring of 98, all the people that look at the images of the vehicle after it rolled 4 times and flipped end to end twice are not sure how I survived without a seat belt. Was 1000 yards from my driveway, stupidly hit the belt release, (DUMB) and hit a pothole and the rest is history as they say. The ortho surgeon ground off the bones at the end of each shoulder. The first 6 months was pure hell, I will not deny that, but I agree with the others, make SURE you get the neck block as without it, boy I would not want to consider that. By a year after I was pretty strong again. Was back to doing my hobby cleaning cemeteries and archiving the information for future generations. Along with tons of other medical challenges I had spinal fusion in Dec of 2000 (anterior fusion L4-5) and spent 3 months in bed. By the 4th month I was stir crazy and begged the neurosurgeon to let me just drive to church. He did and that was the beginning of a day from hell. On the way home, 3 miles from the house, sitting stopped at a light in the left turn lane, some stupid jerk thought lights were not meant for him and he blew through the red light, almost killed the guy in front of me and then spun and slammed into the left rear side of my van. Even though my body was strapped in, it went flying, first slamming into the upright portion of the front passenger seat and then I gather sort of down as I recall being eye to eye with the glove box. Then the belt pulled me back super speed, breaking the left scapula at that time. Ended up with all the ligaments torn in front/rear on both shoulders and knees and fusion screwed :((( That was April 1st 2001. Some joke! Have had 11 surgeries leaving left face paralyzed, and all sorts of other medical challenges since then. The right suspension? surgery (rear) was done Sept. 13th 2002, and the left same surgery was done Dec 3rd. Next 3 months hell! I will not downplay it. Lived on vicodin. By March the left one hardly ever made a sound, but the right one just did not get better which to my mind meant something wrong in there. Saw the ortho surgeon who is now a friend after 10 surgeries in 7 years with just him, and told him of the pain and he ordered this new test. I am a wimp, cannot stand pain.

What I am wondering is lots of you describe weakness and this grinding sound also, and I have tried everything from carrying stacks of old books to twisting every which way (per your instructions) and all I get is more pain. Can one have this labral tear without those symptoms? Does anyone know if the pain will stay static at this level until the surgical intervention or if I wait too long will it get worse? Have several community events that I am VERY active in scheduled between now and end of June and I am wondering if I will do more damage if I wait. Would appreciate any thoughts on any of these questions.

Sorry this is long but there has been so much it is hard to squeeze it down into 2 small paragraphs. The latest surgery was my 24th in 14 years. I know someone has to keep medical people at work but this is ridiculous!!! Pam

-- Pam Rietsch (, April 11, 2003.

I just had an MR Arthrogram yesterday. My shoulder hurt so bad yesterday and today after the test. Did anyone else have this problem? I thought it was supposed to be relatively painless. Thanks for your response.

-- amw (, April 11, 2003.

Pam, There is a very simple PHYSICAL test that a Dr can do to test for labral is fairly new but is usually 99% correct in it's diagnosis and very simple. I thought someone up higher on this board may have described it(I don't know if I can remember the details), maybe someone will remember....It has do do with holding your arm out in front parallel to the floor, thumb straight down and then the Dr puts pressure on your arm from behind(I am just not sure where). If it illicits pain, most likely there is a labral tear. It was the first thing my surgeon did after reading my MRI. I saw it on a google search, so I was looking to see if he would do it(I had had my PT friend try it before my appt, and it had caused great pain). Hopefully someone else will read and add to this.

Sorry about all yout MVA woes!!! I think if I was you I might not be driving anymore.. :0) Take care and best wishes, Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 11, 2003.

Pam, P.S. I don't think your LABRAL pain will get worse before surgery....unless your are doing activities that would injure it more, i.e. sports or like in my case, my profession - massage which DID worsen my tear. I doubt everyday things would widen a tear in the shoulder, but then I am not a Dr and could be wrong!!!

-- Sara Blazo (, April 11, 2003.

I just posted a day or so ago but I came up with another question that I haven't seen anyone address...For those of you who have already had the surgery...did you have to re-learn anything as part of the recovery? In other words, if you are a pitcher, did you have to work very hard on your accuracy afterwards? If you played basketball, same question? I am partly concerned about that but as I mentioned before my main concern is guitar and drums...would you suspect that I would have any difficulty playing the same once I have finished the therapy? Thanx for any info.

-- Jason Carroll (, April 11, 2003.

Thanks Sara for the comments....believe me I now only go to town when ABSOLUTELY necessary...too many have forgotten the basic rules of the road and unfortunately they seem to find me :(((

I do know that my O.S. did push on something back there and YIKES!!! so now it appears that until I find out exactly what it is, either take drugs when it acts up, or put two of my TENS pads on there and they seem to work really good, short of my looking like the bride of Frankenstein. If it is not this "labral tear" then I am absolutely sure something is wrong, as my body does not scream like this if all parts are in sync. I recall reading somewhere in the tons of great messages on this list about this test you mention Sara so maybe will have hubby try it. Good to know it won't get worse, flying a hot air balloon is dicy enough that I do not need to deal with pain too!

As to your question Jason, I cannot be certain in this arthroscopic procedure and relearning things that you used to do, but I have had 8 varied procedures, 4 on each side and have had neck blocks and p.t. every time and while it is painful in the beginning, things that I knew how to do prior I could do after. As the joke goes, was hoping for a better golf score


-- Pam Rietsch (, April 11, 2003.

Hi, I am typing with one hand -- I am using most of my fingers though, not just one. The surgery started at 7:00 this morning, I woke up around 7:50, was home before 9:30! I watched the video this afternoon, it was really neat! The tear was actually towards the front of my shoulder, not the top, which he says on the tape is more indicative to what the symptoms were. He also stated that my shoulder is somewhat loose, but that he wasn't sure if it was caused by the injury, or if it was normal for me; he said I would have to determine that at a later time. He was going to just trim off the frayed cartiledge, but decided to go ahead and remove that section to make sure it wouldn'y find its way back into the joint. My arm is still totally numb from the nerve block, and my hand has been "sleepy - tingly" all day. I am hoping that the nerve block lasts all night! I talked to my PT yesterday, and he showed me the exercises to do, but also said not to do anything except pedulum stuff this weekend, and to call him Monday, as he would also like to see the video, and he would be able to give me further instructions. The doctor didn't classify the slap tear, but from the video, it looks like a 1 -- yeah!!! I'll keep you all posted.

-- Becky (, April 11, 2003.

Becky, If they caught the major nerve bundle it should indeed last all night, having had 8 of them most will last until about the early morning since your surgery started so early. Our earliest board at my hospital is 8 a.m. I assume the told you to sleep sitting up so that nothing could either lay on the shoulder and keep heat and cold from it also. Because you cannot feel anything, a lot of people injure themselves while the numbness is there. Wish our hospital did the videos, we get color pictures, but would love to have a video.

If you have access to a cryo cuff made by aircast they are the best thing since spilled milk! I have the shoulder, knee and back cuffs. They look like the old pump ice tea canisters, and you fill them with ice and water and the pressure pumps up the cuff either by sort of siphon force or they also have a motor you can buy or rent which automatically pumps the cuff every 20 seconds full of cold ice water. I was amazed the difference in healing time with and without a cryo cuff! Would not consider ortho surgery without one. is where you order them.

-- Pam Rietsch (, April 12, 2003.

Becky, Glad you are doing so well so soon....I got very sick from the general and had to stay in the hospital overnight, yuck, and althought the nerve block DID keep the shoulder and arm numb til early AM, I was all swollen from shoulder to neck, and had to keep ice on there for 48 hours. Sounds like you will recover quickly and be back to "normal" faster than SOME of us....... Take care.

-- Sara Blazo (, April 12, 2003.

Hi Pam, Sounds like a Labral tear to me.....don't know if that is good or bad, but considering all you have been thru, maybe this will be an easy one!!!! Good luck, let us know what you find out. Jason, I don't do sports, so I can't answer you about sport activities after rehab...hopefully someone else can! Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 12, 2003.


I underwent a labral repair on December 30th, 2002 for a torn labrum due to a rock climbing injury. This is a response to Karen and all others currently undergoing PT for the surgery. TAKE IT SLOW!! I pushed my PT in the interest of getting back as quickly as possible but am now paying the price. I still experience pain in my shoulder as well as a signifigant bit of clicking or catching. They intially told me that I was experiencing Bursitis and gave me a cortozone shot. That has not seemed to help as I am still in pain. I am going to order another MRI to see what the story is. IS there anyone out there who is also 3.5 months out from surgery and still struggling or am I the poster child for pushing to hard????


Jon Sargent

-- Jon Sargent (, April 12, 2003.

Hi Jon, I am 12 weeks out on this past Thurs. and it was like a crossing over. I have had decreased pain and increased mobility. But yes to your answer to go slow with PT. Every time the therapist pushed me a little harder it set me back for days. I recently had a CT with Arthrogram to make sure everything was okay due to my increased pain (about 3 weeks ago) the test was fine, thankfully. I really think that we get ahead of ourselves with trying to do to much and then we pay for it. My therapist is great, yet he did feel the doctor's protocol for rehab was way to conservative. I reminded him a couple of times that I was paying him and please follow the doctor's instructions. The doctor felt my increased pain was from the therapist moving me to fast with the strengthening program. After having read all the emails at this site, I am sure that each person is different with their healing. Whether age related, type of surgery, the surgeon, therapy and much more. I am glad to hear Becky's surgery went well, I was praying. Has anyone tried to email directly to a person? I was just curious, I have and never get a response except what I have written on this website. I really am very happy to have "met" all of you. I just told my husband, it is like my sounding board, and that I know all of you understand and will listen. Jon let me know how you are progressing. Fill me in with your therapy, I am going to 2 days a week for a month, then if all is well, home exercises. I faithfully do those now just to stay stretched on my days I don't attend therapy. Sara, I hope you are progressing. It can be very slow, but one day soon you will get that shoulder back. God bless, Karen

-- Karen Sutherland (, April 12, 2003.

Having had as I said 6 shoulder surgeries in the past 5 years, I feel I can speak to some of what you went through. Normally my o.s. did not even consider sending me to p.t. prior to about 6 weeks but then I am a wimp 1st class :(((( My pain level is in the pits,....just never have been able to stand much pain and lately I have heard thoughts about there being some research on the fact that possibly there may be a gene that has something to do with those of a low pain threshold. Others have told me it was my extremely low blood pressure, who knows. Also as to the p.t. I sadly as posted previously have been through numerous surgeries in the last decade so have lived in p.t. for the last 15 years. Also am fortunate to have a gym at home, because I caring for 3 Alzheimer's patients and could not leave the house I usually start as I am able just a tiny bit at a time.

My usual format is to be in horrendous pain the first week - 10 days, then really bad pain for about another 8-10 days. During this phase I was taking Lorcet for pain. Then I would be in really, really, really bad pain for the next 8 weeks. Generally vicodin or ultram would suffice for this pain. There seemed always to be a break at around 3 months. Each person will know when they are ready to take the next step IMHO. For the next 3 months any time the weather changes the pain bounces back to somewhere between horrid and horrendous. At six months there seems to be another step up of levels of pain and what you can and cannot do. The last year is more maintenance than anything else, there will be days that the pain is pretty significant but then remember I am a wimp I consider myself done at 2 years but then it all depends on how deep the cutting was and how much clean up there was. This last reattach of ligaments on my left shoulder rarely even squawked after about 5 weeks.

I am a 54 year old female that is flabby now since the red light runner, but was pretty fit being able to clean up numerous cemeteries ( I am a historian - ) and also have done construction for a number of years as hubby loves to build I know some people that go through arthroscopic surgery and take meds for maybe 2 weeks and are fine, I think everyone is different. My body has been through the war for the last 15 years and sadly some of it will never get better. You may also want to consider a TENS unit, they are great!

I think the camaraderie is great in this group but I also think the one bad part of a forum such as this is that some may not read all the posts so they then see there is a wide variance of pain levels and then if they only read a few may think they are way worse than others with the same surgery. Hope you all heal great!!

-- Pam Rietsch (, April 13, 2003.

Hello Everyone

Wow. Did I fall into something big. I read every single person's story's and all of you just right now have changed my life.

I just started massage school to be a therapist and today is Sunday. Monday I'm going to the shools office to drop out of the school. I'm for sure going to get my shoulder taken care of as soon as possible.

Like everyone else I have slight pain. Not always though. In the mourning from laying on it, reaching to turn my alarm off on the head board is probably the worst one but not bad. Something that I can live with for now.

Problem: I have no job, with no insurance. I have insurance but with a 1,500 deductible. So I'm quicking school and finding a job with insurance coverage so I can get this damn thing over with. Everyone's story were really great to here.

To let you know, I did it working out. Doing simple bicep curls. Some muscle head I had spotting me is the one that created what I have today. Slap tear. This guy did not pay attention as a spotter usely should. Coming down to fast with it tore somthing.

When I put it in a pitcher's position and rotate it up and down that's when I can hear all that loos cartilage just rolling around. I tell people to touch the top part of the shoulder and as soon as I do it they jerk there hand like they were burned. But they do it because it feels that nasty.

So I have a goal now. To get it fixed and go on with my life.

Again I thank everyone for such priceless information. Time is precious never taken advantage of it. I'm 26, young and full of life. I'm not letting this get in my way.

With complete care and love


-- Miguel Torres (, April 13, 2003.

Miguel, Great idea...and if you read my emails, you will remember that DOING MASSAGE made my tear worse, and it was very painful performing those long massage strokes. Get it fixed, do rehab, THEN go to massage school(it IS a great and rewarding career-I have had my own practice since '97). Good luck to you and BE well, Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 13, 2003.

Hi everyone! I'm doing great! I haven't taken any pain pills since surgery, my arm just slowly awoke from the nerve block, and remained calm! I have been doing the pendulum stuff, but have been very conservative otherwise. It does seem that my shoulder clicks a bit more, but for now I am attributing it to inflammation. I know it would be painful to move it past end range right now, but I am taking it very slowly...I don't want to get stuck in the horrible rut some of your therapists seem to have pushed you through. My therapist told me to keep it "pain free" for several weeks, and to progress it slowly. I am going to see him this afternoon and show him the video tape -- like I said, if you have the option of getting a video of the procedure, do it, it totally cleared up any doubts or misconceptions that I had going into the surgery. I hope you are all doing well, I wish some of you were doing as well as I - It will come, I think the surgeon has a lot to do with it, find out who the "shoulder only" guy is in your area, Don't settle for just any orthopedic surgeon, you want someone who has done literally thousands of these, not dozens or hundreds! That is just extra advice from my friend's dad, who is the best hand surgeon in the state!

-- Becky (, April 14, 2003.

Hi again, I have almost full range of motion to the front, very little to the back, and almost 90 degrees to the side -- all pain free!!! I am so excited, I feel so much better than before surgery! I would definitly do it agian if I had to. Thanks Everyone! Happy Healing!

-- Becky (, April 14, 2003.

Hi! I had a sub lexed shoulder, and a number of minor dislocations of my shoulder for about 10 years. I was always able to pop the shoulder back in. I wasn't in any pain other than the residual pain after the dislocations for about a week. I learned certain movements or activities would pop the shoulder out, so a lot of physical activity was avoided. This last Thanksgiving, I fell (on an escalotor!) and had a shoulder dislocation, where I couldn't pop it back in. Emergency room, and follow up doctor visits, showed I had a labral tear. I had surgery about 4 weeks ago. Things are looking good. I've been in a sling since the surgery, more so that people don't grab my arm than anything else. I started PT a week ago. They are working on my range of motion first. It's coming along. As for pain, I used a Iceman (donjoy) which was like an ice pack you wear for as long as you have pain. My doctor put it on me right after surgery and I had it on for about 2 days after that. During that time I only used two of the Vicadin the doc prescribed for pain. I'm not affiliated with the Iceman company. I just saw the doc today, and things are moving along great. Occaisional pain (which can be taken care of with some ibuprofen)when I push myself. I'm more worried about the incision marks from the surgery (arthoscopic)scarring and getting to drive again, than anything else.


-- Marie (, April 15, 2003.

Marie, sounds like you are getting along better than quite a few of us--good for you. How are you sleeping at night? If well, do you know any secrets you can pass along to the rest of us? Regards, Hank

-- Hank Windsor (, April 15, 2003.

Hi, I just thought some of you would like to know that it isn't all bad. I talked to my surgeons nurse yesterday, and she passed along the mesage that it's ok for me to work out, box, and play hockey as soon as I feel ready, she said if there is no pain, then rehab is totally up to me. My surgery was on Friday-5 days ago, and I have not experienced any pain! I only get a little tighness when I try to push it past the range of motion that is comfortable, I actually have almost regained full range, except crossing in front of the body. The Dr. removed a significant section of my Labrum, just forward of my biceps tendon. Since there are not any sutures, or anchors, my recovery will be very quick. I was able to sleep in my bed the second night after surgery, I wore the sling, and stuffed a small camping pillow into my armpit, then supported my arm with two regular pillows. I wish all of you good sleeping and quick recoveries!!! Thanks for the support you have given me the past few months.

-- Becky (, April 16, 2003.

Thought I would give you an update from my previous message on 28 Feb 03. It is now 17 months since I tore my labrum surfing. I have perservered with conservative rehab (my OS has advised against surgery in my case at present).

So for those out there who are unsure whether to go for surgery / have been advised against it given their situation - some good news:

Shoulder is gradually improving (but slowly) and is definitely a lot better than last time I wrote. Am going to gym now 4x per week - lifting probably 50% of what I would normally and providing I apply cold afterwards this seems ok and is helping strength increase (still odd twinge while at gym but no lasting pain). I am also surfing again - shoulder felt pretty weak and was sore after the first few surfs but is much better now and has felt fine recently. I've been for about 15 surfs in last 2 months - including 5 in the last 5 days - New Zealand's east coast has been pumping!!! Also back playing touch rugby. I'm now pretty much pain free (providing I avoid activities that I know aggravate things).

Hopefully this progress encourages those with more recent injuries or those finding rehab tough to hang in there - our bodies are amazing healers - and with time often things do improve.

All that said, shoulder still doesn't feel right (never has since the day I did it!) and is still not up to many full on activities/sports. It still gets sore and irritated occasionally, clicking etc still there. Therefore may still consider surgery if progress doesn't continue.

Keep up the rehab guys and all the best! Matt

ps. Those who have had recent surgery please keep giving occasional updates in future (any good or bad news is really helpful for those considering surgery to make informed decision on longer term results).

pps. I found that after injury, early on the physios kept pushing me to do heaps of strengthening, which often made things worse - setting me back several days or weeks at a time. With benefit of hindsight, I think that key is to make sure inflammation, pain and night pain is well under control first (can take months) while keeping up light exercises, stretching in meantime. Then can successfully move on to full strengthening exercise program.

-- Matt Comer (, April 19, 2003.

Greetings, I have just finished reading all the e-mails and decided that I would ask everyone about my situation -- I have been having left shoulder pain since last Nov; after going to chiro for several months, went to orth in mid-Mar. By this time the pain had not only been in the shoulder area but down the left arm, deltoid muscle, elbow, etc, etc. MRI showed tears of the anterior and anterosuperior portion of the shoulder socket. Surgery was indicated. Then the glitch -- the only orth surgeon in the clinic that I was going to was deployed. Thus, referral to another clinic. This orth surgeon indicates that she is ultra-conservative. Doesn't want to do surgery right now but try medication, no shots though as she feels that would not help my situation, and PT twice a week. Said that I need to get more ROM before any surgery anyway. Meanwhile I am hurting, hurting, hurting every day. Sometimes hard pain but other times dull pain. Do my symptoms sound like a labra tear? If so, does the pain radiate down the entire arm. This surgeon also indicated that "you have a lot of arthritis in that shoulder." Somehow I feel that I am getting the "run around" with pain, pain, pain. If the conservative methods work, okay. But if not, I am just that much further from relief. Thanks for reading and I really appreciate any response.

P.S. I have been asked several times what types of sports that I do - - well, the answer is absolutely none -- not unless you count turning the pages of a book as a sport as I am an avid reader......

-- catherine wilt (, April 19, 2003.

Hi Everyone! I jsut thought I'd let you know, 8 days after surgery and I am doing push-ups again...a little sore afterwards, but it went away within a couple of hours! I am going to play hockey as a goalie on Monday night! I will let you know how it goes-this surgery appears to be the best thing around! Just remember...Find the BEST SURGEON in your area!

-- Becky (, April 20, 2003.

Hi Catherine, I am not a Dr....and also DO NOT do sports had a labral tear surgery (which you know if you read above). Your problem sounds like more than arthritis, your symtoms sound like a tear to me - I had one diagnosis of tendonitis before they got it right. You need to see a shoulder specialist, if possible. Someone who has seen and treated thousands of labral tears and can read them on MRI's. That made all the difference in my diagnosis and treatment. Best of luck..let us know how you make out, Take care, Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 20, 2003.

Catherine, I think I posted somewhere above your post about pain, see if you can get someone to order you a TENS unit, I am going for my arthrogram on Wednesday and do NOT look forward to it, but anything that solves this horrid pain is worth it. I have the TENS for my back but I put a pad on the front and back of the shoulder and it works like a charm!! TENS stands for Transdermal Electronic Neural Stimulator, stops the pain cold! Good luck, and please find another doctor, been there and done that with doctors that do not understand when someone really hurts. As someone said above, find the BEST surgeon around! Pam

-- Pam Rietsch (, April 21, 2003.

Pam, Can TENS units be ordered thru your P.T.??? And will your insurance (say, Blue Cross) pay for it entirely if it is?? I need to find SOMETHING for this post-surgical pain I can not seem to control, pain killers have ben of little help....maybe TENS will be the answer for me. I have an old model, but the wires are no longer functioning so i can't use it or even try it. Thanks, Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 21, 2003.

I am not the patient but My husband went for an arthroscopy this week to stabilise his shoulder. Whilst in surgery the surgeon discovered that there was very little cartilage left and that there wasn't really anything one could do to rectify this. He has not got artritis at this stage but from what we can gather he will no doubt get it at some stage when and to what degree no-one can really tell. What I am really looking to find out is he is fairly sporty and would like to pursue his sport in the field of Tri-Athlons and one of the reasons he went for the stabilisation was so that next year he could look at training for a half iron man distance tri athlon. Please could you give us some advice as to what he could do training wise and what the implications would be long term. Are there supplements you could suggest that would assist in protecting his joint and making the excersize easy to continue with

Your assistance and avice would be much aprreciated

-- Marie Wells (, April 25, 2003.

its been just over a week since the surgery...i'm still in significant pain. the doc had to do a repair on the front side of my shoulder and he had to remove more torn tissue from the back side, then he had to remove a cist (spelling?) that had formed. i was under the knife for over an hour. everything would have been better if i hadn't gotten the extra body had some rare reaction to the whole thing and i formed an ear infection and an infection in my throat...holy crap i was miserable. well, i go in a week from tomorrow to get the stiches out and to find out about PT. wish me luck, i want to be full force playing guitar ASAP.

-- jason carroll (, April 27, 2003.

Hi Everyone, I guess I will be leaving this message board...I had about 20% of my anterior labrum removed on April 11th - it was to be a simple debridement, but it was too damaged to just clean up, and there wasn't enough to attach it back. Well, tonight I played a pick-up game of hockey, as went very well, I was a little aprehensive, but who wouldn't be two and a half weeks after shoulder surgery. I am a little sore, but not that bad, heck, I even took a couple of coed slap shots directly to my shoulder. Looks like I am back in the game, and am one of the lucky ones to just have a minor recovery period. For those of you who are wondering, I did go around my surgeon, and got a referral to physical therapy from my chiropractor of all people...My first pt appointment was today as well, my therapist is more concerned about tendonitis and rotator cuff problems arising from too much too soon, so he made me promise not to get back to normal intensity for about 4 weeks! Summer league starts May 10th, so I will have to miss the first two games, but it will be worth it in the end! Jason, sorry you ended up having to have repairs done, rather than just removal of the damaged cartilage, I hope things get better soon. Hang in there!

-- Becky (, April 29, 2003.

i recently found this forum and i wish i found it a month and a half ago before i went under the knife for your standard issue labral tear repair. in addition to the labral tear my bicep was detatched and retracted down into my arm, a couple of cysts and the doc had to cut off an inch off my acromium. the end result is a four inch scar on the top of my shoulder and two half inch scars on my back, one on each side of my scapula and A BOAT LOAD OF PAIN!!!! let me repeat that so there is no misunderstanding, A BOAT LOAD OF PAIN!!!! holy mackeral! i got some pretty meaty pictures from the surgery and what the doc had to do was drill 6-7 holes through my scapula then fish the bicep up the arm then attatch it to the scapula with what looks like some sort of sterile kevlar cord laced through these holes and the bicep then cinched up tight. the intent as i understand it is these cords will remain in my body, not deterioiate or dissolve, forever and the muscle, ligaments and tissues will just grow around this cord not unlike a tree branch growing around rope swing after years. now this sort of creeps me out. has any body heard of a similiar procedue performed? thats my question. i do want to give a report on a product that i just purchased for my rehab. it's called a cryo-cuff. available at it's device that ices the entire shoulder at once instead of only the small area covered by an icebag. it is a little spendy $150.00 but my pain is so intense i'm considering it an investment rather than a burden.i'm also working on getting a TENS unit. they cost +/- $100.00 from a company called isokenitics at 1 866 263 0674. sleeping is really a problem and i got a used recliner and i hope i'll get some sleep now. i look forward to keeping in touch with the folks on this forum for the next year during my rehab. i need the support because i'm a very active 48 yo guy who likes to hike, climb, fish and work at my job as a carpenter. happy trails. brad rodgers

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, April 30, 2003.

Hi Brad, Sounds like your surgery was a bear!!! Glad you are checking into that TENS..did you call Banner Therapy? The "anchors" they put in your shoulder sound like they same ones they have used on most of us to repair the labrum, such as in my case, reattach it to the bone. (mine are blue, at least that's how they show up in the pics). I know how your sleep problems are, I can finally sleep in bed, but ONLY on my back with a "V" shaped pillow under my shoulders and back, IF I don't move all night, AND if I take a small amount of Ativan and Flexeril to knock me out! Great hunh? Oh well, I am told it will all get better...the Dr says another 5 weeks or so. Feel free to write when you need some support or just to "let loose"!! Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, April 30, 2003.

first night of real sleep in 1-1/2 months. bought a used big cushy recliner for $100.00 and slept all night. in fact i slept in and almost missed my PT appointment. i would recomend a big cushy recliner if your having a hard time sleeping. happy trails. brad rodgers

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, April 30, 2003.

hi sara, does it bother you to have those cords inside of you? can you feel them? have they restricted your movement? what do you experience about them. were there alternatives to the cords? my doc said they would use staples but i ended up with the cords. thanks

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, May 03, 2003.

I haven't read this forum for quite a few months now. It's amazing how many of us there are. I noticed someone mentioned a TENS (transcutaneous electro nerve stimulator) unit a few messages above. If you are having pain and unable to comfortablly make it through the day I highly recommend asking your PT about them. They are absolutely wonderful. I had surgery in Dec. for a sevre labrum tear and thermal capsulorrhaphy for some pretty bad instability and even four months later sleeping was only a few hours at a time. Once I got my TENS unit, along with a few more pain pills and streching my shoulder has made some dramatic improvements. My ROM is increase though I am still really restricted with abduction and with external rotation. Flexion is almost at 170 degrees. I credit improved progress to the TENS unit easying the pain so I can stick to all those wonderful exercises from my PT (who is really great). Good luck to all of you if you have any questions please feel free to email me =)

-- erin derosia (, May 04, 2003.

erin, hi where did you get your TENS UNIT and did you have to get a prescription from your doc. getting my doc to buy off on it has been my obstacle. thanks

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, May 04, 2003.

Im still waiting to see if I labral tear,MRI showed nothing. Did anyone think that they had upper back problems not knowing it was you'r shoulder? I've seen Drs.and chiros. for 3 yrs. Now a PT thinks it's my shoulder. It's getting crazy.

-- Teresa Hayes (, May 05, 2003.

For those of us in the group who have debatred the issue of surgery vs. conservative treatment for SLAP lesion, consider this. I went yesterday for a 2nd opinion. Basically, I have a SLAP lesion II and frosen shoulder/posterior capsule tightness. The frozen shoulder syndrome has been around for 4-5 months, and the pain has gradually subsided with P/T and home exercises. The ortho said he could recommend surgery for the SLAP Lesion if I didn't have the capsule tightness. He doesn't like to do surgey when someone has stiffness/inflammation, two signs of capsule tightness. His experience is that surgery may fix the SLAP lesion but worsen the capsule tightness and frozen shoulder. His recommendation is to give it more time for the frozen shoulder to work itself out and then see how I'm doing three months from now. I wonder if this situation sounds familiar to anyone in the group.


-- mike weinstein (, May 07, 2003.


This is a great site! I’ve learned more about these procedures and recovery than my doctor has told me! He sure left a lot of things out!

I’m a 29 year old rock climber and snowboarder and I injured my right shoulder while boarding in British Columbia in mid March. Having suffered innumerable muscle and tendon injuries in my 11 years of climbing, I thought I could simply shake this off and keep on trucking. I took a digger on the board and partially dislocated my shoulder in a way I had never felt before. It stunned me at first, then I quickly bounced up did a bunch of arm swings and kept boarding (for 3 more days). This pain was very different from past finger tweaks or muscle sprains, so after 3 weeks I went to see a OS in New York. He X-rayed the joint and found nothing but being a climber himself, knew that it wouldn’t show up. He then sent me for an MRI which, after another week, also showed very little except a bone spur irritating my RC and some ‘thinning’ of the labrum. He went through more range of motion tests and knew that there was probably something happening with the labrum which neither the x-ray or MRI would show. He scheduled my surgery for May 1st and told me to keep off the arm as much as possible.

May 1st rolls around and I went to St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC. I showed up for pre-op at 2:30, did the usual song and dance, was told I would have general anesthesia (instead of the local I was expecting) and woke up around 6:00pm. Once the anesthesia wore off, there was NO PAIN. I guess the block they give you is like an epidural for the shoulder. I had some trouble breathing and felt queasy due, I guess, to some of the lung and stomach nerves getting numb too. I went back to the hotel by 7:00 and slept quite well for the first night. I was given Oxicodone, Hydrocodone and some form of anti-inflammatory meds. The meds were great! The Oxicodone was like being in a waking dream, and I continued with it for about 4 days (mostly out of enjoyment) and generally have not felt ANY pain. My arm is in a sling and I was given the ice water circulation unit along with the surgery, which (as many on this site have mentioned) was an amazing help for both swelling and pain.

I went back to the doctor this morning and got my first glimpse at the macabre arthriscopic events. It ends up that what I had was a very strange variation of a labrul tear. I had a ‘posterior’ tear (in the back of my shoulder). Apparently this only happens to something like 1% of us… which is the highest I’ve been in any rating since 1st grade! He inserted two (what he termed) welds in my labrum which re-bind the tendon to my bone. He also did some stitching to sure things up. I think he also took out the bone spur, but I forgot to ask him. Anyway, I now have to wear this sling for 4 more weeks! ARGH!!!

So I start PT next Tuesday and an SO ANXIOUS TO GET OUTSIDE AGAIN!!!! I knew going into the surgery that I would be out from 2 to 4 months, but I’m going nuts without being able to move my body in the way I’m used to. From this site, I can see that people’ s recovery can vary wildly! Becky (the goalie) was already shagg’n pucks by the time she was in my position. I have no idea of how my body will take PT having never had anything like this before. I can only hope that I give it enough time to heal and then begin to push it that I give myself the best chance at succeeding in the long run.

Patience is not one of my few virtues.

Question: Does anyone have recovery stories after having the ‘welds’ (or tacks) put in?

-- doug (, May 08, 2003.

D oug, Please remeber that Becky DIDN'T ahve any anchors, stitches or "welds" put in her shoulder, only a debridment, which is one of the reasons she ahd a faster rehab. Your healing and P.T. will be longer because the work done was more extensive. I am assuming you are a younger guy than some of us, so maybe you will get back to your activities quicker. I am 6 weeks out of surgery with a repair that sounds like yours...back of shoulder, labral anchors, sling for 5 weeks, no massage(I am a massage thrapist) for 3 1/2 months...but I am probably older than you and it has been a rough 6 weeks. I do PASSIVE exercises now to prevent a frozen shoulder, but the real P.T. won't start til June. I have NO muscle tone left in that arm and shoulder(apparently that is normal)and alot of pain in the shoulder and radiating down the arm, front and back. My Dr says it is all normal and should subside in another 3-4 weeks...boy I hope so. I am active and expect to get all ROM back someday, the sooner the better! Good luck with your rehab.

Take Care, Sara

-- Sara Blazo (, May 08, 2003.

kia ora before u go under the knife ill advise you to look into prolotherapy as going under the knife should be the last resort ive had my surgery and for 2 years it still isnt at its top as it used to be i advise to seek elsewhere before going into this long process of rehab kia ora mal

-- malcolm (, May 08, 2003.

welcome doug, i too was an active climber untill this whole shoulder stuff raised its ugly head and took me permanently off belay. granted i'm 48 now and i started climbing when i was 15 so i have no real regrets but my message to you is take it easy with your recovery. sounds like you had similiar to what sara and i had and if thats so i hope you will not have the pain that i have had. but do take it easy and dillegently use that cryo-cuff many times a day. i've had mine for just a week and can honestly say there is a noticeable reduction in pain and inflamation. i also just sprung for a TENS UNIT , $99.00 from isokenitics, 1 866 263 0674. you have to get a prescription from your doc but it's worth it. also sara saw some on ebay for sale but i had already ordered mine before i got her notice and they were starting at about $50.00 starting bid. i saw my doc today and he was pleased with my range of motion progress and i have to give credit to the tens and cryo-cuff and religiously doing my stretches. start your PT early on and grind through it some of the moves are 5.12+. keep the spirit high and the tension low

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, May 09, 2003.

This site is great. Everyone has given me so much more information than I could have gotten from my doc. I have to tell you I was anxious to throw my sling out the window, but with the stories of pain INCREASING after the first 2 weeks, I've taken the warning seriously, and am keeping it on! I'm using a cold water pump unit thing... Not sure if its the same as the cryo-unit, but its basically an igloo cooler with a water circulator inside. It works great and is amazing at relieving the swelling and the pain has been nonexistent.

Which leads me to my point: I really haven't felt any pain.... Yet. I've been able to sleep in a normal bed. I hug a pillow when I want to sleep on my good side. I've even driven a little bit (I have a 5 speed) I’m feeling strong and sometimes let myself out of the sling to type at work. I guess I keep waiting for the pain and only experience a little discomfort in the morning when I wake up.

Also- what types of therapy are we started out on? I read someone above who was doing 'pendulum' motions. What exactly is that? All I know right now is that I’m not supposed to do anything with my arm above my head.

-- Doug (, May 12, 2003.

What feels different between a labral tear and an impingement? I talked to an ortho. and he doesn't seem to think it's a tear. But from what I've been reading I have most of the symptoms of a tear.

-- . (, May 12, 2003.

Hello everyone. I stumbled onto this website and it made me realize how many shoulder injuries there are out there. In November '02, (yes, 6 months ago) I hurt my shoulder at work (teacher assistant at public school for autism-lifting a child) and a ortho insisted that I only had a sprain and bone contusions (bruises) --- 5 weeks of PT did nothing but cause more pain. Last month, I found out he closed my compenstation case and I asked for a 2nd opinion...shoulder specialist now says I have a labral tear, cracked collar bone, and impingement syndrome, that will have to be surgically fixed. My arm is really week and it feels numb on and off throughout the day. My question is are these symptoms of permanent nerve damage? And does that mean I will always feel like this? I am going for an EMG (to test the nerves) on Friday. Thanks in advance for any advice! ---Melissa

-- Melissa (, May 13, 2003.


Impingement and Tear are different even if there symptoms are the similar.

Here's a great website about shoulder injuries: m.html

-- Doug (, May 14, 2003.

heres a note to theresa hayes from her posting on 5/5/03. i had surgery on 3/18/03 for a bunch of stuff bad that happened to my shoulder. see my posting above for those details. the upstart of it all is i have very bad upper back and neck pain as well. my PT thinks it is just "refered pain". essentially it's just how our bodies are compensating for the primary pain.if we hurt over here our body cranks up the activity somewhere else to pick up the slack in our attempts to remain at some level of " normal" activity. the result is it gets overworked and stressed thus the pain. i had an acupuncture treatment yesterday and it temporarily reduced the back and neck pain untill i started walking and doing things again. my acupuncturist recomended a deep tissue massage if i can tolerate it. my pain is still pretty respectable. good luck, happy trails. brad rodgers

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, May 14, 2003.

Hey Doug, Are you still pain free??? If so, you are one LUCKY guy! As you can tell from alot of us labral tear patients, we are dealing with alot of severe and enduring pain. I was wondering if you are doing something different, had something different, or if you just got LUCKY. I am at 7 weeks and am no better than week one. (better ROM, but pain is the same...sometimes worse). As for your P.T. question, I am only doing(at my Dr's instruction)2 passive stretching exercises (extension and abduction) to prevent frozen shoulder for another 2 weeks, then I start real P.T., going to physical therapy-the sling has been gone for a little over 2 weeks. Hope all is well,

-- Sara Blazo (, May 14, 2003.

Yup! I had my first PT appointment about 2 hours ago and I still feel no pain. They ran a ROM on me and did the pendulum exercise plus a few back and arm strengthening exercises. As for pain, I just don't know why I don't have much. It only hurts when I move my arm backwards or if something hits it. I imagine that when I REALLY get going into the PT that it will start hurting a lot more. I’m still in the sling for another 2 weeks and getting used to it (I don’t want to rip it up anymore).

I wonder if the reason I have little pain is that there was really no sewing of tendon involved? I had only two or three stitches to ‘bundle up’ the loose and flapping tendon. The true labrum tear surgeries involve more stitching and in a more intrusive place than my surgery. On the other hand, I have two plastic welds holding the tendon back to the bone and I have to imagine they’re in an intrusive place, but maybe less than stitches.

The other thing is that my mother-in-law suggested doing a bunch of mental preparation prior to surgery and I’m using healing mantras each night before I go to bed. Now, I’m not usually much for this sort of thing, but it really helped to get psyched for my surgery and bounce back quickly.

Good luck with the pain. I’m not sure what you’re doctor’s philosophy is regarding pain, but nobody should needlessly suffer with all the meds available these days.

-- Doug (, May 15, 2003.

brad,its nice to hear that someone has had this same problem,that im not loseing my mind. my ortho. now thinks i have an impingement and a bone spur, but the pt ive been seeing thinks its a just frustrated,all i want is for the pain to go away. the pain in my back is in the middle,and down under my shoulder blade.nothing sharp or shooting, just a constaint, dull aching down to the middle of my back.when i sit it makes it worse. my shoulder doesn't really hurt much at all,only if i over do it. any of this sound like what you've gone thru? .thanks

-- teresa (, May 15, 2003.

theresa, yes every thing you describe in terms of your pain symptoms are exactly as mine. it really is frustrating. last thursday i saw my doc and in the waiting room was a woman that has had five shoulder surgeries in the last six years and has been in pain all this time. that is my worst case nightmare about this whole thing that given the amount of pain it won't go away and i just can't imagine having this level of pain for that long. i do have the TENS UNIT and a cryo-cuff and i do thik it helps some, i can't imagine the pain if i didn't have them. my doc suspended my PT because he thought i was doing OK in ROM exercises even though my PTs progress report to him recomends continueing with treatments. my paranoid fantasy is that my doc merely wants to save the state some money, (i'm on a labor and industries claim due to a work related incident) but have nothing to back it up and i'm trying to get him to reconsider but heseems to think it's not necessary. he still wants me to continue ROM exercises at home but it's not the same as my PT. take care. brad

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, May 15, 2003.

Hello shoulder injury suffers, Wow this web site has really grown! Just to update my situation and maybe give people some hope. I had a labral tear and shoulder instability surgery back in October 02'. I had it done atroscopically and things are great. Now seven months later the only thing that bothers me is throwing a baseball which will get better in time. I am still a little tight in the shoulder but I account that to me being laxed with stretching exercises. I was fully back into weight lifting about two months ago and was back to work as a firefighter 12 weeks out of surgery. I suggest people to keep up with the exercises even though your shoulder might feel fine. I wish everyone great luck and keep doing research. If anyone has questions feel free to ask. I can't stress enough to be faithful with the PT exercises....

-- shaun brothers (, May 16, 2003.

How long do they let a person do PT before something else is tried? Some days I can't even tell anything is wrong,but then days like today I want to crawl out of my skin. What are some everyday activities that can make it flare up? I can work outside all day and feel fine,but I go to work the next day,doing very little and it hurts like ----! Just kinda curious what others have gone throu.

-- teresa (, May 19, 2003.

teresa, i experience the same thing. i've written it off to some how sleeping on it a certain way but still can't explain it because i sleep upright in a recliner. but sometimes it just hurts like hell just to be mean. maybe growing pains, from new tissue moving around somehow?

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, May 19, 2003.

really a question, i have a labrum tear and a bankart lesion, it's been 2 months + why does my bicep hurt so much? Surgury, 6/3. Painnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! everywhere!

-- will abrams (, May 22, 2003.

hey will, welcome aboard. i couldn't say what a bankart lesion is but perhaps some other folks might know though. i was reacting to your painnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. been there. am still doing that. even after 10 weeks post op. my suggestion to you is before you go in for surgery just go ahead and get yourself a cryo-cuff and get your doctor to prescribe a TENS UNIT. cryocuff from and get it with the pump attatched. i didn't but wish i had. and the TENS UNIT from isokinetics, 1-866-263 0674. its a bit of an outlay of cash but maybe your insurance will pick up the tab but don't count on it. you said your surgery is not untill 6/3, well i'd start putting your ducks in a row NOW ! for pain management. i wish i would have known about these before i had mine. let us know how your experiencing your pre and post op experiences it's really helpful to get feedback.

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, May 22, 2003.

In response to the message from Will Abrams: Last Thanksgiving I hurtled down a steep hill mountain biking, did an endo, and handed on my outstretched arms. I had lots of pain and reduced movement in my left shoulder. Couldn't get my orthopedist to recommend a proper MRI for maybe 3 months--just did useless Xrays! After six weeks (before the MRI) I got permission to do a CT scan which showed a Bankart lesion, which is a fracture of the socket joint of the shoulder. This type of fracture is what often causes the labral tearing so many have complained of at this site. Of course, CT scans only show bone breaks, so the Bankart lesion was the only thing that showed up. My orthopedist then put me on physical therapy, but still waited to do the MRI. The PT killed me, made it worse, it seemed, especially when the therapist prodded and poked a muscle behind my shoulder to "loosen" it up. Finally I got the MRI and my orthopedist and a second agreed that surgery was necessary to both to alleviate pain and get my range of motion back (75% to 90% at best, they told me). Then something miraculous happened: after the MRI, I started to notice improvement both in pain slowly subsiding and returned range of motion. I have since gone to a third orthopedic surgeon and he recommended no surgery at all, that the shoulder is now finally healing on its own. I am hoping to avoid surgery, especially after all I read here about the horrendous pain and sleepless nights that many seem to endure for weeks and months. Since I have experienced no subluxing (dislocation), I am hoping to return to working out again this summer. I don't know why it took so long to heal, and why it seems to healing on its own now, but hope I won't need the surgery after all. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Best wishes all for a complete recovery! Cheers, R. K. Ferncase

-- Rick Ferncase (, May 23, 2003.

Okay you post-op labral tear easy is it to re-tear the repair, if it was a SLAP tear with anchors? I am 8 weeks post-op and have managed to fall TWICE, the last being the worst, catching myself with the BAD arm(had things in the other hand)on the steps. The pain was horrible, made me light-headed and nauseaus-bend my upper arm out to the side...OUCH!!!. Now I am scared I may have torn the repair, as if it hasn't been painful enough these last 8 weeks. Anyone know?? At this point, is the repair pretty strong???

-- Sara Blazo (, May 23, 2003.

hey sara, sorry to hear of your fall i've taken a few myself.but the killer was when the metro bus driver seemed to have dropped the clutch and caused a woman holding a baby while trying to find the change in her purse to lose her balance and FALL RIGHT ON MY ARM !!! double ouch! i let out a blood curdling scream that even the folks tuned out with headphones could hear and the pain was so intense it brought me to tears right there on the bus. i too thought i yanked out the cords but evidently they are ok as my doc doesn't appear to concerned, it happened mid april.i can't say whether there was any damage or not, its hard to tell what is "normal" pain from any caused by that fall. happy trails

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, May 23, 2003.

Hello everyone,

Had a MRI on 12/31/02 and the result was anterior subluxation, labrum tear. Went under the knife on 2/12/03 had a open Bankhart procedure done on my right shoulder. I was in a sling for 5 weeks and started rehab the following week. It has been 31/2 months since the surgery with pt 3 days a week plus doing my excercises at home religiously and I still have limited ROM. I can't raise my arm more than parallel to the floor and perpendicular to my chest without my shoulder rising. There is some pain but mostly I just don't have controll of my arm. The pt can stretch it above my head but I can't seem to do it myself. Just had a check up with the Doc and he said I was "tight" going into the operation because I had learned to use my arm to compensate for the pain that I had and that is a big factor in my recovery. He said that he will give it one more month of rehab and if there wasn't enough improvement that he would "go back in" to relieve some of the restriction. I am unsure of what he meant by "go back in". Has anyone had this done to them and did it work? Oh by the way I am forty years old and in very good health. It seems that I may have done this thru weight lifting probably close to a year ago.



-- Randy Reda (, May 25, 2003.

I am like the rest of you. I had a type II SLAP Lesion, as well as a complete bicep tendon tear. I did it unloading a truck at work. after being treated for a pulled muscle for 2 months, they finally did an MRI, and diagnosed the problem. I had the surgery 3 months ago, in which they had to relocate the bicep tendon due to the damage. I thought all was going well for a long time. Last week during theropy, there was a loud snap in the same shoulder. The theropist heard it across the room. Now I have lost most of the range of motion i gained in 2 months of rehab. So, it's back to the Doc to see what happened. But it's no golf for me this year. LOL

-- Mike Peacock (, May 26, 2003.


I am 20/m in Auckland, New Zealand. I hurt my left hip kicking a ball around at High School back in November 1998. After 2 months of physioherapy which just aggravated the problem, I had an MRI and was diagnosed with an acetabular labral tear. I had a hip arthroscopy in August 1999. The surgeon had performed many hip arthroscopies, but I was his first hip arthroscopy (and apparently the first in New Zealand), and the surgeon said that he couldn't find the tear but found some "other damage" which he cleaned up. I recovered from the surgery in no time, but the symptoms remained, so I had a hydro- cortisone injection November 1999 which gave me almost 100% relief for a while. I got back into life after a year of laying around home in agony. Then in February 2001 it started to get sore again and I just tried to live with it and carry on with life, but after a few months, it got so sore I could hardly move it for about a month. I had second hydro-cortizone injection in August 2001, but it had no effect. I went to another surgeon for a second opinion and he said to just try and live with it until I'm closer to 50 and get a hip replacement. It's been 2 years since it got bad again and I've been been battling with depression the whole time. It's so hard to find suitable work and there's so few activities that cause only a mangeable amount of pain. When it's at it's best, it's an uncomfortable ache, but any physical activity or even just sitting or standing for just 10 mins can start the pain and it just gets worse the longer I'm active. I'd like to find a surgeon overseas who has had success in treating acetabular labral tears by hip arthroscopy, but it will be many years before I could afford the travel and the surgery. I'd like to avoid a total hip replacement for as long as possible. I'd like to chat with others who have (or have had) an acetabular tear, especially anyone who has had successful treatment or have found relief from an anti-inflammatory drug (I've tried ibuprofen and voltaren, but neither gave me any relief)

-- Michael Gallichan (, May 26, 2003.

last year i had a shoulder surgury and that cut my jr year of baseball very short. it was a labral tear and after surgury i went through 6 months of rehab for it. i was trying to get back into playing baseball again after giving up football and basketball, and i was hoping to play baseball in college but now it wont likely happen. i cant throw hard anymore and now im getting more and more sharp pain from each of my throws. right now it looks like i might be going in for another surgury which will suck goign into college doing rehab. this will cut another season short and all my high baseball dreams are over.

-- alec (, May 28, 2003.

Anita and Michelle,if you still visit this sight. What were you out comes,you'r stories sound alot like mine. Let me know.

-- teresa (, May 29, 2003.

Well it's final, went and saw the surgeon yesterday. He did the "poke and Prod" thing, and told me the surgery didn't take, so he has to go in again. Well, the way I feal, 3 months of work has just been flushed down the toilet. All the blood, sweat, and tears are about to start over again. they are going to remove the labrum, and shorten the bicep tendon and atach it to the "Humerous". the doc said I can start looking for a new hobby.

-- Mike Peacock (, May 30, 2003.

Wow, Mike, sorry to hear about your not-so-great outcome. Sorry about the loss of golf too, I don't play, but my husband does, and it would KILL him if he had to quit. Did you have any increased pain before that "snap" at P.T. or any other unusal "warning"? Where you having any pain at the original repair site? Keep us updated on future surgery...sounds like something you HAVE to do. I keep saying I would never do this surgery again, but I guess sometimes there is no choice. Take care,

-- Sara Blazo (, May 30, 2003.

hello shoulder pals, i need to broach a rather sensitive subject. one that involves a little risk on this electronic discussion but one that is nevertheless important to i imagine everyone that is going through this ordeal and is in some type of sustainable relationship. your input would be useful and illuminating and hopefully reduce any fellings amongst the readers of isolation and despair in those relationships. one previously un-discussed topic i've noticed in the forum so far is how this surgery, at least for those of us that really got a major surgery, has it affected our intimate relationships ? in my case, i've been so racked with pain the last three months that the mere thought of being intimate or having sex with my wife is the farthest thing in my mind which causes a stress in our life. sometimes i fear she feels rejected and or doesn't believe that the pain is what it really is or worse yet i might fail. i understand that this topic might be personally a little risky for some to respond to and i believe that any information should be treated sensitively and sincerely in the spirit of healing from this major disruption to a relationship. i heard a phrase once that said" community is the right to inconvienience your friends". i've felt great comfort from all the above stories in my healing and hope that by introducing the topic of the impacts to our relationships into the forum we can continue to grow from our collective experiences. keep the spirit high and the tension low bjr

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, May 31, 2003.

Funny you should bring that up Brad......My HUSBAND was asking me tonight WHEN I thought I might be able to give things a try again (it's been about 2.5 months). I said probably anytime "As long as you don't TOUCH my shoulder or arm or hurt me and I can't make any promises of how I will feel about it....or how MY performance will be".(not asking much, right?.....) So after a little wine and a hot shower, I gave it the go-ahead. It was not easy getting past the discomfort at first(I just had to keep my arm "out of the way..."), might be harder for a guy, since you probably have more need to use your arm and/or shoulder for balance, etc. You might have to be more creative about body positioning. The experience was better than I thought, my shoulder didn't bother me enough to be a problem, he did not hurt me, SO all was well and he was happy. Maybe you could try it, telling her that you can not be sure of the outcome, whether the pain will get in the way or not, but you are willing to give it a try. Have a little wine(if you drink at all)and some heat or ice before. This is from a women's point of view, but hopefully it is helpful! Best of luck, Take care,

-- Sara Blazo (, June 01, 2003.

thanks sara, we have tried lately and creativity seems to have a short leash still for me at this time. last night we tried to just snuggle and touch each other but i couldn't find a comfortable spot that i didn't experience pain. i don't think it's time for us yet.

-- brad rodgers (bjr) (, June 01, 2003.

Does anyone else with shoulder labral tear find that working at a computer irritates their shoulder / cause inflammation? I am now pretty much pain free for most activities. I can go to gym, go surfing for 3 hours, do physical work all day etc with no pain BUT can't take more than about 1 hour on computer!!! Whats with that? Any helpful suggestions?

-- Matt Comer (, June 02, 2003.

I haven't posted here in a while but i went through the surgery about 5 1/2 weeks ago and everything is coming along great. I've been playing guitar for over 2 weeks now (the doctor was shocked but approved) and now I'm of course in physical therapy. They are so far having to hold me back so I don't push myself too hard. Hopefully this will encourage anyone else who is about to go under. A lot of the stories on this board comforted me, a lot of them scared me. I was one of the blessed who came out alright. I am doing all of my at-home exercises as much as I safely can to make sure I keep up with the pace. The surgery itself actually went not as good as planned. Once the doc got in there he realized he'd have to do more than expected. The arthroscopic proceedure called for 5 insertions (SC) to be made (more than usual). He had to remove torn tissue from the back side, then go in the front and hook an ancor, then go in and remove a cist that had formed from the stress of the shoulder. Of course there was a ton of pain, still is occassionally. I will stress as most people have...get the best doctor in your area, if he hasn't performed multiple hundreds of these surgeries, find someone who has. Once it's over, take it slow, let the PT guide you. The labral tissue is very thin and if you go too fast in PT or in your outside activities, you can screw it all up again.

-- Jason Carroll (, June 02, 2003.

I've been reading this discussion with some interest after being preliminarily diagnosed with a labral tear about 3 weeks or so ago. Last week I had my MRI Arthrogram and will learn the results of the test this Friday. Additionally I have been to Physical Therapy twice a week.

For anyone who is having the MRI/Arthrogram, let me say that it was really not too bad in retrospect. By the same token, I needed to focus on breathing properly and not get to excited. The Arthrogram part of the procedure was interesting, in that, once my shoulder was numbed they inserted some sort of needle/catheter type thing into my shoulder, while using an x-ray machine to see where it was in relationship to the joint. Once properly inserted into the joint cavity (they have you laying in a manner to spread your shoulder out). They insert a syringe full of the contrasting fluid into the shoulder joint. Quite a substantial amount of liquid goes in. You can feel them working around, and once the liquid is in, you can feel that the joint feels a bit funny. They strolled me to the MRI machine and after getting my shoulder in position, they inserted me into the MRI. Never had an MRI before, and I can say that I love caving, diving, am not claustrophobic, but the MRI had a very unsettling presence to it. I definitely was uncomfortable in terms of perception and space, and had to work on controling my breathing. I was warned before insertion that it might be 1/2 hour. I don't think it was that long, but maybe spaced out. It reminded me of the parts of 2001 Space Oddessey where they are outside the ship - with noises etc. It's definitely a high tech experience. They took me out of the machine, and told me to get dressed and I was done. The ending was anti-climatic. I was hoping to get a glimpse of the imaging, but was forced to wait till Friday. They told me to maybe have someone there to drive in case I wasn't feeling good afterward, but it was nothing, really, in terms of pain or discomfort. I didn't have anyone with me, but had some friends 'on-call' just in case.

Physical Therapy has been fine. The arm band excersizes are ok. The shoulder lifts, lat pulldowns, etc. all ok. The only excersize that kills is one where I am lifting the small dumbells with my thumbs pointed down. For some reason I have pain with this excercise (or any other that has my thumbs pointed down). Should I be doing these??

Well wish me luck Friday as I find out my fate.

-- Jeffrey Koontz (, June 02, 2003.

Has anyone heard of a Magnuson Stack or whats involved? I'll be going under the knife on 6/25 due to a labral tear and instability (very similiar to Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon). Anyway, information seems to be limited on the web, so I was wondering if anyone here with their experience, knows anything. Thanx in advance.

-- Gary F. (, June 03, 2003.

Well Jeff, my only comment is- the one physical test they usual do, that 99% of the time proves a labral tear, is with the thumbs pointing down, arms out front and at a right angle to the body, the Dr puts downward pressure on your arm and you resist(similar to the weight exercises you do???). If it causes pain, you usually have a labral, SLAP tear. Sounds like what you have to me!! But then, I am not a Dr.......Best of luck,

-- Sara Blazo (, June 03, 2003.

I am going in for arthoscopic surgery 7/9.They are going to remove the spur that has been such a pain,and to see what else is going on in there. My ortho said alot of people stay in the hostp. for one night just to get some good pain meds because it's so painful.Did anyone here do that? Or is it not quite that bad? If not ,what is the usual in and out time of this surgery?

-- teresa (, June 04, 2003.

theresa, removing a bone spur was one of the items i had done. i also had several things done so it would be hard to separate and isolate the pain source. but i had alot done and went home the same day. mind you i had someone to take care of me 24/7 which i did need. and was very glad she was there. no overnight stay was discussed by my doc as necessary. the gave me a type of , for lack of a better term, an in line drip device that was inserted into my incision that i could give myself an injection of pain killer directly into my incision which helped alot. hope this was useful. good luck....bjr

-- bjr (, June 04, 2003.

He did mention a pain buster , which sounds pretty good. But I have 4 kids and a husband that works 10 to 12 hours a day, so not alot of help there . But Im sure I'll be able to work it out,if nothing else daycare.

-- teresa (, June 04, 2003.

I hope all of you are doing well. I spoke to the surgeon, and as soon as he gets approval from the insurance company it's back to surgery for me. My labrum is torn again, and the bicep tendon has pulled loose again, but this time with the tack that was holding it in place. He said that this will be an emergency surgery, so I will be going in probably by the end of next week, so i'm scared again. He thinks the tack is tearing the labrum and rotator cuff, so he is very concerned. I am worried about nerve damage, as I have a large portion on the front of my right shoulder that is numb. Has anyone had this?? Does it go ayay? Thanks for the place to vent, I am nervous, and it helps. I'll Pray for you all.

-- Mike Peacock (, June 06, 2003.

Mike, How does he feel this has happened? Was it from too much P.T. too soon or just not a sound repair to begin with? We will be thinking of you...I can't imagine doing this again. Best of luck, keep us updated on your progress and PLEASE vent here if need be! Take care,

-- Sara Blazo (, June 06, 2003.

Well, MRI showed a SLAP lesion.. along with some inflammation in the rotator cuff tendon and shoulder instability.

Doc's referring me over to the Arthroscopic surgeon for a consultation, though he's holding out hope that the Physical Therapy will help with the shoulder instablility and that I might not be bothered that much by the Labral tear.

From everyone's response here, it doesn't sound like PT without the surgery is very effective. Any thoughts here? Anyone not get the Slap Lesion scoped and have marked improvement with Physical Therapy alone??

-- Jeff Koontz (, June 06, 2003.

mike, i'm so sorry that your going to have to do it all again.i wish i had some pithy words of wisdom that would set your mind at ease but i don't.i'm more alarmed that it's possible to tear it all out in PT. how can your doc explain that it could happen from PT ? were you pushing it or doing something outside the PT protocols for your stage of recovery ? my doc had a coronary when he found out my PT wanted to start me on strength exercises before i was ready so he wouldn't approve any PT untill i was at 12 weeks post op. i'm feeling for you man, hang in there and write how your doing. bjr

-- brad rodgers (, June 06, 2003.

Jeff, I tried P.T. for 12 weeks prior to having the surgery for my SLAP didn't help at all, really only caused me more pain. But in some people's cases it can work just to strengthen the muscles, without surgery. It probably depends on how bad the tear is, but I think it is worth a try to do P.T. first. If you can get away with P.T. alone, LUCKY YOU, and I say go for it!! As you have read on this board, the aftermath of the SLAP repair surgery can be pretty tough, so if you can avoid it, DO IT! Again, good luck,

-- Sara Blazo (, June 06, 2003.

hey sara , how are you after your fall ? anymore pain ? did you see your doc for it?

-- brad rodgers (, June 07, 2003.

Well' Brad and Sara, the Doc couldn't explain it for sure. He said hat returning to light work to early may have contributed to it though. He thinks that the 3 mos between the tear of the bicep tendon and the repair is most of the problem. The tendon was in bad shape so the repair was tight. This time, he is not going to cave to the insurance company so easily. I think right now, the big thing for me is the depression. I want to go back to having fun, but it hurts to do most things. It feals like I have a saw blade loose in my shoulder whenever I move it around. Maybe by Christmas.

-- Mike Peacock (, June 07, 2003.

mike what kind of work do you do ? i'm a carpenter so finding light duty work is quite a challange for me and the company i work for. they have done ok in keeping me busy in that i'm doing tedium ad nauseum tasks and since it's a L&I claim they sort of have to other wise i'll have to file for an L&I compensation and that will cause our insurance rates to go up and they don't want to do that. don't let them push you to do more involved tasks out of your limitations. thats something i'm constantly struggling with and having to stand up for myself. to be quite honest, since i started back to work on 5/5/03 my other, good shoulder is beginning to show pain from over use thats recognizable from early symptoms of the first shoulder REALLY WANT TO AVOID THAT!! i really have to be dilligent about my limitations. take care keep the spirit high and the tension low bjr

-- brad rodgers (, June 07, 2003.

I was told that I may have a labral tear by my doctor. Had the arthrogram done, and my second opinion doctor said "What did your other doctor think ?" Which to me is not a good second opinion. I have almost no pain throughout the day. The problem is that when I try to pitch, I have pain. And I've been pitching for years and really don't want to give it up. I rehabbed it, but don't think it helped all that much. I have pain in the back part of the shoulder which radiates in the armpit area after I pitch. I am wondering if others have the same, or if labral tears cause pain in all different places. I am also wondering to what extent any of you pitchers out there came back from this injury. I don't think I'll have surgery if it seems like I won't be the same player anymore. I really want to return to my old form, and anything less is not worth it, because that's where I am now. Any insights would be greatly appreciated. Joe Malloy - Philadelphia

-- Joe Malloy (, June 09, 2003.

Hey all,

I'm now 41 days post-op from my labrul surgury. Still no pain, but the more I read and understand about this problem, the more I think my lack of pain has to do with the position of my injury- in the back (posterier tear). It seams that in normal activity, we tend to use the front of the joint more- and consequently more pain to those who have surgury there. My ROM is at about 90-95% of normal... which is actually great, because I was super flexable before the surgery. My PT is now more about joint stabilization and strenth building. For those still in the 'should I have the surgery' box... All I can tell you is it appears to depend on your age and physical condition as well as the location and nature of your injury. I go for my last post-op appointment with my surgeon on Thursday then I'll be in PT for another month. Ah, I can feel the rock under my fingertips already! Thanks to all on this board! Keep well and best of luck to you all.

-- Doug Fritz (, June 10, 2003.

Joe from Phila, I don't know anything about pitching....but if you haven't already, make sure you go see Dr. Lazarus at the Rothman Institute of Jefferson Hospital, Phila., if and when you get the repair done or want another opinion. He does ONLY elbos and shoulders and I think is the best around! Good luck,

-- Sara Blazo (, June 10, 2003.

Hi- hoping to get some advice. about 6 months ago i was picking my daughter up out of her crib when i felt a sharp pain shoot down my shoulder. for about 2 weeks, this pain continued so i went to a chiropractor on the advice of some friends. This seemed to help a little bit, but i noticed afterwards that my shoulder seemed to always feel like it was about to dislocate. a few weeks later, same thing, lifting my daughter out of the crib and i got the pain again. this time it lasted over a month and i could barely use my arm without the shooting pain. I finally went to an orthopedic sugeon who started me off with 6 weeks of PT, 3 times a week. This did absolutely nothing for my shoulder. He then did the x-rays, arthrogram and MRI and he said nothing looked wrong other than i had a cyst in my shoulder so he sent me to his associate. His associate dismissed my shoulder as something 'all in my head' and told me to go to PT again.

I spoke to my regular dr. and she referred me an excellent surgeon for a second opinion. I saw him today and he looked everything over again (not reading the old dr's notes, since he wanted to make his own conclusions). He went over the x-rays with me, showing how my arm is almost dislocated even in a relaxed state and then how the MRI shows that i have a labral tear. He said i could do either 4 weeks of intensive PT for that type of injury or i could have surgery. He said it was my decision and would not influence me in either way.

At this point i just don't know what to do. I am not really in pain but i am not able to pick anything up (including my daughter) without the feeling that my arm is going to dislocate. it is always popping and cracking and i can feel the bones grinding together, which is always a lovely feeling (like fingers on a chalkboard to me). However, the first round of PT didn't seem to make any difference whatsoever. However, when i read the posts it seems like most people did not have luck with surgery or had such a tough recovery they would not have done it in the first place. any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

No, mine was not a sports related injury either...i have no idea how it tore in the first place...i am a runner and have never had any shoulder injuries in the first place until now!

Thanks! -Erin

-- Erin Michaud (, June 13, 2003.

After 12 weeks of PT with no success to strengthen the muscles due to a diagnosis of posterior instability, I went back to my doctor who finally diagnosed a labral tear in my left shoulder. I have an MRI scheduled next week and an appt. with the orthopedic surgeon the following week. Could anyone tell me a) how long the recovery period is and how long one is not able to use his/her arm, and b) how painful the recovery is and the how much pain people still get post- surgery weeks/months/years later. Thanks!

-- Krista Wiegand (, June 13, 2003.

hello erin, welcome to the forum. very sorry about your shoulder. as you can tell from the last couple years worth of posts on this page it can't be said that shoulder surgery is a fun thing to do. and i'd be willing to go out on a limb and go so far as to guess that a rather large number of the folks on the forum started out with similiar experiences as yourself,ie, shoulder pain,dr visit, PT, 2nd dr visit,having to make a choice,PT or surgery or some variation of that routine,at least it was for me.seldom if ever have i read of anyone being "cured" by the PT alone.from my own experience my injury was not going to get better on its own and so surgery was my only option. i had a pretty major surgery but what you would require might be less and heal up just fine and quickly such as becky did.( see above in the list somewhere) she had surgery and within a short period of time she was out playing hockey again. as for the post-op pain, THERE WILL BE PAIN.let there be no doubt about that. how long it lasts depends on how involved your procedure would be.i'm three months post-op, still in arm sling with the stabilizer and still have a great deal of pain and can't lift my arm at all. my doc says for the type of surgery i had they expect me to be less than 1% healed at 3 months post-op, so i have a long ways to go. again yours may be different. my suggestion would be to get the absolute best ortho doc in your area that specializes in shoulders. ask how many similiar procedures have they done,and try to get them to fully understand the nature of your injury before they go in. good luck and keep us posted.

-- brad (, June 14, 2003.

Just had an MRI which suspects a SUPERIOR LABRAL TEAR. So all of you out there, who have experience with this I would greatly appreciate feed back. This apparently followed a MVA last year in April 2002. I've been in PAIN since then. Unless I don't use it! I've already done, muscle relaxants, 3 months of PT, Steriod Injection. It was the PT who suggested to see an Ortho, who only did an X-ray. And wanted to use more steriods, I found out later X-ray use is inappropriate in diagnosing shoulder issues. Another physician ordered the MRI. Well, I have a different Ortho that I will be seeing on the 27TH. The Radiologist is recommending a MR Arthography. Which is an MRI with Iodine injected. Has anyone had that done? I copied and pasted all the posted remarks and will be reading at leisure, this sure seems to be a helpful bboard. My big concern is use of staples, I've already have had a reaction (allergy) from ones that were used for abdominal surgery. They luckily got removed, when a surgical revision was done. so does anyone know about plastic that can be used to repair this tear?

-- Joyce Lessely (, June 19, 2003.

Joyce, I don't know that staples are used in a SLAP repair typically...I have "anchors" which I think are plastic and stay permanently. The cartilage eventually grown around them, they do not absorb. Someone else may have something different...but alot of us have the anchors and alot of us have had stories like yours...the wrong diagnosis, wrong therapy etc., til an MRI finally catches the culprit OR a GOOD Dr figures it out. The surgery can be tough, but we all have different bodies and different end read the good ones and the not-so good ones and then decide for your self with your Dr's help. Best of luck, keep us updated!

-- Sara Blazo (, June 19, 2003.

In September of '02 I was diagnosed with a SLAP tear. Doc told me that surgery was not immediately need, but if I wanted to either conintue playing sports or participate in strength taraining, I should have it. Had the surgery in Oct '02 and was able to play softball at full strength again in April '03. If you are young, strong and relatively healthy get the surgery. When you are older and you decide to have surgery, the total time to recover greatly increases along with the chance of a 100% full return to pre-surgery conditions. Unfortunately, I was just diagnosed again, with another SLAP tear in the opposite shoulder, and have decided to have it again. Once this is complete I should never have to worry about weak shoulders again.

-- Adam Lipp (, June 20, 2003.

possable slap lesion here. but would like to know has anybody here expiernced the chest pain that they thought was a possable heart attack. of corse it was not and ive been tested for any kinda of heart ailment ..and all is well in that area ..but my ortho says with this injury the pain can be any where it wants to ..but i will admit it sure is scary..still!! waiting for the o.k. from my insurence to go ahead ..and we all know how long this takes

wish me luck msawyer

-- mark sawyer (, June 21, 2003.

Mark Ive had neck, back,arm and chest pain as a result of my diagnosed labral tear. Sometimes in direct relation and sometimes due to overusing other body parts to compensate for my bad shoulder. Ive been dealing with mine for two years now (due to circumstances beyond my control) and Im finally going in for open shoulder surgery the day after tomorrow. Ummm...I can tell you that its been a tremendous mental burden(not able to work for half year now) thats given me a few bad anxiety attacks and I never knew what one was till I got it. Not quite a "heart attack" sensation, but pretty friggen scary nonetheless. I will keep the board posted as far as my post-op goes as Ive found it the most informative site on the web and hope to contribute as you all have done for me. KUDOS

-- Gary F (, June 23, 2003.

I too have had the pain in the chest, neck, and a lot in the area of the shoulder blade. It is misrible when trying to sleep. I now have a recliner, so I normally start in the bed, then move after I hurt to bad to lie in bed. The thing that I am having a hard time with right now is the depression. Took the kids (1,4,5) fishing at the lake over the weekend, and I was misrible. Couldn't fish with arm in the sling, and walking on the rocks was more dificult than I imagined. I am still waiting on the insurance company to approve the surgery for the 2nd time, so it may still be a while. I just don't feel whole with 1 arm, but I guess it goes with the 2nd injury. My 1st surgery tore loose in therapy, pulling the anchor out of the bone. The anchor raked across the rotator cuff, so now the thing is worse than when I started this in December 2002. But, I get great encouragement from reading the posts here. Does anybody know a good way to battle the depression though? The last thing I want to do is resort to drinking again since I have been sober for 16 yrs. Mike

-- Mike Peacock (, June 24, 2003.

Mike, Ive used alcohol sometimes to combat the depression but I believe it actually only worsens it. I use good ole socialization with people and time with my kids to cope. And yes, I know how it is to not be able to do anything with my wife or kids-IT SUCKS!!! You'll get through it okay. Well ,I'm off, I'm going in for my Magnuson Stack tomorrow, good luck to you.

-- Gary F (, June 24, 2003.

thanks for the info on the whole chest pain thing...the panic attacks are f*&$ doc wanted to give me so antidepression meds..tried zoloft for a couple of days and had to stop.. thought i was tripping on acid!!!!!!! and it relly didnt help the old shoulder thing ..although i will admit it was sorta cool (zoloft) but not something to do everyday lol go back tomorrow to see the ortho man will keep ya all posted thanks again everyone mark

-- mark sawyer (, June 24, 2003.

mike, i too have been going through a very depressed condition myself from this surgery. not only am i bummed from the pain, but it's also the projected length of time i know how long it's going to be and the absence of all the things that i do that defines me and fills my time. i too like to flyfish and hike and be active and it just seems like such a big chunk of who i am got replaced with this shell shocked,aching wretched alien inhabiting my body.i'm going to try antidepressants i hope's just permeating to much of my life.i like the idea of spending time socializing though.even when my wife wants to drag me off to some function that initally i don't want to go there's a strange sort of catharsis every time i tell the whole saga to a stranger.sort of like an ambassador for shoulder pain.i've been surprised how many people are affected by these types of injuries. i don't find drinking to be an escape for my experience because i would just get more depressed and still be the same afterwards.i do have some advice for when you do have your 2nd surgery, don't let the docs give you an anti-inflamitory called BEXTRA. it's bad stuff only fairly recently been approved for use in the usa. look it up on line via google and there is a bulliten board like this one but with folks who have had horrible experiences with it. take care

-- brad rodgers (, June 24, 2003.

Guys, If you want to try an anti-depression drug, if Zoloft doesn't work for you(you have to give all of them some time to build up in you system), you can try Paxil....that works well for alot of people. Sometimes the first few days you need to take Ativan, if you feel more anxious, but that goes away, usually in a couple of days. Give any of them TIME to work.....then often you won't need them anymore after 6 months or so. At this point I don't seem to need any YET, I just take Ativan for anxiety, which I get more than depression from all of this. The Vicodin I take now and then for PAIN, seems to eliminate depression too, although you can't take it all the time, for obvious reasons. I have alot of clients with anxiety/depression, so I am giving my first-hand knowledge from them. DO NOT take Effexor(an anti- depressant/anti-anxiety drug)...I took that for anxiety/migraines a few years ago....had a horrible time getting off of it, terrible withdrawal, which the Drs do not bother to tell you about. Good luck with the 2nd surgery, Mike, let us know how it goes!

-- Sara Blazo (, June 24, 2003.

hey sara, what kinds of side effects did you experience from paxil? or did your clients use it and tell you of it. i've had friends tell me they had some side effects from paxil, namely sexual side effects or rather lack of desire and thats a problem lately so don't want to add to an already troublesome spinoff of this surgery. can anybody else comment on anti-depressants?

-- brad rodgers (, June 24, 2003.

i wonder what it is that makes this shoulder thing cause depression and panic attacks (besides the obvious .im in pain all the time and thats all i can think about) im wondering what else it could be ....any body got anything on that part of this????????? mark

-- mark sawyer (, June 25, 2003.

Brad, I think all anti-depressants have some sexual side-effects, may depend on how it effects you, but if they make you feel happier, maybe it can also go the other way. Effexor had the down side, decreased PERFORMANCE, not desire, among other things.... I am not sure about Paxil, I haven't taken it, and the folks I know that do, haven't said anything about decreased sexual desire(but maybe they just aren't telling me). Ask your Dr, they are pretty honest about it.

-- Sara Blazo (, June 25, 2003.

who has had this problem???????? went to see the ortho dr.yesterday. who by the way is the doctor for workmans comp..after a some what rude evaluation..he returned me to full duty no limits..well i expected him to say that after all it is his job to say my injury is not work in a matter of 1 month family dr. and a shoulder speicialist had me on very light duty.with a possable slap lesion..i visit 1 workman comp dr. he sees nothing that would indicate a slap lesion and sends me back to full duty..the thing that really gets me is now i will be caught in this stupid game of who is responsable for my injuries . and my damn shoulder and i will suffer for it.ive decided im going on vacation up to the mountains of n.california for a couple of weeks and try to forget all this crap there is nothing better than a paid vacation.....i deserve it mark

-- mark sawyer (, June 26, 2003.

Ahh yes, good ole compensation, you have to love the man and his rules. I injured myself originally in 1999 at one job, was kept out of work for two months due to posterior instability, given some p.t. and that was that. Fast forward to 2001, when I popped my shoulder out while on duty for HVAC service co. Go to 2 docs who need mri done to further evaluate my shoulder, took comp 1 year to approve that due to employer #2 disputing claim. To make a very long story short, I just had anterior reconstruction and debribement yesterday after waitng a very long time. This has created enormous financial, emotional, and mental strain with my family and through all this, I receive a temporary monthly stipend of a whopping 600 monthly until this whole thing is figured out. and as an added bonus, after open shoulder surgery yesterday, I was sent home 3 hours later with a script of lortabs. Well, that covers about none of the pain so far and my doc doesnt believe in better living through chemistry. So thats where I stand. I do commisurate with you ..Mark

-- gary f (, June 26, 2003.

mark, let me add one other comment . sound like your employer/L&i thing could get ugly real quick. perhaps an hour with a lawyer friend for some free friendly advice on keeping your paper trail together might come in handy if it ever came to that. and up here in seattle, there have been rumors of the dept of L&I hiring private investigators to keep tabs on claimants activities by doing survailance and following folks around. perhaps going to the mountains could be considered grounds for discontinued or canceled benefits.

-- brad rodgers (, June 27, 2003.

Mark, Brad is absolutely correct especially about following you around. Here in N.Y.S they'll even offer neighbors money for incriminating pics and/or use of their property for surveillance. My lawyer claims that this happens more than infrequently. Getting an attorney and a second evaluation would be very prudent. Perhaps its just me getting frustrated with the system, but it seems as though its set up to only deter the accident victim. Dont give up and good luck to you

-- Gary F (, June 27, 2003.

Impingement - Repeated overhead movements can squeeze (impinge) and inflame your rotator cuff and bursa. The arthroscipic view may reveal swollen or torn soft tissue or overgrown bone.

Labrum tear - A dislocated or unstable joint may lead to a labrum tear. This may cause the shoulder to painfully "pop" or "catch". The arthroscopic view reveals a flap of loose, torn labrum.

Instability - When a shoulder is forced beyond ists range of motion, the ball can pop out of its socket. The capsule and labrum pull away from the socket (which may also fracture), causing instability.

Arthritis - A variety of diseases, injuries, or infections may lead to arthritis. Arthritis is a roughening of the joint caused by worn cartilage and loose fragments of bone and cartilage (loose bodies).

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

WOW, I had no idea that there were so many of us going through similiar problems with our shoulders!

I have had shoulder pain on my right shoulder for years, I finally convinced my primary care doctor that there WAS something wrong (other than bursitis) and I WANTED it taken care of. He sent me to the ortho doctor. He gave me a shot of cortizone to try and relieve some of the pain. That worked for a few weeks, then the pain returned.

With only an X-ray he seen I had a bone spur and impingement. He performed (arthroscopic) surgery on May 3, 2003 to remove the spur and open the impingement. He also found a 20% rotator cuff tear which he took one stitch in, he also scrapped away and smoothed some arthritis.

Two weeks out with the help of PT I was doing great. Then in the middle of the night I reached for a pillow that was between my shoulder blades with my bad arm. I came out of sleep in sheer pain, knowing I had done something really bad to my shoulder.

My ortho doctor tried to play it down that it would be okay etc. Even telling me that it was because of BAD posture that I was hurting! (Excuse me?) After several calls to him (don't let them put you aside if you hurt LET THEM know it - that is their job to take care of it) he finally scheduled an MRI. At the MRI they injected dye into my shoulder (very painful).

On return to his office he still told me that my shoulder pain would get better THEN he looked at the MRI and seen I now have a 50% tear. He couldn't believe it - he has never had anyone injure themselves during rehab.

We are waiting another 4 weeks to allow more healing from my previous May 3rd surgery, then he will go back in and fix this one. He will be anchoring the torn cuff to my bone by putting a rod in it and stitching the tear to it and repairing the rest of it.

So if you are continuing to hurt don't give up, make them hear you! After already having had surgery on both heels (heel spurs) and both knees (torn meniscus), I think I know when something isn't going well. Ha!

And I am not even a sports loving person!

-- Sandy Keathley (, June 29, 2003.

Hello everyone, Six weeks ago I was putting a writing desk together and while screwing a locking device in place I herd a loud pop/tearing sound from my right shoulder and felt my bicep cave in. I woke up at 5:30 am in tremendous pain, my bicep was swollen, and I was unable to lift my arm. I went to two different orthopedic surgeons located on Long Island New York, had one MRI, and five X-rays, and both surgeons diagnosed me as having Labral and Subscapularis tears. Both surgeons also informed me that I would be required to have an open, and arthroscopy procedure (duel procedure) to repair my right shoulder, and it would take 6-9 month to rehabilitate. After hearing this and being right handed, I almost went into shock. I have been going to a gym and working out all my life and consider myself to be in very good shape. I decided to research my injury on the Internet and I came across this forum. After reading everyone’s input, I knew it was imperative that I receive the best treatment possible, and obtain several opinions. I continued my due diligence and came across the team Physician for the New York Giants located in Manhattan New York. I set up an appointment with him and was again diagnosed with Labral and Subscapularis tears. He informed me that metal anchors would be used to repair the tear if the bicep tendon was in good shape, otherwise he would graft pectoral muscle to the tendon and then attach it via the anchors. Unfortunately if the latter were required it would be an open procedure. Anyway, I will be undergoing surgery this Tuesday, July 01 at the Hospital for Special Surgery located in Manhattan New York and I will be supplied with a Cryo/cuff and cooler as recommended by many. This forum has bees a tremendous source of information and help for me, and I felt obligated to write. I wish everyone a “HAYY 4th” and I will write back with an update once I can hit the keyboard again.

-- Bobby Leone (, June 29, 2003.

I am so glad this forum is out there. I've learned a bunch from all of you. Thank you so much.

Unfortunately, last summer someone locked up handlebars with mine while bicycling. I took the fall and hit the pavement with my shoulder. I've gone the MRI, PT and MR Arthrogram route. The orthopedic was a foot specialist and not a shoulder specialist, so my shoulder injury is out of his league. (Thankfully he did refer me to PT and for the MR Arthrogram.) I really needed the physical therapy and it was VERY beneficial even with the limited ROM. I received a cortisone shot in April.

I have since seen a team physician for a professional athletic team who states that I need arthroscopic surgery. I have another appointment with him later this week.

Meanwhile, I'd like to pass along some helpful information that may be beneficial to others.

1. Ice Pack Tips Through all of this I have really found that "heat" and "cold" are my "best friends." For those of you who have difficulty sleeping, give this a shot: take an icepack to bed (yippee! huh?!). Put it in a pillowcase and use the icepack on the injured area for 20 minutes when you first go to bed. The ice really helps to reduce the pain and inflammation.

For us side sleepers, when you roll over to the "other side", just push the ice pack away from you (when you switch sides).

Hint #1: If you want a little more thickness between your skin and the ice pack, place the ice pack in a t-shirt instead of a pillowcase.

Hint #2: Put the ice pack in a long sleeve t-shirt so you can tuck the sleeves under your armpit to better position the ice pack over the affected area <-- works in the day time, too.

2. Heat Pack Tip Shoulder and arm feeling stiff and tight in the morning? Splurge for yourself and pick up a heat pack that you can toss into the microwave. I heat mine up before leaving the house and enjoy the penetrating benefit of heat while driving to work.

I particularly like the "KAZ SmartTemp portable, reusable heat pad/cold compress". Their website is

Information on the SmartTemp products is at:

Another nice feature is that these KAZ products come with a good size strap with Velcro so that you can position the pad the way that you need, strap it in place, and get on with other things handsfree.

3. Scar Care From the accident, I received a 3-inch gash to my leg. The scar was thick and keloid and the PT was very concerned about it. I had been slathering the scar with Vitamin E multiple times every day - faithfully - and it was still very keloid.

After an appointment with the PT one day, I stopped at a Walgreens located nearby. I just happened to notice a product on the shelf called "MEDERMA - Skin Care for Scars." This product is manufactured in Germany. The [imported] price at Walgreens is $27. The tube says, "For more information call 1-888-MERZ-USA." (If you call, maybe they'll send a coupon??) Note: You use so little of the product at a time that the tube should EASILY last 6 months or more. The product can be used on new or existing scars. I purchased the product and started to use it right away. The PT was amazed when he saw my ankle 3 weeks later - the thick, raise-up keloid condition was completely gone. Although I still have a visible scar, the Mederma has made a TREMENDOUS difference in the condition and appearance. (I still use Vitamin E daily, too.)

I hope this helps some of our compatriots.

All the best.

-- Cynthia Erickson (, June 30, 2003.

For those of you in the forum who debate the surgery vs. PT/wait approach for a SLAP II tear, here is an update. I was diagnosed in March with a labral tear. I also have adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). The frozen shoulder has thawed a little bit, but the discomfort persists mostly down the front of the arm and a little in the posterior area. The discomfort is chronic. but not unbearable. I can sleep about 70-75% of my normal comfort level. I recently played a round of golf with only minor discomfort. I can't shoot a basketball, and can throw a baseball with 60-70% normal velocity. My game plan is to wait until the end of the summer and see where things stand. I've been to two good orthos in the Pittsburgh area and they sort of agree about waiting a little longer. Ultimately, I believe I will need surgery but I;m in no great hurry given some the stories about post-surgery rehab that are on this forum. And for us 50s types, surgery and rehab can ake 9 months or more. We'll wait and see.


-- Michael weinstein (, July 01, 2003.

Hello everyone, I can't believe how many people use this forum and give information. It is great. I you can wait to have surgery and can function without it - go for it. A cortizone shot helps also. It relieved my pain for about 3 months. But they don't like to give them very much, as if they are used too much they can soften the bone and make it musch inside. Being a graphic designer I depend on my arm and ability to type to make a living. The mouse is a killer for me though. I know that I have to go through the second surgery to make this better. (see my story above) Hang in there! I read that some of you are having trouble with depression over this. I am thankful that I have not had that trouble. I get upset and anxious that I can't do what I need to do. But I am not about to go on any of the antidepressants that my doctor has tried to get me on. I don't want the side effects! No thank you! Good luck to all.

-- Sandy K. (, July 01, 2003.

Michael, Yeah,I waited about 6 months from the final SLAP II diagnosis, til last March when i felt the surgery would not affect my work as much (WRONG!!!). I have been out since then(I am a massage therapist with my own practice)and DID develope partical capsulitis after the surgery, even though I tried very hard NOT TO. Being "older" has made it a very lengthy rehab....I haven't even STARTED to strengthen the "gone" muscles yet, still working on ROM and relieving the frozen shoulder that I DIDN'T have before- was in good shape before, from my work. It is a long, painful recovery in alot of cases, depends on how much work is done, how much "anchoring to the bone, etc.. I doubt I would do it again, I thought I would be back to work by now, but that is out of the I am praying for August, maybe????? We will see what my Dr says in 2 weeks, not to mention I can't imagine working with this pain. Anyway, good luck, It is a tough decision, I wish I had seen this board BEFORE my surgery rather than after!!!! 9 months of rehab is a LONG time!!!

-- Sara Blazo (, July 02, 2003.

Hello all, what a great message board. I have a type II Slap lesion and a partially torn rotator cuff. I will be having surgery in September. I would like some info on baseball players who may have had this surgical repair done vs people who just did therapy. I plan to be playing ball again in April or May of next year. Any thoughts? Please send any info you may have!

-- Carl (, July 02, 2003.

Hello everyone. Due to a signifigant labral tear I went in for surgery on June 25th. While there the doctor performed a labral debridement and chondroplasty, humeral head; open anterior reconstruction (Magnuson Stack). I went home that evening and was in pretty bad pain for over a week, even with the polarice cuff, alot of percocet/ibuprofen, and a recliner. Well for the last couple of days the pain HAD died down to an always there dull throbbing which was being handled with less lortabs. Then on Thursday morning when I awoke I must have twitched and I had god awful pain and I grabbed my arm/shoulder with my other hand as it felt like a major subluxation/dislocation. I called my doc and he said just stay in my immobilizer (NO DUH!), ice it and medicate. Says could be my tendons/muscles adjusting and the only tests he could do would not be prudent during this healing time. Well... I was okay with that till it happened twice more yesterday. Its the kind of pain that causes you to move around involuntarily in shear agony till itreadjusts or whatever. In addition, severe nasea feeling as well. Now Ive dislocated my shouler about 4 times in 9 years which is why I elected surgery, but these instances feel very much the same way. Has anyone else went through anything like this? I thought I was healing till 2 days ago, now I feel like Im back at square one.

-- Gary F (, July 05, 2003.

Gary F, If you will read up a bit to my story of June 29th, you will see that I too was healing very well, then in my sleep I did something - which my doctor denied - until he took an MRI with my shoulder filled with dye.

I had torn my rotar cuff by 50% - and not even in the same place as the 20% he had just fixed. He said he had never had a patient do that before. I am going into surgery again to have this one repaired. In fact, I am calling tomorrow to try and get it set up. I can't deal with this pain anymore. Good luck!

-- Sandy K. (, July 06, 2003.

Sandy, Thank you for your response. Thats a shame and it seems as though I can commisurate with you on this one. I'm going to the docs today, not that it brings me much comfort as Im in a boatload of pain, but its a start. The only time I dont hurt is when I sleep, and thats all of 3 hours a night. Where you in a recliner when you reinjured and did it wake you? My shoulder FEELS very unstable and I find myself holding my arm with my other one even though Im in the immobilizer, and when I walk around I have pain in my chest, collarbone and back (same side as surgery). All I can say now is good luck.

-- Gary F (, July 07, 2003.

hello , i went in for my surgery today.not in much pain now,i have pretty good pain did turn out that i had a tear, but it was to bad to repair,so my husband says ,the doc didnt have time to wait for me to wake up, he told my husband, who couldnt remember it all.i will be makeing a phone call in the morning. they also did a subacromial decom.,and a distal clavicle res.the bone spur he took out he said he had to wrestle because it was so big. i guess they had more to fight with then planned on. but so far so good.

-- teresa (, July 09, 2003.

teresa,how can the labrum be to damaged to repair?

-- brad rodgers (, July 10, 2003.

i dont know i havent talked to my ortho yet.but he told my husband that it couldnt be repaired an that they just cleaned it up.ill hopefully get some answeres today. he thought the surgery would be under an hour,but took 2 so he didnt have time to wait for me to wake up.

-- teresa (, July 10, 2003.

Hey all...about a month ago (6/16/03) I had surgery to repair a labral tear. The doctor said that the sugery had gone well and that I would be back to the gym in no time. He told me I could remove the sling after 2 weeks; however when I did the popping was back. Last Thursday he told me that I could start lifting weights again; however, I should keep the poundages down. Well my first day I back I kept the poundages pretty low..but my shoulder began to bother me. Over the past few days, I've kept the poundage to a min. but my shoulder still feels the same...that feeling of long fatigue that takes forever to go away! I'm currently setting up another appointement to talk about another surgery. If anyone out there has felt they had a failed surgery please let me know what your course of action was and if that course actually made the shoulder better. Well I'm gonna shut up for now...just scared shitless that all the work I put into lifting is just gonna be all in vain. :-(

-- Danny (, July 14, 2003.

I had major repair work done on my left shoulder in mid-April. It was originally damaged in a fall from a stage last August where I shattered the humerous into a multitude of pieces and had nerve damage and fractured my hip. After much hassling with the insurance company, second opinions, PT, steroid shots, pain and dislocations, MRIs and CT scans that showed nothing, I finally got the surgery done. Everything that could have been wrong with my shoulder had happened and it was a 4 hr. surgery. In fact it was so bad, the surgeon said I am lucky that my arm even works. I was in a sling for 6 wks. The muscles, tendons, etc. and had simply torn away and dropped from the shoulder and pulled up into my chest. Depending upon the movement, I can now lift, with difficulty, 2-5 lbs. At one time, I was very fit, active and strong. Now I'm inactive, getting fat, and frustrated. I find that at 43, there are alot of things that I will probably never do again. Can't swim, ride bikes/motorcycles, ski, sled, climb, play the guitar or drums. Its very difficult to do anything in the romantic line too. The dislocating and the bad pain are gone, although a different kind of pain exists now when I move the shoulder. And the nerve damage causes other problems as well. The surgeon will not give me a prognosis on use, says his goal was to stop the pain and slow the deterioration. And he won't promise that I won't need more surgery in the future. He says that with my other injuries and all the damage that was done and the time that passed, I am lucky that I even have a functioning left arm.

-- Wendy Terry (, July 14, 2003.

http://www.psychnet- hello shoulder pals, i haven't posted in a while but i have been busy researching about pain. check out the above site. it's a series of links about pain and pain management. or go to google and look up "gate control theory of pain management" i asked my PT today how and why the TENS UNIT works and he told me about the gate control theory so i came home and looked it up and WOW!!! A whole new world has opened up about my pain options and understanding it. keep the spirit high and the tension low

-- brad rodgers (, July 14, 2003.

i have one week down in this sling,3 to go.i really hope after next week they let me do a little more. this is driveing me crazy,not being able to do much. the pain hasnt been too bad, they have me on a generic version of tylox,im down to 1 every 4 hours instead of 2. pt helps it feels good to move it around.but did anyone else get a stabbing type of pain that would come and go even if your not doing anything? im guessing its just healing. can anyone give me an idea on what expect from pt and just the general healing in the comeing weeks.ive only been out of work a week and im bored shitless!!!!

-- teresa (, July 16, 2003.

Hi, I am a high school student with shoulder problems so far in 3 years I have had 2 torn labrum repairs and 5 bankhart repairs for persistent dislocations, I have also had 4 Knee operations 2 for MCL and 1 for ACL and 1 meniscus all times I had my surgerys and got about 85% and tried to work more on it and ended up hurting it more or just surgery wasnt an option I would go ahead and have the surgery see if that helps your problem if not get a second opinion good luck chris

-- chris (, July 17, 2003.

I have had shoulder problems since I was 10 years old.. after 9 years of physical therapy, nothing seeming to help.. went to tons of doctors and physical therapists. I have been swimming and playing water polo since I was little and alot of the time it would feel like my shoulder was dislocating... it was actually just slipping out and in. Sometimes the pain would kill me to wash my hair and other times I could twist my arm in all differnt directions and it wouldnt hurt. This past year it got to the point where I would have to hold my right shoulder when i would turn over in bed. Saw a new doctor - he of course sent me to physical therapy - after not getting any results- he then decided to operate on June 2nd. I had a labral tear he said that no physical therapy would have been able to repair it. I spent a month in a sling and a foam triangle wedge on my stomach keeping my arm sticking out sort of in hand shake position. All I could manage to put on were tank tops by steping in to them, thank goodness it is summer. It hurt alot, there were better days and worse days. The pain is pretty much gone, its just mainly stiff and a little tender with some pressure. Today I had my first physical theapy rehab visit and I'm going to have to do exercises about 4 times a day for at least the next 6 weeks. A lot more sore with movement of course, but got to stretch it out and get back to swimming and playing water polo by October hopefully.

-- Whitney (, July 17, 2003.

Hi everyone, I haven't written in awhile. I am scheduled for my second surgery on July 30th. This time to repair the 50% tear. It is further in the back of my shoulder then the first tear was. (No, I wasn't in a recliner when I tore it the second time, I was in bed. I had been using a small pillow to support my bad shoulder - that is the one I tried to move in the middle of the night and tore my roter cuff - AGAIN.)

Someone ask if the computer bothers anyone else. Yes, it sure can. I work on one all day long. There are days the pain is so bad I could just scream! But then I might scare some people at work. I have had to leave one day.

PT on me was canceled after they found out I had torn my roter cuff again. I don't know how long they make you wait to start PT after a pin is put into the bone to anchor the stitched roter cuff - does anyone? He said he was going to scrap the bone, insert a pin (which will absorb in about two years), stitch the tear and then anchor it to the pin.

Not looking forward to it - I had my other surgery on May 3rd (bone spur was removed, he scrapped some bone to help an impingment and stitched up the 20% roter cuff tear). Am I looking at a rougher recovery this time around?

Thanks for everyones input!

-- Sandy K. (, July 18, 2003.

Hello all... It's about midnight, and I've been sitting here reading all these messages for about 2 hours! Anyway, I just had an arthrogram MRI today. Shoulder is still a bit "full" feeling and sore from the injections, but that's about it. My ortho thinks I have a SLAP tear. I have a follow up on next Wed. so I'll find out if I do have a tear. I'm hoping I don't, because I'd definitely like to not have surgery. It's been an odd 7 months since my shoulder started hurting. I've been through 3months of PT, 2 cortisone injections (one helped for about 1 month), and many bottles of ibuprofen. The verdict on the pain was tendonitis and bursitis. After more months of pain, I decided for opinion #2. Which brings me to now. I caught a glimpse of my MRI films on the computer screen, and I couldn't see anything abnormal (i've been doing lots of research online, so I kinda knew what to look for), but it was the view from the top of the shoulder, so I don't really know. Anyway, I'll be back here after the follow up. Thanks for all the useful information everyone and I hope all in pain can get some realief--like we're all searching for!

-- Veronica Krysiak (, July 19, 2003.

Well, I finally got the OK for the 2nd surgery, and it is on 8/5. This time they are going to remove the labrum and do a right bicep tenodesis. I guess this involves wireing the tendon to the bone. On top of all that they need to repair the rotator cuff that tore since the last surgery failed. I sure hope this works, or I'll tell them to take the arm off and give me a hook so I can play pirate(LOLOL). Has any one else heard of this surgery? I know it will be an open proceedure, but that's about it.

-- Mike Peacock (, July 19, 2003.

I just found this on the John Hopkins website, thought you all might like to read it.

Tears of the labrum near the biceps tendon attachment (SLAP lesions) may be just trimmed or may need to be reattached to the top of the socket. The best way to do this is with arthroscopic surgery since this area is difficult to reach with an open operation through a large incision. Using the arthroscope and small incisions for other instruments, the labrum can be re-attached to the rim of the socket using either sutures or tacks. What is the recovery from labrum surgery?

The recovery depends upon many factors, such as where the tear was located, how severe it was and how good the surgical repair was. It is believed that it takes at least four to six weeks for the labrum to re-attach itself to the rim of the bone, and probably another four to six weeks to get strong. Once the labrum has healed to the rim of the bone, it should see stress very gradually so that it can gather strength. It is important not to re-injure it while it is healing.

How much motion and strengthening of the arm is allowed after surgery also depends upon many factors, and it is up to the surgeon to let you know your limitations and how fast to progress. Because of the variability in the injury and the type of repair done, it is difficult to predict how soon someone can to return to activities and to sports after the repair. The type of sport also is important, since contact sports have a greater chance of injuring the labrum repair. However, a vast majority of patients have full function of the shoulder after labrum repair, and most patients can return to their previous level of sports with no or few restrictions.

-- Sandy K. (, July 19, 2003.

to sandy , veronica, and mike, i'll be thinking about you all as you go in for your surgeries. mike and sandy, it must really be a burden to have to do this all over.i have an ernest hope that it will be fixed this time around and you can get back to some semblance of normal life. and veronica, stay in touch with the board even if it's just to vent or stay connected to folks that have/are going through it. to all of you check out the site i posted on july 14. it's given me a better understanding of the mechanisms of pain and how my state of mind affects the pain. happy trails

-- brad rodgers (, July 20, 2003.

Hey again...I was just thinking back to all the shoulder pain I've had, and I was wondering if anyone else has this happen. This actually started years before any of the serious stuff happened, but if I would walk, naturally swinging my arms, too long, there would be a very deep pain in the joint and the only way it would go away would be if I held my shoulder straight at my side and didn't allow it to swing. I wonder if anyone else had a similar pain? Also, the weird part is that it happened in both arms, not usually at the same time though, even though it's my right shoulder acting up now. Just curious!! Thanks!

-- Veronica (, July 20, 2003.

Thank you for remembering me Brad, it is much appreciated. And, yes, it is terrible to think that the 3 months of work I already went thru was for nothing. Sandy, I can attest to the info you posted about labrum tears. Allthough, you must be very careful, as mine retore during PT. It is a long journey back to normal (if there is a normal), after this surgery. the problem with my surgery was that the anchors failed, but the next time out there will be no anchors, they use a wire core thread. Guess I better wear a sign around my neck next time I go to the airport. LOL.

-- Mike Peacock (, July 21, 2003.

Hi again all.....It has been almost 4 months since my SLAP surgery and at my last appt, my Dr said that the repair was healed, but he STILL will not let me start strength re-training therapy, which I desparately need to get back to work(I am a massage therapist). He said originally I would be out 3 1/2 he is saying 6 months and I can not wait that long(need the $$$$$$). Does anyone know why I can not resume work if the repair is healed???? Why would he insist I wait another 12 weeks to go back????? And another 6 weeks to start strength therapy? I am considering a second opinion from another Dr for post-op therapy, as my P.T. agrees this doesn't make sense. Curious if anyone else has had this problem AFTER surgery.......

-- Sara Blazo (, July 22, 2003.

hi all made it back from the mountains of in one piece..was very relaxing ..i was talking to a friend of a friend while i was up there about the panic attacks id been having...she turned me on to st.johns wort..I LOVE IT!!!! she also explained to me just what was involved with a panic attack..and it all makes doesnt mean i dont have them any more but with the st.johns wort and a little knowlage it seems to have taken some of the wind out of far as the old shoulder thing is..same damn sh@t hurts like hell all the time .....had my m.r.i. yesterday with the dye injection..and now i wait for a week to see the ortho again one thing i thought was kinda strange was when they injected the dye into my shoulder everywhere my shoulder and surrounding area hurts felt like it was ..i cant really explain it... maybe full of water or air ..just kinda wierd i quess hope all is well with everyone mark

-- mark sawyer (, July 24, 2003.

I had my MRI results....NO TEAR! thank god! All I need is more time and possibly another cortisone injection. Thanks to all who contribute to this forum, it really helps ease some people's minds!!

-- Veronica Krysiak (, July 24, 2003.

I talked to my ortho,( for a whole 3 min.) he told me, from what I understood, that beacause of the where my tear was and how it was torn that all he could do was a debridement. I ask him if that would cause problems later and all he said was'" I don't know." To say the least I'm not very impressed with him!!!!! My original ortho. was called to active duty, I'm wishing I would have waited until he was back. The tear was in the back of my shoulder, and now I have a sharp pain if I try to put my arm behind my back and my shoulder blade is pushed out, my pt doesn't know why. Does this sound like anything amyone has experienced?

-- teresa (, July 24, 2003.

teresa, unless you live somewhere where you don't have access to another ortho, i'd be racing to find another doc. one that knows shoulders.

-- brad rodgers (, July 25, 2003.

Hi Guys and Gals, Five days to surgery - for the second time! But hopefully this time it will be the LAST time. Thanks for the help and info - I will be very careful during PT - I have a wonderful PT and she is very careful not to do anything that will hurt me, and if I don't feel I can do it - I don't push!

Mark; the MRI injection makes your shoulder feel full, they told me that. They fill it really full so that it will spill into places it may not otherwise. When my Ortho doctor looked at my MRI he showed me the places the dye was pushing through the tear - it showed that it was not normal and had torn again. I don't know about you but that injections was very painful - I was so glad to get out of there, then during the MRI the tech pushed RIGHT on the place the needle had been in.... now that hurt!

Veronica - I would be checking with another doctor also, I know you need to be careful, but by now YOU should know how far to push yourself and when to back off - if you feel pain or pressure STOP. I would start slow and see what happens, especially if my PT says he thinks I am okay. They know your ROM better than anyone, they have been working closely with you.

I will get on again after my surgery - this time he says I will be in a sling for 4+ weeks and he will NOT allow me to even think about raising my arm for 6 full weeks. HOW am I going to dress and wash my hair and all those daily things..... that will stress me out! ha ha

Best to all,

-- Sandy K (, July 25, 2003.

Hey Sandy, thanks for your response. I just wonder sometimes if it's just my bursitis and tendinitis acting up that makes my shoulder so uncomfortable. Maybe I just take an extra long time healing, because it's going on 8 months since my injury (an overuse one). It doesn't ALWAYS hurt, but I don't know if it's normal. I met with my PT and he said that getting another injection wouldn't hurt, but I can't have just the injection...I need to keep going strong on my exercises. But I really don't want another one! I do have another appointment in a few weeks with another doc. The one I have now looked at my MRI arthro films and he says everything looks normal. Is it possible that there's something undetected there that doesn't show up on the arthro? Or that my current doc is a schmuck and didn't catch something? I'm going to check the reports soon, I think. Like I said, it's not a constant pain, but it's almost always achy and my ROM is almost perfect, a little slow coming back down. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks!

-- Veronica (, July 26, 2003.

Hey Sandy. I'm having my 2nd surgery on the 5th of Aug, just 8 more days. I tore the first repair in PT at 10 weeks post op, so I too will be very careful. Good Luck

-- Mike Peacock (, July 26, 2003.

Like all of you - the only thing I would like is to not HURT all the time! Right? Would anyone like to come and clean my house? ha ha I need someone to do windows.... hard to do with a bad arm.... ha

Good luck to all of you, talk to you toward the end of next week when I am back to ONE finger typing.....

-- Sandy K (, July 27, 2003.


-- mark sawyer (, July 27, 2003.

Hi Mark.....I know where you are coming from and I know my husband is sick of my shoulder too. I really never thought that 4 months AFTER surgery I would still have pain. I HAVE to start back to doing massage this week and it will be ON painkillers, I have no choice. I have had a day or two with little or no pain, but they are few and far between and usually only when I do NOTHING...and I mean NOTHING, just sitting there. I am now attempting strength re-training and it is a bear, back to pain all the time. Will this ever get better??? I have to hope so, and I hope it will for you too!!!! Take care(and tell your wife to hang in there.....)

-- Sara Blazo (, July 27, 2003.

My ortho. told me that I might have have a SLAP Tear. So I went to get and MRI and Arthogram. I hope I never have to go for one of those Arthograms again. It was three days ago and my shoulder is still sore and hurting even more than it allready does. Did anyone else have this much trouble with the Arthogram? And if my films show something is wrong inside my shoulder should I get a 2nd opinion from another specialist. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


-- Eric Espinoza (, July 27, 2003.

I know what you mean when you talk about your spouses. I try not to talk (whine) about my shoulder to much, I have caught my husband rolling his eyes because he gets so tired of hearing about it. Im sure they get sick of it ,but some times ya just gotta vent. They have no idea what it's like knowing that every day you wake up you know your going to hurt.

-- teresa (, July 28, 2003.

Teresa, Just to let you know, I am the one that everyone "hates" because I was able to play hockey within a month of surgery! My Labrum was also too damaged to repair, nothing left to stitch or weld, so the Dr removed about 20% of the labrum just forward of the biceps tendon. The sharp pain...sounds like the doc didn't clean it up very well, so the "loop" of cartilege is getting caught in the joint! My Dr was going to just debride, but when he saw how loose the cartiledge loop was, he decided to go ahead and just remove it, since there was no way possible to reattach it to the bone! I did still have a little bit of sharp pain, but not much, I didn't even need to take pain meds after the second day! If you are still having pain, find another doctor - I hated military medicine when I was in the service, it took them 7 months to diagnose tendonitis in my ankle!!! I hope things go better for you! I just wanted you to know that there is really a "too damaged to repair" labrum possibility! But if he just debrided and didn't remove the offending section as well, that could be the cause of your pain, my Dr forsaw that happening to me, that's why he removed it! I am really glad that he did! I am playing hockey one night a week, it doesn't hurt to play anymore, but by the time I get dressed afterward, I start to stiffen up and get a bit sore, but I don't feel the need to ice it anymore! I am still a bit stiff in the mornings when I wake up, and a little during the day, but I use my shoulders a lot during the day! I am putting it off to strength issues, I have been told by my PT and Trainer that it could take a year to feel "right" again, but it is totally functional! My surgery was in Mid April. Good healing to all!!!

-- Becky (, July 29, 2003.

My PT said she thought it was something like that, she didn't sound to worried but she doesn't have to live with it if it doesn't get better. How sore did you get after pt, is it normal to be so stiff and sore the next day that it's hard to move your arm, and for your whole shoulder to throb. I hope they didn't miss something in there!!!!!!

-- teresa (, July 29, 2003.

Had an MRI done in May 2003 have questions about a labral tear have bee going to PT 3 xs a week since june my therpist thinks I would have better results if I hade it repaired. Saw mt Ortho Dr. and he is not giving me any direction I dont have much pain but cant return to work and do my job. Just wondered if any one had the same on again off again sharp pain popping, clicking ect. If so did you have surgry and what were the results. I am 51 and do alot of lifting pulling, pushing at work. Need help with making a choice to live with it or go with surgry.

-- mary kunzer (, July 29, 2003.

mary cant tell you which way to go ..because im still waiting to see my ortho so we can look over my m.r.i. ..but i will say this much my arm started hurting in oct 02 and i was thinking the same thing (that i could get thrrough this )well here it is july 03 and what i have gone through is not very pleasent!!!!!you wouldnt think a shoulder injury could be so destructive..i wont bore you with the details.and im sure it affects everyone differently...but for me if i could go back in time i would have had my shoulder looked at right away instead of being a big ol macho man and thinking i could get through it hope all is well mark

-- mark (, July 29, 2003.

Thanks for the reply Mark hope all will go well for question or statement I guess I think I should have more pain to warrant surgery (with a "labral tear" )!

-- mary kunzer (, July 29, 2003.

Mary and Teresa, The intermittant pain is what drove me crazy, I could go to the gym and workout, but couldn't tie my shoes, Crazy stuff like that! You can read my info above, from Feb to May I think. Anyway, my pt didn't bother me, I only had massage, ultrasound, and light - very light range of motion stuff for several weeks, then 1-3 pound strengthening stuff, I always iced while still at pt, and that night-even though I didn't feel that I needed it! I never had pain until I started just doing my own thing, and it was never even close to presurgical pain!!! More light stiff and sore. Maybe you should tell your pt how sore you are, suggest that they lay off the stretches-don't force past comfortable stretch, going too far too fast will only push you backwards! Ask your therapist to step down the intensity a bit - you can't heal as effectively or quickly if it is inflammed! Trust me! Playing Hockey a month after surgery was a little soon, but I am a bit crazy! I think if I would have waited a little longer, I would be more advanced in my healing now! I hope this helps. Mary, I am really glad I had the surgery, the minor pain and discomfort afterward are definitely worth it.

-- Becky (, July 30, 2003.

I talked to my PT today and found out she had been told that she was pushing me too much. I could have told her that. I had to go back to the recliner last night with my ice. They put elecro. and ice on it today but it stll hurts like hell, I think its worse than before surgery!!!! But I"m gona slack off some hopefully it will help.

-- teresa (, July 30, 2003.

Mary, My situation sounds like yours...we are the same age and I do (or did) massage therapy(alot of pushing and pulling!). If you have read any of my MANY posts, I had the SLAP repair, with anchors, done in March, and it has been H - - - since. I was given a choice to repair it or live with it, and at the time, with my job, I thought surgery was my only choice if I wanted to be able to work. Now I am not sure, as I am still not back to work, NOW I have a partially frozen shoulder that wasn't there before, and I have lost all the strength in that arm that was there before and I was in pretty good shape. I feel as thought this will never totally heal and the pain will never totally be gone(it has been 4 months). I need to get back to work...and will start slowly in the next 2 weeks regardless of what my Ortho Surg. has said, he would like me to wait 2 months more!! (it has been way longer and more painful/difficult than he first said...). I think our ages makes it a little tougher to heal fast. I have decided it is time to go on instinct and forget the Drs. .....maybe that is what you need to do. Some folks on here have had great results, but it seems as though they have all been YOUNGER! Good luck, let us know what you decide.

-- Sara Blazo (, July 30, 2003.

I am leaning toward the knife, the Othro did say there are no guaranties that I will be able to go back to the kind of work I had been doing. He told me I should find another job easy for him to say. I dont know I have had double knee surgry and came back from that I am still fighting with myself what scares me the most is going under!

-- Mary Kunzer (, July 30, 2003.

howdy everyone...saw the ortho today and we went over my was the same dr.who by the way is the workmans comp doc who was a real butthole to me last month...well he seem to have changed his tune...(a little anyway) my mri showed that i have a tear in my supraspinatus tendon..and also shoulder now its off to p/t 3/week for 1/mnth another visit and we will play it by ear wish me luck........will keep ya'all posted....thank you ....hope all is well...mark

-- mark (, July 31, 2003. last comment, MAKE SURE you go to shoulder specialist, a Dr who has done thousands of SLAP repairs at a GOOD ortho hospital. I think your outcome will be much better!!! Best of luck.

-- Sara Blazo (, July 31, 2003.

Still have not called Ortho. to confrim surgry figured I would finish a few more days of PT and hopefully feel more confident about surgery. What I hane is a glenoid labral tear with arthritise(sp) Dr. said surgery would be arthroscopic. Sounds easy enough but still have doubts!

-- Mary Kunzer (, July 31, 2003.

Mary, I have been going thru this tear since 12/03. had the repair with anchors done in Feb 2003, and was doing very well till the end of June. I was at PT doing the usual excercises, when the repair "FAILED". I am going in for another surgery on Aug 5, to fix it right. At the moment I am unable to use my right arm at all since the rotator cuff is now torn also, but I have confidence in my new surgeon. The Work Comp Dr did the first one, this one is being done by a Dr of my choosing. Choose carefully, though, some have more experience with a perticuliar procedure. This surgery is to remove 1/2 of the labrum,wire the torn bicep tendon to the bone, and repair the rotator cuff. the recovery will be a bit longer, but i'm told with less pain and little chance of failure in the future. the only draw back is a slightly higher degree of imparement. I wish you all the best of luck, and I will report back after I'm home from the hospital.

-- Mike Peacock (, August 02, 2003.

I do not think the Ortho is planning to use anchors he just said he would repair the tear and clean it up with the scope. Hope everything will go better with you get well!

-- Mary Kunzer (, August 02, 2003.

Well, had the surgery yesterday morning, and it went very well. In a lot of pain right now, but it'll get better, I hope. The damage to the first "SLAP" repair was minimal, but had a lot of inflamation to the nerves because a piece of cartalage was floating around in the joint along with one of the anchors. But now I have to start the long process of PT again. Thank you all for the info.

-- Mike Peacock (, August 06, 2003.

Mike, great to hear your surgery went well. I had mine done July 30th. The first few days were a bad time with pain, but am doing much better now. One week out!

I hate the sling and foam block at my waist that my arm is attached too. Did everyone else with rotator cuff repair have to wear this for 6 weeks? They repaired a 60% tear with the "cork screw" anchor.

-- Sandy K (, August 06, 2003.

sandy, i had to wear the foam sling for 16 weeks. just got off it a few weeks ago. this 90+ degree heat was really tough with 5 inches of insulation strapped to my side. i'm weaning myself off the sling entirely as of yestreday. and last saturday was the first night i slept in a bed since march. i'm improving slowly and am feeling like my depression is doing better too although i have my days that i still get bummed. we will get over this. one cell at a time.

-- brad rodgers (, August 07, 2003.

Hi all,

First off, this forum was a great discovery for me today. Thanks to all of you for your insights, begrudgings and even success stories. I've been diagnosed with an anterior labral tear (like so many of you) on my right shoulder due most likely to a major tumble I took skiing in ME back in February. I am going to have the surgery done at some point in the will be a military doc...not much choice when you're active duty :-)

So many questions I had have been answered on this site, but something I'm really concerned about is dependency following the procedure. How much assistance do you all require from others, particularly your spouses? Both our cars are 5-spd and there's no way for her to drive me back and forth to work due to my crazy schedule and a 2-yr old who needs to sleep, so I'm wondering if after 30 days convalescing, as they predict I will need, will I be able to get myself to work??? Were any of you driving sticks after a few weeks? Also, a lot of what I do involves work on computers. How much trouble will it be sitting at a desk trying to type, navigate the mouse, etc...and what about writing, I'm right handed and am told by the pre-op nurse not to expect to write on a desk for 30 days unless it's below my waist. Is this the kind of thing many of you have been dealing with after the surgery and how have you succeeded?

any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated, jay h

P.S. on a lighter note, I have begun practicing drinking beer with my left hand ;-)

-- jay h (, August 08, 2003.

Hi everyone, I had surgery to repair a torn labrum in December of last year. Im only seventeen and orginally injured my shoulder playing football. I attempted playing this past year but I was having such terrible shoulder pain that I sought a doctor and after a month of trying to figure out what was wrong we discoverd that I had torn my labrum. I hope to return to the football field this fall as it is my senior year of highschool but fear that it is too easy for this to happen again. However I would fell much more comfortable if I was wearing so sort of protection specifically for my shoulder besides the shoulder pads.

-- Andrew (, August 08, 2003.

jay, why do you not have a choice in docs just because your in the military ? from what i've experienced I WOULD WANT THE ABSOLUTE BEST DOCTOR IN THE CITY I LIVED IN. seriously, i've never experienced pain and disruption from any injuries i've had like i experienced from my shoulder surgery. as for dependency, i was so greatful that my wife could take three days off to give me the care i needed. my doc started me on PT two hours after surgery and had me do these very painful over the head exercises every two hours/24/7 for two- three weeks post op. i couldn't do them alone for the first couple of days but got better at it as time went on. she has been schlepping me around everywhere since i couldn't drive up untill last weekend. my surgery was on my left arm and i'm righthanded so i don't have a perspective on that issue but i think i could have typed with my left hand if that was my dominant hand and lower would be good. take care

-- brad rodgers (, August 08, 2003.

Jay - If I understand that you have a rotator cuff tear - you are going to need help for about 4 to 5 days. You need someone to keep your iceman filed for at least 3 days, as it stays on all the time. I suggest you start doing things with your left arm now. Typing? I am doing that left handed now - but I can't even operate a mouse with my right hand - I am doing that left handed also. Can you say SLOW? Not something you are going to want to do 8 hrs. If I write it has to be below my waist.

My suggestion is for you to read some more of the notes in this board, your questions will be answered. 5 speed? I sure couldn't do it. But I have the sling and foam pad that I am velcoured too 24/7 for another 5 weeks!

I do pretty good dressing - it only took me 3 hours to get ready to go somewhere this moring. At least you don't have to worry about curling your hair, putting on makeup and ear rings! ha! Good luck!

-- sandy k (, August 09, 2003.

I konw this isn't an answer to a question, but I've recently hurt my shoulder playing ice hockey (which I further hurt playing golf shortly after). I recently had an MRI that showed up negative for any problems. That made me feel a little uneasy but I know that the pain is still there and it's excrutiating at times! I would like to list some of the movements I do that hurt and if anybody who's had a labral tear can confirm these, I would appriciate it. If I raise my arm straight out in front of me, bend my elbow at 90 degrees towards my body and move my arm from left to right on a horizontal plane, I feel pain. Also, if I extend my arm straight out from my body and rotate my palm to face the ground or the ceiling, I feel excruciating pain. The Orthopedic doctor I saw on base (I'm in the Air Force) looked at my MRI and didn't see any rotator cuff tears or labral tears. Are these some of the movements that hurt with a labral tear? I'm going to see a shoulder specialist in a few weeks and would like to have a heads up. Thanks for any responses! Brad

-- Brad Zikas (, August 11, 2003.

Brad, I am not sure about the movements...but don't go by what your typical Ortho reads on the MRI. The first Ortho I went to saw nothing...the second, a shoulder specialist, saw the labral tear CLEARLY and it was large(I could see it when he showed me)and needed surgery for repair. I don't think some of the "general" Ortho surgeons see enough labral tears day to day, in comparison to the shoulder specialists, to always recognize them on the MRI. Good luck!

-- Sara Blazo (, August 11, 2003.

I had surgery on July 29, 2003 to repair a 75% tear in my rotor cuff. Today I am restricted to THE sling to keep my movements confined and jostling down to a minimum. I started having problems on the job in October of 2002. I know exactly when I initially injured my shoulder, it was reported but at that time I didn't think I needed major medical treatment and kept putting off the pain as an added work load. If I had to do it over again I would have voiced my pain and complaints very loudly. In January of 2003 I had to take a medical leave due to the pain and restrictive movements of my arm and neck. I also have 2 bulging discs on #5 and #6 cervical vertebrete. The medical leave was due to loss of paperwork on recording my "accident" at work. My family doctor has been very good as far as saying he didn't know exactly what was wrong but knew that it needed taken care of. I was in physical therapy for 3 months (required by ins. co. before anything else), went back to work for 2 weeks and 2 days before my arm and shoulder completely gave up on me. Was told to quit work before I was fired due to another medical leave(I should have let them fire me but I thought "I didn't want that on my record" yeah RIGHT),so I quit, went back to therapy, saw a surgeon about the discs and then saw my orthopedic surgeon about my shoulder. I thought most of pain was originating from my neck and going into my shoulder.NOT. I have pictures of the tear. It looks terrible. I was told I would be off of any work or play for 6 months to a year, very limited use of my right arm (right handed).Then it is possible I can do other work than I am qualified for as long as it would not be too physical. How am I suppose pay bills and eat during all this I don't know how to go about anything like asking for help. My doctor said that's one of reason my shoulder was so badly torn. Lifting, pulling, pushing things at work designed for a much more physically capable person. I also live in a right-to-work state so as an employee all rights are out the window. I start very limited physical therapy tomorrow and I'm trying to figure out how to drive there and back with my sling since it has a 6-inch thick body brace along my waist. But I do have to say I do see some light at the end of the tunnel, the pain is less every day and I couldn't say that before my surgery. Before it kept increasing.... Sorry I've rambled all through this but like some of you have said, people are tired of hearing me gripe about not being able to do simple things for myself. Will be 40 next week and I went through all my savings with medical, insurance, food, etc., now I'm living with my mother again. Better days are here to come. Very nervous about physical therapy. I'll be going to a sports center since my surgeon cares for the sports teams at our local college. I don't know if thats good or bad. I hope they don't expect me to be as fit as college students. I am in pretty good shape except for the shoulder, and the 15 pounds I've gained through "taking it easy with pain". Hope everyone has a good day and if surgery is needed I do hope you are treated as well as I was. If I wasn't having surgery I would have thought I was Queen for the day!!!! That was nice. Good Luck.donna

-- donna birch (, August 12, 2003.

Thanks Sara for the response. I'm lucky that my base is getting a new Ortho guy who also happens to be a shoulder specialist! I have to wait until the end of this week to see him. Not too much longer! My heart goes out to each and every one of you who waited a long time before getting your shoulders checked out. I pray that there is nothing wrong with my shoulder and if there is, I will not think twice about getting surgery after reading the responses on this web site. I'm only 26!! I'm starting to feel old :(

-- Brad Zikas (, August 12, 2003.

Glad to hear it Brad.....A good shoulder specialist should be able to do 1 or 2 ROM(range-of-motion) tests and be able to tell (99% sure) if it is a labral tear or not by whether they(the tests) elicit pain. The MRI will then confirm their findings. Good luck and let us know how you make out...hope you DON'T need surgery!!

-- Sara Blazo (, August 13, 2003.

Well, the results are in! 3-4 weeks of physical therapy and then the doctor said if that doesn't work out, I have the option of getting another cortizone injection (since the first one seemed to help out), continuing my anti-inflamitory/pain medication, or getting it scoped to see what's wrong inside. He told me that it was a bicep tendon problem, right at the point where it attaches to the glenoid. For some reason (remember, I'm not a doctor) I don't think thats all that is wrong. I can do a curl with a 40lb dumbell but can't lift 5lbs straight out in front of my body. ??????? I guess I'll see after physical therapy! I hope it helps.


-- Brad Zikas (, August 15, 2003.

Anyone know of a good ortho. in MN. I called mines assistant last friday, said he would call me on Mon. to let me know what options I had if any. Its now Fri. again and hear I sit. He hasn't even faxed the letter to work that I need to be off. Getting veryyyyy!!!!! fed up. I don't know if things I'm doing could make it worse or anything. My PT doesn't want me comeing in until we know whats going on. I guess I play the wait and see game.

-- teresa (, August 15, 2003.


-- DONY BLEEKER (DONY67@YAHOO.COM), August 19, 2003.

I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH A TORN LABRAL on 4/30/03 AND AM LOOKING FOR A SHOULER SPECIALIST IN the Northern Illinois AREA for second opinon!! My doctor seems to be sitting on his hands on surgey, first he told me I had to make a choice more PT or surgery now he has not returned my call to set an appointmet for surgery. Last vist he told me to look for another job esay for him to say! I have improved with PT but have been off work for over 2 months I know I cannot do my job and am afraid I will do more damage to genoid labral tear!

-- Mary Kunzer (, August 20, 2003.

Hello everyone. My advice to those of you looking for a good ortho doctor is to call your nearest University and find out who they send their injured sports players too. They are the best.

I am doing really good 3 weeks out of surgery (second time). My pain is doing really good, almost none. I did almost fall a couple of days ago taking my jeans off and swung my arm out for the bed to grab it, but the sling kept me from doing it. I didn't fall but the arm was sore for a day or so. I bagged it with ice for about an hour a couple of times and it is much better.

I am still in the sling, but I found out at my post op visit that I not only had a 65% rotator cuff tear, but the tendion itself was tearing apart (85%), so he took the foam block away and wants me to keep my arm close to my body so tendion will lay on itself and adhere to itself.

Hopefully this will be my last surgery. Go back on Sept 9th. Will see what happens then. I did tell my PT that I was scared to death that they might hurt it and they are being very careful to NOT do anything stupid. So TELL them what you will and won't do. If they hurt me I say so, and ask if what they are doing is necessary. They explain what they are doing. That helps. Right now I am not doing much PT wise. But they have to keep the shoulder loose so it won't freeze on me.

Good luck everyone. You can write me personally if you want to ask anything. I will respond.

-- Sandy K (, August 21, 2003.

I have to agree with the previous post. Shop around for your doctor and get the best in the area. After all, it's your injury, your recovery. Often universitities and colleges do know good ortho docs. Also, feel free to ask for a doctor's stats, how many similar surgeries he's done, board certifications, experience.

I think having a good doctor made all of the difference in my shoulder surgery. My rehab was longer than most because I really tore up a lot of things in my shoulder, but I couldn't have been happier with the results. I've been pain free, with full range of motion for almost two years, and I've been able to return to college volleyball almost seamlessly.

So my advice would be research, research, research when it comes to choosing a doctor. Remember, you have the right to know!


-- Rachel (, August 23, 2003.

Wish me luck Ortho called and surgery is Aug. 29th am a little nervous but hopefully thi shoulder will rehab quickly!

-- Mary kunzer (, August 23, 2003.

mary good luck with your upcoming surgery..i am just now finding out about all the different things that are wrong with my shoulder..i have found a very good shoulder specialist..and he promised that we will get to the bottom of my problem and get it straightened out now im feeling not so hopeless..and i do believe i can see some light at the end of this tunnel good luck and god bless mark

-- mark (, August 24, 2003.

Hi Mark, Good to hear that someone is going to finally find out what is up with your shoulder! Hope all goes well with you you will be in my prayers. Mary

-- Mary Kunzer (, August 24, 2003.

just a quick check in tonight, its been a while since i've posted anything on the board. today i went flyfishing for the first time since january, which was three months before my surgery in march. 1st cast,and i caught a beauty. the world is lookin better now.

i was a little tentative walking among slippery rocks and damned if i didn't slip and fall but fortunately is was on my "good" arm. i was carrying a small daypack with a waterbottle and lunch and a sweater and i have to say it was a little uncomfortable where the strap rode right on my incision. started driving again and have moved off the laz-e-boy and into bed which seems to have helped in the romance department too. still doing PT three times a week and my ROM has increased dramatically but i still get zings of pain if i reach and lift for something. i'm still only able to do two sets of five repetitions of lifting a one pound weight to 90 degrees from verticle with my arm fully extended. and thats an improvement from last month. it does get better campers hang in there. one cell at a time.

-- brad rodgers (, August 25, 2003.

I got an email from a Krista - this was my response to her and it may help some of you:

Hi Krista, At first I had to have a little help getting dressed. The first few days you will need loose button up shirts and loose pants - as you will have trouble snapping or zipping anything. Start now trying to do things with your good hand and arm - EVERYTHING - hygiene wise also.

Remember you will have swelling both on top and under your shoulder. Oh, and SHAVE well before you go in as I still can't... I have gone European! ha !

I don't wear a bra around home, but when I go out and feel I must I put the bra on my bed, laying out end to end. I pick up the end with my bad shoulder hand and then turn around and pick up the other end. I snap in front and twist around. Putting on my bad shoulder strap first, then the other, then adjust as best I can.

Now I still wear things that are a little loose - It is my right shoulder or you may have to adjust the same if it is your left shoulder. Take the shirt by putting your hand in the NECK and arm hole then slowly put the sleeve on the bent arm and move it up to my shoulder and try to get the seam lined up on your shoulder, once there pull the neck hole over your head then straighten up your sleeve - once there put in your other arm and adjust shirt. Then put your sling back on.

To take off - reverse - remove the good arm sleeve first (maybe by gribbing the hem and pulling the shirt up from the back of the arm and over (sounds hard, but try now) - and then over the head and slowly off the bad shoulder.

Now you are worn out and may need to rest !!! ha!

If your hair is long - you are lucky! You can wash and blow dry it and let it hang, mine is short and straight! So I have learned to blow dry it with one arm and trying to blow it the direction I want it to go. Then use the hot iron by bending my head down as much as possible and using my hand on the bad arm as I can. This is difficult and don't try to do too much as you don't want to pull your shoulder. I try to get as many curls in as possible - brush out and then use that paste stuff and hand adjust my hair so that it at least has some lift to it, adjust and spray it. Some days it looks good - other days - hey! They don't have to look at me - but at least it is clean, right? I did get shampoo and conditioner with pumps so that I can close my hand over it and pump into my hand then apply.

There is NOTHING easy with your arm in a sling, but with practice you will be amazed at what you learn to do. My biggest problem is washing anything out - dishes. My husband does what I can't. He has been so good, he helps me with the beds (to change sheets).

At first it would take me 3 hours or so to get hair/makeup and dressed. I can now do it in half that time.

Good luck and remember to NOT do anything to pull that shoulder. You don't want to have a second shoulder surgery like I did by doing something stupid. I even strap my arm to my body at night to make sure I don't do anything at night anymore.

ONE more good piece of advice. I have now starting having (four weeks out) numbness in my good hand, my fingers going numb. What it is - is the strap across my neck. It has put pressure on the Median nerves and irratied them. Go to Walmart and get a soft strap that they use for seat belts and USE it. It may not look good, but my husband now says it at least looks like the strap isn't cutting into my neck. Maybe it will help you not have this problem.

Good luck!

Sandy K.

-- Sandy K (, August 25, 2003.

Helo. Yesterday when I was at PT the therapist pulled down on my arm and I swear it felt like my shoulder slid out and right back in There was a pretty big pop it didn't really hurt, just scared the ---- out of me. I have never had my shoulder go out on me although it sometimes feels like it could.I know alot of you out there have had it happen and was wondering if it sounds like thats what happen to mine.My PT says that it couldn't have because he didn't pull it that hard.All I know is that it didn't feel right.

-- teresa (, September 03, 2003.

A friend of mine had an open glenoid labrum repair and capsule tightening operation just over two weeks ago. He was expecting a long rehabilatation to recover the mobility in the shoulder but has been surprised by the fact that he seems to have lost feeling in his thumb on the operated side and intermittent loss of feeling in other areas of the same arm. He never experienced this pre op and is concerned he may never regain feeling in his thumb at all. Anyone experienced a similiar thing post op?

-- marie wakelyn (, September 09, 2003.

Wow, I found this site a couple of days ago and have been reading a little each night. It's a lot to take in. Like most of you, my doctor thinks I may have a labral tear although my MRI showed nothing but I guess that doesn't mean anything. My only concern is that my symptoms do not sound like what the rest of you are experiencing. At the age of 15 I was in a car accident and dislocated my right shoulder, tore some muscles, strained some ligaments, etc etc etc. The pain was excrutiating but after 4.5 months of pt I was using my arm again and everything seemed to be okay. As the years have gone by I have noticed some weakness in that shoulder and while in college had to give up rock climbing. It would hurt so bad I couldn't work the next week after a day on the rocks. But I mostly just experienced a dull ache every now and again. I am now 22 and have since joined the military. I had a slight re- injury to that shoulder two years ago but it healed up just fine. Push-ups are the only thing that really cause a sharp pain. That or standing at parade rest with my arms behind my back for long periods. The rain and cold weather really seem to make the ache increase but for the most part it's just a constant dull ache that I can't really explain the location of. I have been ignoring it the past two years as best I can because I'm not thrilled with the thought of army docs fixing it, but I it gave out on my during a diagnostic physical fitness test last month while I was doing push- ups. I have since been ordered by my superiors to get it fixed. I am absolutely terrified. My doc thinks I am headed for sx, but I don't see the specialist until next week. I live in the barracks and have no one to help me. I am 2500 miles away from friends and family and have no recliner (I remember having to sleep in the recliner after the initial accident for the first couple of months). The pre- surgical pain you all describe doesn't sound like what I am experiencing. Perhaps I don't have a labral tear after all or am I just being delusional? Thank you so much for all who have posted on this site. You are all in my prayers and I know how frustrated I am with my aches and pains I cannot imagine what you must be going through. -- Ren

-- Orenda Revis (, September 10, 2003.

I don't know Ren, your symptoms sound similar to mine....I didn't have sharp pain all the time, mostly an ache that got worse with time. I had sharp pain with exaggerated movements such as over my head (washing my hair was uncomfortable), trying to buckle my bra, long out-front stretches(I do massage), tucking my shirt in my pants, etc. As you may have read, the regular Ortho didn't see my tear on the MRI, but the shoulder specialist thought it was obvious, and large at that!!! If you have a SLAP tear and need surgery, and if it requires a sling, you will need help FOR SURE, after, for awhile, and sleeping in a bed, for me, was out of the question for about 3 months. (And I still need pain killers, to work, and it has been 5 months!!!) If it is a minor tear,and they don't have to use anchors, you may be okay and be able to get away with little pain and to manage on your own. Best of luck...let us know how you make out with your Drs visit. I hope that you DON'T need surgery and maybe some P.T., alone, will be the answer for you. Be well.

-- Sara Blazo (, September 10, 2003.

Wow, this site has grown. I haven't read it since Feb 2003. I guess I'll do my first post.

A quick history: I'm 28 yr old male and have played competitive tennis since 14 and volleyball the last 2 yrs. About 18 months ago started to feel sore after tennis. The pain got worse and it eventually hurt very badly to serve. I got some exercises from a PT friend and did them. No improvement, went to OS shoulder specialist (my tennis partner has same problems and had already been). Diagnosed instability and muscle imbalance from X-ray and prescribed PT. Paid PT to do same exercises my friend had told me. No improvement. OS ordered MRI arthogram. MRI showed clear anterior labral tear. The OS expects to have to reattach the labrum using anchors (I'll let you know if that's what ends up happening). 2nd opinion confirmed this. Now I've postponed surgery for 8 months (babying shoulder) for work reasons and I'm scheduled up for surgery 9/24/03.

I'm an athlete and have 3 other buddies with bad shoulders who play tennis. I'll be the first to get surgery. I decided I just can't live with the limited abilities I have. I can't serve in tennis, throw a ball, swim, surf, benchpress, or raise a small child above my head (new nephew). So I'm going to get it fixed. Reading this site, it seems that I stand a good chance of a good recovery because of my age. I sure hope so. I'll certainly keep this site updated with how my recovery progresses to give an idea on how quickly a mid-20's athlete can return to sports, etc.

I definitely wanted to thank everyone for their contribution and the great information on cryo-cuffs, TENS, etc. It should help me plan my recovery appropriately. I also really like the tips on getting dressed, pump shampoo, getting a recliner, etc. Great stuff I would never have thought about. I'm also looking to buy a cheap automatic to drive once I'm able. I'm single and only have a 5spd now.

Feel free to e-mail me anytime (put "Labral Tear" or something in the subject). -clay

-- Clay McLendon (, September 11, 2003.

Hey all...

I, too, discovered this board a few days ago. Its been really informative, but a bit disconcerting. I've been dealing with a subluxated left shoulder for about 3-4 years now. I've had pain on and off, but lately, its gotten worse. My orthopedic surgeon sent me for 4 weeks of improvement. I saw him again on 8/25, and he gave me 2 nothing & live with the pain or have surgery. He never sent me for an MRI, reasoning that whatever's wrong has not improved thru conservative treatment, therefore he's going to have to scope it anyway to determine the problem. I've tenatively schedule surgery for November 20, 2003. Before anyone asks, he's a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon in NYC with a specialty in shoulders. And, he performed hip arthroscopic surgery on my left hip (torn labrum, too) in 11/02.

I don't think at any time did he confirm "torn labrum" re: the shoulder (he did say that it was a possibility), but based on the symptoms detailed here, my research and the similar feeling I with the hip, I'm thinking possible labral tear...not always painful, certain movements elicit more pain than others (reaching overhead while laying down to turn off alarm clock is outrageously painful, actually, just reaching for something tends to be painful), clicking and popping at times, lifting weights, specifically shoulder press and bench press is painful...feeling is as tho something is "catching" in the joint, etc.

My questions:

1. should I insist that an MRI arthrogram be done (knowing that it doesn't always show tear(s))?

2. 2 days after the surgery is my nephew's 1st BD. I'm supposed to be there (45 min drive...someone else will be driving). Will I be able to attend? I thought nothing of it until I read the posts describing the intense pain & inability to even sleep in one's own bed for months post-surgery.

3. I've decided to rehab in Florida (parents live down there)...Florida in Dec. has to be better than NYC in Dec. But, will I (someone will be driving w/me) be physically able to sit in a car for upwards of 20 hours w/in 2 weeks of the surgery? I guess drugs are always a possibility to knock me out.

4. I don't have a recliner...if I can't sleep in bed, will a couch be ok?

Well, that's it for round 1 of questions. Thanks!

Hope everyone is recovering well.


-- Amy Ashkenas (, September 14, 2003.

Amy and everyone else who wants to know what surgery is like,

I just had surgery on Tuesday to repair a posterior labral tear in my shoulder and have been recovering the last few days. If anyone is not sure about the surgery, I recommend getting it done. My surgeon told me that it was absolutely necessary in my case because the tear had actually gotten worse since I had the MR arthogram and would have likely gotten worse over time if I had not had the surgery. The recovery pain is not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. I had knee surgery several years ago and that was excruciating. There is certainly pain, but it's tolerable with the pain killers and an ice pad running most of the time.

In terms of a recliner, I don't have an actual recliner either, but instead I have been using one of those dorm pillows with the arm rests (they're $10-15 at Walmart or Target) with two pillows propped one on top of the other to act as an imitation recliner. It works really well because I can partially sit up but I also have a place to rest my head when I get tired. At night I remove the dorm pillow and just angle the 2 regular pillows at a 30 degree angle to support my shoulder and so far I've had no trouble sleeping. If anything, the worst part is having little energy, not feeling well from the medicine and eating irregularly, and being exhausted all the time.

Amy - I don't know about being in a car for 20 hours 2 weeks after the surgery, but right now I'm dreading the 1/2 hour ride home to my own house (I'm at my mother's house now) tonight. Riding an hour round trip to the doctor's the other day was tiring. The ride itself was OK - I was just really worn out afterwards. I don't think it's realistic to think you can be at your nephew's birthday 2 days after the surgery because you'll have so little energy and you need to stay as still as possible for at least 48 hours with the ice pad on constantly.

Has anyone heard of Polar Care? It's an ice pad attached to a cooler filled with ice water. It pumps cold water into a pad attached with velcro snuggly to my shoulder. If anyone gets one after having surgery, here's a word of advice: it's very hard to attach the tubes by yourself so you'll need help. Also, the nurses never told us the ice would have to be changed at least every 3-4 hours. If not, the pain gets bad. So make sure to have someone there to do that. Big blocks of ice (plastic cups work well) are best rather than cubes which melt fast.

Since I can't shower until the sutures are off in 5 days, bathing in 2-3 inches of water has worked well using a washcloth. To wash my hair, I wore one of those dress bags from a department store to cover my whole top body with my head sticking out (a large trash bag would work well too).

If anyone has any questions about the experience, please post a response. The responses helped me a lot before I had the surgery and I really would like to encourage people who are nervous about it that's it's really OK and not too bad of an ordeal.


-- Krista Wiegand (, September 14, 2003.

amy, if i was faced with the decision to spend the next 20 hours two days after my surgery there would have been no way in h... i could have made it. as for the recliner question, i found there was something unexplainable about the angle of the recliner that made it comfortable to sleep. i tried a gaggle of various pillow configurations to support the arm but for some reason the recliner was just plain more comfortable. i bought a BIG cushy recliner used for a hundred bucks. i checked it out pretty good before hand and made sure it didn't have any kooties or anything i would catch from it and it was a very good investment. as for pain management, get your doc to prescribe a TENS UNIT. the pain meds don't eliminate the pain..... they just make you not care. the tens unit actually would give short term relief of the pain. it's designed to shortcircuit the pain signal to the brain thus offering shortterm pain relief. i also bought a cryocuff. not much more than a fancy form fitting ice bag but i would reccomend it but spring for the pump. i didn't but wish i would have. good luck

-- brad rodgers (, September 14, 2003.

Hi again I did not have my surgery on Aug. 29 because I got a sinus infection so my surgery is tomorrow morning 9/17. I want to thank you for the info about post surgery comfort I was wondering how I was going to get comfortable enough to sleep any mote help will be greatly appreciated. Never can be too prepared!

-- Mary Kunzer (, September 16, 2003.


Whatever you do, try to have someone available to help you the first few days after the surgery. The pain meds will likely make you queasy and tired all the time, so the less you have to get out of bed/recline, the better. Rest, rest, rest as much as you can. If your body feels tired, go to sleep. I'm learning that the healing itself takes a ton of energy, so it's best to keep other things to a minimum. Best of luck. Krista

-- Krista Wiegand (, September 16, 2003.

Hi everyone, I haven't posted for awhile. I had my first surgery on May 5 and my second on July 30 of this year. (read my previous post above)

I finally got rid of my sling, YEAH ! I am now in more active physical therapy to regain my ROM (range of motion).

After reading some of the newer post I can't say enough about the Iceman/Polarpak or whatever your doctor calls it - the little cooler with the icepack that is on you with snuggies. They are the BEST. When alone I could not REHOOK it myself either, but I finally figured out that I could unplug the cord and carry the cooler with my good arm. That works!

I am doing much better. My ROM isn't what the doctor wanted so I am still not working - but hope to return Oct 6th. The surgeon said if need be he will keep me out until the end of October. I wouldn't mind being off so long if I could just enjoy it - but with not being able to do much it sort of sucks! ha!

Good luck to all of you, I am personally GLAD I had the surgery (not twice though) - I do feel better. Once my shoulder and arm remember they are suppose to move we will be okay!

-- Sandy K (, September 16, 2003.

I am another one with labral tear and expect to go under the knife in jan/04. I realy appreciate all the info you have received here. It really helped me to decide to go ahead with the surgery. I have been suffering for at least 5 years with the pain. Its never gets better by ignoring the fact that surgery is the only answer.

-- (, September 18, 2003. I'm trying to get everything set prior to the surgery. Any opinions as to which is better: Aircast Cryo/Cuff; Polar Care 300/500 or Theracool Cold Therapy System. Both the Polar Care and Theracool units are electric, so the temp is kept constant & the machine cycles the water. BUT, both units are in the mid $250 range (as compared w/the Cryo/Cuff which is ~$140).

Doesn't look like my insurance will cover any of the units.


-- Amy (, September 18, 2003.


I have the Polarcare 300, which was "given" to me after the surgery when I left the hospital. Before buying one, you should check with the hospital to see if they will provide you with one after the surgery. I have no idea how much it will cost or whether insurance will cover it. Mine is electric to pump the cold water, but it does'nt keep the temp cool, so my mother had to add ice every 3-4 hours which is a hassle, especially in the first 48 hours when you wear it non-stop. And as Sandy said, you will need it - it makes a big difference for the pain. I used it a lot today (I'm 8 days aftr surgery) b/c my shouder was really sore. I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing it may be the change in the barometric pressure due to the hurricane that's going through NC where I live. Even before the surgery I noticed more pain when it rained! Well, good luck with the surgery and keep us all posted.

-- Krista Wiegand (, September 18, 2003.

havent been here in awhile but just an update still dont see any light at the end of the dr.ordering is test the insurance company keeps denying.i sit and wait suffering with this damn shoulder..its ben 3 mo.since i started the workmans comp thing and im caught in a game of whos gonna pay for what??????? had to get a lawyer to light a fire under them..didnt want it to come to all this but..its part of the game(i suppose?) sorry for venting.........what is everyones pain level????

why i ask is because i have got some brutal pain going on her

ive tried vicodin.percocet,ultram,darvon,celebrex and really no real pain relief...any suggestions mark

-- mark (, September 19, 2003.

amy, i have the cryo-cuff without the electric pump. although it was fine changing the ice frequently was kind of a pain. my suggestion would be to spring for the pump to turn over the cold water.i liked the way it fit and i could put it on by myself. as for the other brands i don't have any comparison. if you your doc into a prescription for a TENS UNIT, you won't be dissapointed. i've also found them on e-bay but only after i already had mine.

-- brad rodgers (, September 19, 2003.

Thanks, Brad & Krista.

I spoke w/my surgeon's office Fri., and apprently, they try to arrange for the "rental" of some sort of cold therapy unit post- surgery (don't know if the particular unit depends on the patient's ins., or what). I've been checking e-bay often, and just about every unit is up for sale. I think I'll try to pin the surgeon's office down re: the unit that they intend to provide before I just go out & buy my own. And I was correct, my insurance won't cover the item.

Brad - borrowed a TENS unit from my brother. Thanks for the advice, tho.

Krista - everything ok post Hurricane?


-- Amy (, September 21, 2003.


Glad to hear the hospital will lend you an ice machine. I still haven't gotten a bill for mine and they didn't say anything about returning it. Just so you and others know, after 12 days post-op, my pain is receding enough to just take Tylenol. I do still get bad pain occasionally, but not all the time. I realize though everyday when I try to do more activity I get really worn out and I have to sleep the eqivalent hours I was out and about! Even though it may seem like I'm able to do more of my normal routine, I'm reaaly not and still need to minimize all activity (leaving the house and even leaving my bed!). Oh, the hurricane did only minimal damage - we only had 1/2 a tree fall in between houses. I did stress a bit though and that certainly hurt my shoulder - avoid stress! You sound like you're doing a good job getting ready - make sure you're also ready mentally (to be dependent and very limited) and emotionally (it's hard being so dependent and "left out" of normal life). I'm sure others on this listserv would agree.

-- Krista Wiegand (, September 21, 2003.

Dear Threaders,

I found this sight while doing research like most of you, and for an hour and a half I read though most of the postings listed above. I must say that I am having second thoughts about having surgery after reading some of the postings. It seems as though there are many more of you out there that are experiencing more pain now than you were going in, and there are many that are talking of second time surgeries! Yikes!

I was injured at work, and was sent to the company Dr., and it took him two months to properly diagnose my slap ll labrium tear, and said that I could either live with it or schedule surgery. I wanted a second opinion, and since I am dealing with worker's comp. I had to be authorized for a referral for a second opinion, and that took another couple of weeks for the authorization and another couple of weeks for an appointment date to the second O.S.(Orthopedic Surgeon) This O.S. deals with strickly shoulders and knees, and came highly recommended. Once I got in to see the second O.S. he too gave me the same information, either live with it or have the surgery, but what he tells me of my recovery time after surgery for type ll tear does not sound as realistic as what I have been reading here.

I thought that surgery would be the best thing, so I gave him the go ahead to once again go for an authorization from the worker's comp. Dept. for approval for surgery which took another five weeks. Now I am running out of time for returning to work. I have only two months left of illness time, plus my vacation time, and then I loose my position at work and go on an out of work list, that is currently has a freeze on hiring, so if I have the surgery, from the sounds of what I have read above, I will not recovery enough in two months to be able to return to work, since I work in construction with no light duty. This means, if I have the surgery, I loose my job, and if i don't have the surgery I will take my chances of reoccurring pain. Lot to think about.

I think that what my next plan will be is, I am going to take a visit down to the P.T. Dept. where my recent O.S. sends his patients after surgery, and talk to some of the patients that are recovering from type ll slap tears, and also talk with some of the P.T., and draw a conclusion from there.

I will update you readers of my research from the P.T. Dept. My Dr. was telling me that I should be able to preform all my regular duties in 6 to 8 weeks after putting in suture anchors and attaching the labrium properly. Sure doesn't match up with what I have been reading here.

Thanks for the eye opening experience through your shared stories. It could be because this is a realitive new threadlink, but I think that some more success stories are needed from some of the ones that have recovered 100% no matter how long, or how painful it took them to get there. If you have heard of some success stories, share them, because more inspiration is definely needed here. Until the next time, good luck to all of you that are reading this. Double Dee

-- Double Dee (, September 24, 2003.

double dee, i too work in construction up here in seattle. i too was injured on the job. i had to wait three months before the state (L&I) approved my surgery. i was injured 11/12/20 had surgery 3/15/03 endured excruciating pain for 5 months. started back to work on 5/10/03 on light duty (punch, window testing,elevator operator,quality control and general tedium ad nauseum) and am still on light duty and will be for at least another 8 weeks still with pain but considerably reduced and almost full ROM. would i do it again ? yes... the alternative of living with the pain of pre op totally outweighs the relative short term inconvience. in fact i'm looking down the barrel of having to have the other shoulder done too because it was injured in the same accident as the first one was but not as bad but became more aggrivated with continual use for the last 10 months. as for L&I, here in washington, i believe if you are incapacitated due to a work related incident you have to be compensated for time lost. there are several sites on the web that will give you some arm chair legal advice. such as : there are a bunch more and the retrosafety site is a program that many construction companies in washington subscribe to because by participating in it they keep their insurance rates down. it pays for them to pay for your care directly for 8 months to a year in the short term rather than have their rates go up in the long run. lastly , i wouldn't rule out the option of at least talking to a lawyer about this stuff and putting your ducks in a row now if you think you will not be compensated for time loss due to injury. good luck.

-- brad rodgers (, September 24, 2003.


Thanks for the advice and the websites. I when back and read a couple of your postings and you have really been a big contributor to this site. You have offered and given great advice, not to mention phone numbers and additional websites to merchandise that may ease the pain many are experiencing. It is great to see that there are people like you that are sharing and caring for others, you are a good example to us all. For me I am waiting to get a phone call from my Dr., so I better get off line since I only have one phone line for now. Take care.

-- Double Dee (, September 25, 2003.

Hello All, After reading several stories regarding arthrograms, MRI's, labral repair surgeries, and PT, I find it quite interesting in how differently doctors and therapists do business. I tore my labrum over a year ago water skiing. Like all of you, I lived with the pain thinking it would fix itself or was wear and tear with age (I'm 35). My first visit to the doctor revealed bursitis. He then told me an X- ray showed arthritis. I questioned his diagnosis and got a second opinion. The arthrogram revealed a SLAP lesion of about 40%. I am currently about 2 1/2 months post op. and coming along quite nicely, but so slowly. Some of you had PT 3-5 days post op. I was in a sling for three weeks with absolutely no shoulder movement. For the first three days after surgery I had a lidocaine pain pump catheter inserted in the front portal. What a huge relief. The same day of surgery I was home helping make dinner. That's how little pain I was in. I also slept in a recliner for a month, then on my good side with pillows all around me. I'm still in PT twice a week and am just now getting to the point where I can lift my arm over my head. It's a relief to be able to make some movements that were very painful pre- op. such as reaching for the shampoo in the shower or trying to adjust the volume on the radio when riding in a friend' car. Although it's quite a long time for full recovery, I don't regret it at all. PT is somewhat discomforting, but I know it's worth it, and I definitely don't want a frozen shoulder. I do have one question for the group...has anyone ever heard of a trigger point in a muscle? Apparently I have developed one in my bicep and my therapist told me to massage it by rolling my opposite thumb across it a few times a day. Any info on this is appreciated. Good luck to all.

-- Mary McKinley (, September 27, 2003.

Hi Mary, Sounds like you are doing really well, Congrats! I know all about trigger points, I am a massage therapist. Trigger Points refer pain somewhere else OTHER than the spot where they are. They usually feel like a lump OR a soft spot in the muscle. You can rub it or use static pressure for up to 3mins. or so, until the referred pain lessens or goes away. If you can do this 1x every day, you may be able to rid yourself of this annoying area of pain(They are hard to get rid of totally). Putting ice on after you work on it is also helpful. They often come on from muscle spasms or irritation in the muscle from over-use...the nerves in the muscle get irritated and refer pain to other areas of the body(simplified explanation). I hope that helps!

-- Sara Blazo (, September 29, 2003.

Hey yesterday I had a labral repair done on my left shoulder in Dunedin, New Zealand. Things went pretty smooth. I am a rugby player and am keen to get back playing soon as.If theres any rugby or football players who have been through this it would be great if you could give me some tips for a speedy recovery. I also have to get my right shoulder labral tear fixed in 6 weeks aswell so it will be a long haul, cheers

-- mike maguire (, October 02, 2003.

SIX WEEKS ?!!! is that what they told you....? HA!!!

-- brad rodgers (, October 03, 2003.

Has anyone ever had a winging scapula? If so will PT help?

-- teresa (, October 03, 2003.

Hi Everyone-

not sure if you remember, but i had posted a message a few months ago on whether or not i should go ahead with the surgery. Well i did go ahead with it and i wanted to put in a positive report! I had been scheduled for arthroscopy however, when they got in there the damage was not what they had thought and they had to go with an open procedure instead. Ended up they did a capsular shift with decompression to the rotator cuff. It has been two weeks now since my surgery and i have to say i am surprised at how well i am feeling. The first few days was not that bad thanks to a lot of help. They gave me a nerve block (2 actually, the first didnt take well) and a sedative. i slept through it all. When i woke up i had a 'Pain Buster' within the incision as well as the Cryocuff and a pillow sling. Thanks to the Pain Buster my surgery area remained numb for 3 more days. I was nervous about taking it out thinking the pain would be unbearable, but i remained on my percocet and things were fine. kept the cryocuff on 24 hours a day for 5 days. This helped tremendously. Had my post op visit this past monday (10 days after surgery)and that went well. Took the pillow out of the sling and now i have just the regular sling for 3 more weeks. He said my range of motion was where he expected and things looked promising. I am doing my exercises daily and finding that doing them prior to a hot shower works best for me. The shower makes my shoulder feel MUCH better afterwards.

I know how hard this procedure and recovery is for everyone, as i have ready everybody's posts on here. I feel i am very lucky for having a fairly good recovery with my procedure. I never had to sleep in a recliner (although i did move to our guest bed for the first week to stay away from my restless husband) and i am now just taking Advil during the day, ice before bed and a percocet to help with sleep. The hardest part was having to look at my 2 year old daughter and try to explain why Mommy couldn't pick her up or play with her.

I think my biggest saving graces were the Cryocuff (DEFINITELY worth the money, especially getting the motorized pump with it) as well as the Pain Buster (this was NOT covered by my insurance, but my Dr. swore by it and i felt it was terrific, unfortunately my wallet didn't think the same $550!!!!).

Hope this helps some people and feel free to email me if you have any questions!


-- Erin Michaud (, October 03, 2003.

I too would like to give a positive report Post-Op. I posted 9/11/03 detailing my problems. Well, I had the SLAP repair surgery on 9/24/03 (9 days ago) and it wasn't as bad as I thought. Not nearly. He did the repair arthoscopically and I got a video. The labrum was torn (as expected) and he installed 2 anchors on each side of the tear securing the tissue to the bone. He removed some flaps of tissue as well (debriding I believe) and also looked at my rotator cuff. It was worn down about 20% (not torn) from overhand activity (tennis serves, etc) so he just removed some scar tissue in that area. As for the recovery... it has been painless. Yes painless. I've got a bottle of vicadin and a spare prescription I haven't touched. I haven't even taken a tylenol. I got a Polar Ice unit like many others with the electric pump ($150 to rent it for 2 weeks) and it was nice. I used it the day of the surgery and the following day. The third day I used it sporadically and pretty much stopped using it the 4th day. I didn't get a pain pump inserted as my doctor didn't think it was necessary (he decided not to install it after the surgery but it was a possibility). I had a sling, but I haven't worn it in 5 days or so. I only wear it when in groups so others know not to touch that shoulder. I find that putting my hand in my pocket works great as I can keep my shoulder against my body easier. With the sling it flaps around. I do sleep in my sling to prevent me from trying to move it (this is also doctor's orders). My doctor gave me some exercises to do to stretch my shoulder.... lifting my arm in front of my face (with good arm) until upper arm was parallel to floor, and laying on back and rotating arm until pointint to the sky (no farther). Both of these I've been able to do since the first day. As for sleeping, I tried the recliner the first night (uncomfortable), then couch for 3 nights, now I'm in the bed with no extra pillows or anything. I can sleep on my back and on my good side with no problems. Other than that, I've got all of my bandages off and I can shower, etc. I can write, type, use the mouse, and do a little more each and every day. I'm pretty much 100% functional as far as getting around and doing most things. Eating with a fork has proven to be difficult (I prefer eating with my hands now). 4 nights ago I went for a walk (without sling) and toward the end, I could feel a little soreness from the jostling of my shoulder. Now I can walk all day if I need. I have my follow up appointment with my doc in 4 days and I can't wait to see what he says about PT, etc. I'm ready to get on with it and really don't want to wait another 8-10 weeks, but I will do whatever the doc says. I'll keep y'all informed.

As for the lack of pain... I have no explanation for that. It just doesn't make sense. I've even got the video watching him drill and tap into my bone. And I know for a fact that I don't have a high tolerance for pain! All I can say is that I'm a Christian and I've had lots of folks praying for me. Don't underestimate the power of prayer. I wish everyone the best with their recoveries as well and I'll keep y'all in my prayers!

BTW, If anyone wants a copy of my surgery video, let me know. I'm copying it for my mother right now. Also, I've got a great doc here in San Diego if anyone needs a referral.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all (put "labrum tear" or something in the subject so I don't miss it)


-- Clay McLendon (, October 03, 2003.

Greetings. After an injury at work, waiting three years to have the Bankart repair done for a torn labrum, I'll put my experience down here for people with questions and a few suggestions. My experience is that this injury was sometimes "explained away" at early meetings with doctors. It's been called "possible rotator cuff tendinitis," tenderness in the scapular region, and it seemed the labrum was the farthest thing from the Dr.'s minds. Physical therapy would not cure it for me. Just when I thought that this unknown dislocating feeling had healed itself and I got confidence back to play volleyball or throw a snowball, my fun would turn to excruciating pain followed by pain during sleep and aching for a few days. I believed that I was just re-injuring the "tendinitis" at first, but it only took a couple of dislocations in the next few months to realize that it was NOT going to heal on its own, and I KNEW that there had to be another problem. I continued with work, however, because I had nothing to rely on except "tendinitis." An MRI about 8 months after the initial injury confirmed a labral tear. Well, I've had work comp problems, since the injury only presented itself when playing sports outside of work, the company said that I must have injured it playing those sports. "NO," I explained, "I only FEEL the pain outside of work, the injury happened at work." It occurred at work when (in law enforcement,) I grabbed a suspect who was running the opposite direction I was and jerked my arm hard backwards as I spun to hold him. I didn't know I tore my labrum... after all, my elbow hurt most which led the doctors to focus on "tennis elbow." The Docs treated me for tendinitis, but the underlying problem would not get better, and the torn labrum only presented itself when I did a throwing motion or ached with overhead work, and I felt it all the way down my arm into my elbow, as if the elbow had a nerve ending that got super- stimulated and irritated after my shoulder fell out. It felt like my shoulder was dislocating. I began to neglect using my shoulder for the fun activities and "couldn't trust it." All in all, the work comp co. quit returning my calls when the Dr. said I needed surgery. They wouldn't pre-authorize anything, yet continued to say the "weren't denying my claim... just had questions about it." Well, after two years of playing that game, I filed a claim with the state and contacted my regular health insurance company. After a couple of questions, that company told me that THEY would pay for surgery, as long as I represented their costs in the work-comp claim in front of the work comp commissioner so they could be paid back. Finally, I could get surgery! It would start with athroscopic procedure to take a look around, and then proceed to open surgery if needed.

My first suggestion: At surgery, get the "scalene block." A nerve in the neck is numbed rather painlessly, blocking all pain from the shoulder, (maybe a bee-sting feeling for a second,) but this REALLY helps after surgery. It was this or "general anesthesia." The Scalene Block was easy and they tell me I am able to respond to the Dr.'s while they are doing the surgery... I don't remember it... just like they said I wouldn't. The Scalene block makes it so that they have to use less general anesthesia, which reduces the after-effects of surgery. Having this anesthesia, I had ABSOLUTELY NO SIDE-EFFECTS from the general anesthesia I got once the open Bankart lesion repair began. Once I woke up after everything was done, I stayed up the rest of the day, had quite an appetite, and remember everything clearly, no nausea at all. I didn't feel tired, but just the opposite, felt energized. (Must have been the epinephrine (adrenaline) additive in the sterile water they used during arthroscopic?) I don't remember anything about surgery and my shoulder experienced NO PAIN WHATSOEVER for the first 15 hours after surgery. I also had the "Pain Pump" which you wear on your waist or around your neck for about 3-4 days which automatically pumps painkiller directly to the repair site through a thin line that goes under your dressing, into the shoulder. I felt like some kind of RoboCop with this little machine making a light 1-second hum every five minutes. If you start feeling pain, you can push the button to deliver more med. Don't worry, you can't give yourself too much, and it's not morphine in the machine. You don't feel doped, and the Dr. called it novacaine. After a week, they take out the tube at the same time they change the dressing, painlessly.

For those reading this long post, that's TWO SUGGESTIONS I've given so far: Scalene Block (pre-op) & Pain Pump (post-op.)

After that, some painkillers were used to deter any pain for about one week. I like to get off them quickly or else I feel like I'm sleeping too much. I am entering week four now and haven't used a pain pill for over two weeks with little or no pain... only a dull ache after a night of no movement. I never thought they'd be able to control the pain so easily.

I've started P.T. designed to increase range of motion. They say I may not return to law enforcement from 3-6 months, depending on my individual progress.

In response to a couple posts, for those in the U.S., thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the employer has to keep a place for you on the roster for 12 weeks of being off work for your own medical care. That's federal law folks, so keep it in mind if you have to leave work on a paid or unpaid status. Your job is safe for quite awhile by FEDERAL LAW. Ask about it if your job is threatened by being off work for a long time.

Well, to wrap this up, the Dr. had confirmed that the injury to my shoulder likely came from work, exactly in the manner I described. The work comp. co. will be paying and now realize it... now it's just a manner of how much they owe me. Labral tears generally can be painless upon first tear, but lead to subluxing and further dislocation, along with instability later on.

My arm was in an immobilizer sling for two weeks, followed by a regular sling for another two. The outside wound has healed fine and will soon graduate to being a cute 2 inch thin scar. I hope PT goes well, because my research says it can be a long process to first get ROM back, then proceed to strengthening. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my time off work the best I can. I have to remember exercise, though, because it's easy to be a big baby when you don't have full use of an arm.

Hopefully this will help anybody else that's trying to figure out what their problem is or what surgery is like. So far, I've had a good experience once I could actually get it done. Now's the time I'll have to find out what's so hard about this surgery...

-- Tracey B. (, October 05, 2003.

I am a "dedicated" tennis player 35 yo (playing for 22 yrs) who over the last year has had continued shoulder pain. PT 6-8 months, Ibuprofen, major stretching, etc. I can, for the most part, function in normal daily activities with only minor discomfort. I can throw a ball a few times but the end result is increased pain. Serving in tennis is hit or miss and I can play at most only once every 7 days. If I try to play two days in a row, the second day the pain is too much and I loose almost all power anyway. Well, I have had an Arthrogam (MRI with contrast injected) showing rotator cuff tendinopathy, and a posterior laburm tear. This was after 2 months PT for shoulder/biceps tendinitis. I decided not to have surgery and went for extended PT (6 months). No tennis for 6 months. I did get some sucess. After 6 months PT, I was able to play for 6-8 weeks with a only a tight feeling and some localized mild discomfort (? muscular ?). Continued Ice, ibuprofen, and exercises with stretching also was continued. Before returning to playing tennis again I was 100% strength, range of motion, etc according to PT and my ortho surg MD. Well, like I said, I still only got 6-8 weeks out of the shoulder before I was back to on and off daily continuous mild pain, and very painful serving (throwing) motion and inflamation. I am due to have the shoulder repaired in a couple of weeks. I will update after surgery.

-- rick rochetto (, October 05, 2003.

Tracey & Clay, So glad to hear of others having a positive experience with these procedures as well! I am starting PT in about 3 weeks (that will be 6 weeks post surgery) and am a little nervous about it. Not sure what to expect there. Still doing really well and feeling good...Please keep updating us with your recovery!! -Erin

-- Erin Michaud (, October 05, 2003.

Hey there thank goodness for computers. I woke up in the middle of the night looking for some answers. My injury occured approx. 16 years ago, ran and fell on my shoulder, although I knew something was wrong the pain was unexplainable. I had planned a trip with my then ex and my 3 year old son to go to disney. I didn't want to go to the doctor for fear I would end up in a cast, and at 24 years old and still very vain I dealt with it. over the years I found that every time I moved my left shoulder in a specific way it felt like it was falling out of the socket. The following year after the fall I became pregnant with my second child, and during delivery it was like a circus act. The doc. nurses had to sling me because my should kept falling out of the socket, my husband at the time would advise the hospital staff that leave her be she knows how to put it back in the socket:) It was always a very quick roll off and back in. After my son was born I decided to see an OS, 1988 who knew what was wrong but stated having an infant at the time the surgery would be an open repair and back in those days recovery would have taken months..For me it was not an option, I just learned how not to use my shoulder in ways that were uncomfortable. The big problem over the years was when I was not thinking of controlling the shoulder, and when I least expected it I would have it fall out of place. Something as simple as having someone help me with putting on a jacket, sweater, ect. ouch. I have always been very active, athletic, and was somehow optimistic that the further apart the instablity was it would eventually heal on its own. Over the years the though of surgery scared me, after my second child turned 3 my husband and I went through a divorce and I had to get out and support us. I just dealt with the shoulder continued to remain as active as I could paying close attention to how I moved my left shoulder. I am right handed which is a blessing. Although I had a degree, in Administrative support and business, I found my self in a big company for security and financial reasons and worked my way up from physical labor in a fortune 500 express delivery company. After almost 14 years and finally securing a full Administrative position I my job security was being threatend-must be the age, turned 40 this past summer. About six months ago, after not having my shoulder dislocate in what seemed to me as a long period of time it went out. I had an invision that when I was older, my children, grandchildren would try to assit me with simple things and would say don't move grandma that way her shoulder may fall out of the socket. The last time the pain not only was for the initial roll back it caused pain in my neck and down my arm for weeks. I finally realized this was not going away on its own. I contacted the OS office manager who is a relative of mine who advised me they do not keep patient records beyond 10 years, and they did not accept my insurance. I received a reccomendation for a doc. in my area and the start of taking care of me had begun. My sons know are older, and I remarried about 2 1/2 years ago, and the threats of loosing my job became a realited. I had an MRI not the authograme the doc. wanted because my insurance company didn't authorize. As I have read it it not uncommen, but the report should nothing, however, the shoulder specialist clearly saw a labral tear? I immediatly felt comfortable with him since he had his own personal experiance with an open repair some 15 years ago, and advised me that over the past five years it can be done through Arthroscopy. He did still advise to think about surgery and do PT for approx. 5 -6 weeks, wich further confirmed the need for surgery, it only caused more pain and less stability. More and more people reccomended my doc. and my surgery date was scheduled 9/25. I had the scalene block, great thing, however, since they were running behind on surgeries they started my block before I was in OR, and suddenly had trouble breathing. all normal since the block had numbed the whole left upper side to include the breathing/diaphrem. I could have stayed the night in the hosptial but wanted to get home. No real pain the first 8 to 10 hours since the block helped. 11 days post op, the labrum was torn off the bone and had to be reatached with the suture anchors. Last friday I got to see the pictures and hear directly from my Doc. He did mumble a few things while I was in recovery, but couldn't care less with all the meds in my head. He gave my husband a full report, and advised him of the care needed till post op appointment. I couldn't take my arm out of the sling at all, the shoulder pad bandagies could be removed after the third day and a shower was in order. Fun my hubby and I got in together:) He was so afraid that any movement would pull out the repair, he was a god sent for the first few days. I had started to become more uncomfortable as time went on my back, neck, arm, numbness, cold feeling sleep impossible. The night before my dr. appointment, I was up all night not just with shoulder aches, that really only hurt if I moved a particular way, but muscle achs were driving me crazy, to include sciatic nerve flair up on the same side down my leg. I have had that problem off and on for the past few years. doc. said that it was probably all realated, and more so know because of lack of use of the left upper part. I do not have a recliner, but have been propping my self up in bed in every which way to get comfortable. Percocet is good but the actual pain is not so bad, and I really only wanted to take at night. Last night I found some Muscel relaxor med. my husband had and took that last night with the percocet. My scapular muscle is so tight, sleeping is difficult and last night I decied to do more research, and found this site, and found a lot of the same experiances, but some I have not heard of as of yet. Age I think is a big factor as well. by the way my first day out to see the dr. I had my mom stop at the store to pick up some needed grocery items. Like I said I am fortunate surgery is in the left shoulder, because I would be completly handicap if not. I started running a low grade fever that same night I didn't call the dr. although the pain in my shoulder was so bad I thought I had an infection, the next day I woke up feeling better. I guess this is going to take time that I was not fully expecting. I have a habit of rambeling as you can see but I thought it would be helpful to tell the full story. I did call the dr. office today, for more reassurance, still waiting on a call back. I have appreciated the middle of the night reading to comfort me while the next dose of percocet took affect. My doc. will let me take my arm out of sling to move my hand and elbow, but no PT or real movement for another 2 weeks, and no driving, he is very confident that after full recovery I will be very pleased. Thanks again for the middle of the night reading.

-- Renee Ambrosius (, October 06, 2003.

Hi ya'll. Well it has been 3 months since the 2nd surgery on my right shoulder, and for the most part it's doing better, at least I can move my arm now. The pain is still there most of the time, and my full range of motion is lifting my arm to shoulder height. The doc told me there is no further surgery that will help, as they removed about 25% of the labrum and some of the other tissue that was damaged in my fall. I have tried going back to my normal job as a truck driver, but I am unable to do the lifting that is required. So, has anyone had a problem with lifting after surgery? Also, I am having problems with the cold weather, I find it hurts more with weather change, is this common. Any help would be appreciated.

-- Mike Peacock (, October 07, 2003.

Hey all,

I'm exactly 4 weeks post-op and I got my sling off yesterday. Today I was home all day without having to wear it (I still have to wear it when I go out) and it was strange! I wasn't sure what to do with my arm, especially last night when I slept. I was actually in a lot of pain because I couldn't get comfortable. Tonight I'm going to try sleeping with the sling since keeping it still is no different than without the sling in terms of healing. I will warn others though not to get too excited when the sling comes off. Today was one of the most painful days I've had since the surgery and doing the 2 PT exercises to get rid of the stiffness didn't help. So just beware that the pain can get bad after the initial healing process. I will say it does feel good to not have to wear the sling all the time! Good luck to everyone else. If anyone has questions about the surgery or post-op experience, please feel free to write directly.

-- Krista Wiegand (, October 07, 2003.

Anyone have any advise, 15 days after surgery. Still in the sling, and had to stop all meds. muscle tension caused, sciatic, or restless leg syndrom. between the pain meds. muscle relax, and lack of sleep I ended up in the ER since I could not breath. They took xray, and advised me it was anxity. My primary doctor, said other wise, that between general anisthia, percocet, and muscle relxors, they slow the respiratory system down. All meds are out of my system, but I can now feel the pain in my shoulder, deep inside and when I least expect it sleeping, moving around, even with the syling on. Can anyone advise if this is all normal, I somehow hoped I would have less pain at this point-2weeks post op? I did find last night that sleeping on the couch is better than the bed, not just for me but for my husband who couldn't stand my tossing and turning, and hacking cough?

-- Renee Ambrosius (, October 10, 2003.

Renee, I think you're still going to find some pain twinges here and there. I'm at four weeks and still have them. After all, things have been cut and stitched together in there. You've got to relax and let that shoulder heal. Prop the shoulder up a bit at night, support it, wear the sling, and forget the painkillers. You don't need them now. I think a little pain and discomfort is just part of this surgery, and you can deal with it. I still get it at night mostly, but supporting the back of the shoulder usually helps. You should be on a Physical Therapy program by now, as they usually start one week post-op, and doing some pendulum exercises to get things moving should help. Remember to keep the wrist and elbow moving and stay true to the P.T. exercises. Obviously, consult your surgeon if you have anything more than a dull ache or some discomfort now and then.

-- TB (, October 10, 2003.

i recently discovered something thats been ,to my surprise, quite effective at supporting my shoulder at nite laying on my back. it's one of those small (8"x10") bean bag thingies that you put in a microwave and use it as a heat pad. well i discovered it's just the right thickness to support my shoulder and not be as bulky as a pillow. i'm able to sleep all night on it . happy trails.

-- brad rodgers (, October 10, 2003.

Thanks for the update, I am not taking anymore pain med. except tylenol when needed everything else makes me sick in the head or sick to my stomach. Mostly before bed, along with as someone previously mentioned Ativan to help with the sleep at night. Muscle ach bothers more in the left shoulder neck/and blade real bad at times. I have found the couch to be more comfortable than the bed, but I can not believe how long the discomfort part is lasting. My second time out this AM my son had a football game. I had my husband drive, it was a little windy/chilly but not to bad out. When I got home I couldn't get rid of the chill and felt very achy and tired. Made a cup of tea, took 3 tylenol and still felt like I had a fever. I did take my temp. 99.7 nothing to make a big deal about but the same thing happened when I visted the doc. after 1 week post OP. I have another appointment this wed. which will be just a day short of 3 weeks post OP. I am sure he will advise a little more movement, but last visit advised nothing more than elbow/hand movement and remain in sling most of the time. Not sure why some Dr. advise PT sooner than others, but mine was very blunt, no other movement. I really shouldn't complain to much since the pain is not that bad, just getting tired of lack of movement and this sling. I do feel the ability without as much pain to move my arm/shoulder just a little with the sling on, so I have to be positive that this is all part of the healing process. Time for the tylenol, and the couch, it is getting late.

-- Renee Ambrosius (, October 11, 2003.

Renee- What you are feeling is completely normal, like others have said there has been a lot of cutting that needs to heal. I am in my 4th week post op and yes, i still feel the dull ache and sometimes sharp pain at unexplained times. It is very frustrating, but i keep having to tell myself, the dr. said it takes a good 2 -3 months to feel back to normal again. I start my PT at 6 weeks post op, like you my dr. said keep to 2 easy movements of leaning over and swinging my arm like a pendulum and also to try and raise it up in front of my face. This will help keep it from getting too stiff. Sometimes, when my arm starts to ach i try these and it does help. I know what you are going through with the meds, i have a very sensitive stomach as well and did not do well with the pain killers, even with an anti-nausea medication with them. I have found the best thing for the pain during the day that my stomach can tolerate is 2 Advil Liquigels at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then at bedtime, i am taking 2 Tylenol PM. so far it has helped. Also, i try to ice my shoulder for an hour before going to bed or even taking a HOT shower and just letting the water hit your shoulder will help. Good luck and don't get frustrated. email me if you want to chat further or need support! -Erin

-- Erin Michaud (, October 12, 2003.

Thanks Erin, I shouldn't complain I had the authroscopic, you advise you had the open surgery ooch. Also couldn't imagine the emotional strain having a toddler, this is why I waited as long as I did. My husband took me food shopping today, and I pulled the Advil gel caps he asked me what the difference was to noname, I can not take it kills my stomach as you mentioned. Second day in a row, going outside feel better today than yesterday. Thanks again, and contiued good luck on your end....Renee

-- Renee Ambrosius (, October 12, 2003.

Hello everyone, it has been 10 weeks since my second surgery. I am doing really well. Physical therapy is going great. I am still in range of motion, but hope to start strength training this week.

I have to say, I am feeling really well. NO PAIN, some strain when I try to do a few things that it isn't ready for. I returned to work on Oct 6th and am doing fine.

Just wanted to let you all know that this site has been a WONDERFUL place for finding out what to expect and explainations of what might happen. You have all been a great help.

I will look in once in awhile, but wanted you to know I am doing great and the future looks bright - may the same happen to all of you.

-- Sandy K (, October 14, 2003.

My turn again, I just got back from the Doctor. He said no more sling, I want feel better at night wearing as I have seen many of you also feeling better wearing it then. I am ready to start PT, and lucky me I have an appointment today at 2:00 for an evaluation. I am really excited to start the muscle tension is driving me crazy, in the scapular area....All my complaints and concerns were discused with the doctor, and he smiled, chuckled and said all were not mix, muscle relaxor, with Ativan this combination will slow down your resporatory system, making it very difficult to breath....low grade fever normal, any thing above 101 is something to be concerned with all high normal is natural body healing....I am off to PT for my start evaluation...thanks and I will contiune to post with new updates....Next problem to fix will be back sciatic,or restless said he still feels being in the sling, and lack of mobility was causing more aggrevation. I see him again in 3 weeks and if still a problem we will pursue..I am on a roll. Be well, Renee

-- Renee Ambrosius (, October 15, 2003.

Hello, Well I am finally going to have surgery this Friday Hopefully!! Got food poisoning a couple of days before my 2nd scheduled surgery. Everyones thoughts and prayers that I stay healthy for Oct. Th! How long will rehab take if it is just scope glenoid labral tear? Mary

-- Mary Kunzer (, October 15, 2003.

Well, I haven't posted here in a few months but wanted to know if PT worked for anybody. I finally saw a shoulder specialist at the base I'm stationed at and he said he saw nothing in my MRI and suggested 4- 6 weeks of physical therapy with ultra sound. I've had numerous diagnosis'! Let's see....bicep tendon tear from the Ortho, tendonitis, impingment and labral tear from the physical therapist. I'm having a follow up appointment with the Ortho this Friday and the pain is still very much there! I was just wondering what anybody's opinion was on getting my shoulder scoped just to see if anything is wrong inside. That was one of my options.


-- Brad Zikas (, October 21, 2003.

I guess I would be the most recent recovery experiance. 3 1/2 weeks recovery post op Authroscopic Bankart Repair. Although the first few weeks recover are tough, so far I am thinking it is worth it. PT post op has been slow and a little painful, but the after effects are not like they were before surgery. I have no after pain, actually more mobility. still sore from post op, but better every day. Not sure what the outcome will be if they are going in to look around, I am sure if they go in and see a problem they will fix. I was advise with my problem, (instabiltiy from dislocation years ago) only one way to fix, go in an operate to repair. good luck...

-- Renee Ambrosius (, October 21, 2003.

It's now been 6 weeks since my surgery and every day there's improvement. Though I had muscle soreness and minor pain, today is the first day I skipped taking Tylenol every few hours just to see how I could do. I did OK, but will take some Tylenol PM to sleep. Sleep is by far the worst, but my surgeon and physical therapist said that's the most common problem for people with shoulder repairs complains about pain at night and trouble sleeping. I just started sleeping on my side a few nights ago, propping my weak arm on top of a small pillow on my top side. That's worked somewhat well, besides when the pillow or my arm slips. It's not so much my shoulder, but my biceps that are aching. I assume it's the stiffness. Thanks Brad R. for the advice with the heating pad idea to sleep. My physical therapist said that heat loosens the muscles and now that inflamation and swelling is no longer a concern, I should use heat liberally.

The good news is the PT is really working! In 2 weeks, I am now able to lift my arm straight in the air while laying down, using my other arm (no strength yet to do it itself). The pain of streching the stiff muscles can be pretty tough, but I've learned to work through it. Everytime I want to stop I tell myself that the sooner I get strength back, the sooner I can drive again and not have to depend on others to help me - freedom! I can't wait and am pleased to hear from others like Sandy K. that PT really works and things are getting better. Though I don't use the arm to lift items, I do use it more and more each day with light activities and it's getting much easier to dress, eat, etc.

For those of you who are frustrated, in pain, ambiguous about your decision to have surgery, I encourage you to fight through it and do what is necessary. After 2 months of pre-op PT and worsening pain, I accepted that surgery was necessary. Though it has been a difficult time for me (and all of us!), I know it will be worth it when months from now I can move my arm around liberally and not feel the pain I felt for 6 months before the surgery. There have been many days when I just want to cry or yell, but then on days like today when I am sling free, nearly pain free, and optimistic about recovery, I realize it was all worth it. ;-)

Best of luck to everyone.

-- Krista Wiegand (, October 21, 2003.

Hi. Its been almost 4 mo. since my surgery. My shoulder is finally starting to feel better.The gringing is going away except during certain exercises.It still wakes me up at night if I lay on it and I don't have much strength in my deltoid. But all in all its feeling better. Im even back to work 4 hours a day.

-- teresa (, October 22, 2003.

Hi me again, it seems I am once again my worst enemy. You would think I was one of my children not a fourty year old who should know better. Sleeping is still difficult, and yes I am free of the sling, and have been fortunte that my shoulder surgery was on my left shoulder. 2 daysof mild assisted PT hurts, but all normal, I have now discoverd I may have pulled a muscle in my chest area-of course the good side very painful. I put a call into the doctor to advise, and since I am very sensitive to any meds. I am having a difficult time dealing with any or all of my aches and pains. My husband says it is because I am still trying to do to much, vacum, laundry, cook. Even with the full use of my right arm shoulder, it is not use to carrying my body weight ughhh 125 lifting and moving in out of bed or couch, and having to carry the burden of what it is use to getting assisted with the other arm/shoulder. I thought I was being conservative, but now able to drive, still favoring the one side for everything is way to much. My advise to all rest, rest, rest,...If you have an good words of advise for me please advise.

-- Renee Ambrosius (, October 22, 2003.

I am a lineman who works for a local power company and needless to say that I tore my labrum at work. After 6 weeks of pre-op PT I am finally scheduled for surgery on Nov. 4. What am I in for. Will I ever be able to climb poles or build powerlines again?

-- Darren Thomas (, October 22, 2003.

I see a few more posts lately. Must be something in the water with all the labrums falling apart. lol Anyway, there's lots of good information on the net regarding torn labrum therapy and what it means to have the condition. As I understand it, P.T. alone (no surgery) may work for some that have less-active lifestyles. However, if you've felt your shoulder dislocate or "sublux" (only a feeling of falling out a bit-- ouch) more than once or twice, it's probably going to happen again, and surgery may be the only option if you want to trust the shoulder again. Surgery is pretty successful and is up the mid-90's range for patient satisfaction. I'm at 5 weeks post-op now. Some night pain, but it's going away the stronger I get. My advice for those still experiencing constant pain problems after 4 weeks post-op? Stop favoring the shoulder so much. Get it moving, (no external rotation out to the side until P.T. takes it there, but work that elbow and wrist often, pendulum exercises often.) Stop favoring the injured side so bad. Get some movement back. P.T. will be uncomfortable, but it's designed to get range-of- motion (ROM) back. They'll push it to your limits. Relax and let your ROM get bigger-- don't guard it so bad, and feel the stretch during P.T. You'll realize that you can start to trust your shoulder again. find you can move it further with each session. Sling-free, my shoulder got strength back once I started to use it more. Get the healing blood supply to the area by keeping things moving little-by- little. Also keep in mind that there's scar tissue in there flooding the area haphazardly, causing tightness and discomfort. P.T. will start to break it down and re-arrange it to fit your ROM. Remember to let the arm hang freely and maintain good posture, although there's a tendency to use other muscles of the back to support it unless you consciously fight the body's natural urge to not use the shoulder at all. Remember that recovery takes a while. I had four sutures put in... a pretty big tear. Keep your eyes on the prize: the ability to throw, climb, and reclaim what a torn labrum takes away.

-- T.B. (, October 23, 2003.

Finally had my surgery last Friday Ortho tacked my torn labrum in on spot it was pulled away from He bone and cleaned up another small tear and found a bone spur that was rubbing against my rotor cuff. I am a little sore but all the pre op pt I think really helped! I went to pt 3 days after surgery just keeping the shoulder moving, makes the bicep sore but all went very well! Stay Well Everyone!

-- Mary Kunzer (, October 23, 2003.

Well, I am now on week 6 after labrum repair surgery. Feeling much better, ...slowly. I just want to thank everyone for being so positive. Reading other fellow sufferer's stories definitely has lifted my attitude and has shown me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I just have to keep working at my physical therapy! Thank you.

-- Elizabeth Baldi (, October 29, 2003.

This site is so helpful. My daughter (age 22) was injured in a diving accident more than a year ago. Her right shoulder dropped immediately. She has been doing PT and rehab for over a year with little improvement. She is in pain nearly 24/7 and has trouble sleeping. She was originally told that two of her nerves had "stretched". She is in a very acitve environment (military service) and has had little help from the medical staff. Last month while running the track, she felt her shoulder drop again and now it clicks and pops. She is growing increasingly frustrated. We finally found a non-milatary surgeon to look at her and she had her MRI w/ dye 5 days ago. One of the staff who looked at her MRI scan mentioned a possible PDNS but I can't find any info on it anywhere. Has anyone else had these symptoms? Her shoulder is a good 1 1/2 inches lower than the other one. They had originally told her not to even consider surgery for up to a year and half, but if she does not meet the standards for complete duty by early next year she will loose her commission. I would like anyone who has any info for us to help us know what we might be dealing with.

-- ann salemme (, October 31, 2003.

Ann, I'm not a doctor... I just play one on TV. (kidding) I looked all over for "PDNS"... and all I found was a disease that pigs get. I highly doubt that is what you're dealing with. I'm pretty sure you'll get an answer from a radiologist who looks at the MRI soon. I did a Google search on drooping shoulders and there is a lot of talk about nerves. Other things I came across were "capsular detachment," scapular fractures, etc. I would guess a good orthopedic surgeon could do some rather quick practical tests and start to get your question answered. The shoulder is complex and everything seems to affect everything else. Between X-rays, the MRI, and the possibility of a future arthroscopic investigation, I'm guessing it can be figured out. BUT, you're looking at getting a lot done in a short period of time to meet the "deadline" of early next year. Shoulder instabilities only get worse when left untreated or neglected, and a lot of things are thrown out of whack as time passes. It takes a while after fixing the problem to get things back in shape. The REAL goal is to get your daughter fixed up. The military accomplishments may have to take a back seat. I have to say I'm surprised that P.T. went so long with no results... or nobody asking questions about the lack of progress... I'd be interested in hearing the outcome, so post when you can.

-- T.B. (, November 01, 2003.

ann, i agree with TB. i've had apretty respectable amount of surgery on my shoulder and i've done alot of research as well and have never come across that acromyn. although it may exist, i'd just press your doc to give you a more clear name for it then google or dogpile it. from the arm chair poll of the folks on the board here it seems the standard issue treatment protocol for "shoulder pain"is : 1) initial exam with x-rays, prescribed non prescription antiinflamitory drugs 2) physical therapy for 4-8 weeks 3) then maybe prescription anti-inflamitory drugs w/more PT 4) re-exam 5) MRI (insist on using the dye, sometimes they don't use it) 6) surgery as last resort or some variation of this process . but i'd get another opinion from another shoulder specialist too. good luck and keep the board posted 4)

-- brad rodgers (, November 01, 2003.

I tore my labrum on Aug 2nd and had surgery on Aug 18th. I had no MRI or PT. Once I described what happened to the Ortho, he immediately scheduled surgery. There is also metal in my body from an unrelated previous surgery, so maybe that was a factor in not performing the MRI. I was lifting a heavy object and I actually heard something tear. Also, I was diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitits about 8 years ago, which I read is a contributor to labral tears. It was a Superior Labral Tear. The labrum was debrided and 2 LactoSorb Arthrotek anchors were used and attached to the anterior glenoid neck. The tear was right on the biceps tendon which has caused discomfort (severe pain prior to surgery, and bicep tendonitis post surgery). I was in a sling for 4 weeks then started PT. I progressed normally for about 10 weeks with the pain slowly going away. Then the thereapist added a few different exercises and I feel like I've been set back to about week 6 with the pain. I also get 'deep bicep tendon massages' 3 times a week. At first this caused a lot of discomfort the day after. The therapist said it will help cut down on scar tissue and help rebuilding the sheath around the tendon. Has anybody heard of this? My work requires me to travel, and I plan on returning Nov 10th. I think my Ortho hasn't offered a lot of info about this injury, even though he is considered an expert at this type of surgery. I think he has a way of not telling you everything during recovery so you won't expect the worse. Like when I indicated my severe pain in the bicep about 8 weeks post-op, he then showed me pictures of my tear right on the biceps tendon. I did know it was pretty serious, because he was prescribing me the strongest pain medication that he ever gives out (I have a friend that works for him and she told me). He was very generous with the pain med also, which he is known not to be. I was hoping to be snow skiing by mid February, but not quite sure. I was a decent basketball player in my younger days and was hoping to have one more good year. I'm 38 and of course can't run with the younger guys like I used to, but since the surgery, I've got that feeling that it may be over. Mostly for fear of another tear. I can probably live with snow skiing and golf, but basketball is my life. I haven't played organized games in about 5 years, but I know I have one good year left of competitive ball if my shoulder lets me. I know most everybody's labral tear is different, but I'd like to know about other people's sports activity after recovery?

-- evan scherer (, November 02, 2003.

Talk about a moronic Ortho! I just went trough 6 weeks of PT, went to see my Ortho for a follow up, and he recommended 4-6 more weeks of PT! Oh yeah, he also changed my Rx from Vioxx to Celebrex. I finally went in and gave him a piece of my mind (after 7 months of pain). Now I have surgery set up for next week. He's calling it 'exploratory' surgery because my MRI showed up negative but he says I exhibit symptoms of a torn labrum. What is the normal recovery time from arthoscopy? I understand that if he finds anything wrong while in there, he can fix it.

-- Brad Zikas (, November 03, 2003.

brad, believe me, you don't want to just step into this surgery without at least another docs opinion. so you've been hurting for seven months. it's been 8 months since my surgery and i'm still on the mend and do PT 3x a week and have virtually zero arm strength but the pain has subsided considerably but it's still there. do yourself a favor, get another opinion.

-- brad rodgers (, November 04, 2003.

Hey it is me again, can not help but say the same thing about what the doctor actually does. I have another appointment on Wed. so looking forward to another visit. I have written a list of questions that I need to ask. I am approx. 5 1/2 weeks post op, and so far from feeling like myself. However, I still have to be optomistic, since my injury I lived with for 16 years. There has to be light at the end of the tunnel. I have a bicep that is not only tender, it is numb, as twitched, and my hold lower arm and had still get tingely, and cold. My primary physican advised me to see a neorogist for all of the nerve issues on the post op side...I will discuss all with the OS on Wed. I do not get to many answers from my PT, and the patients who go there are working very hard to recover. Continued good health....

-- Renee Ambrosius (, November 04, 2003.


First off, thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I am in the U.S. Air Force and they are very stingy with their money, hence if they have the resources on base to give me an opinion, they won't send me off base. At my pre-op, the Ortho made me feel a lot better because he actually diagnosed the problem as being a possible labral tear. This was a lot better than telling me that they had no idea what was wrong and they were just going to scope me to see inside! He actually told me every part of the procedure and what I should expect. I feel a little more safer knowing that this Ortho is a shoulder specialist. I truly wish that PT would have helped me out but the pain only stayed the same, if not, got worse. I don't want to get to the point where I become immune to the pain and use my right arm (my domminant arm) less because I know it will hurt. They say that being in the Armed Services has great medical benifits......I tend to disagree.

-- Brad Zikas (, November 05, 2003.

Hi Renee....I just wnated to tell you that I am 7 MONTHS post-op and still have all the nerve systoms you are related to. I am not getting a second opinion(my surgeon just wouldn't give me the time of day about this)by a Ortho my Neurologist recommended. It seems there may be a pinched nerve in my shoulder NOW, which wasn't there before surgery...they will do an EMG to tell for sure. I also have a partially frozen shoulder, due to the nerve problems AND because I have Fibro(apparently people with Fibromyalgia have a MUCH larger chance of ending up with a frozen shoulder from this type of surgery...a fact not mentioned to me by my surgeon....). They seem to think another surgery may be the only answer to relieve the post- op pain and you can be sure there will be no more surgerys for me! I hope you have a better outcome than I have, and I hope to someday see the light at the end of the tunnel and get to PAIN FREE. It is annoying to find yourself worse off FROM the surgery than you were before. Best of luck!

-- Sara Blazo (, November 07, 2003.

Sara, I was wondering what kind of symptoms u are having that they think u may have a piched nerve? I have been having alot of tingling and some numbness in my arm,hand. The PT mentioned something about a pinched nerve but that was as far as it got. My hand has even stated to get blueish once in awhile, all they told me was to keep an eye on it.

-- teresa (, November 08, 2003.

Get your M.R.I. done first.I had a slab tear in my labrum and my M.R.I. did not show it but it show a partial tear in rotor cuff. Doctor went in and found labrum tear and ancored it back togeter. But forgot to repair partial tear in rotor cuff.Now 2 years later still not pain free i found out that the partial tear in cuff is now became full tear with 10mm retraction. Make sure that doctor repairs every thing that is wroung so you dont have to go through a second time.

-- jeff castellano (, November 08, 2003.

Hi again, I have been checking post over the past few days, and was a little reluctant to post. Why, I have actually had several nights of good rest in my bed, and shoulder pain, movement seems to be better as well. After my 6 week check up at the Othopedic, and once again having a list of complaints he advised me all were still normal. I need to give my healing time at least three months. He is positive, I will be so HAPPY, pain free, and free of fear of dislocating. He upgraded my script for PT, more movement and strenghing, and also gave me a script for PT for lower back sciatic problem. I asked if he felt I should persue with a neurologist, and said still felt all related to shoulder. He gave me a RX for Oxicodine, (vicodin) versus the percoset he original gave me. Although I was reluctant to take RX for fear of addication or complications, he advised me not to be affraid that it is necessary for me to take right know, since still healing and have lower back problems. My primary doctor called to advise of the results of the blood work, and all is normal with the exception my cholestoral levels are very high. Iron, thyoriod, epstein bar all good. I was concerned about other possiblities. I do a lot of research and am driving myself crazy. I thought I may have as you mentioned Sarah, the fybormalagia, since a lot of my overall symptoms fit, however, I am not sure from reading how they diagnosi. I have not been to my PT since last monday, since she needed to to a reavaluation for insurance, however, she called me to see how my doctors appointment went. Over all so far, so good, I just need to stay along this course of healing so I can see that light at the end....I do not want any more setbacks..Anyone have any follow up can also email me direct. Sarah, Hope things improve for you each day....good luck, and all be well.

-- Renee Ambrosius (, November 09, 2003.

sara, an alternate explaination for your numbness might be what my PT described as the nerve fiber that runs down the arm is not fully stretched out from the surgery. i had similar symptoms and told my PT and we started doing specific stretches for the nerve in my arm. that was two/three months ago. i can still feel slight numbness from time to time but nothing like it was. before you go getting all cut up again inquire about this first.

-- brad rodgers (, November 09, 2003.

Hi Brad.....There will be NO more knife for me!!!! They think it is thoracic outlet syndrome(a pinched nerve) but an EMG next week should tell for sure. I think that the repair has come "unrepaired", but the new Dr says they can't tell for sure without doing a scope, and that is OUT OF THE QUESTION. I will mention what you said, but we (my PT and I) did try nerve glides without any success. Were you getting electric shock-type pain up into your neck and jaw? They are the worst!!!! Take care,

-- Sara Blazo (, November 11, 2003.

sara , i wouldn't call it an electrical shock type of pain but more like a constant dull ache, like a pinched nerve.just the other day at PT he was stretching out my arm before i did my exercizes and he pushed a little to hard and my arm subluxed or popped out of the joint just slightly. suggesting that i might be prone to further subluxation probems. it waqs quite sore for about an hour but there has been this dull aching sensation like the pinched nerve feeling i was experiencing three/ four months ago. my doc gave me a prescription to stay in PT untill after the first of the year. and i've graduated to lifting TWO pounds. whoopie!

-- brad rodgers (, November 12, 2003.

Just when I thought is was safe to say I had gotten a few semi/good nights sleep. I woke up with a sharp pain in my shoulder, not sure what or how I was sleeping but I thought it feel out of the socket. After I was awaken, I was on my good side with my shoulder hanging over my chest. I do not know if I was rolling over, trying to pull the covers on me, God only knows. 1:30 AM and it has also left me in after pain, I took 2 vicodin and I am looking foward to getting back to bed..I made a note of this, and have PT tomorrow, I will discuss with PTherapist? I have felt this before while in bed/sleeping, but never any other time. During the day or when I am awake, I am still afraid to fully use my shoulder, and it is also very painful in some ROM attempts. I pray this is all going to work and I will be happy as the doctor mentioned by about 3 months...I am still so unsure. Renee

-- Renee Ambrosius (, November 13, 2003.

Hi, thanks to Brad R. & T.B. for your help with my posting regarding my daughter who was hurt diving. We went for a consult yesterday after the doctors had a chance to review her MRI (w/dye). The MRI did not show too much but did show that she has Buford Complex which leads to a destability in her shoulder. She also has some minor tearing and this causes her joint to "pop" in and out. Over a year of therapy has not helped. She also "wings" a lot and is in pain even when trying to sleep. The surgeon suggested arthoscopic surgery. Hopefully, this will take place in two weeks. Wish us luck.

-- ann s. (, November 13, 2003.

Hi All- Its been awhile since i have posted. it has now been 2 months since my open capsular shift. I had started PT a week and a half ago but ended up in agonizing pain after each session. Every day i had a strong throbbing pain that would shoot up and down my arm to my wrist. I also was uncomfortable sleeping at night again. The ortho said that the anti-inflammatory i was taking (a perscription dosage of advil i guess) did not seem to be doing the job and he switched me over to Daypro and put a hold on PT for 10 days. I have noticed a HUGE difference with this medication! An hour after i took the Daypro the shooting pain was gone, just a dull pain in my immediate surgery area. I have been on it for 4 days now and i have barely any pain in my shoulder and MUCH better range of motion. I am looking forward to starting PT again and hope that this medicine will continue to help. Hope everyone else is doing well! -Erin

-- Erin Michaud (, November 17, 2003.

I've been reading through a lot of posts, and thought I would contribute my story. In August of this year, I think it was three days before my birthday, I was playing frisbee, and on one throw I felt a sudden, stabbing pain in my right shoulder. It subsided after a few minutes, but then happened again on a throw about ten minutes later. I thought it was just a bad muscle tear. My shoulder was warm for a few das after the incident, and movement was very limited. Now it is popping like a bag or Orville Redenbacher, and there is a lot of grinding. Finally in October I went to Duke Sports Med, and my doctor thought that it was a torn labrum. Two weeks later I had my MRI, and when I got the results, sure enough it was a torn labrum. Over a quarter of it is torn. I quickly choose surgery over continued pain, so December 16th, the first week of Christmas break I have to go to Duke Hospital to get Arhtroscopic surgery to repair my labrum. I was going to take tennis next semester, but it looks like I will be going to Sports Med for physical therapy instead. Anyway, I'm just counting down the days until my pre-op and surgery.

-- Timothy D'Angiolillo (, November 18, 2003.

Is it typical for the pain to come and go from day to day? I'm having surgery next week so I was just wondering. Today is one of those better days for me (not as MUCH pain) and was somewhat second guessing surgery. I was just wondering because I've read that some people on this post have gone years before getting their surgery.


-- Brad Zikas (, November 20, 2003.

OK, i think i spoke too soon about the new medication my dr. put me on. I have been on Daypro for about a week now and all of a sudden it just seemed to stop working. I am getting the pains again that radiate down my entire arm 24 hours a day. It has been 2 months since my surgery and i am afraid to call the dr. again to tell him what is going on because the last time i called the nurse seemed 'put out' that i was having this problem....has this happened to anyone else?

-- Erin Michaud (, November 22, 2003.

Hi, What a great boatd this is!

ICE is my best friend, along with the pendulum exercises. I am 2 wks posy op biceps/labrum repair. When it hurts, I do the exercises, then ice. I also take 800 mg Advil by prescription with food religiously - tried to stop, BAD mistake.

Am also learning I can't hold me shoulder without support for more than a few hours or I pay dearly.

My doc says I can start assisting my bad arm with the good arm to begin to stretch to reach overhead - but that is scary. I try, but it feels really wrong and painful. I'm wondering if it's actually too soon.

No therapy for me until 6 weeks post op he said.

Sound normal? Judy

-- Judy Cook (, November 24, 2003.

hey, i had labral repair surgery 2 months ago things went well but about a week ago I burnt myself and yanked my arm upwards real quick out of reflex action. since then I have felt the sharp pain that i had before the surgery. is it possible that i undid the work of the surgery, or is it normal to have that type of pain 2 months after? cheers!

-- michael (, November 24, 2003.

In the theme of this board...I'm having left shoulder surgery next Tuesday to repair a severely torn labrum, repair a slightly torn rotator cuff, and shave down a type I acromion. I am scheduled to go out of town on a solo business trip the following Tuesday. Is this too optimistic? My biggest concern, and possible deal breaker for the trip according to me, is driving. Given the week timeframe, will I be able to make it thru an airport, drive 1.5 hours to the job site (rent a car?), and perform all the 'daily tasks' by myself?

I look forward to reading your responses! Thanks.

-- stacie (, November 24, 2003.

stacie, i got hurt in a work accident a year and seven days ago. i had similar surgery you are describing on march 15th 03. i didn't start driving untill september, slept in a recliner untill september cause i couldn't lay down because of the PAIN and am still going to PT three times a week and will untill febuary 04, almost a year from when i had the surgery. if what you are describing is close to what i went through you may be a little too optimistic for the activities you are hoping to do. if your doc is telling you that you are going to be able to do them in that time frame then : 1. your injury/surgery will be less than mine was or 2. your doctor is full of crap and you should get another doctors opinion. granted, i had a pretty respectable amount of surgery done but as my PT has told me any time you have tissue/ muscle cut it takes a LONG time to heal, especially the shoulder. read back up in the posts above dating to early march-and earlier to get ideas for pain management and stuff on taking showers and just life management stuff. this surgery , if it's an open surgery verses arthroscopic, is not a picnic and i just wish i would have been better informed from my doc about how invasive this procedure was. that is the great thing about this board. i just wish i would have found it before i had my surgery. good luck and feel free to contact me if you have more concerns or keep posting to the board.

-- brad rodgers (, November 25, 2003.

Has anyone gone into surgery not knowing what the doctor was going to find? Also, if I get scoped and they don't find anything wrong (no repairs), how long am I looking at being out of commission for? I have shoulder surgery tomorrow (I guess my wife gets to cook this Thanksgiving!!!)

Thanks in advance for any responses!


-- Brad Zikas (, November 25, 2003.

Well, I haven't posted since 10/5, but I thought I would give an update. I am at 7 weeks postop on a SLAP repair. I started PT 2 weeks ago and things are going very well. Pain is very minimal during PT and I have little to no soreness afterwards. We are transitioning into strength training, but my range of motion is very good. In fact after my first few trips to PT I could raise my arms from my sides up parallel to the floor and I can now lift my arm over my head (unassisted). This really helps when showering.

For Brad I just wanted to say that I have a couple of friends that are looking at exploratory surgery and they won't take the risk. The recovery is pretty much the same whether they find anything or not. Granted, the more they drill and anchor, the longer it will take. After seeing my surgery video I feel pretty confident they will find the problem when they get in there though. I'm trying to convince my injured friends of this.

Someone else had posted about reflex actions that resulted in quick jerking motions. I too worried I was undoing the work of the surgery. I even "accidentally" threw something with my bad arm. It sure did hurt, but no harm done it seems. In fact, twice I've jerked awake from a dream with a great amount of pain. I'm learning it's not that easy to retear it (at least in my case). I asked my doc about it and he has only seen two cases where that has happened. Both occured in Las Vegas (bachelor's parties it seems) and one was from a guy trying to break up a fight. So I wouldn't worry a great deal about that ;-)

Anyway, I still can't play most sports, etc, but I am pretty functional otherwise. I even drove a stick the other day with no problems. I'm gonna keep driving my automatic a bit longer though to be safe. I also played paintball on Sat which was painless as far as my shoulder goes. My legs are a whole different story. After being sedintary for 7 weeks, My legs are VERY sore!

Best wishes to everyone and I'll update again soon. Have a great Thanksgiving! clay

-- Clay McLendon (, November 25, 2003.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I thought I would take a moment while it was quite, to update all. 9 Weeks post op today, yea, and I finally feel like I am starting to see the light. I had a low key PT week because of the holiday, and an ER visit my 19 year old son made due to an A/C seperation grade 3 right shoulder. Well at least I have had some experiance with the shoulder problems, although much different he will heal within 6 weeks, no need for P/T or surgery. As for me, I have found even without formal PT my shoulder is doing better every day, and my ROM is just naturally coming along from healing:) I even feel some relief in numbness, lower back, and muscle strain, all finally feeling better. My doctor did say 3 Months, 12 Weeks, I will be happy I did this. I am still at 9 weeks taking vicodin at night time:( If things continue this way, I believe we will all be thankful in the long run. 12 weeks recovery.....Good luck, be healthy

-- Renee Ambrosius (, November 27, 2003.

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Had surgery for torn labrum 2 anchors and debridment of the front labrum and removal of a bone spur hitting my rotor cuff. Was able to raise my arm 3 days after surgery but know am having trouble with ROM. I also am having swelling along my neck to collar bone! My doctor for some reason released me to work with one arm only no way! Thank goodness we don't have any work like that. Was wondering if anyone else had a set back in ROM after arthroscopic surgery?

-- Mary (, November 28, 2003.

had left shoulder labral repair on 2-0ct-03 and had right shoulder labral repair on 27-nov-03.that is a gap of around 7 weeks. right is in sling, left still hurts a bit. im scared reinjuring the left when using it. do i have to worry? or is the repair usually pretty strong and hard to damage even though it hurts. cheers

-- mike (, November 29, 2003.

MIKE, did you know about this forum before you had those surgeries ? at the risk of being as impertinent as Dr.Phil....."WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ?" or better yet... what was your doctor thinking ? i couldn't imagine having those surgeries back to back like that. not so much as whether or not you will undo something but the fact THAT IT HURTS SO DANG MUCH, CAN'T SLEEP, CAN'T SHOWER,DRIVE,REACH FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER,HUG YOUR SWEETIE,OR HIT YOUR OWN BUTT WITH ONE HAND LET ALONE TWO. for me it was a total disruption to life as i knew it and i had my left shoulder re-built last march and i'm still not able to support body weight on it and the pain is still there but diminished alot.i hope your not doing it alone and have lots of support.

-- brad rodgers (, November 29, 2003.

Diagnosed w/ slap tear in May from an injury received in Nov-02. Prior to the diagnosis I had 6 weeks of PT then post diagnosis another six. Since I was injured i've continued to play roller hockey and basketball, but have been unable to play softball. I got hit in the shoulder a few weeks ago and i am getting another mri tomorrow. The Dr. i went to (very prominent dr. in NY) informed me that if i choose to have the surgery, i will be playing b-ball in 3 months and back to work in a week. REgardless of what the MRI shows, I will most likely be waiting until the spring to get the procedure so I can ski this winter. BAsed on the posts above it seems like the recovery described by the dr. is very different. Any thoughts??

-- Joe (, December 01, 2003.

Hi fellow-shoulder-patient,

In response to the optimistic story of the docter above, I want to say that it's good for you to read this forum. Many people are not able to work let alone sport that soon. But, I think it might be possible. I tore my anterior labrum in a left shoulder luxation in august this year and my complaints afterwards consisted shoulder-instability and a burning pain after physiotherapy. The MRI showed a labrum-tear and humoral cartilagal damage. I'm lucky to have had a soon arthroscopic operation (4 ankors, capsular debidement and a capsular shift) on 13 november '03. I stopped taking painkillers after 3 bad nights and after that I only slept a bit uncomfortably for 2 weeks. In fact I spent a one week holiday (in a sling of course) in Spain and had no problems travelling. I'm 3 weeks post-op now and my ROM is getting better every day, the only reason I'm not making all movements is that my docter tells me not to. I can imagine being able to go to work earlier then after 2 months my docter predicted. So, hoping that my story continues this way, I can tell that a quick recovery might be possible.

Happy holidays to all of you and thanks for the stories, they really helped me in making decisions!

Bye, Chris.

-- Chris from Holland (, December 03, 2003.


I had an anchor put into my biceps to attach it back to the labrum and also had a small rotator cuff tear. They opened my shoulder up about 3" cut.

I try to lift my arm up with the good arm, but can't get it very high at all - all I can get is my upper arm parallel to the floor while bent at the elbow. It is very painful.

I am not even going to have PT for another 3 weeks per the doctor. I am getting concerned that at 6 weeks post op my PT will be so painful because there has been no stretching, and maybe I'll never get to raise my arm overhead again.

Any thoughts? Does it take a long time before you can raise your arm after an open cut rotator cuff repair and SLAP tear repair?

Judy Cook

-- Judy Cook (, December 03, 2003.


You doctor told you that you would be out of work for two months? What type of work to you do?

-- joe (, December 03, 2003.

Hi Joe,

I made a mistake; My orthopeed told me I would not be able to use the shoulder 100% (like in sports) for at least 2 (maybe 3) months. But because I need my shoulder for 100% in my work, I concluded not to be able to work fully in this period. I work as a docter on the ER and the delivery-room. Thanks for correcting me.


-- Chris (, December 04, 2003.

Hi Judy- I had an Open Capsular Shift done on 9/19 and was not able to start PT for 6 weeks post op either. I was nervous about the pain i would have since i was in pain just putting my arm in the sleeve of my shirt, however PT has been great about it all. They take it very slow. the first 2 weeks of PT for me was just heat, ultrasound massage and stretching, but they only stretch you to 'slight pain', nothing excruciating. I have been given some other ROM exercises and starting next week i can start with some strengthening. It has not been easy but it is also not as bad as i thought it would be. Keep your cryocuff or some ice packs handy at night, they are great to use about 1/2 hour before bed. Good Luck!

-- Erin Michaud (, December 04, 2003.

I still find myself reading previous post to make my comparsions, and love to still read new post. Another progress week for me and still moving toward the light. I want to be clear about pain and discomfort, for me the pain all along has been controlable. It is not easy having to do everything in a sling. The time in the sling seems to be different for all of us. I would have done much better if my whole body cooperated, causing setback....PT has become lame, and I am looking forward to progressing. My next appointment is Dec. 17th, 12 weeks or 3 months, right on target as the doctor informed me. I am not sure how anyone could go back to work full time or other after one week post op or even want to. I can see myself being ready, within the next few weeks.... Shoulders are very complicated and we have all had are share of stories. I am sure if our doctors didn't forsee this as our best options for a better future, we wouldn't be posting.. Good luck all again.....

-- Renee Ambrosius (, December 04, 2003.

I'm exactly 3 months post-op to the day and just found out yesterday that I have to have a second surgery in January because the stiffness I have is not getting any better. The tear is completely healed though! It turns out due to the severity of the tear of my labrum (about 55% posterior), the use of 3 strong anchors, and 5 cuts into my shoulder, there has been a lot of scar tissue built up that doesn't want to go away. The formal name is adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shouler. The irony is this is ONLY from the surgery and wearing the sling for 4 weeks, and was not an issue before. I did 2 months of PT 3 days a week and twice a week in the pool on my own. So far, I can only get my arm to 105 degrees when I should be able to be at 180 by now. Before anyone gets nervous about this as a "side effect" I should note that this occurs in only about 5% of labral repairs, so I just happened to be unlucky. However, if someone had told me when I had the first surgery that I would have another 4 months later I would have laughed. This next surgery will be less strenuous of course - the surgeon will go in the original wounds and break up the scar tissue. The good news is I will have a nerve block for 3 days after and start PT the next day, followed by another 10 days of PT right in a row. Supposedly I should gain ROM at a much faster rate. Part of me is angry that I've worked so hard the last 2 months to no avail and part of me is a bit scared, only because I remember the post-op feeling, the exhaustion, the pain, etc. and really have been enjoying getting my life back again, only to do it all over again. Ugh!

If anyone else has had surgery to get ride of adhesive capsules, please let me know! It's such a rare occurence, I really am not sure what to expect.

-- Krista Wiegand (, December 09, 2003.

Krista, I knew a guy who had to get the scar tissue "adjustment" you're talking about. He said that after he had it done, he progressed leaps and bounds. No matter what he did at PT, he just couldn't break the 150 degree barrier, even after about three and a half months of PT after the initial surgery. So he went in for the same procedure you're talking about. He said that after the scar tissue "adjustment," getting to the 180 ROM finish line was a piece of cake and went quickly.

Myself, I'm at 12 weeks also. In PT, I've gotten most of ROM back, with some difficulty and weakness still present. Sometimes I get to 180, and other days I'm stuck at under 170. I think there must be a trade-off with the stronger I get, the more limited ROM I have. On days I feel weaker, I can get 180. Kind of see-sawing around still, for some reason. And that "external rotation stretching" is still a real bugger. I'm now attending "work hardening" therapy; it's basically PT that focuses on a patient's needs and work duties, so that they can get stronger, increase ROM, and gain confidence in the motions they need to do at work. All in all, I'm still waiting for the day when I can say my shoulder FEELS BETTER than it did before surgery.

-- T.B. (, December 10, 2003.

Well I had my surgery two weeks ago today and I almost have full ROM back in my arm (with some slight pain still). I found out that my labrum wasn't torn away from the bone was fraying pretty bad along with a severly inflamed bursa sac. They ended up cleaning up the cartiledge and removing my bursa sac. I guess compared to a lot of you on this post, this was minor surgery. I was supose to have my arm in my sling for 2-3 weeks but ended up taking off that thing the first few days after surgey. I haven't even started PT yet but I feel it shouldn't last for more than 4 weeks! I hope everybody out there has a speedy recovery from their surgery.

Cheers, Brad

-- Brad Zikas (, December 10, 2003.

Krista, I have the same problem as you, adhesive capsulitis(was told after that this is common in people with Fibromyalgia, which I have), along with a pinched nerve, all from SLAP surgery. I am 8 months post-op and am slowly getting ALL ROM back ON MY OWN, with out PT, thru getting back to work(I do massage)without a second surgery. BUT, I am still in alot of pain and they(my NEW ortho) are not sure what to do about it. The original shoulder specialist was not very helpful once the surgery was done. Needless to say, I have refused another surgery...I do not want any MORE scar tissue build up in that shoulder. I also fear that the repair is not 100 percent, just from the type of pain that I have when I work. My only comment to you is that maybe your ROM will come back on it's own just thru your use of the shoulder....I didn't think mine would, nor did the Dr, but it has. Now if the pain would just go away - it is actually worse than before the SLAP repair!!!! Good luck!

-- Sara Blazo (, December 11, 2003.

I have some history! Last spring, I landed on my left hand w/ my arm fully extended, with pain in my shoulder. Doc said I'd be fine, did xrays... Summertime I was doing kickboxing and then felt something go in the same shoulder. Doc did mri and this time it showed possible tear... Said I needed surgery RIGHT AWAY. Had it done, but doc said nothing about a labral tear, but lot about my a/c joint being very arthritic and how he "removed it". Also did thermal shrinkage. (I am 32 and a volunteer firefighter, just for background before I continue....) Surgery was done a year ago today and I was able to get the doc to allow me to go back to f.d. in late March/April. Maybe a big mistake... Never got better 100%, and doc eventually dropped my as pt. Found another one who could not find anything wrong... He did an MRI also.. He referred me to his associate at another practice who has been able to help me... He did xrays and saw where 1st doc removed pasrt of a/c joint, leaving a piece of bone hanging, able to break off at anytime... Arthrogram showed labral tear and possible rotator cuff.. 2nd surgery... My doctor did not think he could help me, seeing xray of a/c joint, but he promised to try... I am 3 weeks out, start p/t on Monday. My doc had told me that the a/c joint was butchered and I may not be able to make full recovery. SLAP repair was successful, rotator cuff tear very minor... I am concerned because of the tremendous amount of pain I am having... Is this normal at this stage? Maybe because I haven't moved it much?

-- Kris (, December 12, 2003.

kris, in regards to your pain you are quite normal for this stage of your recovery. i had surgery in march 03 and still experience some pain but not like it was for the first seven months. read up in the forum and there are several references for pain management (if you can call it manageable) what was useful for me, but not a magic bullet, was buying a cryo-cuff and a tens unit. it's abit of an outlay of cash but my pain was so tremendous that i had to do something. where to get these are also posted above. then go find yourself a good lawyer for the first doc. sounds really like they weren't shoulder oriented and should have referred you to a specialist if they were dealing with something out of their relm of expertise. also, i started PT two hours after my surgery and was doing exercises every hour for a week then twice a day then after a while i started going three times a week and have been going 3X a week since and will continue into next year. i've just graduated to bench pressing nine pounds for 17 repetitions....up from one rep of two pounds three months ago. recovery is really ......really.......really...really .........slooooowwww. one cell at a time as i've come to refer to when folks ask of how i'm dong. take care

-- brad rodgers (, December 13, 2003.

Can someone please provide a little feedback. Doc told me that i could go back to work (office job) a week after a SLAP tear. Also have some slight problem with my cuff. Also said i'd be throwing in 4- 5 months. I repeatedly asked him the recover as I have read this forum and am concerned. This doctor is highly respected and has performed similar surgery on many high profile professional athletes. I have to take his word for it, but am very concerened based on what i have read. Is this surgery not as bad if it is only a SLAP tear???

-- Joe (, December 13, 2003.

Krista, i just got back from my 3 month follow up from an open capsular shift and i received the SAME news you did. My ROM to the side is terrible and even with manipulation the dr. couldn't get my arm to go any higher. He put me on Celebrex twice a day and increased my PT to 3 times a week for 5 weeks. he also gave me a cortisone injection in the office. I go back to see him that 5th week and if it is not significantly better he wants to go in and remove the scar tissue. I, like you, are VERY frustrated about this as i feel the past 3 months of recovery has been a bit useless, but, he is an excellant surgeon and i trust his judgement. Let me know how yours goes!!

Joe- You may be out of work longer than a week depending on what you do for work. I ended up out for 2 weeks and then went back part time slowly building my hours up to regular time over the following 2 weeks.

-- Erin Michaud (, December 14, 2003.

joe, it probably depends on (1) how bad of a slap tear you have (2) where it's at (3) what you pain tolerance is. up in the forum say about the middle of march 03 was a young woman named becky who fretted about the surgery for quite a while or had to wait for a while before she could have the surgery, i don't remember exactly that detail, but she ended up not needing as much surgery as some of us and if i'm correct the doc did it all arthroscopically. within a few weeks she was back in gear PLAYING HOCKEY of all things. if the doc knows his/her stuff and your comfy with their judgement based on other things you know about them then perhaps you could go back to work if you have an office job that won't push your post-op limitations.but if they have to cut tissue as opposed to arthro..... count on it being a long while.

-- brad rodgers (, December 14, 2003.

Joe - I had a SLAP repair, rotator cuff, and decompression done exactly two weeks ago today. Like you, I also have an office job (engineer). I went back to work the Monday following surgery. Like you indicated, after reading this forum I was also concerned about the pain and all the other bad things mentioned. The surgery was not bad at all...nor were the days since. They sent me home with a cyro- cuff and vicadin. I didn't need to use a single pain pill. The cyro- cuff was great the first two days. I haven't used it since. I slept in bed the first night and every following night. I started the pendulum rehab the day after surgery (4 times a day, 10 reps). The shoulder feels great now. Don't get me was sore for the first two days if I moved fast or laughed too hard but other than that it wasn't bad at all...and even that went away about 4 days after surgery. I can now do basically anything with the exception of overhead stuff. Typing is no problem. Tying shoes isn't too bad. And getting t-shirts on just takes a little extra time. I will continue to wear the sling for a total of 4 weeks since that's the dr's orders. However, I don't think it's unreasonable to be throwing in 4-5 months. That's what my doc told me too. A little background on me (I believe this make a difference in recovery time too)...I'm 24, competed internationally in athletics (which is how I tore up the shoulder), and am other wise very healthy. Hopefully everything goes well for you too!

-- Stacie (, December 16, 2003.

God bless all of you who went back to work a week or even two after surgery. I guess since I was loosing my job anyway there was no rush to get back. I go to the doctor tomorrow, and had a reevaluation at PT today. I am still having a hard time,putting my seat belt on with out moving/turning my whole body, putting my hair in pony tail, tucking in my cloths-around back. Saturday evening my family went to a holiday party and I was wearing slacks that zipped in the back with a button and I struggled to get dressed/undressed. My PT says this is where I should be at this point, tight in all those areas, but it is frustrating because the lack of mobility also comes with pain. I am reaching 3 months and should be getting a new RX to up physical therapy? One day at a time, brad as you say one cell at a time. For those who went right back to work congratulations, I don't now how you were able to do it. Aside from, wearing the sling and not sleeping well the first 3 weeks for me were a major adjustment, and I am still feeling the healing. Happy healing...

-- Renee Ambrosius (, December 17, 2003.

Thanks all for your answers. I am now a little less nervous about the surgery. I'll report back in April after I get the surgery.

-- Joe (, December 17, 2003.

Well, after reading through all the posts. I thought i'd join the list of Labral Tear victims. I tore mine playing basketball in September. No contact or anything, just must have forcefully moved my arm in the wrong direction. I got an MRI done and it showed a tear with some cysts and swelling around the shoulder. Fortunately, my dad is a physician and is making me get a 2nd opinion down at his hospital. I'm pretty frusterated because I just got over a groin injury that kept me from playing basketball for a year and now i'm going to be set back another 6 months or so. I just want to get the surgery and get on with the recovery. But after reading some of the posts, it sounds like getting a 2nd opinion is a good idea. Thanks for all the info!

-- Andrew Thompson (, December 20, 2003.

First of all i would like to say if you are injured at work never see the company doctor they are there to benefit the company, it is your right to pick your own doctor it is more beneficial to your health. All you have to do is call around and see if they accept workers comp. Dealing with workmans comp will not be easy but it is in your best interest to have patience but be thorough and persistent in your dealings with workmans comp sometimes they will play games and make you jump through hoops. I was injured at work i looked in the phone book and found a doctor after refusing the offer to be taken to theirs. I was diagnosed with c-spine and shoulder strain/sprain I went to therapy for a month and was still having constant pain I was then sent to have a mri I was told i had an impingement with a type 3 acromion and tendonitus and refered to the ortho surgeon, i was given the shot and it did nothing for me. I started having more neck pain and extremely bad headaches that made me feel sick i was then sent for another mri that revealed 2 buldges at 5 and 6. workmans comp accepted my shoulder but are giving me a hard time about my neck and my neck has been included on every piece of paperwork since i was initially evaluated by the doc. I had surgery 0 12/3/03 it was originally decompression and after they got in there was a rotator cuff and a labral tear on the labral i had to have a anchor put in to fix it these tears never showed on the mri. After surgery they supplied me with a iceman cryo and i have to mail it back to the company after a few weeks it works perfectly it is adjustable and if the ice is all melted and the water is still cold you can turn the temp down and the pack will still remain cold for a while you can get a good 8 to 10 hours out of it each refill but buy lots of ice and i had the medication ball in my arm for 2 days but it did not work on my visit to have it removed they found it had a kink in it so for 3 days i was in a lot of pain. After my 10 day visit i was refered to therapy and 3x a week and when i am on the meds and sitting still i have minimal pain but even on meds when i have to move around it is still painful and even more so when i wake and the meds have worn off i can't even take 1 step with out hurting its been 3 weeks and i still have very limited movement on my arm i can barely move it away from my side and it hurts to try but i can move it better with my other hand with less pain and i can move my hand up and down with no promlem as long as i keep my upper arm close to my body and therapy has just made my pain even worse. The doc says it takes labral tears 6 to 8 weeks to heal because the cartilige does not get a good blood supply and will not heal on it's own because of that. At this point the doctor said i should recover 100% but people that i attend therapy with that have had some sort of shoulder surgery still have some sort of problem 9mths to 1yr into rehab. Hope this helps someone.

-- Nita (, December 28, 2003.

Strange how comforting it is to find so many others sharing the same misery!

I first dislocated shoulder Nov/02 playing hockey. Had 2 more complete dislocations and several subluxations - even in my sleep!

Oct/03 I had 3.5 hours of "shoulder reconstruction" - bankart repair, 3 anchors, bone spur, 2 bursectomies etc. etc. Morphine pump 3 days, sling 3 weeks, PT started day 6.

PAIN HAS BEEN EXCRUCIATING, esp. for first 3.5 weeks. And I know I have a high pain threshold! Constant ice packs, demerol and percocette pills didn't help at all. I could have screamed all night long. Tried sleeping in bed with 1,2,3,4 pillows in different configurations, raising bed, sleeping in recliner etc etc. but never slept more than 45 minutes at a time. After 3 weeks, pain subsided to EXTREME. Now 9 weeks out and pain is BARELY TOLERABLE and UNRELENTING. I get up 2-4 times per night to ice it down, but occassionally grab 4-5 hours consecutive sleep.

My "shoulder guy" blames it on my age (46)and bursitis (again). Had a cortisone shot at week 8 to no avail. I find it difficult to believe that this should be hurting this bad for this long. Can anyone tell me when this pain will end???

Have worked VERY hard at PT with great results. At 8 weeks I had achieved 180 degrees ROM from the front and from the side, without assistance (with lots of blood, sweat and tears). DR. called this "absolutely unbelievable". Yet small tasks like typing or even signalling in my car are still difficult and painful.

External rotation, however, is maybe 30 degrees past neutral, and despite many hours of work, is very slow to improve. Muscle is completely gone from shoulder area, and seems almost impossible to improve at this point, especially external rotation.

I have begun exercising to prevent other muscles from wasting away. I can do 15 pushups, bench 115 lbs. and curl 65 lbs., but I can't pull a thin piece of latex 2 inches with external rotatation after 7 weeks of trying!

Pre-op, DR. had warned me that recovery from this surgery was difficult for old codgers past the age of 35, but I never, ever expected it to be this painful. Even though level of pain is slowly decreasing, it really gets to you after 9 consecutive weeks, with little sleep and with no end in sight. Is this common? Is it possible that something has gone wrong with the operation and it is not just due to normal inflammation, healing etc?

My advice: do not go into this type of surgery lightly, especially if you are in your 40's or beyond. If I had any inkling as to how painful this was going to be for this long, I never would have agreed to surgery. I could have dislocated my shoulder another 50 times and had less pain than I have had post-op.

Happy new year and best of luck to all!

-- Kerry (, December 31, 2003.

I had anchor biceps tendon SLAP repair, decompression, and open wound rotator cuff repair.

I have good days and bad days. I am having a lot of pain/tightness in the biceps tendon due to the biceps tendon reattachment. The pain and stiffness goes into my neck, and under my collarbone and on top of collarbone is VERY SORE. Did you have any symptoms like this?

My external rotation isn't progressing much, although I am only 2 weeks into therapy, 8 wks post op. I also get sharp pain down the back of my arm. I am grateful, however, that I can sleep well. That helps with coping quite a bit.

I am to the point where I am gaining strength - it no longer feels "heavy - hanging there with no muscle support". I do have less pain in the shoulder overall, but am "stuck" with the external rotation motion at 110 degrees. Maybe I'm being impatient.

Is there anything in particular your therapist has done that has helped you quite a bit to get "over the hump"?

So far for me, it was when he started massaging the upper pectorals and just under the collarbone and in front of the shoulder. That was so tight and it loosened up nicely with the heat, ultrasound, and massage, making me feel more like a human being again.

Does anyone else have a TON of tightness and pain in the posterior of your armpit at this point after surgery? Does your therapist work on this, mine has not yet although he knows of the pain and tightness there.

Judy Cook

-- Judy Cook (, January 01, 2004.

To answer some of the more recent post. I am at 14 weeks, and can say every day is better than the next. Not easy at all, if you read some of my previous post. My Physical therapist still before any streching will massage my shoulder/very deep sometimes will bring me to yelling out ouch...Under my armpit towards the back lower scapular area is very tight tender and is still in need of a lot more work, all normal I was advised. I find when I lift my arm all the way up, the scapular lower portion pulls up and moves forward. This once again as I was advised was all still normal. At this point all of my complaints are very minimul, and at just shortly after my 12 week check up Christmas Eve, my physical therapist was able to move my shoulder in a position that would have made it dislocate in the past, before surgery. I saw her eyes light up and I had tears of joy, a little weird, since haven't gone there in over 16 years but this was the payoff of having surgery. My doctor advised me a full 3 months for all to be healed attached, ect. The neck, pain, bicep pain, back/shoulder pain all normal, as I had all and wrote notes before each doctor visit. Most of all complaints have diseapered or are tolarable. My next step is to fix my lower back that has been put under tremendous strain due to over compesating and lack of full body use. I go to a neurologist 1/6/04, next week. Patients is the key....Good luck and happy new year to all

-- Renee Ambrosius (, January 01, 2004.

kerry, what you wrote is exactly what i would have written after my surgery in march 03. if you gou go back in the posts to that time you'll see that what you are experiencing is really NORMAL. as for your strengthening exercises thats great but don't push it too much. i just graduated last week to benchpressing 11 pounds, up from 9 pounds for the last three months. my external rotation stinks as well and i slept in a lazy boy recliner from march untill september. as for your pain see if your doc will prescribe a TENS UNIT. your PT probably uses one on you. you can pick one up for 100.00 or so, i've seen them cheaper on e-bay as well. anyway slap that on for an hour at a time while you watch tv or read this forum or cruise the web. and it greatly reduces the pain. it was a lifesaver for me.

-- brad rodgers (, January 01, 2004.

I've also had a lot of pain down my bicep, and I've often wondered why. I don't know what the surgeon did that would involve the bicep so that it would hurt so much. My bicep pain generally starts in the middle of the outside of my shoulder and runs down the front of my bicep almost to my elbow.

It looks like external rotation ROM is a common problem with a few of us getting "stuck" at 115-120 degrees. Does anyone out there have some tips on how we can improve this?

I find myself in a vicious circle - the more I exercise, the more I hurt. But if I don't exercise, I won't improve my strength and ROM. So far I've pushed myself really hard with my PT (at home, at work, at therapy, and at home again), and both my therapist and my surgeon have been amazed by my ROM at 9 weeks. However, I'm sure the hard work has increased my pain (and hurt my sleep). I've had PT many other times for sports injuries and other operations, but I've never really had this type of experience. I've always just worked, worked, worked until I was back to normal. No real pain issues. However, I've gradually learned this shoulder thing is different from anything else I've experienced, and far more difficult/frustrating/depressing.

While my nature, and my past experience, makes me want to work as hard as possible, I've decided to try to reach a short term goal and a long term goal. Short term, I absolutely must reduce my pain level and get some sleep, so I'm trying not to work quite so hard. I'm even taking a day off here and there. Long term, my goal is to be golfing in Myrtle Beach by mid-April. That's my motivation.

At this point, I think slowing down is starting to help with the pain issue. However, I'm not sure if I can achieve my long term goal without working just as hard, but that's the balance I think we have to somehow find.

-- Kerry (, January 03, 2004.

I am glad, Kerry, to hear you are improving....especially in the pain department. I agree with your first post about giving this surgery alot of thought before jumping in, especially if you are over 40, and researching the possible outcomes completely. I haven't had the greatest luck with my SLAP repair from last March,03. A recent EMG shows damage to a nerve in the brachial plexis, most likely due to something in the surgerical procedure as the nerve pain/symptoms were not there prior to surgery - I think the nerve block (that was done in that area) by residents who stuck me OVER 25 times to get it right, might be the reason! I have as much pain in the shoulder joint as before too, and am getting another MRI to see what's up with that in Feb. I am afraid I may have re-torn the labrium or the SLAP repair in a fall right after surgery. All my ROM has returned in the last two months with OUT current PT, to the surprise of my it looks like in many cases, even when a "frozen shoulder" occurs as it did with me, it can resolve itself in less than a year's time. Unfortunately it did not help relieve the pain, it actually got worse when the ROM came back. But no more surgery for me, even at the Dr's suggestion- I will try to deal with this in other ways. Right now they keep trying to pile on various drugs for pain until we can get definitive answers...but surgery again, is out of the question! Good luck to you all and Happy, Healthy 2004!!

-- Sara Blazo (, January 04, 2004.

I am so glad I found this group!

I have a lot of neck/brachial plexis pain now, and I didn't before the SLAP repair/open rotator cuff repair. When the therapist pushes or massages in this region by my collarbone, I do have shooting pain down my biceps. So he works on both the neck and shoulder.

Last week I slept on my good side at night, and when I rolled over got a sharp stabbing/burning sensation. I think an adhesion or scar tissue must have gave, because the next day I felt like a million bucks! Really loose and pain free up to about noon...then I start to fatigue as usual.

I too am working very hard to get ROM. I push myself too much, because I am obsessed with gaining, instead of staying the same! I take a cane and push for external rotation after using some heat to loosen up. The first time I push I get no gain. So I sit up and massage whereever I feel like the shoulder is "stopping me" from gain for a little while, then push gently, but sustained period of time again. I massage the front of my armpit, and underneath my arm up toward the armpit - it's tight. I gained about 15 degrees the other night with this alternating method! Rub, then push with the cane. WARNING. Very very sore and throbbing the next day! Ended up taking valium at night, which I usually sleep just fine (flat on my back with arm supported with flat towel). Recovery is slow. Sure hope I can enjoy my 7 day cruise vacation at least somewhat the end of this month.

My therapist says that getting quality sleep is very important, so don't be afraid to take the meds you need before bed, or to take time off work to sleep in if needed.

Good luck to all, thanks for all the support and info! Judy

-- Judy Cook (, January 06, 2004.

I have read that many of you have experienced a labral tear as a result of injury, but mine is a simple case of genetics. I have loose joints, brought on by a low collagen level. Basically, I was born with loose capsules in my shoulders. Over many years of sports (I'm 38) I woke up one morning in late August, unable to move my throwing arm without pain.

I rested it as much as I could, and during a routine visit to my physician, she gave me some exercises and Vioxx. However, within about a week I knew it wasn't going to get any better so I scheduled an appoint with an OS. He examined my shoulder and told me I have three choices: #1 - walk away and pretend we never met; #2 - rehab exercises (which he said would not work because my shoulder area was already extremely strong); #3 - major reconstructive surgery. Some choice.

My surgery was 10/9/03. It was supposed to last 90 minutes, and it ended up going 3 hours 15 minutes. My OS said he does 100 shoulders a year and mine was the second worst he's ever seen. I had a SLAP, Bankart, 3 labral tears, and a torn rotator cuff. There were pieces floating around, and my capsule was torn in multiple places.

I visited the emergency room three times over the next three days for an extreme nerve pain in my lower arm (pain level was 9 out of 10). The only thing they could do for me was give me shots of morphine. I spent 4 weeks in a sling and used the Polar Ice machine almost continuously. I couldn't sleep at night without it numbing my shoulder. I took Percocet, Vicodin, and Valium (by the way, you can't get addicted to pain medications when you're truly in pain; you can only get addicted when they're not being used by your body for pain).

I started PT very slowly on 11/4/03. My therapist had a look of fear in her eyes when she kept repeating "your shoulder is so tight" during my 3x/week visits. My OS said that he had to really tighten me up, but to this day I believe that it was made TOO tight.

After three months of therapy, I am moving to a new PT tomorrow. I can not fault my prior therapist, but she has taken me as far as she is able and now I'm going to see a shoulder specialist, which I should have done in the first place. However, he was very honest with me when he said that my shoulder was a mess. He has every confidence that we'll be able to break through to a new level within 2 weeks.

Now about the genetics I was talking about 15-year old daughter is a pitcher for a fastpitch softball team that won the national title last summer. She injured her throwing shoulder last week and has been diagnosed with -- you guessed it -- a labral tear. I'm sick to my stomach that she will have to go through this, and I'm praying that hers is nowhere near what I've had to go through. She's only a sophomore in high school and she's going to have to miss playing softball this spring and summer, and she's been working toward playing in college. All I can do is pray that she'll be able to pick up the pieces and regain her movement and ability. She has an appointment tomorrow and I'm sure we're going to get some bad news.

Yes, my pain has gone away, but I still have only about 60% ROM that I had prior to the surgery. At this point, I'm nothing short of fed up with the progress.

-- Michelle G (, January 07, 2004.

In June of 2002 I was in vehicle accident while responding to a fire call on the interstate to which introduced me to the world of labral tears. After the accident I was sent to therapy for 3 weeks with no luck. An MRI was done hoping to find something wrong, with no luck. Went to a few more weeks of therapy, with no luck. Reluctantly the Ortho and I decided to undergo "exploratory surgery" to find what was wrong (at that time I wasnt really presenting like a labral tear but more as a rotator cuff tear.) After the surgery in Aug of 2002 the doctor told me I had a very unique labral tear in which a "huge chunk" of the labrum was floating around in the joint. The projected date of return to full duty was November in which we met that goal despite tons of pain and meds. I was released and from Nov through July had no problems even though I went through a very heavy work load in training (very similer to boot camp). In late July I started with my shoulder "clicking and popping," a feeling that eventually turned to pain after I did anything over my head and then to the point where it hurt to do almost everything and I went to see the doc again. We tried a few days rest, with no luck. Then we decided to go in to "take another look" in Aug of 03. He found the labrum was fraying where the first tear was and also alot of fluid and inflamation in the bursa as well as a ligament that was frayed and has to be fixed before it tore. The therapy again worked very hard to get my ROM back. I was told 10 - 12 weeks until I returned to full duty....(as you might have guessed).... with no luck. Im almost at 6 months post op now and the Ortho is talking about a third surgery after I get the result of my latest MRI. Im hoping there will be something showing on the MRI because I dont want to go in blind this time but I cant go back to full duty with the lack of ROM and pain I have now. Ive seen a second ortho who agrees with the first (who by the way is a great doctor and highly respected in the area). Well, Thats my story, hope it helps someone. Ill updated after I find the result of the MRI. Good Luck!

-- Mat (, January 07, 2004.

Had left tear fixed. 3 months later, right tear fixed. 3 months later, left tore again (no good reason), pin broke, emergency repair (sewing). 3 months later, right tore again, pin broke, emergency repair (sewing). 3 months later, left feels torn again. Clearly this does not hold for some of us. PT guy tells me, as they all did before, "tendonitis. rest and ice it." Been here, done this, far too many times before. I am only 16 (former USS swimmer). Any advice? Do I have to anticipate a lifetime of chronic pain???

-- anne barry (, January 13, 2004.

anne barry OUCH !!!!

-- brad rodgers (, January 13, 2004.

Anne, yes ...prepair yourself for a lifetime of pain and that way you can be pleasently suprised if you dont. I have to go in again on the 21st to have mine fixed again. (for the third time) Has anyone had numerous surgeries for labrum repair and come out pain free and 100% or at least close to it?

-- mat (, January 14, 2004.

i just had a new MRI yesterday to see if there is any reason why i don't have any strength in my arm. i can only benchpress 11 pounds in PT and i had surgery in march 03. after what i've been through there is no way in hell they're going back in to cut anything.

-- brad rodgers (, January 14, 2004.

Hey Brad....good luck! My EMG showed nerve damage in the brachial plexis(just great - thanks to the SLAP surgery) and a new MRI will be done next week for more detail. Then in a few weeks we will do an MRI Arthogram, because they are pretty sure there is a problem with the labrum repair also. The Drs are telling me none of this will heal itself, only SURGERY will fix it and MAYBE get rid of the pain. I am with more surgery for me! I guess we can expect a lifetime of pain meds and who knows what else. I think my next step will be a pain management specialist. I hope they can come up with something. Good luck with your MRI, Brad - Let us know what they find.

-- Sara Blazo (, January 15, 2004.

Folks, I dislocated my shoulder ~4 years ago hanggliding. I had no problems for ~2 years. I decided to do some weight training, in part to strengthen my shoulder (naive). It dislocated while I was lifting a weight bar over my head. I saw an OS, who prescribed PT. I had a third dislocation a year later. Slipped on ice walking the dog, fell backwards with the dog leash in my afflicted hand.This time, the same OS asked for an MRI, and recommended surgery to stabilize the shoulder (arthroscopic). So, I am scheduled for February 9. My question is this:

I have no discomfort. My shoulder still needs to be pulled, or pushed to dislocate. I am 45 years old. I decided to do the surgery, as the OS says "each time you do it, it gets worse, and you are doing more damage".Sounds reasonable. I am nevertheless trying to mull it over in my mind: Am I crazy to risk surgery, to avoid further dislocations? Should I just try to be careful? (Every dislocation requires a painful trip to the ER, I can't put it back by myself, in fact last time I needed mild sedation).

I am curious if there are other people my age (or thereabouts) in a similar position, and what their experiences have been.

thanx, mirek

-- mirek fatyga (, January 16, 2004.

This lengthy reply is directed mostly to Mirek Fatiga, because of my personal experience, and because that person just may be able to take the time needed for the healing process to take effect, which you'll have to do operation or not:

I'm 55. 4 years ago I injured my right shoulder boxing. Had an MRI, etc., in New York. I was told it was a labral tear, and possible rotator cuff and that I needed surgery. I just happened to be working in a place that was frequented by sports pros and ams of all kinds. The general response was "don't get surgery" and "if you can, take the time to let it slowly heal".

Not to aggravate any medical people reading this (whom I know are already pissed off because I'm going against the grain here), but the majority of people I'd spoken to said they'd noticed that most often there was discomfort post operation and in some cases an exacerbation of some sort (this might have only occurred in those who were pros, collegiate sports people, very active or addicted to several disciplines and couldn't come down off the excercise high ... who knows? How's that for a disclaimer!)

Anyway, I mulled it over for quite a while (I'd been just starting to pick up golf and liked it). I decided to not get the surgery--at that time the standard surgery was suggested, not the arthoscopic. I understand that the latter is supposed to be more friendly, but do not know. 4 years down the line, my shoulder is long as I'm intelligent and reasonable about the whole thing. In other words, if I "jock it up" I pay the price. Time is the key...along with common least until the medical profession comes up with something that's a bit bigger miracle than just the surgery.

I've para-glided since that time, skied, swum, exercised daily, done most things normally, the best of which has been without a doubt rowing--1X--which I began because it was so body friendly. I also erg (Concept2), but one just needs to be careful to not overdo it or backstrain and even injury can occur. I've found that rowing (on the water) has actually contributed to strengthening the shoulder, there's never any pain and it's a hell of an excercise...more even!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to lie and say that there has been absolutely no discomfort. There has. It's become a great weather prediction device! I still havn't worked myself up to swinging a golf club yet...though I think I'm ready (or will be...I'll explain further on). Tennis and even badminton let me know just how much mobility I have by giving me that little gripe that tells me not to go there. So that's my story. I hope it helps.

Oh, just want to be ultra honest and let you know that I just dinged up my left shoulder (not as serious) a week ago...learning to snowboard, which I love and will continue. Didn't listen to the instructor and reached out to try a break a, no, big NO! Have to always tuck, even if you slam down a little harder (wear a helmet, always!). Now I know...and yes, I'm back in the "give it time" business.

-- Ron Scaia (, January 17, 2004.

Exactly 1 year ago, I FINALLY had the Open Bankart Repair w/ Capsular Shift. (BOTH) Shoulder have been dislocating on me for over 13 years. I am now 32 going on 33 in a few months. What caused me to FINALLY go to suregery - was when I was simply swimming and my shoulder came out and I couldnt get it back in myself. My wife - being disgusted, Informed me that she is done taking me to the ER to get in placed back in. That time I had to be completely knocked out to get it back in.

Hence, my 2 brothers and 1 sister each have had the same problems - they had surgery in the past w/ no complications. Therefore, I did some research (As you all are now) and decided to get it done.

Last year I searched for a Sports Medicine Dr. w/ great recommendations. Found a great man in Mpls. Did the surgery and NO JOKE - didnt take 1 pain killer. No pain - just discomfort for about 2 days TOPS!

It is still GREAT TODAY.

I recommended a co-worker to the same Dr over xmas and he is so GLAD that he had his done as well.

HOWEVER, last week playing soccer, I fell on my other arm and that one dislocated. I was able it get it back in w/ discomfort. but realized, that the more it comes out.. the more damage I am doing. Had the MRI and determined, Torn Cartilige and damage to Labrum -

Thus, surgery for other shoulder soon.

In conclusion, Research your Dr(s).. get it done sooner than later.. it's not bad. I


-- Roger F (, January 19, 2004.

To Mirek: I had similar problems to you and am 46. However I had open surgery in Oct. for a bankart repair with capsular shift, bone spur, bursitis - you name it. Some things for you to consider:

1)When you dislocate your shoulder you either tear your ligaments or stretch them. Each time it dislocates it likely stretches further or tears worse. No amount of rest or physio will ever fix it. At best, physio can strengthen the muscles around your shoulder to compensate. While mine first dislocated with a major crash into the boards playing hockey, it also came out later pulling a golf club out of my bag, and once waving my hand out of a window. Any time I lifted my arm in a motion over my head, I felt it was about to pop out again. In time I just stopped using that arm, which is no way to live either.

2)My shoulder specialist said he rarely recommends surgery at our age for 3 reasons. First, as you get older your ligaments naturally shrink/tighten with age, so nature helps the problem. Second, we're likely to become less active -less likely to hurt it. Third, and I think most importantly if you read the above posts, recovery from shoulder surgery is far more difficult as you age. He said it is no big deal for someone in their 20s, but once you pass 35 recovery becomes progressively slower and more painful as you age. 3) I think your decision has to be made based on how you plan to live your life. I found the dislocations extremely painful, and I was always fearful it would pop out again in certain positions or during certain activities. I want to play hockey as long as my body lets me, and my surgeon said it was virtually certain to dislocate again if I continued to play.

4) A dislocating shoulder can be dangerous. Mine came out once while I was in 9 feet of water in a pool, when my niece jumped on my back and hung on around my neck. I damn near drowned. Think about your activities (like swimming) and imagine what would happen if your shoulder dislocated at the worst time.

5)If you have surgery, expect the very worst and hope for the best. My recovery has been unbelievably painful. The first 3 weeks were absolutely excruciatingly painful, all day and all night, and I thought it would never end. The next 9 weeks were horribly painful. 2 weeks ago I would never, ever have recommended surgery to my worst enemy. Now, at 13 weeks, the pain is very manageable (THERE IS AN END EVERYONE!!!) and my arm is useful, but very weak. But my shoulder is 100% rock solid stable. I have full confidence in it, no more fear that it will ever pop out again. Maybe it was worth it after all. Others have had far less pain, others more. My understanding is that arthroscopic surgery is easier and quicker to recover from, but the final results are less certain than the open surgery I had.

6) If you have surgery, be prepared for a long haul and lots of physio. You will learn that the shoulder has an almost limitless range of motion in all directions, and you have to rehab each and every one of them. Although my surgeon says I'll be able to resume sports 6 months post op, I expect it will be 12-18 months until my shoulder is 100%.

7)I recommend you get one of those cold therapy cuffs, even though they are expensive. I didn't because of the price, and I'm sorry I didn't. Demerol and Percocettes did nothing for the pain - the only effective pain relief has been bags and bags of crushed ice - about 600 to this point. I bought a little snow cone maker for $25 to crush ice cubes, and it's been a godsend.

Hope this helps you. Best of luck to all of you.

-- kerry (, January 19, 2004.

Well, you have all scared the crap out of me! I'm about ready to call and cancle my surgery planned for 1/27. Injured my shoulder (labral tear) lifting weights over a year ago. Couldnt sleep, lots of pain, went to Dr. Planned surgery and pain stopped. I acually tryed to hurt it again and it was still o.k. Didn't workout for a month(kids sick and holidays) and it got worse. I'm in pain sitting still. I'm a 34 year old hairdresser and hold my arms up all day and have 3 kids and a dog to run after. It seems that most here have had more invasive surgeries than what I'm looking at. Has anyone had just a tear repair? Get ready to laugh, I was hoping to go back to work after 17 days. If anyone has any good news to share I'd REALY appreciate it. Also, any good docs to recomend in Long Island, N.Y.? I don't have complete confidence in mine and I have 1 week until the big day.If Roger should read this, what was you final outcome? I spent most of the day reading this site and can't remember with all those other stories in my head now. Before I read all this I was worried about being able to put on my make-up and blow out my hair post-op, it never entered my mind that this could go as far as distroying my sex life too! Would anyone do it again if you could go back in time? Suicide sounds like a better option.

-- Vanessa S. (, January 19, 2004.

Dear Vanessa S I am also 34 and 6 weeks out. Labral tears will not heal on there own I have had a lot of pain post op but no real pain from the injury so I am glad about that. If you can it will be best if you can get a hair style you won't have to worry with for a week or two. If you have to use a dryer, if you don't already have one get one with attachments so you will only really need one hand anyway. My first 2 weeks were really painful and it would be good if someone can help out til you feel at least a little better. I just started driving myself again last week and every two weeks for a month I had my hair put in styles so I did not have to do much to it. Good luck with your surgery.

-- nita (, January 20, 2004.

Vanessa, I am from LI, and the doctor who did my surgery is becoming highly recc. Dr. Philip Schrank. Unfortunatly I myself was in a sling for three weeks, that alone made some of the easiest of things seem impossible. I am a little older and age makes a difference, and in my case five years your senior may. I have a great deal of discomfort, however, I am doing very well over all. You can email direct if you would like. P.S there are a lot of good shoulder docs. on LongIsland. Good luck

-- Renee Ambrosius (, January 20, 2004.

Nita and Renee, Thanks so much for your feed back.What exactly did you have and how did your doctors go about fixing it? Everyone around me is trying to talk me out of the surgery. I cant deal with an extensive recovery. I have to get back to work and take care of my millions of resposabilities. I go for pre-op testing tomarrow and then I see my doc. Thanks to all of you guys I have a huge list of questions for him. He's going to wish I didn't have a computer. He never sent me for p.t. , so I feel like he rushed me into this. I still have full range of motion and there realy isent much I'm not capable of doing (other than lifting weights). I just have this nagging ache all the time and of course pain lifting things like a gallon fo milk, but not not like I'm going to drop it though. If you were in my position ,being that you know what recovery is like, would you go through with it? Should I try p.t or deep tissue massage?? Or stop wasting time and get it over with, get the surgery and feel better with any luck. After reading everyone elses stories yesterday I made an appt. with a chiro. today. He is going to ajust me and do acupuncture. I think I'm going to bail on surgery if I get any releif . Oh, I don't know what to do! If you have any advice for me I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

-- Vanessa S. (, January 20, 2004.

vanessa....suicide is not a better option. believe me. i had a major shoulder remodel in march 03 and suffered unbelieveable pain for seven months. when i couldn't escape the pain it really ate away at my self confidence and perception of if this will this ever go away. i had an episode in august when i tried fishing with my godson and i couldn't manage to row the boat. outdoor activities are so important to me and to who i am and how i see myself that the episode sent me into a suicidal depression that lasted for several pay goes away. when the pain begins to subside you start feeling better about life, i could fish,open doors, take showers and wash my own hair,make whoopie, and it all had a fresh new perspective and appreciation for it all. and as others have said above... it won't heal on it's own despite what the one fellow's experience was. he may be getting away with it but it's not healed. so do your homework, spring for the cryo-cuff and a tens unit and make arrangements for someone to help you for at least a couple of weeks..or at least check in on you or take you kids and dog out for awhile. bjr

-- brad rodgers (, January 20, 2004.

Hi Vanessa S. I originally went in for decompression once he got in i had a rotator cuff tear and a labral tear. The surgeon told me that because there is not a good blood supply to the cartlidge it cannot heal on it's own it has to be repaired if it is not repaired the tear will eventually get bigger which will lead to bigger problems in the future for your shoulder. There is nothing pt can do for these types of tears. I had to have a anchor and screws put in to repair my labral tear and i wore a sling for the whole six weeks my surgery was 12-03-03 and they might be able to tell me when i can go back to work my next appt in 5 weeks. Hopefully all you have is 1 tear, hope this helps.

-- nita (, January 20, 2004.

Since I posted before and have seen the light at the end, I felt it necessary to write. Plus, I was bored. My surgery was September 16, '03. I've been out of police work since then, but will be returning at the beginning of February. I'm 30 and motivated to get well. Surgery was necessary for me to continue to be able to do my job. I just could not handle any more subluxing, and it got worse and worse as I tried to deal with it for 3 yrs before having surgery. I had the surgery, and after almost five months of physical therapy and work rehabilitation therapy, I feel so much more confident in my shoulder. I even went out today and threw a ball for my dog... a task that sounds so simple but had so much fear and pain involved before surgery. I'm not as strong as I was, but a weight program has been doing me good. I've even gone on a diet on my time off and feel better about life in general. Finally I can reclaim my shoulder as my own. Therapy has been long and drawn out, but as long as I kept seeing a few degrees of improvement here and there, I knew that I was only going forward and that I would reach the end. Surgery? Easy for me, and painless. The sling? That thing was devised in hell. The physical therapy? Helpful. Slow, but helpful. Remember that a few degrees each week or two equals a big gain as time goes on. Work therapy? That was a good choice to do in my line of work. Lifting weights, pushing things around, learning better posture, working with some beautiful therapists.... it had a good effect on my progress. Sex after surgery? Hey, it was nice to take bottom for a while, and now I'm back on top of my game with a shoulder that won't bother. I would have been able to go back to a light-duty job in a week after surgery. Heck, I spent time typing with my arm in a sling with no problems.. typing on this board actually. Overall, an open Bankart repair is not an "easy" surgery. There's some pain and discomfort involved. FULL recovery takes at least six months. Therapy is slow-going. However, I made a choice that I have plenty of life ahead of me, and if I was ever going to be able to have my abilities back, to be able to live life to the fullest with kids or grandkids, whatever, I had to fix what was broken. It's a decision that I don't regret, and if I tore my other shoulder, I'd do it again, only I wouldn't wait for years. Am I 100% yet? No, but since all I see is constant improvement, I know I'll get a lot closer than I was before surgery. Best wishes to you all.

-- T.B. (, January 21, 2004.

today i got the results from the MRI i had last week. it wasn't so good. the report said i still had a: high-grade partial tear of the middle fibres of the supraspinatus tendon posterosuperior labral tear post surgical chang at the acromioclavicular joint (?) edema in the humeral head. this really bums me out. it's been 11 months post op and there is no way i'm getting done again.

-- brad rodgers (, January 21, 2004.

Hello everyone!! I have read all the posts here & am ready to post my own. 8 weeks ago I had arthoscopic acrominoplasty. The Dr said I had a minor slap tear and a small tear in the rotator cuff, he just cleaned up the tears & also scraped a little off the acromion.4 days post op he relased me to work, at which point I couldnt even lift my arm up off my lap. I didnt feel ready so i stayed off for 2 weeks, then returned with Drs restrictions. He explained to me that I cannot undo anything he did as he did not do any repairs. I started PT one week post op, since then I have had 2 follow up visits with another Dr because my went on Medical leave Until mid Feb. I still have a lot of pain in my shoulder, Dr took me off Pt because of so much pain, Now he says I have tendonitis and gave me a third cortisone shot which didnt help, I had 2 before the surgery. I fell like my progress is going backwards, this is a work comp case & I must say that at this point I havent had much trouble with my clim, my worker is settin up an appt with an RN to go with me, she is waiting for info from last followup to decide if I should wait & see original Dr in Feb, or see adiifernt Dr befor then. I quess my question would be is why so much pain still? I cant raise my arm to shoulder height, It catchs & hurts like heck, I have pain when doing nothing at all. I have read somewhere that a minor tear is a like a frayed rope, clen up the rough edges it everything will be fine, BUT, I think if you use the rope & with movement the rope will fray again, would that be the same as a small tear?

Sorry if still post is too long, but im just so frustraed now, My original Dr said it would only be 3-6 weeks for recovery, the other Dr sais it could take year??? My claims person sais it could take 12 weeks. Im afraid I have more problems than started stated & need to do more to fix it.

By the way I injured this at work Im a produce Department manager in grocery store, I am (was) constanly lifting, also overhead lifting to unload Pallets, this happened when I lifted a 25# case of produce. I am back to work with restrictions of no more than 5#, & no at or above shoulder height work. Thanks for listening to me & I hope someone out there can shed some light on my situation.


-- Cyndi (, January 22, 2004.

has any one heard of a treatment for pain called "prolotherapy" ? look it up on google . i just stumbled upon it this morning 10 months post op and was wondering why my doc didn't mention it. from the web site it sounds too good to be true so it raises my skepticism red flag right off the bat. but if anybody knows anything i'm game to try if you know of positive results.

-- brad rodgers (, January 22, 2004.

Cyndi if you refer to my entry on dec, 28 i go in to workers comp a little, in plain words you are getting screwed feel free to contact me at my e-mail and I will go into specifics in the mean time get rid of that doctor do some research and find a doc who is willing to help you and not the employer.

-- nita (, January 22, 2004.

Hello everyone, Thanks again foe the feed back. Cyndi(forgive me if the spelling is off), I saw my dr. yesterday and he said he wouldn't send me for pt until 3 weeks post op so it has a chance to heal. Now from alot of what I read here it seems everyone starts pt right away. But maybe in your case it was too soon. I realy can't say because I havent gone in yet. I have desided to go through with the surgery and now that I just read all of your postings it makes me feel better about my desition. Thanks alot everyone. I'll let you know what happens after tuesday (1/27).

-- Vanessa S. (, January 22, 2004.

Hi Vanessa, I am sure when I emailed you the other day I did mention that after my surgery the doctor wanted me in a sling for 3 weeks. PT started as soon as he advised I could take the sling off. However, even at that time, movement with the PT was very simple. Most of the healing needs to happen on its own, I believe that PT helps to keep you moving, circulation. I could not see how I would have been able to tolerate anything more anyway. You will be sore for a few weeks, or more. Congratulations on your decision to pursue the shoulder surgery, I have to assume you will take the time to heal, and take help from all possible. I myself go back again for a follow up with Orthopedic doctor next week. I am getting closer to the 4 month post op point, and hope to get an upgrade on the movement once again. Yes, there is still many times I am reminded that I had the surgery, and look forward to complete healing/recovery. Good luck with your surgery......Renee

-- Renee Ambrosius (, January 22, 2004.


I had my surgery 10/9 and went back to work (new job) on 10/20. It was absolute hell at work for the first two weeks because my shoulder was in a lot of pain. I still wasn't sleeping well and I suffered because of it...however, I just couldn't afford to take any more time off between jobs. I do have a desk job, but it really affected my ability to use a mouse or type.

I had a SLAP lesion, Bankart, posterior and anterior labral tears. I also have a rotator cuff tear that obviously couldn't be fixed with this surgery because you need to start moving that right away. With the massive labral tears that I had, I needed to keep it in a sling for four weeks to allow the anchors to set.

Yes, it will be possible for you to go back to work in 17 days, but be prepared that you're not going to feel well. I just hope you have a job where you can take it easy.

I have now been in PT for 3-1/2 months and over the past 2 weeks things have been moving along tremendously. I switched PTs at that time and have improved my overall use of my shoulder from 60% to approx 80%. Now that its improved, I'm using my arm much more and its becoming stronger as a result.

My daughter is going through the same instability issues as I've got in both of my shoulders (and other joints). She is only 15 and it was determined that she should try PT first, which surprised me because she goes to the same surgeon as I do. I'm hoping that she will be able to increase her strength because she is a pitcher and competitive cheerleader and can't imagine giving that up. I'm praying that she turns out OK.


-- Michelle G (, January 22, 2004.

Hi All,

I was just diagnosed w/ large labral tear and am seeing the surgeon next week. My physician said I would be back to work in a week. From the info on this website, this does not seem true! I am not experiencing THAT much pain and am now worried. I am going to SORE-- the (Stanford orthopedic...)am the surgeon is one of the best in the country with shoulders. Why would they tell you it is much shorter than it actually is? I am a teacher and need to get back to work. Am fretting about lack of sleep also. Robin

-- robin schreiber (, January 23, 2004.

Dear Robin, usually labral tears have to be fixed with anchors and it takes 6 to 8 weeks alone before those heal and tissue starts to form around the anchors, my doc had me wear my sling for the whole 6 weeks and told me not to use my arm for anything don't even pick up a broom so the anchors could set. May sure you get a really good sleeping aid because after a while you may need it I'm about 7 weeks out and my sleep is completely a mess My doc raised the dosage of my sleep meds because they stopped helping now they have stopped again. so good luck in your recovery.

-- nita (, January 23, 2004.

Hi everyone had my surgery done 10/17/03 for left shoulder posterior and anterior labral tear w/distal clavicle resection. Still only @ 90% ROM. Was sent to insurance Dr last week and he wants to do another decompression! I am wondering if any of you know of the best shoulder specialist in the Midwest? I trust my Dr but would like a second opinion aside from the insurance company Dr. Still have stiffness and last Friday started with new pain in shoulder! This is getting real old! Any help with the Best shoulder Doctor in Illinois, WI, Minn.?

-- Mary (, January 25, 2004.


You are asking about the best shoulder Dr. in the Midwest. I would highly recommend Dr. Daniel Buss. He is the shoulder ortho for numerous professional and collegiate sports teams in the MN area and a professor at the U of MN. As my above posts indicate, I have had great sucess with him and have heard nothing but great things about him from others. Feel free to contact me if you need more info.

Wishing you the best of luck!

-- Stacie (, January 26, 2004.


My doctor in NY has told me that I as will be back to work in a week. I had some doubts and asked the board. I had a few responses saying that it is feasible. Look above for responses to my original emails (a few months back) My Dr., a highly recognized shoulder expert said I would be able to take the sling off to type if need be. I will say that I am not sure the magnitude of my tear, and at this point have not set a surgery date. I was injured in November 2002, and have remained active although I am aware that I need surgery, but do not want to take the time to do it right now.

-- Joe (, January 27, 2004.

Have a question... anyone tried accupuncture for torn rotary cuff? I am contemplating the surgery but they go ahead and do open surgery if not able to repair with arthroscopy. Have had pain for a couple months and also handicapped with polio so I am running out of working limbs! Recovery will be very long for me as I cannot fully use my legs either. This is the pits! Any info on accupuncture greatly appreciated as I need to decide soon.

-- Karen Smith (, January 29, 2004.

I just had my third surgery on my shoulder in a year and a half last week. They were originaly going in this time with the thought that my labrum was torn again however when they went inside they just found alot of inflamation in the joint and a small "catch" that was keeping me from full ROM when my arm is raised. They said they took out the inflamation and filled my joint with cortizone. This surgery wasnt near as bad as the other procedures I have had. However it has been a week now and I think the cortizone has worn off because Im real sore and stiff again. I have already had numerous cortizone injections in the last year and a half. Has anyone had any negative side effects with cortizone?

-- mat (, January 30, 2004.

karen, i tried acupuncture for "shoulder pain" before i learned the extent of the damage. i have to say it did nothing to repair the tear which is what it is ...a tear.and only surgery to remove the ragged ends of the tear and sew it back together will fix it. although i did have accupuncture after my surgery it was effective for reducing pain on a short term basis. that in combo with a cryocuff and a tens unit will not keep you pain free but will help manage your pain better than not having them.

-- brad rodgers (, January 30, 2004.

I have a question that I have not seen posted, I have been so sick over the past few months, and have todate been dignoised with Pneumonia. I went for my four month post op check up this past week, all coming along fine. My shoulder is ready to be tested, with joining the gym and doing low impact excercises. This is the news everyone hopes for after they choose to have surgery. However, physically I am not the same, I am so run down, and seem to catch everything, and now Pneumonia. I have once again been advised that I can not do anything till this clears up. I have read all the post and have not come across this problem, but felt this was a good place to share, ask???? I really believe it is all about my age ughhhh 40. If anyone has any advise I would love to see the light at the end of this I feel terrible.....Be well Renee

-- Renee Ambrosius (, February 01, 2004.

Renee, Welcome to the winter of 03/04. Flu outbreak, colds all over the place, people sick all over. I can't tell you anything more than to keep washing your hands regularly, (especially at the gym,) keep your hands away from your face, sip on some nice warm hot chocolate, and curl up with a good book until you feel better! Oh, yeah, and keep doing your home PT when you can't be out and about. I mean it. Take two of these and call me in the morning.

-- T.B. (, February 03, 2004.

Has anyone out there had arthroscopic hip surgery?? I am scheduled soon and I am scared stiff. I injured it in a riding(horse) accident. I hope to compete again and muck my barn. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Nancy

-- nancy nash (, February 03, 2004.

Is there anyone out there? I dont see any post since Feb 3-04. Has anyone had arthoscopic acromioplasty with debridement? I am wondering how long it takes to recover. I am 10 weeks post op & I still cannot lift my arm up to shoulder height, without clicking and pain. Is this normal? I see my Dr Feb 12 with a nurse case manager, & im not sure what to expect. The nurse is coming with me because Im concerned about my recovery. If someone can shed some light on this for me that will be a great help.

Thanks, Cyndi

-- cyndi myers (, February 07, 2004.

WOW! Misery certainly loves company and it looks like we've got a lot of company.

Brief: I was and am trying to get back into the Body For Life Program. It's a combination of diet and exercise that works wonders in 12 weeks. I've made it to week 11 and I'll vouch for the programs claims.

I've had two torn rotator cuffs that were corrected by surgery. I recently fell and bashed up my shoulder pretty good. Arthrogram will show if it's a labral tear and my doc says the surgery is similar to that of a rotator cuff.

I'm thinking about trying something called Prolotherapy in lieu of surgery. Anyone have any knowledge of this avenue of treatment?

I also see many of you seem a bit panicked over the time it is taking to heal. DO NOT RUSH THINGS! Listen to your doctor and physical therapist and time will take care of the wounds. It aint fun but it beats being crippled with pain.

Good luck to all my compadres....

-- Michael (, February 08, 2004.

michael, i had a major shoulder remodel done 11 months ago. i 'm looking down the barrel of having to have it done again or live with a permanent disability. i have an appointment tomorrow with a holistic/naturopathic orthopedic doc to get the scoop on prolotherapy. i'll keep the board posted. in the meantime here are a few interesting links for anyone dealing with labor&industries/workers comp: ington.htm

-- brad rodgers (, February 08, 2004.

michael,OK.....just back from the doctor. what i found out is that unfortunatly washington state is the only state in the union that will revoke a physicians license if they dispence prolotherapy to anyone with an open labor and industries claim. which is me. this all stems from an argument that the governor in 1968 had with the state legislature,the established medical community, labor and industries and, although he didn't say, i suspect boeing had their fingers in it stirring up the pot too. in my most uneducated biased opinion/theory the medical establishment was threatened by the potential loss of revenues from a reduction in the necessity of rotator cuff surgeries.this doctor claims a very high sucess rate (90%)in the reduction of and rehabilitation of rotator cuff injuries. now keep in mind this figure comes off this doctors literature and i believe i saw it on his website too at: . this is what i found out so far. i'll keep the board posted bjr

-- brad rodgers (, February 09, 2004.

I am due to have the surgery Feb 24th.Does anyone know if there is a chat room for this?

-- Lynne Marie (, February 13, 2004.

lynne, what kind of surgery are you having?

-- brad rodgers (, February 14, 2004.

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