I debated whether to post this in the Injuries forum or the Bodybuilding forum, and decided it was probably most appropriate here. Basically the issue is this:
I tore the labrum in my right shoulder about two and a half years ago. Had it diagnosed as a SLAP tear, but was not in a position financially to get the surgery (I still am not). In that time, I managed to rehab it relatively successfully, and have recently even improved to the point that I can do slow dumbbell shoulder presses and pushups with feet slightly elevated. I worked my way up to this methodically using rotator cuff exercises and a very gradual progression in terms of exercise selection.
So now to the problem. I started off with a lifelong disparity between the left and right sides of my whole body, really. Just every muscle has always looked slightly better, fuller, and larger on the left side than the right. However, at its worst, my right arm would measure about a half inch less than the left.
Being accustomed to this disparity might be why I didn't notice the issue sooner, but just today I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and was blown away by the size difference in not only my arms, but even my shoulders. The injured side is just insanely smaller than the non-injured side. Measuring confirmed this, as the right arm is now just over a FULL INCH smaller than the left: actually smaller than the largest it has been in the past despite the fact that the rest of my body is larger than ever before.
To the question: is it possible to address this issue through training, or is it truly the injury just flat out preventing this arm from growing any larger? I was thinking of at least trying to do more volume on the right side, but am I just wasting my efforts and setting myself up for injury?
I once saw the surgery as optional--particularly after recovering so well with diligent physical therapy and hard training--but I now realize there is no avoiding it. Furthermore, I would now consider the surgery an absolute must if you participate seriously in the iron game.
Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any input.