Had rotator cuff and labrum tear surgery some years back. I basically did low intensity cardio like walking on an incline and lower body on machines that use the pin system. Kept that fairly light too since I couldn’t brace myself when weight got heavier.
My opinion is to keep moving and keep blood flowing through your body rather than sitting around rotting away.
Not sure if this is true or not but I’ve read that only training one side of the body has some carry over to the other side that’s not trained. I even think Thibs mentioned that phenomenon.[/quote]
I had a labrum repair in my right shoulder a few years back. I was doing one-arm pushups with my left arm 4 weeks after surgery, and doing as much lower body work as I could handle, mostly lunges and other BW exercises for high reps. I can definitely say there was carryover in growth from training the opposite side. I did not develop any big muscle imbalances that hurt me later on.
Putting your body in an anabolic state will encourage healing. I was 35 at the time, so not young, but my body handled the recovery better this way. My PT “graduated” me at 13 weeks, more than a month ahead of schedule. I was doing two arm pushups off a wall at 10 weeks, off the floor at 12 weeks, and was pressing with a bar at 16 weeks. The one thing they told me to really wait on was pulldown/chinup motions. I took those very, very slowly, but at 30 weeks post surgery, I was doing band-assisted pullups, and 9 months out I was doing BW pullups for reps.
Start your rehab as soon as you are able, keep your protein intake above 1g per lb of BW, take your vitamin supps, and get enough rest. Push yourself, but let pain be your guide. If you let your PT know how much you understand with anatomy (assuming you know stuff since you are on T-Nation) then he/she will give you more than they typically give the average person.
One last bit of encouragement - 1 year post surgery I was back to doing olympic lifts, and within a year after that I was setting PRs in both Snatch and C&J, above my best lifts pre-surgery.