I tore my labrum by playing lacrosse and suffering numerous dislocations during that time. The MRIs did not show a tear, but then a sports surgeon here at Nebraska was able to deduce that I had a tear during a simple exam.
When dealing with tears, I think it is generally a good idea to get the surgery, especially if you are young. The labrum is sort of unique in that it will never heal on its own unless the doctor pulls it back down onto the bony surface from which it came. I had the unfortunate situation where I also had a slap tear in my biceps tendon.
Basically, I had the surgery in December '05 and I was back to about 90% in May '06 and to 100% in July '06. You have to take it easy to begin with when getting back to the weights. I did a lot of single-arm DB work and still do. I can’t really do full ROM benches, so I do a lot of board presses and floor presses.
I say get the surgery. It is a bitch at first for sure, but you’ll be happy you did it eventually. That is especially true if you don’t have damage to your biceps tendon, which still bothers me to this day.