T Nation

Rotator Cuff - Labrum Surgery


Anybody had rotator cuff and torn labrum/biceps tendon surgery? Having mine done sonn and looking to see outcomes of others who've had the surgery and how the rehab went. I've endured an acrimionplasty surgery on the other shoulder and wondering if it's similar in rehab. Thanks in advance for any input.


Hey Prowler, I'm 8 weeks out from Bicep tendonesis. My Rotator cuff was in perfect health, but the bicep tendon was cut the rest of the way and anchored it into the humerus. cleaned up the labrum also.

in a sling for 6 weeks, was off work for 2 weeks and couldn't drive for about 3 weeks. PT sessions started within 4 days, first 6 weeks only passive movement. Now I'm onto assisted ROM exercises and no more sling.

I have a rehab journal in the over 35 forum if you want to see more daily/weekly details.

Good luck!


Thanks for your input lilP, I'll check out and follow your posts. Good Luck


I had surgery last Thursday to reattach the labrum...apparently it was just loose and chillin' :smiley: He also removed about 8 pieces of calcified bone and cartilage from the socket. The initial plan was that he was goign to remove the pieces and shave the freighed edges of the labrum (didn't realize from the MRI that it was completely separated for some reason). This initial recovery was apparently less than a week and I would've been back to normal...the addition of the labrum reattachment put it to four months. I've read quite a few comments on here over the past hour and don't seem to have the amount of pain these other individuals have had...I only took the Percacet for the first two days. So don't fret about the pain...at least until you see how yours is. The worst part was getting off the anesthesia (I had trouble keeping food down the first day and oddly had hiccups for three days). Hiccups for three days sounds funny...but it truly sucks and my throat even hurt for about two days after it stopped.


A lot of people on here love to read MRI crap...so I'm copying what was written on the MRI report:

1. There is a large osteochondral lesion of the anteroinferior glenoid. The lesion measures 24 x 16 mm in size. Normal bone in this region has been replaced by fibrous tissue to a depth of 8 mm.
2. There are multiple loose bodies within the glenohumeral joint. The largest loose body is found within the subscapularis recess and measures approximately 1.6 cm in size. This loose body is partially calcified.
3. There is extensive tearing of the glenoid labrum. The most prominent area of tearing is the superior labrum, but there is also extension to the tear of the posterior superior quadrant of the labrum as well as to the base of the anterior labrum.
4. There is mild tendinopathy of supraspinatus tendon, without an accompanying tear.

GOTTA LOVE IT...the doc actually said it was nice of them to toss than last one in...apparently that's just a little inflammation that will go away :smiley:

I admit it...I was pretty unhappy to say the least when I first saw this report...I honestly was concerned the 'lesion' thing was cancer!

If anyone is curious (med students, etc) in seeing the MRI pic (I chose two out of the hundred or so that were in the file)...I can send it to you...email me at: gtdiscus@gmail.com



I had a subacromial depression performed on June 1996 on my right shoulder. The AC joint showed hypertrophy of the acromian and clavical, doc shaved to down to eliminate a bad impeingement situation. It was done vis scope, recovery was quick, just about 6 weeks was back in the gym. PT was about two months. I had a SLAP 2 repair on the same shoulder, via the scope ( labrum anchored at 12 and 3 oclock) in June 2004. That recovery was much, much longer. No gym for four months. PT lasted 7 months. I was fully recovered at the 12 month mark. So anytime the doc stitches tissue, your recovery will be much longer than a procedure where just bone spurs are shaved away. good luck and be patient. Regarding the SLAP 2, I am so glad I had the procedure done. I can do more now with my arm than ever before and am stronger than I have ever been


Thanks for the input - biggest concern is being immobilized so long (saying 6 weeks) and developing frozen shoulder. Gonna be nothing like the the shaving of the acrimion, was back within 2 weeks. I'm assuming rehab is "fast is slow, slow is fast"


When I had the labrum repair, I was required to wear the sling for about six weeks. But, I had exercises that I had to do three times a day at home , with the goal of having some mobility and to reduce my chances of developing frozen shoulder. Moves such as pendulums, wall walks. Plus physical therapy began on the eighth day. It was a stiff for awhile, but never developed the dreaded frozen shoulder. The whole recovery thing was a much bigger deal after the SLAP 2 than the acromioplasty... a walk in the park in comparison. Good luck.


Update Five (5) weeks out and the arm still feels like a dead piece of meat hanging from my shoulder. Turned out things were worse than ecpected oce inside. Repaired the rotator with 4 anchors. Bicep tendon that attached to humeral head had to be cut, debrid', and reattched to upper arm (humerus) with a screw. Labrum was a slap tear in the front deltoid area. Started therapy 2 weeks after surgery (3 weeks total with this week). Hit a milestone this week, with finally being able am able to move my arm enough from my side to wash my armpit.

Something weird though - I can do certain movements pain free with an average ROM and others no way in hell, even if my life depended on it. At this point pain is slim to moderate while resting. To all those who gave advice, you were spot on what to expect and YES, this is going to be a long recovery unlike the decompression with the other shoulder.

Only concern I have at this point is: Third night after surgery, had a nightmare and woke up throwing punches and elbows (was sleeping with just a sling, was not given the full arm immobilizer). Needless to say, the wife was awakened to blood curddling screams. The pain was the most intense I've ever experienced. The wife proceeded to wrap me up like a two year old with ace wraps to keep it close to the body. Next morning, office visit with doc, got the immobilzer and said we'll have to wait and see if anything tore - next visit 10-20. Upper bicep has drooped a little bit but thinks thats normal due to the re-attachment and hasn't completely rolled downward. Lots of pain on tip of shoulder and through mid bicep from elbow joint to top of arm near incision site on inner upper arm. Will post next week after doc visit. Any input on what to expect, as I begin the push to get ROM back, would be greatly appreciated.


I had my rotator cuff repaired in 5/2010. Full thickness tear off the bone and five anchors to reattach. It was quite a rehab process but at 17 months out, I'm doing great and actually hit a bench PR at my last meet. I really found that rehab was two steps forward, one step back. I would get very frustrated and pay for it in terms of shoulder pain and bicepital tendonitis/epicondilitis if I pushed too hard. You can PM me if you have specific questions.


8 weeks out from SLAP lesion repair, Bicep Tendonesis, and nerve decompression. Like the OP said, my bicep has "drooped"as well. The range of motion comes back little by little. Strangth is no where near the curve on regaining the range of motion. I was in an immobilizer for 4 weeks, 23 1/2 hours a day. A lovely piece of tourter equipment. I was baout to start a new thread until I saw this one. Anyone know any good rehab? My doc just keeps saying it'll come back. I don't have the best skills at sitting around and waiting.


I also had bicep tendonesis and wasn't allowed to load the bicep for 12 weeks. I'm now 15 weeks out and went from curling 1# DB to 8# in 3 weeks and now starting to have some shape to the bicep again. Seems the bicep shape is shorter or more compact than the uninjured one but I still have hope. Was told it takes 12 weeks for the tendon and bone to fuse together.

I've been in PT since day 4 working rom, they just released me this week with 75 degree internal rotation, 80 degree ext rotation and 170 degree overhead. Now I'm back to high rep low weight benching to build up the shoulder strength.


Sounds promising. I guess I just need to doing the small things and it will all come back together. I expect to get released to do some VERY light weights like you said, 1 pounders.

Not sure where my ROM is at, haven't measured, but sounds pretty close to that.



Im curious to see how this turns out, I just injured my elbow and cant lift like I used to...If you have any suggestions for me let me know.
Hope you feel better soon!