Shoulder Dislocation Recovery

As a result of a dirtbike dismount I found myself with an anterior shoulder dislocation.

ER doc xrayed, found no fractures and reduced it under general anaesthetic. Immobilized it a sling (mostly) for 5 days now. So far not requiring any pain meds.

I see the specialist in about a week.

Just curious if anyone here has dislocated, and could relate what their recvoery protocol and timeline was? My stats: 37 yo, 1st dislocation, ~228 lbs, healthy, 295 bench, 175 MP, 495 deadlift.

Esp. concerned about getting my deads, chins, military and bench press back. For now I’ll do cardio, abs and a modified leg program.


I had my first dislocation in college football ~15 years ago, a few years later in MMA class did it again but the other way (broke both sides of the capsule ha)…first one I declined surgery so I wouldnt miss spring ball and rehabbed the heck out of it…second one I didnt want surgery and rehabbed the heck out of it…years later during some issues with it, come to find out the ligaments are detached, hooked clavicle, spurs in AC joint, and “burkhardt lesions (SP)” or something that sounds like that on both the front and rear of the capsule…

Ive never gotten any surgeries for it…up until other totally unrelated medical problems 3 years ago, I could still do hang cleans in the mid 300s no problem, close grip bench in the low 300s, heavy chins, 500+ deads, snatches, etc…Im sure everyone is different and body responds different, but I worked around the dislocations and damage they caused for years and still got to do what I loved…I couldnt bench crazy heavy anymore, I quit most of my MMA training that involved submissions, I couldnt press as heavy as I used to (especially jerks), but I made due…

Id find a really good physical therapist if you are not familiar with the exercises you can do, and work at it like its your job. Maybe check out some of the better PT videos/DVDs Im sure are out there on shoulder rehab, or some possibly by S&C coaches who do lots of shoulder rehab/prehab stuff.

You can do it, you can work smarter, work around it, and still have fun I hope.

If you need to get cut, find a doctor that has worked on athletes you can verify, that went back to their normal athletic life to some degree. Dont go with a random doctor who might not understand what you plan on doing after recovering.

Thanks man, good to hear there’s a path back.

An update in case anyone searches it:

Followed the ER docs advice of 1 week in sling. Got to see the specialist about 10 days post accident. having out out for 4+ hours was a long time he said, but it took that long to get me outta the bush, so if you do yours get a move on to the ER.

He reckoned the R/C was intact, ligamments intact, labrum to be determined. Never needed pain meds, but move it too fast or too far and I KNOW it.

Specialist advised physio and to limit motion so as to have the best chance for the ligaments and labrum to heal up as tight as possible. See him again in just over a week for a follow up assessment.

Started physio right after my specilaist saw me, doing U/S and electrotherapy and basic isos and now some range to the front but not side, and some light band resistance work with a very limited ROM. Sling did shorten my elbow ROM, working on that too. I am making physio and rehab my priority outside the day job.

As per my therapist, every 2nd day I have about 30 minutes steady work with more to come.

Over, a month out now, no lifting, so thats buming me, but can use my left arm for small and light movements below chest height. There is some snapping and popping but so far the PT thinks its not major issues - just swelling.

Obviously no upper body work but been doing leg machines, abs, back raises calves and cardio. Just got the OK to do bicep curls and pressdowns, albeit at 30-40%. And think I can us straps to extend my reach and get back to back squats so thats a bonus.