T Nation

Shoulder Microfracture


i found this old thread, so thought i’d reply.

it has been 1.5 years since the microfracture surgery on my shoulder, and i am now lifting again.

i’m not massively strong, but i was worried that after surgery i’d only be able to do very light activity. this hasn’t really been the case.

some exercises really aggrevate the shoulder, but the vast majority are absolutely fine.

i can overhead press 60 kilos on the bar quite happily, and bench press 100+. deadlifts are OK too. squats are OK, holding the bar can be a bit tricky.

If anyone has to have this surgery, don’t worry, you should be able to lift again (after a ton of rehab of course).



Its been just shy of 2.5 years since I had microfracture done on my hip. I had what is called a femeroacetabular impingement…

Not sure if it was “succesful” considering I am in pain a great majority of the time. However, it gave me back my mobility atleast.

Yeah… this is quite an old thread.


damn - i imagine hip problems are nasty. i guess the shoulder isn’t load bearing, so maybe you can get away with a little more wear and tear.

i appreciate this is an old thread, i thought it would be good to post back on progress though. quite often, people post on internet boards when things go wrong, then never follow-up with the happy ending :slight_smile:

i do have pain in my shoulder, but it’s more of a dull ache, so i guess i’ve got used to it. i have knee and nerve pain too (9 operations on my left knee), but that’s a different story!


Adding to the mix long after the thread stated, I know, but has anyone got results from this in the glenohumeral joint that are encouraging? I have seen a second-look arthroscopy where Steve Snyder demonstrated fibrocartilagenous “healing” of a glenoid defect that he microfractured. Elsewhere, I read about a football player who had bipolar lesions (humerus and glenoid) MFCT’d with encouraging results. But what is the community experience?

I have bipolar defects that were noticed about ten years ago and have progressed somewhat on MRI. I can do pushups but I gave up all overhead stuff (was doing a whopping 50# dumbbell military press workout until Nov of last year) and really don’t push much with bench.

Hope all is well with those who posted years back and that we can restart the dialog as there are no doubt others who would be interested in anecdotes, both good and bad.


It’s been 10+ years since I’ve had the microfracture surgery to my shoulder. I’ve also had capsular shift surgery on one shoulder. At 56 years old, after lifting most of my life, doing some bodybuilding … all my joints are garbage. Ortho says I need shoulder replacement. I’m not doing much in the way of lifting. Only planking. Joints … had I just taken care of them instead of thinking they were invincible.


Thanks very much for the reply. I have spent A LOT of time talking with my friends and colleagues who are orthopedic surgeons. Most of the older generation seem to think that MFCT is not going to help and that a total shoulder replacement (humerus and glenoid) is the way to go. People do well with just a hemiarthroplasty to the humerus; Ken Shamrock had one back in ~2006 and is still able to lift, etc. Lou Simmons had a lesser verison of the hemi called the “HemiCap” and continued to lift. However, the glenoid replacement is the weak spot because they loosen and wear out. Hence the requirement not to lift, hardly appealing to the likes of us.

Other options are grafting of cadaveric bone/cartilage to the defects but that doesn’t happen in the shoulder often. But the best one that I have seen is the “ream and run” pioneered by Dr. Matsen at U. Washington. You don’t get a new glenoid, but they do “clean it up” and of course there is a humeral replacement. Check out his site; several athletes seem to have had a second life in their career.

If you ortho is asking you to have a replacement, it might be worth it to check out a second opinion. Matsen and others will accept MRI/XRay from distance patients and give you an opinion about the procedure they do and its potential value to you.

Just don’t get a glenoid replacement until you’ve talked with others. I’m headed in the same direction as you are and I hope things work out for the best for both of us.


Dr. Miniaci did the hemi-cap for Lou (Cleveland Clinic). Not sure who took care of Ken but the bottom line is that in 2016, there are docs around the country (and world) who take care of these things that used to be death sentences to a weightlifter. Here is a guy from England whose site is very informative:


Good luck!