Curt, I had a labrum tear in 2003, they just scoped it and cut out some of the torn cartilage. Now 2010 after continued lifting and pain much like you described, I had another MRI.
The doc is a shoulder doc for the Padres, and he said they call him Mr. Fix it, but that there was nothing to fix. Just the same fraying of the labrum like you mentioned, all the RC tendons were intact, no impingement.
The head of my humerus has shifted posteriorly within the shoulder socket, worn out the cartilage in the rear of the joint, and created bonespur growths on the head of the humerus where it has bone/bone contact. He said it was degenerative arthritis brought on by a)genetic disposition and b)repetitive use. Said he just completed research and spoke about this issue since it was become more prevalent in football players and weightlifters. We could definitely see the changes between the first MRI in 2003 and the second in 2010, both had dye injections. I asked about another scope surgery, maybe removing the osteophytes and he said they would probably grow back and that another surgery would not guarantee recovered full range of motion or less pain.
- The road to getting that diagnosis was long and involved many wasted visits to PT/ATC and regular docs trying to have me do band/tubing exercises.
Edit: Also had cortisone shot
So what did I do about it?
I stopped bench pressing and overhead pressing with a barbell, do flat DB pressing and cable flyes only and am not trying to get to be 250lb anymore. Just do DB presses 1 arm at a time without one in your other hand, I have gotten up to 105s, pretty good. For Delts all I do is laterals to side and rear, keeping reps above 12-15.
I stopped snatching and C/P kettlebells and cancelled my Russian Kettlebell cert this past weekend (and lost $300). I can’t do a Turkish Getup with left arm supporting, it is too painful. I made an appointment with Egoscue clinic today for a more comprehensive overhaul. Read the book “Pain Free” by Pete Egoscue, it reiterates how poor alignment in hips/knees/ankles can translate into bad shoulders. Cressey/Reinhold shoulder DVD indicated the same.
PM me for a spreadsheet I made to help get me on the road to being better, I can’t figure out how to post it here. Sad but after years of heavy lifting, poor posture(slouching), not stretching, I have dysfunction. Read Dave Tate’s Gluteal amnesia, and the Strong(er) series workouts, all about proper activation.
- Bought Cressey/Reinhold DVD on optimal shoulder performance, a must buy.
I learned that my RC was not firing properly, causing my delt to take over as well, it is comical to watch in a mirror trying to do upright rows. Right shoulder looks fine, left one, doesn’t. Cressey provides an escalating routine that starts with pushups and builds back to pressing, has TONS of corrective stuff in there.
- Band dislocates, doorway slides, pec stretches, RKC Arm bars. Regaining ROM, and being able to hold the kettlebell in the preferred position with arm extended, slightly behind my head is my ultimate goal.
Hope that helps some. I am convinced just maintaining proper range of motion, stretching, taking a layoff is of primary importance. I am 41 and wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago, it would have changed the way I lifted.