T Nation

Shoulder Surgery: Recovery Time

I’ve had severe to moderate pain in my shoulder for about 5 years now. I’ve been to two different orthopedic surgeons and they have both told me the same thing - Torn Larum. I have all the text book symptoms. Pain and clicking with overhead motion, pain when lifting weight out to the side, etc.

The Doc I’m seeing now put me on a 6 week PT program to rule out a “sloppy shoulder”. The PT had little to no effect on my condition so I’ve decided to have the surgery. My goal is to be able to throw a baseball again with my sons.

My concern is around recovery time. I know my arm will be in a motion restricting sling for 6 weeks or so but will I be able to go back to work sooner than that? I have an office job and my biggest concern is with typing. I ask this question because I got my FLMA form back from the doctor’s office and they say I cannot work for 3 months. This is not an option as I have two critical projects in the final stages at that time.

Anyone ever have arthorscopic surgery to repair a torn larum? We don’t know how serve the tear(s) are. I have pain the in front and pain in the back of the shoulder so I guess that’s a SLAP tear.

Keep in mind that everyone has different recovery times. I can only tell you what I experinced. I had sugery in Feb of 2004 to repair a torn labrum. I also had the SLAP lesion (with the torn biceps tendon) and a Bankart lesion. In other words my Labrum was TORE UP. The surgery went well but the recovery was a different story.

One of the most painful experiences of my life was from the time the nerve block wore off and the next couple months that followed. When the sling came off 4 weeks after surgery and I could not raise my arm 6 inches, I thought I had made one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

The best advice I can give you is that you WILL regain full use of your shoulder again it will just take time. Do all of your therapy as if it is a second job. Dedicate time towards it. The shoulder is very complex and has to be rehabbed in many different ways and in different stages. Do not be satisfied, always strive to get the same motion you have in your good shoulder. You will be throwing the ball again in no time. In fact light throwing is good for recovery.

As for me today, I am very active. My main sports are weight training (mostly Oly and power) and jujitsu. I still dedicate time each day to stretch and warm up my shoulder. I am also very careful about exercise selection. I have found Oly lifting to be a very effective way of getting my range of motion back. You just can’t do an overhead squat without good shoulder range of motion and I have made the overhead squat part of my warmup.

Take care,

Also, you should be fine to go back to your office job fairly soon. I was off work for a while because I use to work at an assembly plant for GM. However, I finished up my MBA while I was off work and had no problem typing.