T Nation

Shoulder Surgery

I’m about to have surgery on my right shoulder on March 2nd or March 9th depending on some pre-op appointments and my work schedule. I had an Arthogram and MRI with contrast done in December which said that I had a SLAP tear and a piece of something floating in my AC joint.

My AC joint is also warped and pushed forward and I have tendinitis in my supraspinatus. Luckily my rotator cuff is not torn from what they explained to me. They don’t think I have any lesions but my shoulder is still very unstable after dislocating it in October. My powerlifting is definitely on hold for a bit.

Also my right biceps constantly hurts and both triceps left and right constantly go numb. I have reduced feeling in my right ring finger and pinky. The doctors basically told me they don’t really know whats going on until they get in their with a scope.

I’m gonna post alot before the surgery and during my rehab. Posting on here is really for my mental health because it’s gonna be really hard not to go crazy being in a sling and rehabbing it for what the doctors say will be 8 to 10 months. I personally think that I can come back faster but then again I don’t know what I’m dealing with yet.

I would appreciate any and all responses if anybody out there knows a thing or two about shoulder surgery and could share their knowledge. I am planning on entering some competitions by the end of this year early next year so any training advice whatsoever would be good.

Honestly just having people talking to me that know what it’s like to have to focus on rehab instead of lifting would be a relief. If anybody out there knows any competitions coming up around the northern california area that would be good too.

Anyways thanks for the help and if you have any questions ask.

-Hawk

I had shoulder surgery two weeks ago Friday. I separated my AC joint about 4 years ago and it was never the same. I had some bone spurs removed and a partial repair to my labrum. I also had tendinitis. I can currently squat with a SSB and move my arm freely, but no weights yet.

The recovery times they tell you are often exaggerated for safety purposes. The doctor was extremely suprised when I could raise my arm above my head 7 days after surgery. I think it depends on the strength/musculature of your shoulder pre-op. Whatever you do, don’t be stupid and reinjure yourself!

I had shoulder surgery on my Right shoulder back in '03 after a really bad rugby injury. Torn Rotator cuff and seriously impinged/cracked AC joint. They put two screw in and cut a half inch of bone off! Now my shoulder is pretty good, but not 100%. I never got my bench back up to what it was, but I didn’t expect to. The rehab is gonna suck, but do it as often as you can. It was about 18 months before I could raise my arm above my head evenly with my left and back squat with any weight. I hope your injury is less severe and that everything works out for you. Best of luck.

I had a pretty similar injury, a SLAP tear with a 30% frayed supraspinatus ligament. I also did the arthgrogram thing and in the end decided not to go with surgery because it would keep me out of judo for at least 6 months, and I wouldn’t be competitive for a year or more. I did 3 months of PT three times a week, and now 6 months after PT is done, I’m finally back benching where I was pre-injury and hitting the dojo as hard as ever. My overhead press is drastically reduced mainly because of overhead instability near lockout, but I’ve recently been extra determined to strengthen the instability away and I’ve started hitting a set of overhead presses everytime I go downstairs. Things have gone slow, but I’m glad that I avoided surgery.

I think the saving grace for me was that my arthrogram showed only soft tissue damage, and no bone abrasion. Did you have any bone breakage? My surgeon told me that the SLAP would eventually heal, but the supraspinatus ligament never would because of almost no circulation. My bicep also gets sore, and it was explained to me that this is because the SLAP starts at the front where your labrum attaches to the bicep.

I dislocated my shoulder twice, both times in judo. According to my surgeon, a single dislocation leaves you with a 50% chance of another injury. A second dislocation leaves you at 80% chance of more dislocations, but that can be reduced down through PT and exercise. A third dislocation, or bone abrasion would leave me at a permanent 95% chance of more dislocations, and that can’t be reduced. Had I gone through the surgery the 80% would have dropped down to a 5% chance of reinjury, but to be honest, I knew my personality and I think I would have gotten too antsy to let things heal all the way and would have pushed training before it was time.

It’s kind of demoralizing to think that you’ve injured yourself in a way that you may never recover from, but I think I made the right choice to avoid surgery and given time, I will be back to 100% or better.

edit: I also forgot to mention that I have the numb pinky/ring finger thing, and that has not gone away at all…

Borrek, as far as I know I do not have any bone breakage they believe it is a piece of cartilage in the A/C joint.

I’ve dislocated it twice already so I’m not on the favorable side of those percentages. Thanks for posting and for the info.

I am hoping that surgery will be a good thing and within 6 weeks I’ll be on my way to pressing and pulling and squatting again.

And also just because I think it is a public service, I should warn that the Wolfman with Benicio is not very good and was not worth the 22 dollars I paid for me and my wife to watch it. That is all.

-Hawk

Hey Hawk, keep us all posted here…

These are fairly common from what I’m seeing lately, as I too am believed to be suffering from a SLAP tear… I’m waiting for the MRI, but that’s 6 months down the road or longer… I’m tempted to just pay to get it done and avoid the wait, but we’ll see…

It’s worse for me in the mornings, as I usually find I’ve slept on my right side most of the night so when I get up, my right shoulder is just numb and the dull ache never seems to go away…

I’ve seen an ART specialist twice, but he said there’s not much more he can do till the MRI confirms what’s actually going on…

Having had SLAP repairs on both shoulders I would recommend them. It took me about 4 months to get back into the swing of things after surgery, so don’t rush things too quickly. I personally have never had problems with my shoulder when it came to lifting though, only throwing and tackling.

I have two close friends that had their shoulders repaired years ago. Both were back on the football field the next season.

Okay so Ive been thinking and reading a bit. So I had the MRI in december. Finally saw an Ortho in Feb. The Ortho didnt even spend over 60 seconds looking at my MRI. He seriously glanced down at them and said that they will put 5-8 holes around my shoulder and stick a camera in there to see whats up. He said the only thing that is certain is removing the 4mm by 3mm loose cartilingious/possibly boney body from my A/C joint.

Okay so should I request more testing? I’m kinda in a profession that doesn’t allow me to ask alot of questions but I want a little more info before this happens. What times of tests should I ask for? My circulation is getting worse in my right arm, is there a test for that?

Anything I should ask about for the surgery itself? One of my best friends is a nurse and she said get a nerve block done?

Any knowledge or experience would be appreciated, because I don’t wanna get cut on if I don’t have to.

Mucho appreciated.

-Hawk

hawksmoor, if you are not comfortable with the doc’s opinion get a second opinion and see what they say
about your shoulder. i had surgery on my left shoulder where i hurt it at work, and tore my shorthead bicep
tendon, torn rotator cuff,torn ACL.

torn labrum,and bone spur and had to wait 3 months for surgery due to being rejected the first time by insur co. for me this was major surgery. i had a shoulder nerve block
and it didn’t do anything for me. after surgery i was in so much pain that i was screamig and yelling in my sleep and was on alot of meds.

it took about 1 1/2 yrs to full recovery and do have pain once in while especially before and durring rain it flares up other than that i’m ok.

Good luck with the surgery, Hawk. Keep the updates coming.

I have around 100 dislocations logged on my right shoulder. I got back in the gym about 8 months ago and went almost 6 months without a dislocation (reinjured on the last rep of the last set squatting). Benching still isnt where it should be, but I have been going back and forth on whether to get the surgery done or not. I really dont want to be out of the gym for months on end.

[quote]Hawksmoor wrote:
I’m about to have surgery on my right shoulder on March 2nd or March 9th depending on some pre-op appointments and my work schedule. I had an Arthogram and MRI with contrast done in December which said that I had a SLAP tear and a piece of something floating in my AC joint.

My AC joint is also warped and pushed forward and I have tendinitis in my supraspinatus. Luckily my rotator cuff is not torn from what they explained to me. They don’t think I have any lesions but my shoulder is still very unstable after dislocating it in October. My powerlifting is definitely on hold for a bit.

Also my right biceps constantly hurts and both triceps left and right constantly go numb. I have reduced feeling in my right ring finger and pinky. The doctors basically told me they don’t really know whats going on until they get in their with a scope.

I’m gonna post alot before the surgery and during my rehab. Posting on here is really for my mental health because it’s gonna be really hard not to go crazy being in a sling and rehabbing it for what the doctors say will be 8 to 10 months. I personally think that I can come back faster but then again I don’t know what I’m dealing with yet.

I would appreciate any and all responses if anybody out there knows a thing or two about shoulder surgery and could share their knowledge. I am planning on entering some competitions by the end of this year early next year so any training advice whatsoever would be good.

Honestly just having people talking to me that know what it’s like to have to focus on rehab instead of lifting would be a relief. If anybody out there knows any competitions coming up around the northern california area that would be good too.

Anyways thanks for the help and if you have any questions ask.

-Hawk[/quote]

Hey bro, I had an almost identical problem, surgically repaired on Sept 3. I posted my experience here:

The surgery was in September and I was cleared to lift full bore mid December. I will be happy to share any of my experience with you. My Dr. did an excellent job. There is still residual pain which he said would last to up to a year, which is what I expected, but it’s still less painful then the pains I had pre op.

Any thing you wanna know about, I’ll be happy to share. Ask away.

[quote]Hawksmoor wrote:
Okay so Ive been thinking and reading a bit. So I had the MRI in december. Finally saw an Ortho in Feb. The Ortho didnt even spend over 60 seconds looking at my MRI. He seriously glanced down at them and said that they will put 5-8 holes around my shoulder and stick a camera in there to see whats up. He said the only thing that is certain is removing the 4mm by 3mm loose cartilingious/possibly boney body from my A/C joint.

Okay so should I request more testing? I’m kinda in a profession that doesn’t allow me to ask alot of questions but I want a little more info before this happens. What times of tests should I ask for? My circulation is getting worse in my right arm, is there a test for that?

Anything I should ask about for the surgery itself? One of my best friends is a nurse and she said get a nerve block done?

Any knowledge or experience would be appreciated, because I don’t wanna get cut on if I don’t have to.

Mucho appreciated.

-Hawk[/quote]

Is he talking about doing a scoping procedure separately from repair? I. E. he is talking about 2 procedures? If so I’d see somebody else, particularly somebody who specializes in sport medicine.
I have 3 tiny holes from my one procedure.

From what you said in your post, he sounds kind of scary. The MRI should be definitive and he should have a plan of action already. I had the loose body too, but my ortho told me exactly what he was going to do and how he was going to do it.

What part of the country do you live in, BTW? If you are any where near me, I’d recommend my ortho highly. Not the best bed side manner, but the dude has skills.

I had a SLAP tear and partially torn biceps tendon repaired November of 2009. Three months later, I’m in the gym lifting LIGHTLY, but very hopeful for a 100% recovery. I’m 38, hurt my shoulder in 1999 playing football and just dealt with it for 10 years. I would not recommend waiting if you know you have damage–it simply will not heal on its own.
I also had two pieces of cartilage floating around in the shoulder socket that were removed which severely limited my throwing and overhead lifting ability. I believe that’s now fixed with surgery.

I went specifically to a sports specialist, who works a lot with baseball players, so that he would understand what full recovery meant to me. Plus I’m a mailman so my job is shoulder-intensive. I had very little pain after surgery(I had a shoulder block, but never used the meds I was prescribed after it wore off). The toughest part for me was living (SLEEPING!) in a sling for 6 weeks.
Enjoy the time off work if you get some.

(First post–serial lurker who felt I had something to add to this particular thread…)

IMPRESSION:

  1. SLAP TEAR INVOLVING THE SUPERIOR, ANTERIOR AND ANTERIOR-INFERIOR GLENOID
    LABRUM.

  2. DEGENERATIVE CHANGE OF THE AC JOINT WITH SOME TENDONOSIS OF THE DISTAL
    SUPRASPINATUS TENDON.

  3. ADDITIONAL MENTION IS MADE OF A 4 X 3 MM SUSPECTED CARTILAGINOUS VERSUS
    OSSEOUS LOOSE BODY LOCATED WITHIN THE AXILLARY PORTION OF THE JOINT SPACE.

MR ARTHROGRAM, RIGHT SHOULDER:

TECHNIQUE: Multiplanar, multisequence examination of the right shoulder was
performed after prior injection of a diluted gadolinium mixture into the
shoulder joint space.

FINDINGS:

There is evidence of a SLAP tear involving the superior and anterior labrum
extending into the anterior-inferior aspects of the glenoid labrum. There
is no evidence of any Hill-Sachs lesion or bony Bankart lesion. However there
is evidence of degenerative change of the AC joint with downward sloping of
the acromion and some narrowing of the AC canal. Some mild relative
increased signal is also demonstrated involving the distal supraspinatus
tendon consistent with tendonosis. There is no definite evidence of any
complete rotator cuff tear.

Additional mention is made of the presence of a 4 x 3 mm diameter rounded low
signal located dependently within the axillary pouch portion of the joint
space somewhat medially and posteriorly. This is suspicious for representing
cartilaginous versus ossified loose body and clinical correlation is advised.


Can somebody please read this or help me make sense of it? Very frustrating.

I’m in the same boat. Waiting to go for my MRI, which I was supposed to a couple weeks ago but canceled it because of the blizzard.

Not looking forward to this, and I’m terrified of being put under (never done it).

Your SLAP tear (Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior) can be seen if you look around the 1 o’clock position of your humeral head (the ball part of your humerus that sits in the glenoid). See where the cuff (the white part) begins to fray at the 1 o’clock position (under the ART portion of the word ARTHROGRAM)? That’s where the SLAP tear is. It doesn’t look terrible, but you can see it.

Conceptually, a SLAP tear occurs when upward pressure causes the humeral head to push up and tear the labrum off of the glenoid. The labrum functions as a bumper that runs around the rim of the glenoid, helping to keep the humeral head in place and prevent bone on bone rubbing. The S in SLAP is for superior, meaning on top, thus in your case you can see the tear at the 1 o’clock, or more like 1:30 position.

To repair a SLAP, they will use suture and anchors to pull your labrum back down onto the glenoid. Usually it can be done with 1-3 anchors.

I’m in the OR dealing with these on a daily basis, so let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck with everything.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I’m in the same boat. Waiting to go for my MRI, which I was supposed to a couple weeks ago but canceled it because of the blizzard.

Not looking forward to this, and I’m terrified of being put under (never done it). [/quote]

The surgery is a snap, it’s the recovery that sucks. Stretching out the shoulder capsule is so painful. Not enough Percocet to make that shit not hurt.