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  1. #1
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    Shoulder injury people...

    No one really reads gimp central so here we are. waiting for auth for mri. pa thinks labrum tear. rom is pretty shot. lifting arm up can only go like 50% and then crunching/popping/grinding. my pt thinks its a clear candidate for repair. pa said i might be too old for success at 38 years old. i guess we wont really know until mri which hopefully isnt weeks from now. bcbsmt apparently not authorizing mris now until many weeks of pt first.

    what did you do? fixed or just pt?

    trying to stay positive. plan is to come back even stronger. dummy ripped. bag all my summer races and maybe be able to race in october if lucky. gonna have to find new hobbies i guess.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2011
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    Here's a data point for you. I'll give you the long version for your reading pleasure.

    I tore my labrum 24 years ago (I'm 51). I was trying to close down an old stubborn ski rack and was putting as much pressure as I could with my arm/elbow shoulder at a very weird angle and got a very arresting pain in my shoulder, so it wasn't a fall or otherwise "interesting" mechanism of injury. Regardless...seriously limited my ROM, pain raising my arm, etc., the whole deal.

    It took me quite a long time to eventually get a MR Arthogram scheduled. Drove to UVM medical center, took the doc waaaay too long to get the huge ass needle with the contrast in place (they do it under an xray or something like that to make sure its in the right place), then they took the images. Went home, and an hour later they called saying I would need to reschedule because they didn't take all the pictures they were supposed to and that yes, i would have to go through the injection again. Fuck that. I got right back in the car and told them I was coming back up and didnt care what their schedule said, they were gonna take those pictures that night.

    Went to see the UVM Athletics shoulder doc of choice, Claude Nichols. He said that I had torn my labrum, and after a long consultation, he told me that he could fix it, but given the challenges of the labrum, the surgery could make it better, not change anything, or make it worse. If I did not get it repaired, however, I was sure to have challenges with certain motions. I decided to wait it out and see.

    It took a while to stop hurting (months as I remember), but it stopped. So now, these things cause some sharp pain sometimes: throwing anything really hard, push ups, bench presses, thats about it. But I never really did much strength training, PT or anything specific to mitigate the pain. I just avoid those things. My two main loves, skiing and biking, have not been affected.

    I would imagine that the surgical techniques/tools etc have improved by now, and your tear may be much worse. But like I said, one data point for ya. Good luck. Sucks being sidelined from the things that feed the soul.

  3. #3
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    Had a torn labrum repaired last December. It was pretty rough recovery. Was finally feeling awesome again after about 6 months, and then managed to get a Grade 2 AC separation on the same damn shoulder a few weeks ago. Painful as hell.
    But the upshot is that I will be fine, and recover (more or less) completely.
    Already lifting some weights and doing strength training, but it ain’t easy.
    PT before my surgery did basically fuck-all, glad I got it done.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  4. #4
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    Not the same injury, I dislocated my shoulder badly Thanksgiving of '20. It took forever to heal, even doing all the PT that was assigned. Shoulders are amazingly complex and when you fuck them up, they take a long time to get back to where they were.

    The one thing my PT hammered (that I've not been great about following through with) is doing a bunch of strength training after it got better. He said that after you damage all the tendons and stuff in a shoulder, you need to make the muscles (and mobility) even better than they were before to avoid re-injury. I believe it since I know that going into the injury, my muscles were all tight and jacked up and I just ignored it... then one weird landing and POP.

    Healing vibes, and good luck. That sucks man.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for anecdotes and vibes. rideit i did mine backwards. separated last sept and then dislocated this week. i thought i was strong with weight training all winter. not strong enough i guess. lucky to have team affiliation with pt/gym. my pa has both torn labrums but he is fucking ripped now. like scary strong.

    regardless of surgery or not im gonna go crazy with pt and lifting and come out swole. my dad was like, "time to quit bikes...." lol yeah....when im dead ill quit.

  6. #6
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    Otoh, I could use a bit of being ‘ripped’ right now at 55, LOL!
    I can’t seem to lift enough to be any more ripped looking, even though I know I am MUCH stronger after two years of strength training.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  7. #7
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    My first dislocation was hockey related at age 17, it was the regional championship game. I didn't do what I should have, at all. Young and dumb. Rested it until it felt better and proceeded to dislocate again 2-3 weeks later in the state tournament. After that I've had, idk, 30-40+ full dislocations/in-outs. Everything from ski crashes, climbing dynos, to doing stupid shit like reaching in the back seat, holding something heavy and taking a hard step, etc. You've got to be extremely careful in the weeks after a dislocation. Give your shoulder time to tighten back up, and getting on the PT as soon as possible is key.

    I've had x-rays done closer to the initial incident and finally did the MRI arthogram 3-4 years (I'm 28 now). I don't fully understand what the purpose of the arthogram is, but from my lay-person's perspective it's to check for leaks (IE tears). Apparently mine wasn't leaking so they didn't think it was a labrum tear. Instead, my diagnosis was that my shoulder joint was naturally more prone to dislocations due to it's shape/formation (which I'd tend to believe as I remember being double jointed in my left shoulder as a kid, injury is right shoulder). My initial injury was going in for a hit along the boards, and the other player ducked or moved and I caught full boards with my shoulder. The doc who reviewed the x-ray/arthogram (it's foggy since it was awhile ago) said that it looked like that injury packed out/deformed my shoulder joint making me prone to future dislocations.

    Living with it for me is doable but it sucks and is a liability given my hobbies. At this point I'm privy to movements that I need to avoid, but know it's inevitable that I'll continue to have problems without surgery or a serious PT schedule that I stick to for the rest of my life. I feel fortunate that the joint is loose enough that I've never had to go to the hospital to get it back in place, but it still hurts as bad as the initial injury when it's out. My main concern with living with it is that I'll have a more severe injury to nerves/tendens/RC/labrum in the future. I see surgery in my 1-2 year future, but am not willing to go to some shlub to have it done.

  8. #8
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    What worries me most is how easy mine came out. Stupid 1mph crash. my arm was dislocated before i even touched the ground. i think an actual race pace crash would just shred it worse and potential for bone damage which i avoided this time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    What worries me most is how easy mine came out. Stupid 1mph crash. my arm was dislocated before i even touched the ground. i think an actual race pace crash would just shred it worse and potential for bone damage which i avoided this time.
    From my experience, the lower the speed of the accident, the more likely I'm going to the ER. I'm consistently amazed at how I get injured, when after other high speed dismounts on wheels or skis, I'm amazed that I am injury free. Go figure.

  10. #10
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    Shoulder injury people...

    FYI on shoulder injuries, itíll seem like itís never getting better, and then magically it does (if youíre keeping up on the rehab).

    Everyone (including myself) Iíve talked to that had labrum or rotator issues-surgical and non- had a long time of rehab where it hurt like hell and never felt like it was getting anywhere-for months and months! and then miraculously felt a ton better in a quick fashion.

    So whatever you end up with, surgery or no, donít lose hope, keep up the rehab.

  11. #11
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    I broke my shoulder road racing ten years ago. Since it was immobilized for eight weeks I got what they call a frozen shoulder. This might happen to you too if you opt for surgery. It took close to a year of daily PT to get all my strength and range of motion back. By comparison, I broke my wrist skiing on New Years Day 2020. It was back to normal in less than six months.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by milestogo View Post
    From my experience, the lower the speed of the accident, the more likely I'm going to the ER. I'm consistently amazed at how I get injured, when after other high speed dismounts on wheels or skis, I'm amazed that I am injury free. Go figure.
    +1. I injured my shoulder when a shift pre-released while skiing in the backcountry. I was slow, in control, and skiing firm snow. I've wiped going MUCH faster with no injuries.

    My labrum was fully torn - if the labrum is shaped like a clock, mine was ruptured from 9 to 5 and then again from 11 til 1. I think it took a total of 8 surgical sutures to get back in place.

    I didn't delay surgery after getting injured, and I'm personally glad that I went right under the knife. I know PT works for many, but I've also heard enough horror stories to be glad that I just got mine over with. If I had to guess I would say that knowing how active and strong you are, you'll make an excellent recovery, WRG.

    Recovery was painful but not the worst. Follow your PT, stay active, eat well. You'll make it through.

    Hope to see you back in the saddle before too long!

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    I think the skill of the surgeon is really important. I was lucky and ended up with a guy who also works on pro baseball / football players. One-incision arthroscopy and he tightened it up the perfect amount.

    It varies person to person, but mine got worse over the years, not better. Even with targeted strength training and mid-20's healing powers.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamburello Rouge View Post
    I broke my shoulder road racing ten years ago. Since it was immobilized for eight weeks I got what they call a frozen shoulder. This might happen to you too if you opt for surgery. It took close to a year of daily PT to get all my strength and range of motion back. By comparison, I broke my wrist skiing on New Years Day 2020. It was back to normal in less than six months.
    i believe they call that ^^ encapsulated shoulder, I got it from leaning on crutches of all things, DON'T ever lean on crutches, it took about 2 yrs to completely go away, anything to do with a shoulder can take a long time and ime acupuncture helped
    Last edited by XXX-er; 04-15-2022 at 09:27 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    What worries me most is how easy mine came out. Stupid 1mph crash. my arm was dislocated before i even touched the ground. i think an actual race pace crash would just shred it worse and potential for bone damage which i avoided this time.
    Yup, my dislocation was on something slow and stupid too (tried to gap over a ditch, landed a bit front heavy). It was weird, even though I landed front heavy and stuffed the fork, the shoulder dislocated downward and was a bitch to reset. I'd tweaked that side a couple weeks before making a diving catch to stop my kid from falling off the couch, than earlier that ride laid the bike over on a flat corner but aggravated more it pushing the bike away.

    That's why mobility work is as important as the strength. You'll see a lot of pro athletes (especially ones doing intense high impact stuff, like Crossfit) who do spend a lot of time stretching and rolling out. I really like a massage gun to help with that - really good with funky knots in spots that are hard to roll out.

  16. #16
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    Just got out of the orthoís office at the UofU. Fully fucked rotator cuff. Dr (shoulder specialist and team doctor for the Jazz) said I could rehab/pt if I wanted but Iíd never fully regain motion or strength. I pretty much knew it was really bad and had already accepted that I needed surgery. If youíre an active person being out for a long time sucks. But being in constant pain and being limited is worse. Thereís a reason you donít hear of pro athletes rehabbing through major injuries. When its broken, it needs fixing or your just playing with a broken toy. Shoulders are tricky and you really want a really good surgeon, ic wouldnít trust just any ortho to do it. Make sure theyíre a specialist and well respected. And after be diligent with PT.

  17. #17
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    Damn 3am to 8am is sort of like torture. shoulder just on fire.

    this is who they have me with now. https://www.bridgerorthopedic.com/ou...alex-b-legrand

    ive only met with his pa so far. have only heard great reviews. the other option is this guy. https://www.bridgerorthopedic.com/ou...d-n-vinglas-md

    i think these guys are some of the best in the state. have to check my insurance but i assume slc docs would be out of network. just found out my mri was authorized.

  18. #18
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    Sep 2016
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    Iíve been battling a rotator cuff for the past 9 months with little progress via pt. Canít do anything over head or away from my body with that arm. Seeing my ortho again in a couple of weeks and am not sure where it will go.

    Shoulders suck when they are not right.


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  19. #19
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    I've had multiple labrum tears and rotator cuff injuries, mostly from wrestling. Skipped surgery every time and I don't regret. Have a buddy who played left tackle in college who had surgery for both. He regrets both.

    This was a while ago though.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    Damn 3am to 8am is sort of like torture. shoulder just on fire.

    this is who they have me with now. https://www.bridgerorthopedic.com/ou...alex-b-legrand

    ive only met with his pa so far. have only heard great reviews. the other option is this guy. https://www.bridgerorthopedic.com/ou...d-n-vinglas-md

    i think these guys are some of the best in the state. have to check my insurance but i assume slc docs would be out of network. just found out my mri was authorized.
    Shoulder surgery is gravy train for ortho docs.

  21. #21
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    Pre orthoscopic times shoulder surgery was a recipe for disaster. With a good surgeon itís way better now. Biggest issue is the long recovery and you absolutely must follow your PTs instruction and not try to get back too fast.

    If SLC doctors are in network thereís 2 excellent shoulder specialist at the U and Iíve heard good things about one of the guys at TOSH (a place I normally wouldnít go). Itís not going to be easy. I know Iíve got a year before Iím a 100%

  22. #22
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    Dec 2010
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    Just had 2 separate orthos refuse to do surgery due to how badly shredded my labrum is, and the advanced arthritis stemming from the associated instability and subluxations. I'm a PT only candidate to try and wring as many years outta what I got before full replacement. Im 33.


    About 13 years ago I had my labrum, shoulder capsule and biceps tendon done. They say shoulder surgery is one of the most painful surgeries. They're right.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by altacoup View Post
    Just got out of the orthoís office at the UofU. Fully fucked rotator cuff. Dr (shoulder specialist and team doctor for the Jazz) said I could rehab/pt if I wanted but Iíd never fully regain motion or strength. I pretty much knew it was really bad and had already accepted that I needed surgery. If youíre an active person being out for a long time sucks. But being in constant pain and being limited is worse. Thereís a reason you donít hear of pro athletes rehabbing through major injuries. When its broken, it needs fixing or your just playing with a broken toy. Shoulders are tricky and you really want a really good surgeon, ic wouldnít trust just any ortho to do it. Make sure theyíre a specialist and well respected. And after be diligent with PT.
    FWIW, MLB pitchers almost exclusively rehab rotator cuff tears because recovery rate from surgery is so low. And damn near anyone who played significant overhead sports has some level of labrum tearing.

    Shoulders fucking suck.

  24. #24
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    ^^^
    Only for minor tears. Long list of MLB pitchers undergoing rotator cuff surgery. Return to elite level pitching is 50/50. Tommy John surgery is now considered less detrimental to a pitching career. Large tears almost always require surgery, unless the tendon has retracted too far in which case surgery is very rarely successful and a fucked shoulder until replacement is usually the prognosis. There being 4 muscles that make up the rotator cuff thereís a lot a variability injury to injury. Very good to excellent outcomes for 90-95 percent of people who arenít pro. Hence the need for a really good surgeon. Also a lot of those pitchers with small tears get surgery after retirement. Personally my labrum is ok, but supraspinatus has full and partial tear.

    Bummer that yours canít be repaired. Same shoulder you had worked on previously?


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  25. #25
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    FWIW, here's my experience.


    I was riding down Sweeny's Switchbacks in Park City on the 4th of July a couple of years ago. Perhaps it was the view, perhaps it was the thought of a cold beer in the market at the bottom of Main Street, perhaps it was too much whiskey at the Yurt a half hour before,



    but I found myself sliding off the left side of the trail. Apparently I used my right arm to catch myself. At first, it didn't feel any different than all the other crashes I've had over the years. There was a bit more road rash then usual,



    but nothing that I thought was catastrophic. I rode back to the car without much discomfort. The first time I realized something wasn't quite right was when I tried to reach behind the seat to grab my water bottle and couldn't get past the center console. After a week of similar experiences and the inability to effectively wipe my own ass with my right arm, I saw my PCP, who scheduled me for an MRI. When the results



    were in he recommended a surgeon who I saw and didn't quite jive with. He just made me feel like I was a number in his que and not a patient. I spent a bunch of time creeping around the other surgeons in my insurance plan and found another surgeon who seemed to partake in the same activities, skiing and biking. I was brutally honest with him, and he was brutally honest with me. I had a torn rotator cuff, and he rated it as a 9 out of 10 in terms of severity. He said he could repair it but it would be like stitching up a WalMart chicken breast... there wasn't much meat to work with. I asked him if I could postpone it until mud season, which he agreed to, but he asked me not to fall on that side. I obliged. He did the repair at the end of October, I was back on the fatbike in January.



    It's been a couple of years now and there are times I can't remember which arm it was.

    I guess that's the "good."

    Here's the ugly. It was my first bout of general anesthesia.



    I was scared as fuck, so much so that when my surgeon entered the prep room to chat with me, he could clearly see it on my face and told the staff to wait until I was in the operating theater to do the sedation. He figured, and rightly so, that I would have pissed myself had they given me the nerve blocker in the prep room without any chemical assistance. The surgery took about an hour or so, and was uneventful. Sleeping sucked. After the nerve blocker wore off, the only position I could find that was comfortable was sitting up in a large armchair. I think I slept there in the living room for about a month. Cat therapy certainly helped.



    On the third or fourth night, I was transitioning to the floor to find another position in which I could relieve pressure from my ass and I felt a tremendous pop from my shoulder. I thought I had torn the repair and pretty much sat on the floor crying for about the next 4 hours. I think it was a Saturday-Sunday overnight, so I wasn't able to speak to my surgeon's office for a couple of days. He told me it was likely one of my joints popping back into place after not having moved for a few days. Score. The next couple of months sucked. I'm right handed and half of my job requires a fair bit of physicality on that side. I coped, but it wasn't pretty. The sling and pillow combination



    made it hard to drive, cook, pick up the kids, wipe my own ass, etc.

    As far as the pain went, I'm squarely in the anti-narcotic camp. Not for religious reasons, but my industry has exposed me to way too many folks who have lost loved ones to intentional and unintentional abuse. I think I only used a few of the prescribed pain pills. I spent most of my time alternating between the big three OTC pills. YMMV, but it worked for me.

    The one thing I can't over emphasize is finding a good PT. Mine was a ski buddy and at first, I thought it would be awkward as fuck if I didn't recover to a meaningful level, but I can't say enough about finding someone who shares your hobbies. She knew exactly what my expectations were and we were able to have alot of plaintalk. There wasn't any bullshit.

    TLDR: Get the fucking surgery, don't just suffer for years. I was 40 when I had mine done. I can't imagine suffering with that for another 40 years. Find a surgeon and PT who bikes and skis. Take the pills, but not too many. Get back out there as soon as you can. Squirrel away your tax return. Out the door was $10K and I didn't get a ride in a 407.

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