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Shoulder Surgery Recovery Recovery from labrum repair Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Zac the Bruce 

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 01:24 AM

Shoulder injuries seem fairly common in judo players. I've just been through surgery, and I know pre-op I would have liked to see some kind of blog/diary detailing a judo players experience with recovery from the surgery. So if there's any interest I'll start my own.

Of course each individual is different and recovery will vary but some my find it interesting/useful anyway..

A little background;
I initially injured the shoulder before I started judo, "wrestling" with a mate and not knowing how to break fall, stuck my arm out and dislocated it. Once I started judo I dislocated it several times in various situations, saw a ortho surgeon, did PT, kept dislocating, about a dozen- 18 over the course of two years. Had MRI with contrast which showed a partial tear in the front of my labrum. Decided on surgery.


Had surgery 4 days ago now. Had the procedure done arthroscopically. Stayed in hospital overnight, on a reasoable amount of pain relief- 10mg oxycodone every 5-6 hours, plus 400mg ibuprofen. Kept me reasonably comfortable but it was painful. Could not sleep that night, never slept on my back before. Could kind of lay partly on my side but seemed to put pressure on my shoulder.

Surgeon came to see me- he let me know the repair went well, put a couple of anchors in and tightened the shoulder capsule. Saw the PT, got me out of the sling, moving my hand, wrist, elbow, shrugging my shoulder, letting my arm hang and swing around a little. Was painful and very stiff. Will be doing these exercises 3x day. Went home. Showering was a pain in the ass.

Pain was worse that day. Only allowed 5mg doses of oxycodone 3x day, plus 400mg ibuprofen 3x day. Sling was getting uncomfortable. Slept better, very exhausted.

PT exercises actually feel pretty good but very little movement. Slept well last night but still feel exhausted. Went for a very slow walk around the block, bumps cause pain. Didn't take any oxycodone this morning but might need to later, def. before bed.

Stitches will come out in two weeks. Was surprised that I only had 5 stitches; three small incisions. Will see the surgeon the same day.


Probably in the sling for six weeks; not allowed any external rotation beyond the line of my body during that time. No raising to shoulder level until the 12 week mark. Surgeon mentioned no contact sports until 12 months (!!) but not sure what the definition of "contact" is.

At this stage I'm off work and school for 3 weeks. My job doesn't involve physical work.


Will update depending on interest, if/when anything happens.
Feel free to ask questions, I've got plenty of time on my hands.

Also share your experiences with similar surgery if you like..

This post has been edited by Zac the Bruce: 03 September 2011 - 01:30 AM

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#2 User is offline   stacey 

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 02:23 AM

hey, yeah, do a blog. Join the club - you can post a blog here on the forum. It's the tab next to "members" at the top. Pictures are always nice as well.

I had my first shoulder surgery more than 25 years ago, so I don't think my experience will help you much. I got the big scar, felt like I'd been boned like a chicken, and was completely immobilized when I got out of the hospital after a 5 day stay. I had to have a whole sharks mouth of bone spurs removed from the acromium process, and several otehr ligaments tightened up (oh, and I don't have a bursa in either shoulder anymore). So, the relevance there's probably limited.

If you have a yard stick or escrima lying around, find them - they'll be helpful for your exercises at home before too long. Also, use extra pillows to support your arm in a good position, or you'll never get good sleep. Extra pillows are great for so many things! Also, you'll notice a bit of swelling in your wrist and fingers. You can get rid of that by using your wrist and fingers. Since you're probably not allowed to do anything with weight, squeezing a tennis ball is probably out. That's why knitting is so great - no weight to it, and when you're done, your swelling's down and you have a scarf. So, might give that a try, especially with cold weather coming up, and if you have a bf/gf you're interested in, that scarf is a wonderful little gift....

Good luck with your healing. I look forward to reading your blog. And when you get to it, take some picks of the bruising around your ribs and your elbow ....
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Please note, the above provided information does not constitute legal advice but is written for entertainment purposes only. The author is not responsible should you pursue any of the above, and by reading the above, you agree to hold the author, the forum, and any and all other entity including but not limited to God harmless for any damage, monetary or otherwise, caused by your pursuit. Yadda Yadda....
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#3 User is offline   Zac the Bruce 

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 03:24 AM

Hi Stacey,
thanks for the reply. I'm sure glad that surgery techniques have improved over the last 25 years.
Using the idea of extra pillows has helped a lot, thanks, I keep one up under my elbow and I feel much better. Also one under my knees seems to help me stay comfortable as well.
I don't have any bruising but I am developing a rash that nobody wants to see photo's of.

Well it's been a whole week since surgery, had some good days and some bad ones, sleeping and pain wise. Can walk around fairly comfortably, just not too fast as the bumping around hurts.
Not much to say really I don't expect any major changes until 6 weeks.
One thing I should mention is despite feeling like I'm sleeping well doing much more than relaxing around the house is extremely tiring. Hopefully I'm ready to jump back into work/school in a couple of weeks.

Oh and I did some uni-lateral weightlifting today, left side only obviously, rows and OHP, physio mentioned something about motor unit activation or something but I'm just glad to be feeling like I'm doing something. Hopefully won't end up as a lopsided freak.

One week to go and the stitches will be out and will talk to the surgeon about the possibility of getting back to work. Will also be looking forward to knowing when I can drive again, and when I can start more intensive physio.
Actually I've got a bunch of questions, like when can I use a computer mouse again, when can I sleep without the sling, can I sit in my recliner without the sling etc..
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#4 User is offline   stacey 

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:48 AM

you'll find the very formal walking method used in kata will keep the bouncing to a minimum. Might want to give it a try. If you've never done it before, ask your sensei or somebody who does a lot of kata about it.
Disclaimer


Please note, the above provided information does not constitute legal advice but is written for entertainment purposes only. The author is not responsible should you pursue any of the above, and by reading the above, you agree to hold the author, the forum, and any and all other entity including but not limited to God harmless for any damage, monetary or otherwise, caused by your pursuit. Yadda Yadda....
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#5 User is offline   Nic 

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 03:29 PM

I had my labrum repair last November, so I'm 9 months out. I also had impingment syndrome so they shaved the bone a bit while they were in there and cleaned up some tears on the biceps tendon and rotator cuff.

The first couple of weeks are hard, and then you start to feel better, and then it gets frustrating, then much, much better. That's my experience.

I'm not 100% yet, but getting close. I'm in less pain on a daily basis than I have been in 10 years, so that's the best news. I have better range of motion and strength in the shoulder than I'd had in a few years as well.

I work out and don't worry about the shoulder too much, although I do still tap before the point of pain if anyone attacks that arm.

The PT exercises really helped and I continue to do those once or twice a week. The PT advised me to do that forever to help prevent further injuries, so I'm going ot try. The interesting thing is that when my shoulder ached more was when I neede to do the exercises more. You want to rest when you hurt, but activity is better with your shoulder. And don't forget to ice it lots, that really helps. They like to give you a little time before they start serious PT because they want to make sure the anchors hold in place before you become weight bearing.

As for the rash, let your doc know, it could be the meds you are on.

You can probably use the mouse now if you are just web searching at home. I came back to work after 3 weeks and would switch hands depending ont he task so I could keep my arm within the recommended range of motion. I kept the sling on at night for a while beacause I was worried I'd roll on it wrong in my sleep, or my partner or a dog would bash it. But I took the sling off after a week or so just to sit in a recliner.

Good luck with your healing, do everything the doc and Physio tell you to do and you should be happy with the outcome.
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#6 User is offline   JoshuaResnick 

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:19 PM

i had nearly my entire labrum, capsule and supraspinatus tendon torn to hell.

i now have a variety of "anchors" that helped reattach the labrum, the capsule was stitched back togehter and the supra tendon was cleaned and anchored down. because i was trying to get back to full competition within 3 months the decision was made to use only scopes for the procerdure.. less swelling would = into a faster entry into PT.

Lets just say that the recovery was a nightmare. no way was i even 75% within 3 months and i still tried to compete hoping to keep my qualification for the trials. it didnt work out. no big deal...

but, because i rushed everything, i am now having some level of instability again-- nearly 8 years later. this may be due to my complete and total stoppage of doing anything remotely like strength training since retiring from competition. i am sure that if i had continued to keep up some level of base strength the entire time i would not be dealing with this issue... OR, perhaps my shoulder would've fully destroyed itself a few years ago and i would've had a full, proper reconstruction done already.

who knows...

but, one thing is for certain with a shoulder... be prepared for a long, difficult recovery. it is far more painful and frustrating than my knee was.
"When life backs you onto the ropes, remember Ali and the Rope-A-Dope." -joshua resnick
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#7 User is offline   Still learning 

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:21 PM

Zac

Use the sling, only exception for me was when I was relaxing in a chair with the arm supported, or doing PT exercises.

Sleeping with a sling is a right pain, but it is so easy to wake up and forget, move your arm the wrong way ..... keep it on for a little longer.
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#8 User is offline   Zac the Bruce 

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:46 AM

View PostStill learning, on 08 September 2011 - 07:21 AM, said:

Zac

Use the sling, only exception for me was when I was relaxing in a chair with the arm supported, or doing PT exercises.

Sleeping with a sling is a right pain, but it is so easy to wake up and forget, move your arm the wrong way ..... keep it on for a little longer.



Hi Graham,

I'm certainly not going to rush getting out of the sling, I'm going to follow my doctors orders but I'm keen to know some kind of time line
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#9 User is offline   Zac the Bruce 

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:54 AM

View PostJoshuaResnick, on 08 September 2011 - 04:19 AM, said:

i had nearly my entire labrum, capsule and supraspinatus tendon torn to hell.

i now have a variety of "anchors" that helped reattach the labrum, the capsule was stitched back togehter and the supra tendon was cleaned and anchored down. because i was trying to get back to full competition within 3 months the decision was made to use only scopes for the procerdure.. less swelling would = into a faster entry into PT.

Lets just say that the recovery was a nightmare. no way was i even 75% within 3 months and i still tried to compete hoping to keep my qualification for the trials. it didnt work out. no big deal...

but, because i rushed everything, i am now having some level of instability again-- nearly 8 years later. this may be due to my complete and total stoppage of doing anything remotely like strength training since retiring from competition. i am sure that if i had continued to keep up some level of base strength the entire time i would not be dealing with this issue... OR, perhaps my shoulder would've fully destroyed itself a few years ago and i would've had a full, proper reconstruction done already.

who knows...

but, one thing is for certain with a shoulder... be prepared for a long, difficult recovery. it is far more painful and frustrating than my knee was.



Thanks for sharing your experience,

t's very much the same as others who have been through the surgery. It makes me think I've got the worst to come, so far mine has been much better than I expected, but then it's only early days and the real PT hasn't started yet..

As far as rushing things, I'm not really competition orientated, and so I'm in no big rush to get back into hard training, as much as I do love it. I'm quite determined to do it once and do it right. No doubt I won't be feeling so resolute in a month or so when I really start to miss the training,.
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#10 User is offline   Zac the Bruce 

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:38 PM

Now at two weeks. Pain is quite minimal. Had the stitches out. Talked to the surgeon, he said I could start PT, but no external rotation beyond the line of my body, and no external rotation in combination with abduction. I am allowed out of the sling to do simple tasks, like eating or typing. He said the repair is actually quite strong and is hard to damage, but it is better to be conservative in my case, as I am not an elite sportsperson. He said if I was I may not have had a sling at all, but then he said for elite sports people they expect an early failure rate of about 1/20; that is, in the first 3 months.

He expects that I will be able to do some judo by 12 weeks, no heavy impact stuff. Whether this is realistic remains to be seen.
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#11 User is offline   icb 

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 01:42 AM

I had shoulder reconstruction surgery just over 20 years ago. Like you, I originally dislocated my shoulder before starting judo, but then had recurrent dislocations in judo and other sporting (and non-sporting) activities, so decided to have surgery. Tried going back to judo about 18 months out, but didn't feel confident that the shoulder was strong enough, so gave up judo for just over 12 years. Tried aikido and some other sports in the meantime, where I felt I had better control over what happened to my shoulder. Came back to judo just over 5 years ago when my older son started. Was unsure about the shoulder at first, but increasing the muscle bulk around my shoulder has actually improved the stability.

My recommendations would be:

1. Do what your PT says.

2. Ask your PT about water exercises - I found these very helpful.

3. When you go back to judo, don't be afraid to limit your activities and to take a breakfall or tap well before you feel your shoulder could be in any danger.
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#12 User is offline   Zac the Bruce 

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 11:22 AM

3 weeks post op now. Feeling pretty good, no pain.
Went and saw the physio today. He says I'm miles ahead of where most guys are by three weeks. He says it's one of the best op's he's seen. Glad I forked out for the private insurance.

Still in the sling, but my physio is encouraging me to get out of the sling more and more often over the next couple of weeks. I have my arm slung across my body and apparently this is not really the ideal position for my shoulder to be in. And leading on from that, today the physio helped reduce some of the problems that are related to not being able to move my arm around much; tightness in my right trap and down along my spine.
Added two "excersises" to my routing, gently moving through rotation and also lifting my arm to shoulder height- at the moment this is really tough- no pain but the muscles aren't doing their jobs properly anymore. So the other arm helps..

Could/should be driving again by week six which is encouraging. Means I can get over the judo club and marvel at how easy it looks from the sidelines.
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#13 User is offline   Zac the Bruce 

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 11:40 AM

View PostNic, on 08 September 2011 - 01:29 AM, said:

I had my labrum repair last November, so I'm 9 months out. I also had impingment syndrome so they shaved the bone a bit while they were in there and cleaned up some tears on the biceps tendon and rotator cuff.

The first couple of weeks are hard, and then you start to feel better, and then it gets frustrating, then much, much better. That's my experience.

I'm not 100% yet, but getting close. I'm in less pain on a daily basis than I have been in 10 years, so that's the best news. I have better range of motion and strength in the shoulder than I'd had in a few years as well.

I work out and don't worry about the shoulder too much, although I do still tap before the point of pain if anyone attacks that arm.

The PT exercises really helped and I continue to do those once or twice a week. The PT advised me to do that forever to help prevent further injuries, so I'm going ot try. The interesting thing is that when my shoulder ached more was when I neede to do the exercises more. You want to rest when you hurt, but activity is better with your shoulder. And don't forget to ice it lots, that really helps. They like to give you a little time before they start serious PT because they want to make sure the anchors hold in place before you become weight bearing.

As for the rash, let your doc know, it could be the meds you are on.

You can probably use the mouse now if you are just web searching at home. I came back to work after 3 weeks and would switch hands depending ont he task so I could keep my arm within the recommended range of motion. I kept the sling on at night for a while beacause I was worried I'd roll on it wrong in my sleep, or my partner or a dog would bash it. But I took the sling off after a week or so just to sit in a recliner.

Good luck with your healing, do everything the doc and Physio tell you to do and you should be happy with the outcome.



Hi Nic,
Sorry somehow I missed your post earlier. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like your experience has been generally positive, I'm glad for that.
The rash I think was related to sweat/chafing and thr bepanthen (sp?) settled it right down.

As far as doing everything my doc and physio say, it's like my new mantra. I am expecting that as I can do more and more I will be tempted to try and do too much. Must resist!
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#14 User is offline   Zac the Bruce 

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:11 PM

5-ish weeks and another visit to the physio. Can raise my arm to shoulder height without too much pain, out in front and out to the sides. Not that it is really encouraged but still a good test as to where I'm at. Started isometric exercises for my rotator cuff, really simple stuff and I'm not allowed to put a whole lot of effort in at this stage, it's apparently more about getting the muscles to fire not strengthening at this stage.

No reason I shouldn't be out of the sling completely by week 7. My physio is still very happy with how I'm progressing i.e. quicker than the norm.
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#15 User is offline   PtWhiteBelt 

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 04:34 PM

Since no one did, I'll post something about prevention for those who care. My first real injury - i.e. one that doesn't go away after a week of cruising - was to both supraspinati with repercussions from the anterior deltoid all to way to the neck. After doing eco, x-rays and mir and confirming it wasn't bad enough to be a surgery candidate (physio did absolutely squat as it usually does) I made it a point to know as much as I could about shoulder rehab and what went wrong and what I should've done all along (and everyone for that matter).

After getting serious about doing the work myself despite the pain I was in every other day telling me not to and rather to keep doing pathetic levels of exercise, I started forcing my way back to work and after about 3~4 months I was almost pain free and now only have small pain episodes every other week and never longer than a hour (and of course I do not have to use any type of painkiller).

So, here are links that helped me.

http://www.t-nation....r_savers_part_i
http://www.t-nation...._savers_part_ii
http://www.t-nation....savers_part_iii
http://www.shoulderd...=577#staticlink
http://www.t-nation....ulls_and_shrugs
http://www.t-nation....rective_lifting
http://www.aafp.org/...p/fongemie.html

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=xCp-YynBEvE
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=A0ONHZmsFec
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=2y949Vl0Y8o


Essentially, what I did with all this info was to do a personal protocol for my needs which consists in a series of exercises for all the rotator cuff muscles (more than one specifically for the supraspinati) and upgrade my warmup as well as include strict stretch exercises at the end of every workout that will remotely make use of the shoulders. I also removed every exercise from my weightlifting routine that was either unbalanced or had increased risk of provoking impingement.
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