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Greg Battaglia 09-19-2006 06:31 PM

Ok, so I was diagnosed with a SLAP tear in my right shoulder by means of physical examination so far. I haven't yet had an MRI, but all the tell-tale signs/symptoms exists for a SLAP tear, right on the button. So, now what? I have an appointment with my doc next Thursday. I know that labral tears cannot heal on their own due to the avascularity of the labrum and generally require surgery. Is there any possible way to recover from a SLAP tear and continue to live an active Crossfit lifestyle WITHOUT surgery? I would really like to avoid surgery, 6 months of inactivity will kill me. If surgery is the only way then I guess I'll have to accept that, but I'm not too excited about that probably truth. Anyone know what my options are?

Kevin McKay 09-19-2006 06:52 PM

That is odd I just had an MRI show I have a tear in the labrum of my hip, my doc says he thinks I will be able to resolve without anything invasive.
I am going to see a hip specialist on the 5th.

Greg Battaglia 09-19-2006 07:28 PM

Kevin, I'm happy to hear that your injury is minor and will be recovered soon. However, I think, but I could be wrong, that the shoulder is a very different situation. The hip joint is not very mobile, yet incredibly stable (you hardly ever hear of hip dislocation). The shoulder, on the other hand, is very mobile, yet incredibly unstable, and this is where I think the problem with a SLAP in the shoulder somes in. Since the shoulder joint has a larger range of motion, it is easier for the the head of the humerus to shift around and move out of place, aggravating the labrum. With the hip you have a much smaller range of motion, preventing any easy aggravation to the labrum. I could be completely wrong in this assumption, but based on the anatomic structural comparison of the two joints I believe what I'm saying should have some merit.

Garrett Smith 09-20-2006 05:34 AM

Contact me off-list. I can make some recommendations, I would like to know if it is a complete tear or only partial, as that does change what I would suggest.

Kevin McKay 09-20-2006 06:23 AM

Best of luck Greg, I wish you a quick recovery.

Jason Donaldson 09-20-2006 07:32 AM


I was diagnosed (through an MRI) with 2 undisplaced tears in the labrum (cant remember exactly where and the report is @ work) as well as some other shoulder issues as a result of numerous subluxations. I consulted an upper limb orthopeadic surgeon who said he could do surgery and explained what he would do. I asked him if it was necessary and he simply said "No". That IMHO is very rare for a scapel man. They usually say "Yeah, we just need to go in, have a look around. Do a bit of this and that and you'll be fine in about 6-12 mths." Needless to say, I didn't go under the knife and have continued CrossFit without a problem (with my shoulders anyway), although I am mindful of warming them up properly, doing rotator cuff exercises and stretching the area. My totally unqualified, non-expert opinion is to get an MRI to find out exactly what's goin on in there and then consult an ortho who specializes in shoulders. Then you will be in a good position to determine your next step. Oh and as Garrett says, contact him. I'm guessing he knows far more than me.

Greg Battaglia 09-20-2006 11:13 AM

Hey, thanks guys I appreciate the input. Hopefully I won't need surgery!

Ro Bostick 09-20-2006 01:36 PM

look to physical therapy before you let somebody butcher your arm. I had a partial slap tear in January of 2005. The doc I went to was great (most are quick to pump you full of drugs and put you under the knife) but this guy really walked me through my options and pressed upon me the rest and recuperation. It took a long time, it was about 5 months before I had physically recovered enough to start doing moderate/light heavy lifting and probably another 5 to 6 months before I got over the psychological barriers. But keep in mind that surgery will take you out of training for at about 4 months anyway. In the end I was able to bounce back from the injury without having to resort to surgery. I do have some minor stability problems but I think most of that is in my head rather than my shoulder. and on the plus side my shoulders are a lot stronger than they were before because of all the increased attention i've put into properly training and resting them since the injury

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