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Old 11-22-2010, 08:44 PM   #11
Michael Dries
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

So you're look at 9 months to back to pull ups? Jesus, I have 3 tears in my left labrum and my right shoulder (never had checked) has "moved around unwantedly" in the middle of the night twice in the last 3 months resulting in weeks of pain and recovery.

I KNOW my left shoulder needs to be done but now im scared my right one does as well. I can't fathom being away from the weights for almost 2 years.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:36 PM   #12
Derek Murrow
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Richards View Post
Thanks folks for the replies. I've continued researching and the Steadman clinic seems to get a lot of positive responses. One name mentioned was Dr. Millette, who apparently splits time between the clinic and a professorial position with Harvard's medical school. I havn't yet corresponded with anyone yet who had him work on their shoulder. At least he's on my insurance company's preferred list

I guess part of the reason for my post was to find out if choosing the "best" surgeon you can find is important enough to warrant a long trip to work with them (and then all the logistical issues of followup during the long recovery).

I'm really of the mindset that I want
  1. To do this right the first time
  2. To be able to continue in CF and gymnastics strengthening

I've also received (via a surgical asssistant I know) a recommendation for someone in town who has a reputation as a shoulder specialist. Besides asking for confirmation I can resume athletic activity during a consult with an orthopedist, what else would be essential questions to ask? Is age a significant consideration? (The PT said I was in ideal shape for doing the surgery, unfortunately that will diminish quickly during the immobilization I hear is needed during recovery.)

Again, thanks for the replies
-Paul
Paul,

Dr. Millett was highly spoken of at the Clinic. I had originally met with Dr. Hackett so I stuck with him. I think there is a ton of value in finding the best possible surgeon. These guys are some of the best in the Colorado area and more importantly the specialize in athletic injuries.

I was worried about the lenghty drive for PT and follow-ups. I have decided to do PT in Denver and I should only have a handful of follow-up checkups that I can work into my traveling work schedule.

I am a bit biased about the Steadman Clinic. I just really feel great about how well the surgery went.

Ask as many questions that you can think of. Doctors are a wealth of information and should provide plenty of feedback.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:01 PM   #13
Troy Peterson
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Richards View Post
I'm really of the mindset that I want
  1. To do this right the first time
  2. To be able to continue in CF and gymnastics strengthening
Paul,

I'm also sitting with labrum tear & supraspinatus partial (40%) tear, with some chrondomalacia added for flavoring. For the past month I've been weighing my options and am strongly leaning towards getting the SLAP repair done....I'll also throw in a couple other points:

1. I did goto a ortho clinic that has worked with local sports (college & pro) for years.
2. When I do return to CF activities, I'm going to be extremely aware of my form/technique...on everything. That awareness has already begun, was there to a degree prior......but I wouldn't be lurking in this thread if I hadn't done something to injure myself.
3. When I return, it may not be w/out modifications. While I'm over a decade your junior, that still doesn't leave me in my 20's. I need to weigh out "How important is a sub 16:00 Angie time (w/ 100 pullups followed by 100 pushups)" vs. "How important is being able to CF, maybe without some of the high rep hammering on my shoulders". There might be a reason you don't see too many 40+, >6 foot, 200# gymnasts running around.

I think I hurt my shoulder doing high rep OH squat workout (lazy shoulder, let shoulders sag with bar overhead) over a year ago (felt a slight pop and had numbness/tingling in my arm for a couple days). I wasn't aware of possible severity and continued to workout out, likely causing my body to compensate in unsafe ways and further injuring myself. This of course is all hindsight.

Good luck, sounds like you're on the right path. I was just in your city 2 months ago (the wife is begging for us to move out to Denver area).
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:53 PM   #14
Andrew D Clark
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

My experience with SLAP repair.

I badly dislocated my shoulder playing rugby in mid March and after consulting two doctors decided to go ahead and get SLAP repair. MRI showed torn labrum. Arthoscopic surgery was done April 2(Two anchors placed). Wore an immobilizer sling for 2.5 weeks(Doctor said to wear 4 weeks). During time in sling rode a recumbent bike for aprox an hour 4 times a week and did sit ups.

Started light movement on shoulder on my own. Went to phys therapy for aprox 4 weeks and did all annoying band exercises. I started doing crossfit workouts about 8 weeks post surgery. Kept it light and nothing exposing one shoulder(aka to turkish get ups). Strength came back slowly.

It is 6+months since surgery. Workouts are better and faster than before injury, only strength that is less in strict shoulder press.

My only issue is my shoulder makes way to much, "noise" it makes all kinds of crackling noises and the such. Followed up with the surgeon he said it was scar tissue and would take more time. Planning on getting a second opinion/and or seeing active release therapist.

Advice to anyone with SLAP tear

1.Find a good surgeon(make sure he works with athletes)
2.Keep active(ride recumbent bike, air squats, pistols whatever keep the blood flowing)
3. I took calcium and fish oil who knows if it did anything but it sure couldn't hurt
4. Do your physical therapy exercises, several times a day(boring but important)
5. I did a lot of extra exercise most of which my phys therapist would not have approved of. I think it helped me but looking back was likely dumb to rush back into things so quickly.

Hopefully my post made some sense. I have seen a lot of post on here on SLAP and labrum tears and figured I would share my experience. Please ask any questions you may have.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:39 PM   #15
Troy Peterson
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

Andrew,

Do you remember where your labrum tear was (ie, mine is in the 10 to 12 o'clock area)?

Any other damage (ie, I also have partial suprapsinatus tear plus some arthritis)?

Your experience sounds pretty good. I would probably do most of what you did (bike, situps, squats) if/when I have the surgery....except tax the shoulder too quickly. I understand the anchors need time to work and have the labrum reform.

Thanks for sharing...encouraging news. I will also take tons of fish oil, MSM and other natural anti-inflammatories (curmain) and really watch my diet (limit bad carbs).
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:26 PM   #16
Paul Richards
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

Thanks again everyone for your experiences.

Current status: GP concurs with PT that surgery is the right choice if I want to remain active instead of "functional" (how interesting those two words have different semantics!) He's given me yet another recommendation for an OD that he has experience with. At this point he didn't give any further interpretation about the MRI; he deferred that to the OD.

The recommendation is for a Dr John Pak in Colorado Springs of Front Range Orthopaedics. He seems to meet the criteria that people have posted here: a shoulder specialist, fellowship in sports medicine, head physician for US Freestyle Ski team, team physician 2003 Greco Roman world team, master instructor at Arthroscopic Assn of North America. I've set up an appointment to see him 12/20 and see how we get along and what his recommendations are. I asked the GP about when to consult others and he said to take it one meeting at a time, he was pretty sure I'd be happy with Dr Pak. So I'll keep Steadman in my pocket until I meet this doctor.

So much for progress on selecting a doctor... Now as to other gems in this thread. I really appreciate the actual experience recollections from folks who've gone through this. It looks like all the different clinic post-op patient advice and schedules are very similar, but there seems to be a bit of variability in real experience. Let me ask some logistic questions.

How incapable of fending for myself will I be at first (I live alone w/3 dogs, which I'll plan on kenneling for 3-4 days)? I'm right handed and the injury is the right shoulder. Were you able to write/type with your immobilized hand?

Did you wait for your PT to clear doing some lower body activites (walking, stationary bike trainer) or did you just feel it out for yourself? (Or was feeling it out the PT's advice?) Barry mentioned stationary biking the day after. That would seem to suggest he didn't feel as uncomfortable for the first couple of days as others have.

How soon did you attempt to resume driving a car?

I'm sure I'll ask the Ortho the same questions, but as I said, it's great to hear actual experiences. It's good to learn you're able to push through and get back to CF type movements.

Finally, in regards to Derek's comment about not many >40y/o gymnasts running around. I take it as a valid observation. And I too will be very attentive to exercise form. But here's where I'm coming from:

I got into crossfit about 18 months ago after a long period of inactivity/stress/etc. I made the decision at the time to try to drop any preconceptions and expectations I had so I could start with a clean slate, and avoid stressing about progressing on a particular schedule, and just try to "enjoy the ride." With the support of our local box trainers, this has worked splendidly. I'm down 60lbs bodyweight, make fairly steady progress in both intensity and strength (except for overhead stuff since the shoulder acted up), and have an agreement with the trainers to slap me down (i.e. remind me who I'm really competing with) when I start grousing about not keeping up with the 20-somethings. So I'm just going to keep trying new things and see where it takes me. I may have just found a limit that I have to work around, but work around it I will. If I can gain some skill/strength working on new things I win. That's all I can ask for -- better tomorrow than today.

Ok, end of an already too long post. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
-Paul
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:04 PM   #17
Justin Gross
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

I had a SLAP repair a year ago. It took time but it's recovered. You've got a lot of good advice here so I'll just add a couple things:

1. Get a CryoCuff for icing post op. These things are awesome.

2. Start ROM exercises immediately. But wait the full 8 weeks or whatever before you start loading it.

3. Don't ever do a kipping muscle up again.

Good luck!
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:07 AM   #18
Andrew D Clark
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

Troy,

Not sure on the 1-12 scale where my tear was. My repair was upper front of left shoulder, labrum was torn and ripped off, two anchors put in.

Paul,

From my experience I would recommend having someone to help you for a day or two after surgery. You will be in a good deal of pain and likely want to just lay on couch and relax. Immobilizer sling is a must, so no using your injured arm.(shoe laces... avoid them like the plague). No shower for a few days after surgery also. I just wore a lacrosse pinnie for a few days but you can put on a button down shirt or something of the sort. After a week or so I felt comfortable coming out of sling to type on keyboard,(one handed typing is very slow) still keeping shoulder immobilzed. I drove after a few days but stick shift would be a no go. As for your dogs as long as you feel comfortable holding a leash with one arm shouldn't be a prob. I dog sat for a rather large rambunctious black lab few weeks after surgery.

Also I am 23, so maybe I am quicker healer since younger who knows. Advice being older is take your rehab slowly in sense of adding weight and difficult movements. However do all the stretching, band excercises and the such as much as possible.

Oh and also the idea of cryo cuff from the previous post is good one. The ice can help swelling and pain.

Best of luck,
Andrew
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:46 PM   #19
Paul Richards
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

Thanks again for the continued input. As I alluded to above, I'm sort of in a holding pattern until the 20th when I see the Ortho for the first time.

In the meanwhile, I'm planning on continuing doing the shoulder exercises the PT gave me, as well as doing scaled versions of our local boxes WODs (the last advice the PT gave me was the "if it hurts don't do it" rule). We tend to follow main site programming so Fridays "Diane" was done with box-assisted HSPUs (DLs don't give the shoulder any problems as long as i keep form impeccable.) I'm operating under the assumption that keeping things moving and under *some* load is better than inactivity. I'm also doing KStarr's Mobility Wod shoulder routines.

But if some of that stuff is wrong, or if there's something else I should add to the mix for the next three weeks, please feel free to speak up.

-Paul
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:01 AM   #20
Steven Low
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Re: Choosing a Surgeon for SLAP repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Richards View Post
Thanks again for the continued input. As I alluded to above, I'm sort of in a holding pattern until the 20th when I see the Ortho for the first time.

In the meanwhile, I'm planning on continuing doing the shoulder exercises the PT gave me, as well as doing scaled versions of our local boxes WODs (the last advice the PT gave me was the "if it hurts don't do it" rule). We tend to follow main site programming so Fridays "Diane" was done with box-assisted HSPUs (DLs don't give the shoulder any problems as long as i keep form impeccable.) I'm operating under the assumption that keeping things moving and under *some* load is better than inactivity. I'm also doing KStarr's Mobility Wod shoulder routines.

But if some of that stuff is wrong, or if there's something else I should add to the mix for the next three weeks, please feel free to speak up.

-Paul
Pre-surgery you're going to want to strengthen everything around your shoulder as much as possible.

Being that much stronger will help significantly with the recovery process.

I would suggest in addition to the compound movements you'll likely be doing (as long as they don't hurt) that you add in 2-3 sets of 20-30 reps of each of the rotator cuff exercises and scapular mobility work as well.

Additionally, work on your grip strength as much as possible too because the downstream effects of nervous activation to the arm will help up at the shoulder as well.

Basically, make your hands, arms, shoulder, as strong as possible until your surgery and it will help A LOT in recovery process.
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