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Old 04-20-2009, 03:40 PM   #1
Brady Butler
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Posterior Labrum Tear

A small story about my shoulder:

I injured my left shoulder about five years ago but I can't remember any incident that would've caused it. One day I just noticed that it hurt, and it hasn't stopped since. Lately the pain has gotten so bad that I had to stop CFing and finally get an MRI with contrast. The results came back with a moderate to severe posterior Labrum tear. The doctor told me posterior tears are rare, and since it's on my non-dominant hand PT should probably be enough to stop my pain. But then he told me I can't do pushups or dips until I get stronger.

So my question for the board is this:

Was my doctor being overprotective when he nixed pushups and dips? Or can those exercises seriously hurt my shoulder?

Also, my shoulder, as it stands right now, is VERY unstable and it hurts like hell when I reach across my body. Has anyone else gone through the rehab for this? Does it work?
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:10 PM   #2
Jennifer Montgomery
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Re: Posterior Labrum Tear

How long have you had this shoulder pain and unable to CF?

I actually had reconstructive surgery on my non-dominant posterior labrum almost three years ago. While I didn't actually tear the labrum, I loosened it to the point my shoulder blade was able to move pretty freely in all the wrong directions. Prior to the surgery, I did PT for over a year (apparently I was faking it...thanks Army docs) and saw zero improvement in my pain, it just got slowly worse. I did therabands, weight training, stability exercises, ROM, ultrasound treatments...and nothing made it better. I know that dips, pushups, and pullups are the quickest aggravators for my shoulder now, so your doctor probably isn't being completely overprotective.
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:52 PM   #3
Michael Houghton
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Re: Posterior Labrum Tear

Had 2 surgeries for it. Serious pain. Don't do stuff if the doc says not to. Get the surgery and be done with it. If it's not done right, it can happen again...like it did to me. First time was during football practice, the next time was shooting a shotgun. Be careful, and listen to the doctor.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:23 PM   #4
Heather Armstrong
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Re: Posterior Labrum Tear

Second to all that was said above. My shoulder (also non dominant) was jacked up. I had severe labral tearing and was dislocating in not one, but three (yes three) directions prior to surgery. Oddly- my shoulder was very stable in day to day activity and in the gym- my doc and his PA never felt the instability- they went in to do a bicep tenodesis and fond the massive labral tearing. Apparently my rotator cuff was strong enough to hold the whole mess together.

Don't screw around with it- shoulder injuries suck.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:51 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Posterior Labrum Tear

Dude, you worked out through the pain for 5 years..... I'm suprised you didn't have a worse injury.

DO NOT WORK OUT THROUGH PAIN. That's just stupid!


Get it fixed. Take your rehab seriously. Listen to your PT. Do NOT workout through pain.
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
Brady Butler
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Re: Posterior Labrum Tear

Thanks for the replies guys. I'm taking your advice and I have been rehabbing my shoulder for a couple of weeks now. My physical therapist has shown himself to be pretty great. He thinks I should be shoulder pressing as much as possible so long as i do it with correct form. The pain is already subsiding a bit and he said I'll be able to do push-ups and dips in a couple of months once I've strengthened my rotator cuff more. My only concern is what happens when I get older? I'm 24 now, but when I hit 70 i doubt my shoulder will still be strong enough to keep the pain off. Maybe the surgery is a better decision since I'll heal faster now as a 24 year old than when I'm in my 40's?

On a funny side note: I have a 400 squat but couldn't do a 5 pound external rotation. I guess I was favoring my shoulder a bit.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:13 PM   #7
Steven Low
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Re: Posterior Labrum Tear

If you want to seriously lift weights/play sports/etc. with your shoulder in the future it would probably be a good idea to get it repaired.
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:34 AM   #8
Jake Thompson
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Re: Posterior Labrum Tear

You can always have surgery. There are complications etc that go along with Surgery. IF you can rehab through it, and do what you want to do at the level you want without pain then that should tell you to put off the surgery.

I have a moderate SLAP lesion, had problems with it from high school through the time I found Kettlebells. Learned how to do TGUs and Windmills, gradually loaded up the weights and now I have been pain free for about 4 years. Before I would have the occasional "subluxation", for lack of a better term, shoulder would hurt for a week or so and the pain would subside. Continued to work through it as you did.

What I am getting at here is if you can put off the surgery by rehabbing it than do it. If you can't go at the level you want without the surgery, than have surgery. But don't just have surgery because you are unsure how well you will do with rehab?

Just my $.02 on the matter.
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:38 AM   #9
Michael Houghton
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Re: Posterior Labrum Tear

Strengthening the rotator cuff is great and all, but my problem was that the tear in my shoulder allowed joint fluid to leak out and form a cyst on my nerve. My arm was just unusable. Be careful, but make sure that the doctor isn't putting off the shoulder surgery because its cheaper to just have you do physical therapy. I know no matter what I did for my shoulder it didn't get any better until I had surgery. Be prepared if you have it though, it's a ways to recover. Having said that, I'm now back to my old strength, and have virtually no problems. Good luck.
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:43 AM   #10
Everett Steinbarger
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Re: Posterior Labrum Tear

I am a PA and work in Ortho surgery specifically, hand and shoulder surgery.

I also had my non-dominant posterior labrum repaired in March of 2003. Rock solid now, and withstands swimming and 300# bench-presses.

I'd say all the advice here has been very good. I also would second the notion that if you can rehab your way out of the injury without surgery then you are better off. As has been stated, surgery has its risks, and the posterior of the shoulder is probably the most technically demanding repair that we do with the arthroscope.

Either the pain will go away and the shoulder will be able to be strengthened, or it will fail you and be painful and weak. I've seen very few "in-betweens" that were tolerable.

Just my 2 cents.
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