I am so f***** down about this but hopefully it will all work out
In the first week of April I am getting Labrum surgery on my left shoulder. Has anybody else on the boards had this surgery? If so how was your recovery. I am going to Brazil February 2011 and I am praying I am all fixed up by then.
I tore the labrum of my left shoulder (skateboarding fall, don't try to catch your fall backwards with straight arms) and had surgery (frontal / open joint, not just arthroscopic) for it December 23rd, 2009. The first time I surfed after the surgery was July 5th, 2010. I was very religious and dogged with rehabilitation. Really, I probably did too much for it and it slowed down my overall heal time b/c I thought I could re-hab faster if I tried to be superman in the gym (i.e. 2.5 lb dumbbell RC raises, rawr!). But honestly, the shoulder joint is SOOOO complicated (the most of all in your body) that you just have to give it due time to heal. There is no other way. Once you've gone through the pain of 4 solid months of grinding re-hab (and this isn't fun by any means, its quite arduous and you need to be disciplined, but take it day by day, week by week, monitor and be excited by your (very slow) progress in strength and flexibility, and you will make it), another 2 months for complete recovery outweighs the risk of not properly fully healing it and thereby heightening the probability of a re-injury. In all truthfulness I still haven't recovered the strength/confidence level in my shoulder that I would like, and I probability never will, but all I know is that I can surf no problem (a couple weeks of no paddling takes a toll on the joint the first time out again, but then it gets used to it). So I'm totally satisfied with the procedure and the surgery was a complete success. All I can say is that they ARE NOT LYING when they say that labrum/RC rehab is one of the hardest things to do. It really is. My knee surgery, appendectomy, and various other ailments pale in comparison for the actual time it takes to recover from the shoulder. That being said, the shoulder feels fine now (i.e. I'm comfortable in it's inferior state - your actions and body in general will adapt to taking care of it and shielding it, i.e. falling on your right side instead, etc), its just you must be prepared mentally for 5-8 months of grueling, disciplined, recovery, with the knowledge that your shoulder will never be the same (but obviously hopefully better than its current injured state).
If you know you can do it, if you want to heal yourself, then you are doing the right thing.
I was so fearful going into the surgery of all the ramifications, but you gotta do it if you can't live the way you are now w/ your injured shoulder.
It's hard medicine to take, but I swear to you man that the first time you're back in the waves after being healed - not only will you take a new, more mature, more appreciative, more respectful and happier approach to surfing (or w/e you do in Mother Ocean) - but you will also know that you are a stronger person for going through the struggle.
It is worth it, and I have total sympathy for your situation, that's why I wrote a goddamn essay. I felt very alone when I went through mine - but we do exist and I give you my best wishes.
paddleout and Johnson G, Wow! thanks for the responses guys they were really sincere and helpful! I'll get over this thing and most importantly i'm going to cool it on all this weight lifting crap when i'm healed and focus on what is most important in my life, sufing...
Yeah, i have never had a shoulder problem, but I was out of the water for 3-4 months about 6 years ago due to a crazy staph infection that I got in my leg from surfing in dirty water... But the 3-4 months I was out of the water, I spent everyday sitting on the cliffs and up on the pier, just watching surfing. Studying it. Studying all of the details by just watching. Sometimes it hurt to watch, but after that 4 months, i was in the water for a week and had developed light speeds in my time off. If you focus on surfing, and stuff like that, you will be better in the end. Taking a little time off to reflect on surfing is a good recharge.... I went out and tried to watch the best local pros and stuff I could find everyday, studying ttheir surfing. Studying the way they did airs, and went after barrels, just taking mental notes, frothing... And when you are able to get back in, your surfing will be better than every. Just let yourself heal up. sometimes you just gotta do that.
I have had my left shoulder repaired twice (they didn't fix the problem all the way the first time).
I needed the surgery, due to repeated dislocations. I am glad that I got the operation, because my shoulder was coming out all the time. After the second surgery, I have not had any dislocations at all. The negative side to this, is there is definitely noticeable loss of range in your arm motion.
My advice tho, is after surgery, take the necessary amount of time to recover. Whether the doc says 1 month or 6 months... follow the directions, because it is worth it to miss a couple swells in the long run. And also, after surgery, rehab as much as possible to strengthen the muscles back up.
Hey Endless, you just got some good advice from the folks on here. I too had a labral tear repaired back in 2000. The rehab is brutal but you have to do it like it's your job. I experienced probably the most painful events of my entire life doing the rehab. Sucks but crucial. Also, whoever mentioned getting the shoulder icewater machine, GET IT!!! Lifesaver during the early weeks. I think most people who focus on and comply with rehab ultimately get good results and get back close to where they were before the surgery. Stay positive and be patient and do the rehab. Don't know how old you are or how hard you charge your physical pursuits, whether it be surfing, hoops, lifting, or whatever, but just recognize you're just going to have to take your time to get back to a level you expect to be at.
Last, remain cautious about potential for developing post-surgical arthritis in that joint. Happened to me unfortunately and I'm looking at a shoulder replacement in upcoming years. But, this is an exceptional scenario, so stay positive and don't focus on that.