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    Registered User ryansmeltzer's Avatar
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    Anterior Bankart Labrum Tear Surgery – My Recovery Log

    Hey everyone, so I am having surgery on my anterior torn labrum (3 o’clock bankart tear) this coming Tuesday and will be keeping a log for anyone interested. My doctor, who is a younger athletic type guy, has already set goals and realistic expectations for me based on my age (22), tear size (small), and capabilities. Says he can be a little more aggressive with me as I have a slighter and non-slap (no bicep problems) tear that resulted from a sublux not a dislocation. Kind of goes as follows:

    Surgery – May 13th
    Follow up – May 16th (Status check and stitches removed)
    Start therapy (passive motions) 1 week after on May 20th
    4 weeks – Be out of sling, continue therapy
    6 weeks – Labrum should have fully healed to the bone
    6-12 weeks- continue strengthening/ROM through therapy (maybe start riding stationary bike)
    12 weeks/3 months – begin very light lifting/gradual stress on August 13th
    12-16 weeks – Increase weight based on performance/how I feel
    16 weeks – Be cleared to do anything/start normal lifting on September 13th

    Therefore, those are my goals and I am going to work my butt off to reach them. Sucks it’s during the summer, but I have a positive mindset – I can wear cutoffs which are easier to dress and put on. I will also be wearing a TENS Unit, which is a muscle and nerve stimulator, for the first couple of weeks after surgery. I’m a super clean eater but I will also be drinking a ****load of BCAA’s and keeping my protein intake as high as possible and staying at a calorie maintenance (yes I track my calories and macros). I will start my log either the day of surgery or the day after depending on how I feel. I’ve never had surgery in my life so I’m kind of nervous, but I will use this log as a way for me to reflect on my past days, to see my progress, and to remain focused.

    I miss lifting and training more than anything (being able to breath and being able to lift are in the same category for me lol) and I plan on becoming very good friends with muscle memory in a few months!

    Feel free to ask questions. I have one question for anyone who's had this surgery, when can you start riding a stationary bike after surgery?
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    Registered User 2Rude4MyOwnGood's Avatar
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    I'm not going to sugarcoat it man, the recovery sucks, big time. It takes awhile and, depending on the individual, the pain can be pretty intense at times. It'll get better, but you'll really have to stick to the protocol your surgeon gives you. Nothing wrong with being aggressive with this, but don't mistake that for being able to lift heavy things anytime in the near future. It's very important not to push it too hard in the first couple of months post surgery.

    To answer your question, riding a stationary bike shouldn't be much of an issue as soon as you feel up to working out. Obviously that's something to ask your doctor, but I wouldn't imagine that it would be longer than a week or two. You probably aren't going to feel like doing much though.

    I was in a ton of pain plus I was getting very little sleep, so I didn't even feel like getting off the couch for the first few weeks. I was also taking a ton of pain meds, so I was content just being sedentary. The last thing on my mind was working out. It was a couple of months until I started doing light cardio like the stationary bike.
    Last edited by 2Rude4MyOwnGood; 05-07-2014 at 10:36 AM.
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    Registered User brahsanity's Avatar
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    We are in the same boat dude. I also had the same type of surgery as you on Apr 29th, 2014 and am currently recovering from it. As 2Rude has mentioned, recovery is going to be long and challenging, but it's something we can't give up on. It has just been 8 days post-op for me. The first 3-4 days will SUCK. You will feel like chit all day, but it gets better as time moves along. Best of luck on your surgery. I'm sure we'll be talking to each other a lot more on this topic!
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    Registered User ryansmeltzer's Avatar
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    How bad were your guy's tears? What were your symptoms? Mine is quite small, 3 to 4 o'clock tear. i'm probably the closest i can be to not needing surgery, I just crossed the line for needing surgery as I can do everything in the gym, just not to the potential and weight i want to. I have to to really force my arm into an awkward position to force pain. Instability is whats keeping me from lifting heavy.
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    Registered User 2Rude4MyOwnGood's Avatar
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    Mine was extensive, a bucket handle SLAP/Bankart tear, so it's reasonable to assume that your recovery should be a bit easier than mine. Symptoms were just a bit of annoying pain in my deltoid and bicep. That's it. No dislocations or any other classic symptoms. Then one day I was working out and it became much worse. Lost all ROM and was in excruciating pain. Physical therapy didn't help, actually may have made it worse. Surgery was my only option.
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    Registered User HammZ's Avatar
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    Glad you're finally getting this fixed.
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    Registered User ryansmeltzer's Avatar
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    Yea mine isnt too extensive. Its quite minute and small. I have tried therapy but it didnt help. I compete in mens physique so I had to miss my spring shows which was quite depressing. I have been told my tear isnt big but if I continue to lift heavy, I can worsen it. Therefore, I am going forward with the surgery to get it fixed.

    And me too Hammz! Finally! Ready to tackle this recovery!
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    Registered User 2Rude4MyOwnGood's Avatar
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    You'll probably have a relatively easy recovery. The size of your tear plus fact that you're already in good shape will go a long way to aid in the speed of your recovery. It's definitely something that will get worse if left untreated in your case.
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    Registered User brahsanity's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ryansmeltzer View Post
    How bad were your guy's tears? What were your symptoms? Mine is quite small, 3 to 4 o'clock tear. i'm probably the closest i can be to not needing surgery, I just crossed the line for needing surgery as I can do everything in the gym, just not to the potential and weight i want to. I have to to really force my arm into an awkward position to force pain. Instability is whats keeping me from lifting heavy.
    I haven't had my post-op yet ( I will in 4 days), so I don't know how bad my tear was exactly. All I know is that a part of my labrum was torn anteriorly, and that I would need surgery if I wanted to lift heavy or play sports again with no limitations. My symptoms included moderate discomfort and lots of tightness in my shoulder region as well as my trapezius and neck. I had decreased flexibility and ROM, as well as sporadic dull aches. I sustained this injury via 2 separate dislocations, so it seems that my shoulder was worse off than yours.
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    Registered User ryansmeltzer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by brahsanity View Post
    I haven't had my post-op yet ( I will in 4 days), so I don't know how bad my tear was exactly. All I know is that a part of my labrum was torn anteriorly, and that I would need surgery if I wanted to lift heavy or play sports again with no limitations. My symptoms included moderate discomfort and lots of tightness in my shoulder region as well as my trapezius and neck. I had decreased flexibility and ROM, as well as sporadic dull aches. I sustained this injury via 2 separate dislocations, so it seems that my shoulder was worse off than yours.
    Ok I got you. Mine is Tuesday morning so I may refer to you for advice and stuff. Its cool to know someone else that is recovering on a similar/close timeline to me. I'll be sure to follow your journal as well man. Best of luck to both of us!
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    Hi! I am currently 6 days post-op from arthroscopic bankart tear operation.
    The damage was pretty substantial so the doc mostly told me to keep the arm quiet for the first month. PT only to begin after a month.
    The pain aint bad and I can feel the shoulder getting more solid every day. However Im dying from lack of physical activity. The doc could only recommend walking but so far i find its not giving my legs the stretch they need.
    Any suggestions of activities i can do that wont destabilize the upper body but might keep me from going into training depression?
    I heard recumbent bike was an option? If so whats a good indicator for starting to use it?
    Anything else for muscle or cardio, or abs that I could try in the next few weeks?
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    snowboardgirl37;1244645663]Hi! I am currently 6 days post-op from arthroscopic bankart tear operation.
    The damage was pretty substantial so the doc mostly told me to keep the arm quiet for the first month. PT only to begin after a month.
    The pain aint bad and I can feel the shoulder getting more solid every day. However Im dying from lack of physical activity. The doc could only recommend walking but so far i find its not giving my legs the stretch they need.
    Any suggestions of activities i can do that wont destabilize the upper body but might keep me from going into training depression?
    I heard recumbent bike was an option? If so whats a good indicator for starting to use it?
    Anything else for muscle or cardio, or abs that I could try in the next few weeks?
    Activities I suggest are Netflix, Xbox, Facebook, twitter, a good book, and music.

    Sorry there are literally no other things you should be doing at 6 days post op. Do pendulums as soon as you have permission.
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    I am almost 5 months post op (Type II, referred headaches, constant aches, and sharp shooting pain, also had a bone spur and arthritis starting). Honestly the recovery wasn't as bad as I expected, of course I am stubborn and independent, and did a lot of things I wasn't supposed to be doing. Abs hurt like a beast in those first few months because you are moving your shoulder, you are technically supposed to be immobile for it to heal. I took pain meds the first day (that's it), and wouldn't even touch tylenol or the like for many months afterwards. I slept in my bed that night, with a pillow to keep me from rolling over, that sucked pretty bad because I would wake up in excruciating pain. I did walking lunges in a sling by 2 weeks, and was on an elliptical by 4 weeks. I still have pain (sometimes I wonder if I popped my stitch) but it's better then it was, still get some referred pain up over my eye. And I should be cleared at my next check up, squats hurt my shoulder don't ask me how and range of motion is still kind of crappy. I also over compensate with all the other muscles in my shoulder to protect it. And sleeping STILL sucks. I guess I had it better then some, just be prepared to lose muscle and weight, be in some pain, and be willing to get help. Keep a good outlook and it will be over before you know it.
    Last edited by raymes23; 05-13-2014 at 03:37 PM.
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    Registered User 2Rude4MyOwnGood's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HammZ View Post
    Activities I suggest are Netflix, Xbox, Facebook, twitter, a good book, and music.

    Sorry there are literally no other things you should be doing at 6 days post op. Do pendulums as soon as you have permission.
    Pretty much this.

    My advice would be to wait for your doctor to clear you to do anything other than sitting on your ass. In the early stages of recovery it's relatively easy to damage the repair. The anchors used in labral repairs are strong, but the tissue isn't. There's a reason they put you in a sling and tell you to take it easy.

    If you were to damage the repair and require a revision surgery, the success rate goes down dramatically.
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    Registered User ryansmeltzer's Avatar
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    Day of Surgery

    Hey everyone so i had my surgery at 130 today and got relesase at 4. Everything went well! Dont mind my spelling errors as my right arm is the surgical one. My tear was at 3 oclock, not very big and included some fraying. He used a nerve block as my whole arm is numb currently. He used 3 anchors to fix it. Im not in any pain right now but will start my percoset soon to stay ahead. overall, i am happy with how the day of surgery went. i have my next appt on friday to follow up and get my stitches out but i am starting my PT this coming monday. i will update more tmrw as i am very tired but overall a success so far!
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    Registered User brahsanity's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ryansmeltzer View Post
    Day of Surgery

    Hey everyone so i had my surgery at 130 today and got relesase at 4. Everything went well! Dont mind my spelling errors as my right arm is the surgical one. My tear was at 3 oclock, not very big and included some fraying. He used a nerve block as my whole arm is numb currently. He used 3 anchors to fix it. Im not in any pain right now but will start my percoset soon to stay ahead. overall, i am happy with how the day of surgery went. i have my next appt on friday to follow up and get my stitches out but i am starting my PT this coming monday. i will update more tmrw as i am very tired but overall a success so far!
    Great stuff to hear that you are doing well man. Make sure you have lots of fiber and stay hydrated to avoid constipation that could occur from your percocet. Get lots of rest and take it easy!
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    Registered User ryansmeltzer's Avatar
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    1st Day post op

    pain level: about a 3 or 4 out of 10, the oxycodone/percocet is really keeping the pain away
    my nerve block has worn off and my arm is no longer numb, such a great feeling as i am moving my wrist and fingers! i am currently icing around the clock now and drinking lots of water and keeping protein high. i am back on all my vitamins, fish oils, and supplements. i did sleep pretty well last night but im guessing tonight wont be as easy. other than that not much to update, im squeezing a stress ball to keep blood circulating in my arm. if you have any questions, feel free to ask! its kinda hard for me to type since it is just my non-dominant left arm. notice im not capitalizing haha but anyways so far so good!
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    thanks all for the input.
    @ryanmeltzer good luck when the oxycodone wears off
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    Originally Posted by ryansmeltzer View Post
    1st Day post op

    pain level: about a 3 or 4 out of 10, the oxycodone/percocet is really keeping the pain away
    my nerve block has worn off and my arm is no longer numb, such a great feeling as i am moving my wrist and fingers! i am currently icing around the clock now and drinking lots of water and keeping protein high. i am back on all my vitamins, fish oils, and supplements. i did sleep pretty well last night but im guessing tonight wont be as easy. other than that not much to update, im squeezing a stress ball to keep blood circulating in my arm. if you have any questions, feel free to ask! its kinda hard for me to type since it is just my non-dominant left arm. notice im not capitalizing haha but anyways so far so good!
    Nice. Glad to hear that your pain is tolerable. When my nerve block wore off I was in agony. I had to take 3 different types of pain meds just to keep myself sane.
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    Registered User brahsanity's Avatar
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    hey man I only took my pain meds for1-2 days max post-op. Pain was extremely minimal by 1 week. I am now 2 weeks post-op and I have no pain as long as I use my sling.
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    Registered User ryansmeltzer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by brahsanity View Post
    hey man I only took my pain meds for1-2 days max post-op. Pain was extremely minimal by 1 week. I am now 2 weeks post-op and I have no pain as long as I use my sling.
    Ok good to hear cause this oxycodone has so many side effects. Im itchy, constipated and super tired and drowzy all the time lol
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    Originally Posted by ryansmeltzer View Post
    Ok good to hear cause this oxycodone has so many side effects. Im itchy, constipated and super tired and drowzy all the time lol
    Take a stool softener, and even a laxative if you have to. Try to have a morning dump before you start on the pain meds. You don't want to wind up impacted, it's very painful.

    If you can't get a decent poop, grab some magnesium citrate from the grocery or pharmacy. It's only a couple of bucks and it will clear you out better than anything else. You just drink it and wait. Clear your schedule, you're going to be busy for awhile.
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    Day 2 Post op

    Pain level was the worse yesterday and last night, but somehow i managed to sleep pretty decent. As i mentioned earlier, the oxycodone is giving me side effects so i am going off of it. The pain is definitely manageable now anyways. I am still moving around my fingers and wrist but still havent taken off my sling since the surgery on tuesday. Today i will be getting assistance to help take off my gauze and my dressing and will get to take my first shower since tuesday!! I am anxious to see what the stitches are like and if there is any bruising or swelling. I have my follow up appt tmrw rather than a week out bc my surgeon will be gone on vacation. So tmrw i will be getting my PT schedule and my stitches out! Overall everything is going pretty well other than the pain meds side effects. i am surprised i am sleeping this well. it is definitely hard to do anything when you dont have your dominant arm. Hate not being able to cook! But anyways that is my day 2 update, not much different.
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    Day 5 Post Op

    Well today I am 5 days out from my surgery and i am slowly but surely improving everyday. I have minimal pain now and am completely off all my pain meds! I had my follow up appt this past friday. I didnt get stitches put in but rather just glued closed. He made three holes which are healing quickly! He inserted 3 anchors from about 3 oclock to 5 oclock and pulled my labrum back over my glenoid. He saud it was a very traditional tear and had over 30 pictures to show me of how he fixed it. He even did a video of my repair! Very cool to see. I am starting physical therapy this week at oficially 8 days post op just to start moving the shoulder joint around a little. I am currently just taking my sling off 2-3 times a day to straighten my arm and do elbow flexions. No shoulder movement yet. The most challenging part for me is getting dressed and cooking. I love taking showers cause it really feels good on my shoulder. Looking in the mirror, both of my arms/shoulders still look the same. My surgical one is not atrophying anymore than my right arm which is good. My appetite has decreased but that is to be expected. I am excited for PT to see when i can start riding a stationary bike. But nonetheless, very happy with the first 5 days. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed. Just waiting for time to go faster!
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    Will be doing updates weekly now that I am exactly one week post op.

    So one week - no more pain at all. Just tightness. Bruising is also gone. I start therapy tomorrow at 2-3 times each week and then daily at home. This will last for 8 weeks. I will have an appt with my surgeon every 3 weeks to check in and see my progress. Will be re-evaulated at the 9 week mark. I have 2-3 weeks to go for wearing my sling. So overall at the one week point, it hasnt really been that bad or as bad as some peoples experience with labrum surgery on here. Ive even been sleeping great! Also wanted to say at this point, I am walking alot just to keep my body moving and not sit around all day. Walking outside and on treadmill at 2 mph. Thats my 1 week update - so far so good!
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    Originally Posted by ryansmeltzer View Post
    will be doing updates weekly now that I am exactly one week post op.

    So one week - no more pain at all. Just tightness. Bruising is also gone. I start therapy tomorrow at 2-3 times each week and then daily at home. This will last for 8 weeks. I will have an appt with my surgeon every 3 weeks to check in and see my progress. Will be re-evaulated at the 9 week mark. I have 2-3 weeks to go for wearing my sling. So overall at the one week point, it hasnt really been that bad or as bad as some peoples experience with labrum surgery on here. Ive even been sleeping great! Also wanted to say at this point, I am walking alot just to keep my body moving and not sit around all day. Walking outside and on treadmill at 2 mph. Thats my 1 week update - so far so good!
    The first few weeks of therapy are the most important, you want to break up that scar tissue and start getting mobility back in that shoulder. How serious you take the therapy will determine how good your ROM is for the rest of your life.
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    Originally Posted by HammZ View Post
    The first few weeks of therapy are the most important, you want to break up that scar tissue and start getting mobility back in that shoulder. How serious you take the therapy will determine how good your ROM is for the rest of your life.
    Good to know. I will be taking it very serious as Im super strict most anything physical. Im not working right now so PT will have all my focus. Im anxious to see what exercises I will be doing. Im guessing some pendulums and external rotations to 90 degrees.
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    Originally Posted by ryansmeltzer View Post
    Good to know. I will be taking it very serious as Im super strict most anything physical. Im not working right now so PT will have all my focus. Im anxious to see what exercises I will be doing. Im guessing some pendulums and external rotations to 90 degrees.
    I didn't start PT till 1 month+ after surgery and it was basically pendulums and pullys (which was absolutely pathetic at first lol) within 2 weeks I was doing a lot more stuff.
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    Originally Posted by ryansmeltzer View Post
    Good to know. I will be taking it very serious as Im super strict most anything physical. Im not working right now so PT will have all my focus. Im anxious to see what exercises I will be doing. Im guessing some pendulums and external rotations to 90 degrees.
    Your surgeon probably gave you a copy of your protocol to give to your PT. If you look at that you'll be able to see exactly which exercises you'll be doing and when you'll be doing them. Your protocol maps out every detail for your recovery.
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    Hey man it's great to hear that you are recovering smoothly. Just remember to take it easy on your physio activities and not to push through any pain. It's tempting to push hard on these activities in hopes of speeding up recovery, but keep in mind that at this stage your shoulder is still healing, so give it the appropriate intensity and rest, and your shoulder will be back to normal in no time.
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