Competing after shoulder surgery - who has done it?

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Competing after shoulder surgery - who has done it? Empty Competing after shoulder surgery - who has done it?

Post by adminbot1911 on Wed May 29, 2019 1:27 pm

Two years ago I was diagnosed with a SLAP (superior labral anterior-posterior) tear and told to stay away from advanced acrobatics (joke).

This week I've been rediagnosed and have another MRI pending to see what the progression is.

I could probably be fine living with the injury indefinitely; it's uncomfortable but not crippling.  I'm not going to be playing center field for the Mets after all, though I have been quite athletic through my life and will miss playing softball, volleyball, and bowling.  

But there is a possibility that the prognosis will be less than optimistic and that surgery is in the cards.

Of those in a similar situation, who has recovered from this type of thing?
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Post by Greg Walloch on Wed May 29, 2019 1:36 pm

I had a labrum tear and bone spur removed in 1998.  Had to lay off shooting for about 6 months.  Well worth it!  No more discomfort.

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Post by adminbot1911 on Wed May 29, 2019 1:58 pm

Greg Walloch wrote:I had a labrum tear and bone spur removed in 1998.  Had to lay off shooting for about 6 months.  Well worth it!  No more discomfort.

How old were you?  I turn 39 this year.
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Post by jmdavis on Wed May 29, 2019 2:04 pm

Do you know Chris Micelli? You might check with him.
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Post by Greg Walloch on Wed May 29, 2019 2:08 pm

I was 39 as well.

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Post by adminbot1911 on Wed May 29, 2019 2:10 pm

jmdavis wrote:Do you know Chris Micelli? You might check with him.
That name does not ring a bell, unfortunately.
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Post by jmdavis on Wed May 29, 2019 2:12 pm

He's in Northern VA, as I think that you are. He had shoulder surgery last fall for a torn labrum and something else.
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Post by Jack H on Wed May 29, 2019 2:36 pm

I had shoulder surgery several years ago.  Cuff, cartilage, spurs, and arthritis, the whole list was worked on.  Never been the same since.  It took two years to get over most of the pain.  And stability has gone way way down.  I doubt I could shoot 870 today. 
Before the shoulder, I had back surgery.  LL45.  Never been the same since.  The back is a bigger problem today.  A full day shoot is next to impossible even if I did have the time to load, train, practice.  I visualize real good though. 

Come to think about it, I have not seen a topic on visualize for a long time.
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Post by adminbot1911 on Wed May 29, 2019 2:48 pm

jmdavis wrote:He's in Northern VA, as I think that you are. He had shoulder surgery last fall for a torn labrum and something else.
Running a search in my Gmail inbox it looks like we were last on the line together sometime in 2017 in Fairfax.  Actually counting the number of competitors, this was a 2-day match so we may not have competed on the same date.  If he is here I can send him a PM; I don't seem to have his email address.
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Post by adminbot1911 on Wed May 29, 2019 3:00 pm

Jack H wrote:I had shoulder surgery several years ago.  Cuff, cartilage, spurs, and arthritis, the whole list was worked on.  Never been the same since.  It took two years to get over most of the pain.  And stability has gone way way down.  I doubt I could shoot 870 today. 
Before the shoulder, I had back surgery.  LL45.  Never been the same since.  The back is a bigger problem today.  A full day shoot is next to impossible even if I did have the time to load, train, practice.  I visualize real good though. 

Come to think about it, I have not seen a topic on visualize for a long time.

Sorry to hear.  And that is definitely the worst case scenario.  I'm hoping that the rotator cuff is still intact and that there is limited arthritis.  

If I'm going to shoot 870 once in my life, I'd better get on it! Ha.  Best case scenario is that if I need to go under the knife it will happen in the fall, since I'm registered for matches through September.
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Post by Jack H on Wed May 29, 2019 3:22 pm

I hope anyone can do better than my experience.  After the back surgery, the shoulder came on and I could not crank the press or steer the car without pain.  It sucks the motivation right out of you.  More disappointing though with the shoulder is I cannot really play catch with the grand kids.  I used to pitch a mean curveball, and play tennis on the college team.
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Post by Allen Barnett on Wed May 29, 2019 9:23 pm

It was suggested to me to try and switch from being a righty to a lefty after I broke my right wrist and then my right upper arm 9 months later.  Might work for you.  Just could not make the switch.  Still don't have much strength in my right arm (it has been almost 2 years).  I am only shooting 22 for now still hope to gain enough strength to get back to the big guns.

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Post by john bickar on Thu May 30, 2019 12:40 am

Didn't Sokolowski break 2650 with each hand?

And then there's Károly Takács: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Károly_Takács
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Post by inthebeech on Thu May 30, 2019 6:46 am

I am in week twelve now, after reattaching one of the two bicep head tendons, grinding down a spur and reattaching something else I can't remember.
I am doing all the PT recommended and then some.
I keep a "recovery / training" log.
I picked up my 22 at week (in a sling for five) seven and it was an ugly scene but I was able to extend the 40 ounce gun in an outstretched arm with moderate pain.
I shot my first practice 600 aggregate with the 22 (very wobbly but not painful), at week ten as well as well as taking my first ten shots with the 45.
Right now I still have a small amount of "non-original" shakiness but it doesn't show up until after twenty lifts (I don't count rounds fired but instead how many times I "lift" the pistol, in either dry fire or live fire.). My 600 ag score would be about fifty points under my pre-surgery scores but my progress is very good.
My goals, just fyi so you have a sense of what real commitment can get you without overdoing it or reinjuring yourself, are...
14 weeks post surgery- Shooting a 22 EIC match and service EIC match (June 15 @ Durham, NC)
16 weeks - I will duplicate my winter league's weekly course of fire - two 600 aggregates 22 rf to see where I am.
24 weeks - shoot a 900 rf aggregate outdoor and be at or better than my skill level just prior to surgery (low-mid expert).
I had to be careful dry firing and actually made the mistake of getting back in to it too soon; not because my shoulder couldn't take it but because the excessive wobble can mess with your head when trying to train your trigger finger to accept the wobble and squeeze.  So I did not begin real, daily dry firing in earnest until just last week.
You must know the difference between "I am not ready to do this yet" pain and "It hurts but this is scar tissue and normal pain that I need to fight through" when doing your PT.  Many patients think there should be zero pain after surgery when in fact your tallest hurdles are still in front of you.  Just be smart about how you push yourself.  Know the difference but keep pushing yourself; your body will not want to do things of course.  It protects itself.  You have to keep telling it what you expect from it so that during the ice down and recovery time, it strengthens itself based on what you showed it you expect.  Good luck.


Last edited by inthebeech on Thu May 30, 2019 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by dronning on Thu May 30, 2019 8:39 am

+1 on not rushing recovery.  2 weeks after Carpal Tunnel surgery I shot a 22 only 2700, and had no issues, so I started shooting 45 but it was way too soon.  The result was I developed a flinch.  It took me 6 months to get over that.
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Post by adminbot1911 on Fri May 31, 2019 1:43 pm

Allen Barnett wrote:It was suggested to me to try and switch from being a righty to a lefty after I broke my right wrist and then my right upper arm 9 months later.  Might work for you.  Just could not make the switch.  Still don't have much strength in my right arm (it has been almost 2 years).  I am only shooting 22 for now still hope to gain enough strength to get back to the big guns.

I have tried shooting revolver left handed.  Besides the weirdness of manipulating the hammer, the trigger control wasn't even close to being there.  You can't go from decades of fine motor control formed through written words and dry fire and nose picking and expect it to transfer over to the other hand.  

But surprisingly this is not the worst idea in the world, for one reason: my left eye is a clear 20/13, my right eye a slightly astigmatic 20/15.
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Post by adminbot1911 on Fri May 31, 2019 2:16 pm

inthebeech wrote:I am in week twelve now, after reattaching one of the two bicep head tendons, grinding down a spur and reattaching something else I can't remember.
I am doing all the PT recommended and then some.
I keep a "recovery / training" log.
I picked up my 22 at week (in a sling for five) seven and it was an ugly scene but I was able to extend the 40 ounce gun in an outstretched arm with moderate pain.
I shot my first practice 600 aggregate with the 22 (very wobbly but not painful), at week ten as well as well as taking my first ten shots with the 45.
Right now I still have a small amount of "non-original" shakiness but it doesn't show up until after twenty lifts (I don't count rounds fired but instead how many times I "lift" the pistol, in either dry fire or live fire.). My 600 ag score would be about fifty points under my pre-surgery scores but my progress is very good.
My goals, just fyi so you have a sense of what real commitment can get you without overdoing it or reinjuring yourself, are...
14 weeks post surgery- Shooting a 22 EIC match and service EIC match (June 15 @ Durham, NC)
16 weeks - I will duplicate my winter league's weekly course of fire - two 600 aggregates 22 rf to see where I am.
24 weeks - shoot a 900 rf aggregate outdoor and be at or better than my skill level just prior to surgery (low-mid expert).
I had to be careful dry firing and actually made the mistake of getting back in to it too soon; not because my shoulder couldn't take it but because the excessive wobble can mess with your head when trying to train your trigger finger to accept the wobble and squeeze.  So I did not begin real, daily dry firing in earnest until just last week.
You must know the difference between "I am not ready to do this yet" pain and "It hurts but this is scar tissue and normal pain that I need to fight through" when doing your PT.  Many patients think there should be zero pain after surgery when in fact your tallest hurdles are still in front of you.  Just be smart about how you push yourself.  Know the difference but keep pushing yourself; your body will not want to do things of course.  It protects itself.  You have to keep telling it what you expect from it so that during the ice down and recovery time, it strengthens itself based on what you showed it you expect.  Good luck.
This is good advice and what I needed to hear.  Having sustained a few sports injuries over my lifetime I am not the most patient person and tend to try to rush recovery.  I could get away with it in my teens and 20s but might not be able to do that any longer.  Delaying surgery for a couple months until after my shooting season ends may help with not trying to rush back.
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Post by Al on Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:19 pm

Jack H wrote:I had shoulder surgery several years ago.  Cuff, cartilage, spurs, and arthritis, the whole list was worked on.  Never been the same since.  It took two years to get over most of the pain.  And stability has gone way way down.  I doubt I could shoot 870 today. 
Before the shoulder, I had back surgery.  LL45.  Never been the same since.  The back is a bigger problem today.  A full day shoot is next to impossible even if I did have the time to load, train, practice.  I visualize real good though. 

Come to think about it, I have not seen a topic on visualize for a long time.
Did pretty much the same in 2010 @ age 54. Came back about 80-90% of where I was. Not having the finer shoulder muscle control is frustrating at times, but the shoulder pain is gone at least. 

Went from high expert scores to high SS scores. 2700's are tough to get through.

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Post by Kp321 on Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:34 pm

I had total shoulder replacement on my right shoulder 8 years ago. I have found that I can shoot better left handed now, left eye dominant anyway. I still do well right handed but tire more quickly. I also limit my reloading to 100 rounds per session. Shotguns are out of the question.

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Post by rgwellsjr on Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:29 am

Last June 11th my doctor told me that I had a "massive tear in my rotator cuff and 2 severed tendons and needed surgery right away".  I told him that I had plans for Camp Perry and asked if I could put it off until September.  He said that every day I waited increased the chances that it couldn't be fixed without a replacement shoulder.  I had surgery on June 13.  I was in a sling but after a few weeks I got the okay to drive.  I decided to go to Perry and shoot 22 only left handed.  I followed his instructions, went to PT and shot lefty until December.  Today I'm back shooting the same scores and better since before my injury.  BTW I'm 61

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Post by adminbot1911 on Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:41 am

Good info.  Diagnosis is (again) SLAP tear moderate, two minor torn rotator cuff tendons.  The tendons aren't the worrisome part, but the labrum will need attention at some point.

Recommendation was to do a biceps tendonesis, which is to relocate the upper head of the biceps tendon to roughly the same location the lower head is at.

I'm in no hurry to get this done and my days of playing contact sports are over so I'll let it mull for a couple of months.  Or at least until shooting season is over.

Thanks all for the contributions.  And keep them coming if you have experience but haven't posted.
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