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Crag18 Mar 2010
Hurt my right shoulder when I was about 17 playing Badminton and caused what I now know as a labrum tear/SLAP tear (FECKING painful and in a sling for weeks). Trained around it for many years (I'm 30 in a few months!!) and hurt it two years ago again climbing, being out of climbing for 10 weeks with physio. I saw a surgeon then saying he could operate but as physio was going well (saw him after 9 weeks of physio) I decided to stay working with the that. Unfortunately I hurt it again doing weights 3 weeks ago and decided to go with surgery as I've never quite had it 100% and don't trust it nearly as much as my left shoulder.
I was wondering if anybody on here had had similar problems, how they recovered and got back to climbing quickly? I'm fortunate to have full BUPA so organising physio at the moment (waiting for a callback from a few physios in London to discuss recovery) and I go in for surgery on 24th March 2010 at London Bridge Hospital. From research it looks like anywhere from 4-9 months of recovery!!
> I was wondering if anybody on here had had similar problems, how they recovered and got back to climbing quickly?
We all have, some more than once. How long to recover? I was climbing within two months last time and I ain't young.
Crag18 Mar 2010
In reply to Mike Highbury: Do you know what you did to your shoulder? Was trying to get info on people who had had a very similar injury rather than just general shoulder injurys as I know there are numerous ways of hurting them (and unfortunately I've done most of them!).
Torn Labrums cause lots of instability in the shoulder and can't always be fixed without surgery.
"very fashionble at the moment"......quote from a physio friend.
I got diagnosed with a SLAP tear 2 years ago caused by a trauma bouldering(extending with palm out slapping for a volume & collapsing on to it). I saw Leonard Funk in Manchester who seems to be THE guy in the North West. Following a conclusive MRI he advised I had a fairly large SLAP tear extending from 11'oclock through 4. His advise was surgery.
I continued to climb and chose to mull over the advise as having private health care he said I could be in for surgery at short notice(2 weeks) should I decide to proceed. He did say I'd be back.
Following diagnosis I continued to climb at more or less the same standard. I habitually have also done weights at least once a week and continued this, increasing the frequency initially following diagnosis. The weights consists of shoulder based exercises with a view to enhancing the muscles surrounding the shoulder, my intention making it more stable and less likely to diss-locate. Lots of shoulder presses, flat and inclined bench presses & bar bell raises.
The soreness declined gradually and in the time since I've managed to continue to climb E5 & 8a+ with little to no discomfort. This is the current situation and I'm loathed to have the operation unless this changes. I'd imagine it will need doing sooner or later but for now I see no reason to rock the boat.
As far as surgery goes it seems that the majority have full recovery with a significant lay-off.
However, 2 close friends have both had same injury and surgery. The first had both shoulders done and injured one again 9 months after OP. His last OP was 18 months-2 years ago and he's now back climbing to a high standard.......but it was a long re-hab. The 2nd had his done Sept 08 and was back climbing E5 by last summer. He's since injured the same shoulder again and is back on a waiting list unsure whether its the same injury or something else (He may see this post and comment).
Of the climbers I know who have seen Len Funk( Chris Gore, Mark Radtke) all have had full recovery and are back climbing to a similar standard. I believe John Dunne is also seeing Len Funk for the same injury.
There seems to be differing views on re-hab. Some surgeons advise very little for the first 8 weeks or so, Mr Funk has you on physio a week after the OP. He seems to have a high success rate and an alternative view on rehab. One thing he did say is that despite promoting rehab of 6 months on his website he was currently achieving it in half that time with current px's but was hesitant to mention this on the net at such an early stage. That was 2 years ago. Here's a link to his website which seems to be the definitive shoulder site in the UK.
In reply to Rich Kirby: Thanks Rich, some good reading there and have read almost all of slaptear(dot) com and signed up writing a blog to keep track of my recovery http://slaptear.com/component/option,com_blogcontent/task,blogcategory/id,274/Itemid,28/
MRI Arthrogram (within 8 days of seeing the surgeon, thank you BUPA and handy working 50 yards from London Bridge Hospital!) showed SLAP tear and the Surgeon has been doing these ops for 16 years and has enough letters after his name and papers published in shoulder surgery to give me confidence in him (and he also worked in Manchester) although Mr Funk sounds fantastic too and was reading his website today before I posted on here!
Also had a standard MRI 2 years ago and that showed 2 lots of scar tissue on the labrum so that won't be helping things either...
> The soreness declined gradually and in the time since I've managed to continue to climb E5 & 8a+ with little to no discomfort. This is the current situation and I'm loathed to have the operation unless this changes. I'd imagine it will need doing sooner or later but for now I see no reason to rock the boat.
That's a really fair assessment. I've been carrying a SLAP lesion (with no impingement) on the LHS for well over ten years and whilst for a long time I was in pain all of the time, it just went away. Actually, I suspect that something tore off but who really cares so long as the pain goes away and one does not embarrass oneself too much when outside?
Apologies but I'd written you a huge response then accidentally wiped it so I'll try to be concise.
I got a bad slap tear seven years ago playing rugby. After a botched MRI by a student doctor, the second confirmed the 12-4 tear. My doctor at Northern General in Shef told me he was the best in the world, his words, and that he had a new pioneering treatment which would fix me, otherwise it'd be dangerous for me to climb as it could pop at any moment. After two months on the list (and after feeling very little discomfort) I went back for final appraisal. I asked how many times he'd done the op. It was ten. He admitted four had gone wrong through 'recklessness'. This turned out to be people falling over while paddling in shallow sea, tripping on the stairs and getting bumped into at a gig. If that's reckless, I'm Evil Knievel.
So I discharged myself and have never looked back. I get very occasional mild pain about four times a year when I dyno for silly holds indoors and I've had to stop playing squash or throwing balls over arm. These are small prices to pay and my outdoor climbing is unhindered. Weights might be off-limits for you. Remember post-op recovery can take five months including a retentive sling.
So, I'm not saying don't get it. I'm really not. Doctors know a hell of a lot more than me and who knows, at some stage I might need it if it flairs up again. I'm not counting chickens. But ask lots of questions! Be pushy - it's your shoulder and I'm sure it's bloody important to you. Operations are always risky so don't go into it blind and remember that lots of the slap treatments are fairly new. If he can persuade you that he knows his stuff and it's causing you enough hassle to be worth the risk then go for it. Good luck.
In reply to Rich Kirby: "The soreness declined gradually and in the time since I've managed to continue to climb E5 & 8a+ with little to no discomfort. This is the current situation and I'm loathed to have the operation unless this changes. I'd imagine it will need doing sooner or later but for now I see no reason to rock the boat."
wise words I reckon.
Carnage18 Mar 2010
In reply to Crag: I had the surgery in June 2008 to fix a large SLAP lesion. In the end it was 4 anchors to lash it back down and an acromioplasty to fix an impingement. Its renowned as a painful procedure and in my experience this was certainly true. Many strong painkillers were consumed and sleepless nights suffered. 4 weeks in a sling without being allowed to straighten the arm followed by 6 months of pain, rehab and physio. Being in a sling and not being able to dress/wash yourself and struggling with minor things like wiping your arse is extremely frustrating. I hope you've got an understanding wife/girlfriend/mum, but she may draw the line at the bum wiping bit!
All told, I'm glad I had it done. My shoulder is almost back to full strength and the only lasting reminder is a couple of very small scars and a loss of range of motion (I reckon I have about 95%ish ROM). I can pretty much do everthing climbing wise athough I do struggle with certain gaston moves because I can't engage my shoulder/lats propertly because the ROM isn't there. Everyone's experience will be different and age/rehab/flexibility will all play a part in the end result. Some people get all their ROM back and some don't so beware that you probably won't have the same shoulder you used to. Good luck!
Crag19 Mar 2010
In reply to Everyone: Great messages, thanks guys. I've lived with the problems about 13 years, I've hurt it three times in the last 2 years and been out for a few months each time so whilst I have very good BUPA and work is very quiet I think it's a good time to get it fixed....
I saw the same surgeon 2 years ago when I last hurt it badly (physio for 3 months and back to climbing after 4) and he recommended the same procedure then, I decided on physio as I was 10 weeks through having it and it was getting a lot better....
I have a very understanding girlfriend ;-)
I broke my right humerus badly 4 years ago and learnt to wipe my arse with my left hand, handy at times....
I've not taken this decision lightly and will email his secretary to ask how many of these ops he has done but from talking to him it sounds like a walk in the park for him...
Had physio after I broke my arm and that was hard work so I'm ready to get strong and work my arse off to try and climb at the end of the summer although I won't be pushing it if it's not ready. Got plenty of other things planned for the summer.
Crag20 Mar 2010
In reply to Carnage: I''m glad it went well for you carnage, where did you have the Op? I'm phoning physios to try and find a good one who knows a lot about SLAP tears...
Carnage21 Mar 2010
In reply to Crag: I had it over here in Sydney. Luckily I had one of the best shoulder surgeons here. You could get the surgeon to recommend a physio - Most of them have someone they like that is happy to follow their rehab protocols.
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