/ How to deal with a long-term shoulder injury

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chrispoole 10 Feb 2020

Hi there

Just looking for a bit of injury help and/or inspiration please.

I am currently recovering from shoulder stabilisation surgery (almost total labral tear, cartilage damage and torn bicep tendon - so fairly chunky!), feeling a tad down in the dumps and wondering about the next steps.

From the surgeon im looking at: best case - 3-6mths off very light climbing/bouldering. Worst case - second op to fix the bicep tendon and could easily be 9-12mths out of climbing.

I had two queries for everyone:

1) are there any exercises or exercising you would recommend to help keep me vaguely in shape for when i can start climbing again? I can't do anything that involves the shoulder/upper body right now (will leave that for the physio). I have a really good physio who is a shoulder expert and climber themselves, so feel i have that aspect sorted.

2) psychologically, does anyone have recommendations for how to handle this type of injury? I am trying other non-physical hobbies and reading more, which helps, but wondering if there's anything a bit more climbing-related that I could try to keep positivity up?

Thanks and any ideas appreciated! 

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WaterMonkey 10 Feb 2020
In reply to chrispoole:

I had my supraspinatus tendon completely detached from the bone, plus my long head bicep tendon snapped. Had the op to fix the shoulder but wasn’t offered the bicep repair because it doesn’t do much.

follow your physio’s advice religiously, 3 times a day do all the exercises, even if you think they aren’t doing anything. Don’t attempt to do more though.

Whilst off work for 5 weeks I did lots of walking which kept me sane. I’d get a bus somewhere then walk back home via a pub!

Within 3 months I could do press ups again even though my surgeon said I might never be able to do them! I can now bench press more than before my tear.

Psychologically it was tough but I found that once I could start climbing, working out again I soon made big gains. It’s actually helped me not to stress about missing a work out now that I know you can catch up again.

Good luck. And remember 3 times a day physio!

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webbo 10 Feb 2020
In reply to chrispoole:

After I had my shoulder repaired  I would use my turbo trainer one day then do a long walk the next day. This was while I still had the sling on, so I had sit up right on the TT. Carrying and getting stuff out of the a rucksack was a bit of a pain but it was great to be out.

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