Labrum Shoulder Surgery Recovery Experience -- Timelines

I suppose this is a follow-up of sorts, as I posted some number of months ago PRIOR to the surgery.  My 16U, Sophomore son underwent the surgery just after Christmas, had a relatively small tear requiring two anchors and as an aside, the Doc said rotator cuff and bicep tendon looked great.  Recovery so far is on track and our Ortho Doc has seemed genuinely surprised by my son's ROM and strength in each of our appointments, so I am optimistic he will play at a competitive level again in the not TOO distant future.  We realize this is a long recovery, although my son is REALLY anxious to play in some capacity this summer.  I am hoping that either some parents or players can provide some more real-world timelines of their own recovery.  Specifically I am curious when you started swinging a bat, when you batted in a game, when you were able to sprint, when you began a throwing program, when you were able to play in a game as a position player (let's say first base due to less throwing reqs), and finally when you were able to begin pitching.   My son's summer season first tournament is 24 weeks post surgery, and his last tournament is week 30 post surgery.  Is it realistic that by week 24 he might be ready to DH in the lineup?  Also, is it realistic that perhaps by week 27 he might be able to play some first base?  His primary position is OF and secondary pitcher.  Any insights/resources are appreciated!  I am somewhat shocked how difficult it is to find solid information on this surgery and recovery. 

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Just a few questions - what does the surgeon say?  He must be offering some opinion on a date for a return to throwing?  Does he regularly do this procedure on throwers?  Do you have a PT/rehab specialist and does that person regularly work with overhead throwing athletes?

My understanding (which is fairly limited) is that ramp up time to throwing is roughly equivalent to the prescribed time where no throwing is allowed.  In other words, if the medical experts involved in his case say he can't start throwing for 3-4 months post surgery, then expect the ramp up time to be about the same.   In regards to hitting, I can't offer you much there.  I suppose it might be dependent on which shoulder in relation to which side of the plate he hits from. 

Try to google Mike Reinold, he has a lot of material out there on throwing injuries and rehab.  Each kid is different, but you might pick up some things.

Son had a less significant labrum surgery (no anchors) in June after college season ended. Missed all of the next season. Coaches would have used him at the end of that season if he'd been ready because they were in contention in their conference. But even after 11 months, he wasn't quite ready to help them win.

Patience. Patience.

2019 son had labrum surgery in Birmingham at Andrews clinic in July. Non throwing shoulder 4 anchors no rotator cuff/ligament issues. Basically blew the entire labrum up. 

Began swinging bat end of November and cleared to play end of December. Was not his throwing shoulder so much different for throwing. 

Swinging the bat can occur faster. Follow all Rehab exactly as prescribed. 

DALEX posted:

.... My son's summer season first tournament is 24 weeks post surgery, and his last tournament is week 30 post surgery.  Is it realistic that by week 24 he might be ready to DH in the lineup?  Also, is it realistic that perhaps by week 27 he might be able to play some first base?  His primary position is OF and secondary pitcher.  Any insights/resources are appreciated!  I am somewhat shocked how difficult it is to find solid information on this surgery and recovery. 

There have been several labrum issues in our program and family over the years.  It is difficult to find solid information on recovery timelines because they vary so greatly.  I will second and underline what others are saying... follow prescribed protocol and PT to a T !!

And, do not rush back to activity in the summer !!!  The recovery for guys in our program has ranged from "close to projected" to never.  And there are more than one nevers.  The nevers either pushed things too quickly, didn't follow PT outlines faithfully or injured themselves again trying to do something in a position other than their norm in an effort to be playing again somewhere.  One guy made it out early but proper mechanics are suffering a bit and I fear that will have some long term effect.  Yes, you can come back and DH at some point but also keep in mind that the coach most likely already has someone in that slot and/or the players in the field can all hit or deserve to hit.  The worst thing you can do, IMO, is to start targeting events that are a fairly aggressive timeline.  You are setting him up for disappointment.  I would take the approach of telling everyone he is shut down until further notice, period.  Then, when he gets close to being cleared and getting firm timelines based on actual PT performance, then you can start shooting for events.

Your son is a soph and this HS year is done.  Strong summer performance is not likely, regardless of quick recovery or not.  Once he is released, there is still a process that doesn't happen overnight.  Keep in mind, he has plenty of time in front of him as long as you both exercise proper patience, restraint and discipline.  

cab-dad...EXCELLENT explanation! Key word...Released. 

Dalex, please listen & have your son adhere to the wisdom of following his PT protocol only! This is not something to trifle with...seriously!

There are a few of us here whose son's have gone thru this...It takes a lot of patience & care to fully & successfully recover. I should have mentioned a couple things in my earlier post...Most importantly, though, is that if you have ANY question about his recovery time line, surgeon or PT, then seek council from Dr Andrews in Pensacola Fla. He is unquestionably the best in the field!

Good luck & keep us informed.

Thanks for all the feedback and for helping me put the "mental" brakes on.  With baseball beginning to ramp up, my son is getting antsy and I am as well.  We are 12-13 weeks post surgery and the PT is ramping up and it's too easy to fall into a wishful thinking mindset that he'll be able to get some playing time this summer.  There are other ways to grow in the game w/o being on the field.   I've been cautioned that this is a 1 year recovery.  Some are a little sooner and many take longer. Patience, patience, patience... He will play again...  

DALEX posted:

Thanks for all the feedback and for helping me put the "mental" brakes on.  With baseball beginning to ramp up, my son is getting antsy and I am as well.  We are 12-13 weeks post surgery and the PT is ramping up and it's too easy to fall into a wishful thinking mindset that he'll be able to get some playing time this summer.  There are other ways to grow in the game w/o being on the field.   I've been cautioned that this is a 1 year recovery.  Some are a little sooner and many take longer. Patience, patience, patience... He will play again...  

Yes and the down time can be very challenging for active, competitive young men.  That is a good thought that there are other ways to grow in the game.  Don't limit it to the game.  This is also an opportunity to find projects that are not necessarily baseball related that can be rewarding and fill the time and maybe expand other horizons.

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