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Well my son (16 year old 6' 2" LHP HS Junior) was getting ready for the summer season of his junior year finishing up high school baseball and his shoulder started to hurt warming up one day and now a little over a week later and an MRI we found out he has some fraying/minimal tearing of part of his rotator cuff.  We also found out through this process that he has extremely loose joins (ligamentous laxity) which has likely been the underlying cause of some various injuries he has had over the last couple years. 

He wants to keep going and rehab and build up his muscular structure significantly which the ortho recommended and said at this point he didn't see any need for surgery.  The ortho said this isn't a "dream killer" but I am a bit worried that perhaps it may not be now but in the long run this may point to a problem he can't overcome.  I have read quite a bit about it and it does seem that it doesn't have to be a long term issue. If it were a full tear that might in fact be enough to hang up the cleats.  

I figured I would reach out on this forum and see if anyone had advice or experience in this area.  

Thank you! 

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I can only offer my personal experience if it is of any help...

I had a tear in the acromioclavicular joint and of the supraspinatus tendon a couple of years ago.  It was a acute tear, rather than a wear issue like you are describing.

My ortho gave me the option of trying rehab before doing a surgical repair, and that was the route I chose.  I saw a therapist a couple of times a week for about two months, and did a ton of exercises on my own as well.

Most of the work in the beginning was to restore range of motion, and then it progressed to strengthening the muscles in the rotator cuff.  Many of the exercises were from the "Thrower's Ten", or variations of them.  You would be surprised just how little weight you can move in some of those exercises, because they really isolate muscles that rarely get any attention in traditional workouts.

After a few months I was back to having a functional arm without too much pain. A couple of years down the road and I'm able to throw pain free and workout without any restrictions.

The only thing I have noticed is that I don't have the ability to get any distance on long toss any more. I might get 150 feet or so if I really heave it.  Prior to the tear I would throw with my oldest out to about 225 feet without much effort. Now he throws at 300 and I just catch it and put it in the bucket. No pain, just can't get the distance.  Of course the fact that I am getting older probably is a factor in there as well.

I can throw bp all day though without any issues, so I guess I don't have reason to really complain.

I would say that a 16 year old would have way more success than I did.  The important thing is to get with a therapist who is experienced with throwing athletes, and follow the rehab and strengthening program religiously.  Even if it means taking some time off from playing, you definitely need to deal with the issue before it gets any worse. 


Highly recommend you read up on anything written by Eric Cressey or Mike Reinold in regards to shoulder instability (laxity) and proper rehab/prehab for rotator cuff injuries. If your son takes great care of his arm and stays with prehab shoulder work, he will be just fine. It really is not that much extra work but takes a commitment. The problem is that most athletes revert to their old ways once an injury heals. Tell him to stick with shoulder work recommended by those in the know as long as he continues to play baseball and he will definitely minimize the risks of further injury.

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