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A friend called today with the sad news that her 12 y.o. son dislocated his throwing shoulder while batting. MRI apparently shows ant. and post. labrum tears along with a subscapularis tendon tear. Surgery is pending.

Without going into more detail, I just want to know if anyone had experience with a kid this young coming back from surgery. I assume that baseball would be a long shot, but I'm always optimistic. Does this kid have any role models to work off?
"There are two kinds of people in this game: those who are humble and those who are about to be." Clint Hurdle
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I have to agree here, seems like there is more going on than an injury swinging the bat, perhaps the player has been injured somewhere along the line and what happened just made it worse. Never heard of that one.
As far as recovery, who can really tell what the future holds.
Terrible thing that a 12 year old has to go through major surgery.
It is very likely this kid could have very easily subluxed his shoulder before causing the tear. Once that happens, it doesn't take much for the humerus to come out again and again.

Unfortunately it sounds like surgery is most definitely needed and the outcome is very much in the air. Surgery will fix the problem, but it won't solve the issue. There has to be some sort of underlying cause..

Also, post surgery it will be very important that rehab takes place and that he follows everything to a T.

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst... I know it stinks, but remember the inability to play the game of baseball is not the end of the world...
Yes the mechanism of injury is very rare. I've never heard of this happening before anywhere. Yet I'm fairly confident that there was no pre-existing injury. Both parents are medical professionals with extensive musculoskeletal backgrounds. The kid is a LL player, not a year round player. It may could be that the kid's body type pre-disposed him to some shoulder instability and led to this type of injury, but then why doesn't this happen more often?

Anyway, and regardless of how it happened, the kid is facing some significant life changes. Surgery is a big deal here, and since baseball was a big deal before the injury, I'm wondering if he has any chance of pursuing it further.

Because the injury occurred when swinging, I doubt that he could ever again be an effective hitter- it's too likely that this event will always be lurking in the back of his head when swinging and I don't see how he could ever regain the aggressiveness. But if the surgery and rehab go well, he could *possibly* pitch again.

Baseball could be a great motivator in rehab. Then again if there's little or no chance of him throwing competitively again then it's just irresponsible to even allow the kid to hope of playing baseball ever again.

I don't know any kids who've gone through this before. That's why I'm asking. Maybe the best advice will ultimately come from his surgeon, but unless he has a baseball background then I'm afraid he'll just tell the kid to pick up soc*er. I'm trying to help the parents be honest and realistic. What would you tell them?
Last edited by spizzlepop
Spizzle, I'm sure your friends know this based on their backgrounds, but, the best thing this young man has going for him is his age. He's young, still growing, and that profile is generally a body that is able to adapt, heal and compensate for issues....far better than us old guys can. There's a lot of reason to be optimistic.
With our son's situation, I started to do a fair amount of research on labral repairs and baseball playing.
What I found is there is too much disinformation.
If you talk to team doctors and trainers, they tell you everyone comes back 100% in a relatively short period of time(5-8 months.)
With more research, what I found is that there is very little research on this type of topic.
The most reliable study I found was published in the Spring of 2008 by one of the Phillies team orthopedists.
This assess TJ and labrum repairs and returning to the players/pitchers pre-injury level of competition. But the study group was 18-23 year olds in Milb for the most part.
What it concluded for labral injuries was that about 25% were able to make it back to the pre-injury level of competition. It didn't study how then did from that point and after.
With what limited information I found, I would be astounded there is any reliable information on a 12 year old with labral repair surgery.
The only suggestion I would have for this young man would be to get the very best orthopedic surgeon who has done the most labral repairs with good results for baseball players.
Finding such a physician is easier said than done.

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