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I work at Shoulder Shield, I wanted to say that off the bat, our product was invented by a guy that had slap tear surgery by Dr. Andrews in Birmingham. He had difficulty getting loose and staying that way after his surgery/rehab. He invented the shirt while still playing college ball and was able to get back to throwing sub 2sec pop times as a catcher.
The shoulder shield is a compression shirt with a neoprene sleeve and if you would like to try one you can go to our website and it has our phone numbers and emails. It works and was designed for this scenario as well as injury prevention.
Not necessarily trying to get a free plug, but shoulder shield was started after having this unfortunate baseball related injury and it works. We have some big name users that can attest to that.


My son tore his labrum in an acute injury (as opposed to wear and tear) on Jan 30, 2011. He had surgery Feb 22, 2011. Son is an infielder. His ortho is a highly regarded sports medicine surgeon at a teaching hospital in Chicago. From a timing perspective, due to son's place in recruiting timeline, surgeon allowed him to progress at a faster rate than he would an established college athlete - note it was still here goes from a timing perspective:

Weeks 1 - 6 very limited - shoulder has to heal very limited pendulum swings after week 3. Surgeon said labrum has to heal.

Weeks 8 - 12 - PT with a sports medicine PT who specializes in shoulders. Son was progressed as his ROM and flexibility allowed him to...

He did not PICK UP a baseball for 12 weeks. At 12 weeks he was allowed to start swinging a broomstick with a ping pong ball. He returned to hitting at 14 weeks.

At 12 weeks he started very light throwing - there was a protocol which he followed dutifully...I will also say that even on his not PT days, he would go to the PT center and work the bands and the shaky stick thing (not sure what it's called).

At 16 weeks, he was allowed to return to right side of the infield (2nd base).

At 20 weeks, he returned to the left side of the infield - BUT - being cleared to return and getting velocity back are very different.

At almost 6 months to the day, he felt like his arm was back strength wise.

All this being said - each case is different because of different healing rates, flexibility, etc. I do know that for pitchers this is a much longer process due to strain on arm..not sure about catchers. I will also tell you that at 7 weeks my son wanted to run with his team during pre-game and surgeon would not allow due to jarring motion and potential for non-healing...

Good luck and as everyone has said - it is heartbreaking to suffer an injury that requires surgery. THere is light at the end of the tunnel - it just takes a lot of time.
Last edited by TXCubFan
Son is just over 6 months from surgery and began light flat mound work last week after a 12 week graduated long toss rehab. He feels arm strength is very good and coming up but stamina is a ways a way. Will be on a low pitch count (like max 25) in fall and work more on mechanics and building overall strength and stamina. Target of full return remains about 1 year from surgery which is February. There is no rushing this. Follow the plan, do the work, remain patient.
TXcub and Freddie, thanks for the feedback. interesting my son is saying he is having some pain for the 1st time.
Can you share if this common in your experiences. Again my junior5 is away at college. I am not sure the level of pain. He has been running during team activities and I beleive his rehab protocol is at a satge where he is increasing his exercises.
My initial thought that as he goes through the rehab and increases his exercises he would experience some pain.

Any Thoughts??
My son never really complained much of pain other than rehab type pain, more like sore after a workout stuff. Nothing that approached what had prior to the surgery.
As his throwing program progressed, he was totally issue free until he got to the 150' phase and then he experienced some discomfort and a little swelling. We backed it down for a couple weeks and then he progressed past that point and to 180 and finally on to the flat mound phase. Each step of the way he is finding that there are no shortcuts. When you get to a level, you build strength at that level and then move to the next. When he first resumed throwing, he felt fine but could really notice the atrophy of the shoulder that took over quickly in the sling/down period. He felt like everything was "weak". That feeling passed after the first couple of weeks of light throwing as things firmed up some but he hasn't forgotten that sensation and is taking it slowly.

Son never complained of pain. He did state that it took him a lot longer to warmup - arm felt a bit tight. He called PT who told him that was fine, and in fact better than a post op who felt no tightness - this was at 5 months after surgery. The old adage in sports medicine is let pain be your guide. So, if he is feeling pain, he needs to RUN, not walk, to PT (as opposed to athletic trainer) and figure out what's going reason to fret as I have heard that some players develop irritation - and biceps tendonitis...and obviously, would recommend that he shut down completely until he's checked out by PT. Keep us posted.
Last edited by TXCubFan
Hi Bulldog,

From my experience, son's PTse had expertise that the ATs did not. Also, surgeon wanted PT to run his program, but said he could see AT on non-PT days (at school). Also, PT school is much more difficult to get into than AT - which in most cases requires only a BS whereas, PT- in most states requires an MS. All that said, I'm sure there are exceptions and I'm sure there are very fine ATs...I just know that in son's case, AT would have referred us to PT anyway...
which in most cases requires only a BS whereas, PT- in most states requires an MS.

Yep and you can be a PT with an art degree... Many PT programs have about the same amount of related education as an AT program; they just are that much more in debt!

Don't get me wrong; I work with some excellent PTs. At least one of them have only a bachelors degree. In fact states don't require a specific degree; the APTA has decided that the DPT is the new "standard" and everybody else is being grandfathered in.

That said, when it becomes time to begin throwing programs and such, the athletic trainer is the best bet in many cases. PTs do not have the time nor the experience typically to execute a throwing program or any other athletic functional progression. In our company, the athletic trainer takes over much more of the rehab process at the time functional activities are needed.

For me, much of my rehab gets referred to PT not because I don't have the skills or education to do it, but because I don't have the time to do it with my athletes.
I just got back to reading the great responses in this thread. Thanks to all of you. I have been constantly working my body back into shape and am very happy with where I am. My physical therapist have come to the conclusion that I shouldshut running down for a a week or so because my shoulder will be very sore the day after. Sadly, I have ran into the day that makes you realize how much you aren't going anywhere. Consistancy is nice but feels like the lightat the end of the tunne will never get here. I am very thankful for the coaching staff andallthe helpI get. This is the reason why I chose to come here!
We haven’t updated this post in while. Thought I might share where Junior5 is at in his rehab. He is now 15 weeks post surgery. He has been continuing his PT 2-3 times per week. He is progressing according to plan. His range of motion is back over 100. He continues to progress in strengthening his shoulder.
The only set back occurred a few weeks ago when he would feel pain in shoulder after running. He started running again this week and has no pain.
Fall practices at his school wrapped up last week. He spent a lot of time on the bike, umpiring inter-squad games and basically doing work on his own. He recently started doing some bottom hand soft toss as tee work. His coach has been fantastic in my opinion. He talks to him one on one at least once a week, asking him about the rehab and telling my son how impressed he is with his work ethic and participation with the team.
He comes home this weekend and we have visit with the surgeon. Hopefully he will get cleared to start the throwing program.
I have to say 3 and ½ months into this, I am truly proud of how he has taken this set back and turned it into a positive. He has been able to adjust to being 1500 miles away from home dealing with college classes and new people.
My hope is that the throwing program will be as successful as the other PT has gone so far.
Again, I have to give major props to his head coach and all the coaches at Junior5’s school. You hear stories about how kids get lost in the program when they are injured. This definitely NOT what we have experienced.
Today was a big day!!!! Junior5 had his appointment with his Surgeon. He is not 4 months post surgery. The doctor said everything looks really good.

He asked if he had started lifting wieghts. My son has not as he didn't think he was able to. As a result the doctor recommended he wait 2 weeks before starting his throwing program.

The positive is that he can start a normal lifting program as well as hit.

We went to the cages this evening and hit took some swings. He said he felt great with no pain or tightness in his shoulder.
It has been about 2 weeks since I've started lifting and hitting. Since then everything has gone well. I haven't had any set backs. Yesterday I started my throwing program and my shoulder felt good. I didn't have much of anything on the ball but just being able to throw a baseball was easily the best experience since May 27th.
Here is another update. Junior5 is back home for he holiday. He finished step 7 of his ITP and started step 8. Basically he is at 120'. step 7 was 2 rounds and step 8 goes to 3 rounds with 25 throws each round. He should finish step 8 before he heads back to school this weekend. He has to complete each step three times without pain before he goes to the next step, throwing every other day.

He has had no real issues. I think the main issue is that with each step the 2nd day he tends to be tight all the way through and has some soreness the next day. The 1st day he did 120', he couldn't finish and he had to start that step from the beginning.

He is done with PT other than his throwing program and is able to workout and hit without any limitations.

From a hitting perspective, he has commented that there are days where his hands just don't go through the ball like they should. His thought is that is fatigue and on those days he focuses on his lower half.

I am very impressed with how well he knows his body. He knows how his body should react and is much more aware of his mechanics both throwing and hitting. He didn't have this awareness before this injury.

He heads back to school on Jan. 1st. His coach has already told him that he will be practicing with the varsity and that he doesn't want to rush him back. However, he will have the opportunity to contribute if he is healthy.

Considering where he was last June. This may have truly been a blessing in disguise
Latest update- Junior5 has experienced his 1st significant setback.

Last week as he started step 8 (120’ 3 sets of 25 throws) he felt some pain in his shoulder blade similar to the impingement he felt when all of this started. He went to his doctor, they confirmed that shoulder has no damage and still looks good.

They diagnosis was that muscles surrounding the shoulder weren’t strong enough to handle the 120” for 75 throws. They are having go back to step 6 (90” 2 sets of 25 throws), go back to doing some PT and that should get him back on track.

He saw his PT this morning, and he wants him to stay at 90” until he thinks the shoulder is strong enough to move to 120”. It appears he is going to be at least 4 weeks behind the projected completion of his throwing program.

My thought is that this isn’t a bad thing. He will continue to gain strength. As many of you have said in the past, this is an injury that has no definite time table. He just has to go with what his body is telling him.

He starts practice next week, He is still able to hit, catch bullpens, and participate to the extent where he isn’t throwing. I am still confident he could see some playing time as he was crushing the ball when he was home. (we all know if you are hitting, they coach will find a way to get you at bats).

Again, I have to say the kid is working his A$$ off and I am a very proud dad for the way he has handled this injury.
My son had a similar setback at around the 150'mark.
He shut down for a couple of days and did exactly the same 90' 2X 25 for a couple of weeks and built back up to where he could make the longer throws.

He then resumed the schedule and while a little bit behind was fine for the beginning of school and the ortho released him for full activity. The school handled him cautiously in the fall and while he did all workouts was restricted to bullpen work to reacquire mechanics and stamina and was held out of "live scrimm" to prevent him from trying to prove he was back all at once. I believe that was the right call.

He is now doing offseason throwing with no issues and expects to be full ready for the season. We will see how being he responds back to live situations and stamina but I can attest that when he lets one go, the "buzz" is back. its been a long time since I heard that sweet sound and we are cautiously optimistic.
Today I caught bullpens for the first time since the middle of May and it was noticeable. The usual comfort I have just wasn't there, but again it has been a while and I can't expect to jump right back into game shape. Tomorrow I get the opportunity to take part in practice, hitting and defensively with limited to no throwing. I'm very anxious to see how it will end up. I'm struggling with the concept of not being able to go out and perform like I usually I do. It also doesn't help that I am competing for an opportunity to play sometime this year. It sucks that working back from an injury is during my freshman year and I've already missed so much of it. I guess I need to be patient and focus on the things I can control, my effort and attitude.
I needed a place to vent a little bit. The hardest thing for me lately has been working on my throwing program and working on my swing. It's really hard to keep on working while not being able to see any direct results besides a hard hit ball off of the tee. The thing I compare it to is continuously doing conditioning without being able to see the results in the late innings of a game. It's a struggle that only makes the long days of a freshman college baseball season even harder than it already is, and the only thing you can do is pick your head up and keep grinding.
This is not the update I wanted to provide. I can say that my son is probably at the lowest point in this whole process. As I mentioned before her had his 1st setback in late December. He finished the 90’ ITP with no problem. The 1st time he attempted 120’ he couldn’t get through it. He was able to get into see his surgeon the day before he headed back to school. He advised that everything looked good structurally. They had him go back to therapy to work on strength. He worked back through the 90” phase with no issues. Last night he tried 120’ again and could not get through the 2nd set before he felt pain in the front and back of his shoulder.
Obviously this is has taken an emotional toll on him and me both. The hardest thing to deal with is the self doubt that is setting in. He is 7 months and 1 week post surgery. I spoke with his PT who is working with him at school this morning and he advised that he appears to have the strength but that his stamina may be the thing that is keeping him form progressing. He is going to meet with my son today and then speak with his surgeon.
As parent the thing I am struggling with is that he is 1500 miles away, He is working as hard as he can and I am concerned about the level of stress the kid must be going through maintaining a 3.5 GPA, attending practice, going to PT and doing everything he needs to do to get back.
Another issue is that he has been hitting the ball really well. So much so that he made the travel squad even though he can’t play defense. I imagine the extreme high he is getting from being successful and then the low of not progressing with his throwing program is very difficult to deal with.
This is such an emotional roller coaster that he as player and me as a parent was not prepared for.
Been a long time since I've visited the message board.

Wanted to provide an update. Unfortunately it probably isn't the update player who are going through this want to hear.

Since the last update almost a year ago. My son made the travel roster, even though he wasn't able to play defense. He got 6 at bats the whole season. He spent most of the games charting pitches and warming up pitcher sin the bullpen.

He had numerous set backs with his throwing program at the 120, 150, and 180 foot stages. He completed the program pain mostly pain free in May, which was 10 months post surgery. He came home and played summer ball. He played pretty well but his throws to down to second didn't have a lot on them. Midway through summer ball he became frustrated. At that point he decided he was just gonna let it loose and play as long as he could.
The last game of summer ball he hurt the shoulder again. He gave it some rest before going back to school for fall ball.

He had a couple good weeks and then the pain started again. At that point he hung it up. He couldn't remember the last time he felt 100% on a baseball field.

He worked so hard and was dedicated to getting the best physical shape of his life. He probably could have kept playing as a 1st baseman or DH. But he was always more a defensive catcher and wasn't going to be a prototypical 1B or DH.

He still part of the program as student assistant and is able to keep his scholarship. He has great relationship with his coach and is getting great experience as he wants to get into coaching.

I don't know what he could have done differently. Its been a coupe months since he hung it up and he seems very happy and is really enjoying the college experience.

He has taken up golf, which I explained can more you look more foolish than a hard slider or good change up.
Originally posted by jsingerjj:
I don't know what he could have done differently. Its been a coupe months since he hung it up and he seems very happy and is really enjoying the college experience.

There is life after baseball, he will get used to it and so will you. Smile

Best of luck to your son.
Thanks for the comments.

One thing I truly thankful is that his college coach has been great. Last year when he was going through rehab, His cosch met with him one on one almost weekly. he called me about once a month.
The conversation about hanging it up went very well and he is doing everything to keep my son part of the program and seems to taken an interest in helping him develop as coach.

My biggest advice to kids, is to really pick a college with the idea that of you have stop playing, is it place they can continue to get their education and be happy doing so.

As others have mentioned before.  Thank you for posting your son's progress, both the good and sometimes difficult days.   As a Dad who has a 15 year old with the same prognosis, I echo pretty much everything you said in your earlier posts.  I'm not sure I'm ready to undertake what's ahead for my son, but choosing not to do the surgery would basically mean hanging them up in his sophomore year of High School.  Your son is an amazing person.  Simply going through the process in the manner he did shows the courage and dedication he has.  He will be a success even though it may not be on the diamond as a player.  Thanks again....


Thank you for sharing your son's story. My son (baseball player) had posterior labrum tear surgery on 9/17/13, with 4 anchors. It's very helpful to get advice from others who have been through it. I appreciate you sharing the ups and downs along your journey. I wish your story had a different ending, but hopefully your son is happy at college.



Susie E,

Every once in a while I come back to read through what I went through while recovering from this injury and I am very thankful that my dad put this up here for him and I to add to. Your post caught my eye because of the mention of a different ending. For a while I was under the same thought process you are but now more than a year removed from my decision I could not be more thankful for what happened. I've spent the last year as a student assistant for an NAIA school who has given me the ability and opportunities to chase my new dream of making a career out of coaching. I also spent this past summer coaching for a top high school scout team out of Arizona. Most of all I am happy with where the game of baseball has taken me and although I still have dull pain in my shoulder multiple times a week, I am able to enjoy and grow in the game of baseball without the fear of having to make that next throw. 


In the end it isn't about whether my baseball career followed the path I wanted, it's more about whether it is following I path that puts a smile on my face. And at least for now that has never been more fitting than it is today.

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