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I wanted to start this thread the day before my son is scheduled to have surgery to repair a torn labrum. I would like t offer updates as to how the surgery, rehab, and recovery goes. Hoping this will help other players and parents deal with similar situations in the future.
To give some back ground, my son, Junior5, just graduated from high school in Arizona and is committed to play at an NAIA school in Nebraska. He is catcher, so you can imagine all the questions that float through my head about his ability to get back to the level he needs in order to play that position effectively. Junior5 is also been somewhat of a late bloomer physically and never gotten the notoriety of a top player in our area. He was 5’3” 130 lbs. his freshman year and really didn’t grow until his junior year. He is now 6’0” and 195 lbs. He always had been a fundamentally sound player with great leadership skills. I always drew comparisons to Craig Counsell. A hard working player who could play a lot of positions but was never considered the first option at any position. But he always found his way into the lineup. His was the case at every level he played at.
He enjoyed a successful senior year but wasn’t the starting catcher although he was recruited by many NAIA and D3 schools to be a catcher. He played his senior season at First base and when the season was over we searched for summer team where he could get innings behind the plate. His tryout with a Connie Mack team went extremely well. His pop times were 1.93-1.96 average, He is also hit the ball very well. We were approached by the evaluators who were area scouts about how well he did and they liked his skills and told us he was “projectable” down the road. Whether that was them blowing smoke or not, it was the first time anyone at that level approached him or me about his skills on the field. The next weekend he went back for the second round of tryouts and he couldn’t throw. His arm was hurting so bad that he couldn’t complete warm ups. The coaches told him to shut it down and not to worry; he had made the team as their number one catcher.
After all these years of playing catch, hitting ground balls and throwing BP to learn that junior5 had torn labrum was devastating to me as a father who watched this kid have to work extra hard at every level just to prove he belonged. At point where he finally got to the fruits of all his hard work and have this happen doesn’t seem fair.
Watching him function for these past few weeks without baseball is difficult. I know he has long road ahead of him and maybe all the hard work he had to put in the past has prepared him for what he has to o to get back.
I know this got very long, but I wanted to set the stage for future updates as I attempt to share his progression back to the game he loves.
I will post the details of how the surgery went this weekend.
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Day before surgery June 29th
Junior5's surgery is later today. Last night it hit me just how much will go into his rehab. A device was dropped of at the house last night that will in effect ice his shoulder. The nurse explained he leave the surgery with the wrap secured to his shoulder and he would attach it to the machine and he would in effect ice his shoulder basically all day for an hour on and an hour off. He would need to do this for anywhere to one to three weeks depending on what the doctor says. The device also included wraps to go around his calves that will work similar to a blood pressure cuff that he should also wear when he is lying down. This is supposed to help stimulate the calf muscles and prevent blood clots.

Needless to say we weren’t prepared for this device being used so frequently.

I will provide an update as to how the surgery goes today. As Junior5 stated in one his posts, This message board is an excellent place to vent and helps get through this process.
All my very best wishes to your son in his recovery and for you in supporting and encouraging him through the process.
It certainly can be a long recovery and rehabilitation. The process is not a straight line, either. It takes a ton of mental focus and tenacity to follow the rehab program, to not overdue it or get overly optimistic on the good days and equally to stay even on the tough days.
There is a DIII catcher who was just named a DIII All American and West Region player of the year. He had a major shoulder procedure right after HS.
During his freshman year, he mostly DH'd but returned to catching as a sophomore and got progressively better.
It may take 8-12 months for your son to heal.
This is not a time to be overly optimistic or pessimistic. Take it one day at a time. and help him focus on doing the things necessary every single day to get better and healthy hour by hour and day by day.
Try your best to help him avoid the thinking of how fast he needs to recover.
My son had this surgery in February in his freshman year. He is a D1 pitcher and used the Cryocuff like you described. It is a great aid in reducing the swelling after the surgery and he also found it beneficial in supporting his shoulder for sleeping. He had his surgery on a Friday and came home for the weekend. With the reduction in swelling, he was comfortable enough to return to school the following Wednesday in a sling. He started therapy nearly right away and used the cryocuff after that as well. We are 4 months after surgery and he is into his 6th week of the graduated throwing progra and also continuing with exercises and physical therapy. So far, so good. he has responded well to therapy and progressed as hoped but there is still a ways to go.

Its a hard thing but a positive outlook really helps. He missed his season which was difficult for a kid to accept but a decision he personally made as his best option. The therapy was/is a pain and you have to be religious about it. He has never really complained much about the pain, even right after the surgery. He took the approach that, now I'm fixed but I have to heal and get strong again. It seems like a long time but in reality, it flew by. He had to overcome the "fear" of throwing those first few 45' tosses but he once he did so without pain, its like a light went on, I can do this! The key now is to maintain the slow and steady, gradual build. Fall ball is viewed as a return to regular activities (assuming no setback) but he is not looking at it as a return to normal performance. He should be able to get back on the mound, get his feet wet, face batters but there is no rush to air it out. His real time table is the regular season and that will put his recovery at around 11 1/2 months. We hope he makes it.
I wish your son the best as well. Listen to the doctor, listen to his arm, be optimisic but realistic. Give it your best shot and things have a way of working out.
Surgery complete- recovery day 1
The surgery is complete and according to the doctor it went well. He advised that the tear wasn’t a large as he initially thought and that other than the tear everything else in his shoulder was in good shape.
Seeing him come of surgery completely out of it, with his Cryocuff and sling lying there motionless was something I wasn’t prepared for. We got home and into bed and he did well. The numbed the nerves going into his shoulder prior to the surgery and he has no pain as of yet.
Plan for the weekend. Lot so rest and constant use of the Cryocuff. Has his first physical therapy session Tuesday. He will be in his sling for the next 4 weeks except during his therapy.

Lets see how he does once the pain starts to kick in a bit.
Junior5 has completed 3 physical therapy sessions. They all have gone very well with almost no pain. he has stoped taking the pain medication as of Tuesday and just taking tylenol occaisonally.

Overall, i am very suprised at how easy this has been so far. I am concerned that is going abit too easy. He is counting down, 15 more session unitl he is out of the sling.

We'd welcome any feddback on if anyone had a simlar experience. did it go as smoth, if and when he should experience any significant road bloacks.
As noted above, my son had this surgery in February. So far, the experience has been similar to your son's. He progressed well right from the beginning but don't be fooled, its still a long process. One thing that the doctor and trainers all emphasized is that there is no rushing the recovery. Its great that there is no pain but you have to reign in the urge to think all is well. When my son finally reached the point at 12 weeks where he was released to begin the throwing program, he was amazed at how "weak" he felt on those first few throws. Despite having no pain and doing the therapy, a certain amount of atrophy does happen and you need to listen to the doctors, come back gradually, slowly increasing the distance. My son just finished his 7th week of throwing. He is now up to 120', this week he has to do 3 sets of 25 throws, 3 days. He can see the strength returning and now understands that if he tried to throw hard right away because he felt good, he would have hurt himself. One other thing that our doctor did was prescribe physical therapy over the summer at a local sports therapy group.While my son had the routine for PT down, he feels that the physical therapists do a really good job of keeping him stretched and emphasizing proper form.They've slowly increased band tensions and the like as he has continued.

good luck with this. We are optimistic on our side, it sounds like you are heading down the same path.
Freddie, thanks for the insight. I am bet when juniro stat sthorwing it will be like starting from scratch.
My major concern is when he heads off to college at the end of August. He will done with the initial 18 Pt sessions here. But hwen he goes up to Nebraska he will be working with the therapists that the college send their athletes to.
Probably not a big concern juts change in the routine.
Originally posted by jsingerjj:
Freddie, thanks for the insight. I am bet when juniro stat sthorwing it will be like starting from scratch.
My major concern is when he heads off to college at the end of August. He will done with the initial 18 Pt sessions here. But hwen he goes up to Nebraska he will be working with the therapists that the college send their athletes to.
Probably not a big concern juts change in the routine.

my suggestion would be to try and have this as seamless as possible for your son.
It appears there are 2 ways to do this(might be more and I only am seeing 2.)
The first would be to have his surgeon provide the recommended program to rehab the shoulder and provide that to the school trainers to make sure they are in agreement and will follow the program completely.
The other option is to reach out to the trainers at the college and find out if they have a rehab program for labrum/SLAP repairs. If they do, obtain it and present it to the operating surgeon for review/approval/modification.
It might be that the school will have something completely similar to the program recommended by the surgeon. I would want want to mitigate/eliminate the chances they don't, if you can.
Along way, some things are going to be important:
1.) Range of motion, especially the range of shoulder motion to throw a baseball, is critical. Having those measurements done on a regular but periodic basis is important to determining progress and alterations/additions which might be needed. You want to be starting to throw after achieving adequate ROM in various motions in the shoulder, rather than relying on some specific number of weeks/months that don't take into consideration the ROM progress. Making sure the records from AZ(both doctor and PT) go with your son when he goes to school seems like a good step, also.
2.) Strength is another factor that needs to be monitored carefully along the way, especially as throwing starts and there are good days/bad days necessitating adjustments to the program.
Glad to hear things are progressing and the tear was not as significant when the surgery was done.
The athletic training staff should be more than happy to take the protocol from the surgeon and run with it. One other thing to make sure of is you may communicate with the surgeon's office about HIPAA information and get things signed so they can send information to the staff at school.

Your son is going to have to provide quite a bit of documentation to the athletic training staff and their team physicians before that team physician will clear you to play. Ultimately the team physician at that school has the FINAL SAY and there is NOBODY who can override that.
As usual, i always learn htings I owuld never thought of on the message board.
Thanks infielddad and bulldog19!!!!!

We have our 1st appointment with the his doctor/surgeon post surgery on Wednesday.
The doctor who did the surgery was very particular about the PT he went to and gave very specific directions. The nurses during post-op all commented about how particular he is regarding his recovery.
He seems to have some impressive credentials. spent time with Dr. James Andrews and the the orothopedic surgeon for the SF Giants.

He already aware that the major part of rehab will be off at college, which is in a smaller town in nebraska.

I have already reached out to the PT the college uses to ake sure insurance and such is accepted. I also asked to have the PT in nebraska contact me to get any special instructions.

I'll keep eveyone updated. i want to be able to help any players done the line who have this same procedure
Today was the 4th day of physical therapy and my shoulder was tight and sore for the 1st time. My physical therapist said I was lucky to have the nerve block or "luck" for as long as I did; which was about a week. I'm gaining my range of motion back at a pretty good pace; it's nice hearing the words excellent and awesome when they're working on me. I'm excited to get the stiches out tomorrow, but I do know that it is going to come with some pain at therapy when they start doing tissue work. I'm excitedto 2/9ths of the way to being out of this sling so I can sleep and eat without a struggle. Thanks to all of the information, it helps my dad and I out a lot.
Google "hope Solo's surgery" on utube for some inspiration. I know this sport can be a dirty word on this site but seeing what she went through to repair her labrum is amazing. 12 screws in the labrum/bone and tons of PT to get her where she is today.

The American women have been amazing in the World Cup and she's a big part of their success.

Good luck in your recovery- sounds like you're doing great so far. Keep your positive attitude!
I'm into my third week of physicl therapy and everything has been going very well. I have had very limited pain and soreness, which is very exciting. My range of motion is growing continuously which is making it easier to be happy. I've watched more baseball than I probably ever have, from tv to th summer teamI was supposed to play for. Out of all of this the most frustrating thing is seeing people not run out a groundball or walk on and off the field. I've thought about how many times I've done this and it is frustrating. The one thing I have want to take from this more than anything is the ability to remember this frustration.

I can't wait to get this sling off... typng with one hand is MISERABLE!
From all indication Jeff’s recovery is going well. He has a positive attitude about how the therapy sessions are going and his therapist says this are going just fine. In reading other posts on this topic, I think both of us are staying away from looking at him being ahead/behind schedule and focusing on how feels that particular day. Jeff started taking walks at night to get some exercise and I think for both of us are dealing with the mental part of him not being able to play.
What triggered me to add to this post occurred last night. It was 10:30, I was getting ready for bed flipping through channels getting the watching the highlights of the nights MLB games. I saw that Field of Dreams was on at 11:00pm. I set the record on my DVR to have in saved. As 11:00 rolled around still watching TV, I flipped over to the movie and began watching. I sat there and watched the hold movie. I have seen it a hundred times and always tear up when Ray has catch with his dad. This time, I started to tear up almost from the beginning, Tears continued through the movie which lead to full on cry when Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe explained how he felt when he had the game taken away from him. It touched the most sensitive nerve as father who shares a passion oh this game with his son. At that point I would have given anything to go get Jeff and go out and play a game on catch or hit him balls.
I know he has to the majority of the rehab on his own. He will be away at College when he can start throwing again. There is void in me because I won’t be the one playing catch with him or hitting balls at a time when as father I feel I need to be there like have since he was 4.
Here is the latest update on Junior5s progress.
Last night we had to go to the emergency room as he was having minor chest pain and high blood pressure. He had been experiencing high blood pressure for the past couple of weeks. This was never an issue prior to the surgery.
After a night of tests and monitoring, there appeared to be nothing significantly wrong. The doctor felt the combination of poor diet, lack of exercise and stress led to the high blood pressure.
Being 40, overweight, and relatively inactive for many years this visit sounded very familiar to a visit I had to the emergency room a few years ago. I was surprised that after only 6 weeks of inactivity these symptoms would appear in an 18 year old athlete.
I think my son is learning the value of a sound diet and hopefully it continues throughout his life.
With less than 2 weeks until Junior5 heads off to college in Nebraska, He seems to be doing a lot better mentally. The fact that he bought catcher’s gear and other equipment has helped. Now I understand why women shop when they are down in the dumps. LOL
The therapy continues to go well. He has his appointment with his surgeon Monday the 15th. At that time he should no longer need to wear the sling. Next week is also the point where he should be able to begin strength therapy. He was really enjoyed working with the PT here as he is former college baseball player and also had Labrum surgery in college. My hope is that he continues to progress with the PT in Nebraska in the manner he has progressed so far.
I have noticed that Junior5 appears to have lost a lot of the muscle mass he had in arms and shoulders. He commented that he has a lot of work to do just to get back to wear he was at the end of his senior year.
He has never been a workout warrior. But he was dedicated to improving his game. Plenty of hours taking extra BP, infield and such. He has always been a solid kid in his upper body. He just looks flabby around the arms and shoulders.

I don't think you realize how weak you get in such a short period of time. People tell you, but until you witness it for yourself, you can't clearly undestand.
I have question out there for any who has gone throguh this.

As I said earlier, next week it will be 7 weeks since the surgery. We have out appiontment with the surgeon. We are hoping the Dr. will allow him to catch bullpen and maybe take ground balls with absolutely no throwing.

Has anyone who had this type of surgery begin non throw or hitting actvities at 8 weeks? If so, do you feel it benefit?

My thoguht it would affect one's mental state being able to do anything to feel like they were making baseball progress.
Nope, at 7 weeks, those were not acceptable/approved activities for our son's MLB directed rehab program or from Dr Andrews office protocols.
The mental side is tough, for sure, as has been posted before.
Swinging a bat could, to my thinking, create significant risk of damaging/tearing the healing tissue and/or especially damaging the anchor. Swinging a bat might help him mentally but I expect it would be short term because of the risks it creates in setting back the recovery/rehab. Same with taking ground balls, even though not throwing.
Your son still has to regain range of motion in the shoulder so that it gets very close to 100% in all measurements. I doubt any solid rehab program would permit him to incur the motion he would through swinging a bat before his PT shows a near normal ROM.
Just as important as his ROM, he needs to generate strength in the shoulder in each plane of his range of motion.
jsingerjj, this is a very tough, long and tedious process. There just are no quick fixes. There are too many variables.
I would encourage you to support and maximize your son's recovery by looking at this over the long term rather than possibly causing something negative to happen by what you might be seeing in the short term.
There are no short cuts as tough as that is to accept.
Last edited by infielddad
I was just searching SLAP tears as I had the surgery before my freshman year of college (Outfield) and thought I'd send a reply. Make sure his confidence stays up and he doesn't rush anything. I went to a Physical therapy office for a month and the fall semester started so I continued at my school. With the amount of athletes that go in and out of the trainers office I don't think I received nearly what I needed. I don't remember what i started week for week but I do remember from reading up that my doctor might of babied my recovery with what I could do by comparing where other's were at on forums just as this. A few months after I had shoulder impingment.Right now I'm 25 and I can honestly say I wish I never had the surgery.
I wish him the best. Like infielddad said I wouldn't be trying to catch a bullpen (without throwing) even if his doctor said its ok. He's been playing baseball all his life and he's still young. The game is still going to be second nature to him and being a catcher he's going to need a full recovery and a strong arm to get him by 4 years of catching drills. I didn't know what practice was until I went to college. Infield outfield felt like a full game.
Mais, thanks for the insight. I am also very concerned about the treatment he gets once he heads to college. His surgeon and therapist work almost exclusively together and baseball arm injuries are their primary focus. I have already contacted the therapist that works with the team to ask he would continue the same program and provide the reports the current PT is providing the surgeon. I also made certain that there are no issues with the insurance.

Hopefully, the transiton to the new PT will be a smooth one.
jsingerjj- I share the same concerns with respect to my TJ surgery recovery. In my opinion, it's largely about open communication.

One question I will pose in light of your previous inquiry about the catching bullpens scenario. I don't mean for this to come off rudely in any sort of way, but I don't really know how to word it so that it is not so blunt. But here it goes...why does he want to catch bullpens? The rehab process is so long he'll have plenty of time to worry about rehabbing the rest of his baseball skills back into form. Why is it such a rush to do so now? Is it because he is anxious (he's stated his frustration directly to me)? Or is it because he wishes to continue to improve in baseball? If it is the first reason, I urge patience. The second, I urge patience as well. All will come in time with respect to the surgery. There is a reason why the protocols are written the way they are, and a reason why the medical professionals that have proven to be successful in these aspects have come up with their methods.

Hope this helps. Again, sorry for being rather blunt about it. Don't want to be too harsh. Your son is obviously both talented and passionate, and I've had direct conversations with him about many of these things. Rushing, in my opinion and from the advice I've been given, is a huge no-no.
Your welcome. Like everyone's said patience is the best advice we can give. Everyone's different and will regain ROM and heal from the surgery. Just a simple jog I could feel how underdeveloped my back and shoulder were to keep my shoulder joint in place. I rushed things a little more than I should and had the goal of being ready for a season that started in 10 months. I mentally played up my progression in my head. I was 18, stupid, and just wanted to get back on the field.

Talk to him about redshirting. He has a lot to lose if he reinjures his labrum or even tears his rotator cuff. During this time he can concentrate more on school and save a year of eligibility,
Just to clarify, his doctor, college coach, and PT have said then WHEN he has the stength and ROM, he could participate in some no throwing baseball activivites. I am confortible whit all their credentials, experience, and looking out for the best interets of my son.
The point of my question was does anyone have any experience with the time frame, 8 week, 12 weeks, etc.
From a Junior5's perspective cathcing bullpen is a very important step. it allows him to get a feeling for the pitchers at time during fall balls when his school has a shortage fo catcher's (some play football). In his situation, When he gets healthy, he has good chance at being the 3rd catcher, which means he would travel as a freshman.

Mais- as far as redshirting. I dont think that is a plan of his. He wants to graduate in 4 years and play as much healthy basebal as he can, then move on the next stage of his life.
No problem. I was just throwing that out there. Now a days a masters degree is like the new bachelors.

I'm about to head out to vitaminshoppe in a little to pick up a multi glucosamine supplement for joints (Animalflex). My buddy who pitched swears by this and it can't do any harm taking. Bring it up to your doctor.

Just from experience I've on occasion bought a bottle of ORGANIC Vegetable Juice and after drinking, the next morning waking up I have had little to no inflamation at all in my shoulder. For me it beats the anti-inflamatory affect of tylenol/motrin/aleve ect. Organic, Supermarket processed vegetable juice does nothing for me.

Can you tell me how much was the Cryocuff and if it was no cost on your insurance from your orthapedic. thanks
Junior5 had his last visit to his surgeon before heading off to shcool next week. Everyhting is progressing well and his now allowed to run and do agility actvities. The doctor provided a 20 page document outlining the the rehab plan and the details of the injury and the suregery that we will provde to the PT in Nebraska.

He will be home in mid-October to see his surgeon. If his ROM and stregnth continues to progress he could at that point begin some baseball activities.

Mais- Junior5 really like the cryocuff. He used it as much as he could. I highly recommend using one. Yes our insurance company covered it.
I wanted to provide an update. After his last PT session in Arizona on Aug. 22nd his ROM continued to progress. He has begun some strengthening exercises with very light weight. This was actually the 1st therapy session I attended as I wanted to make sure my son had everything he needed as far as documentation for the PT in Nebraska.
He has been cleared to do lower body and core exercises as long it didn’t involve a bar (meaning no squats or the like). He is also cleared for running, speed and agility exercises. I think this is a big step for him mentally as it allows for him to work his lower body, core, speed and agility which has been an opportunity in which to improve in the past.
We got him all moved in at his school and he had two visits to his new PT this past week. My best comparison between the two PTs is a Mercedes to a Honda. The PT in AZ was top of the line. The have a number of MLB clients and pull out all the stops from extra heat/cold treatment, electric stimulation, and massage. His averga PT session would take 1 and ½ hours. His 1st session at the new PT was 45 min. The new PT is following all of the protocol outlined by the surgeon and the facility is the much the same. However, the extras he no longer gets is a bit disappointing.
The biggest difference in the short time he has been away has been his mental state. He mentioned how he enjoyed being on the field while hitting and throwing activities were going on. Even though he is a spectator except for throwing some extra soft toss to teammates (left handed). This has been huge for him. He is part of the team while all summer he was alone without any team participation.
He comes home in Mid-October for doctor visit. If he stays on track, he could begin the path to developing his throwing motion and doing some limited baseball activities, then starting a throwing program in late October.
Today was first day of the fall practice and we did testing activites. I ran and participated in the activites that I was able to. This absolutely sucked for me. I hate being that kid that has an excuse; especially on a baseball field. Another thing that bothered me about today was the fact that i've had minimal oppertunity to get in shape... The testing was all about what shape you are in. I've ran a handful of times and haven't been able to work on my core and legs. I'm disappointed with the practice, mainly because I was that kid today and till october ATLEAST. I also know this process is this way, it's going to be miserable, but I have to take it step by step and make the best of it. I guess the best way to do it is write a bunch of run-on sentences and not make sense...

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