My 15 year old son is a LHP and suffered a season ending injury to his left shoulder back in late February. After several weeks of rest and a MRI the orthopedic surgeon at Palmetto Health USC determined he had a SLAP tear to his labrum. We are having surgery today to repair the tear. If anyone has any success stories, advice please don't hesitate to share. I have read numerous articles about this type of surgery and what to expect but would love to get some firsthand knowledge as to how the recovery process could go. Thanks for reading and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Hoping for the best possible outcome for your son. I had labrum surgery myself, but at age 50 and I don't play baseball, so my experience probably isn't very helpful. Like most of these ortho surgeries, following the prescribed PT is probably the most important factor within his control. Best of luck!

Thanks to those who have responded and expressed their best wishes. The surgery went well and he is home resting. Now begins the long road to recovery. His first PT will be Thursday.  The orthopedic surgeon at USC was great as were the nurses and staff at palmetto Richland hospital. 

Yesterday was the first day of PT and went as well as to be expected. He was in a good bit of pain but handled it pretty well. My son has an unusually high tolerance for pain which is a good thing I guess, I just hope the mental and emotional stress doesn't get to him. He was able to attend his teams last home game last night and the coaching staff and his teammates were glad to see him.  Thanks again for the thoughts and prayers.

Just saw your post. My son, a sophomore in college had a slap tear and had surgery on November 23, 2016. He is a RHP, he got a medical redshirt and plans to be back in the game this fall. It is a long  and tough recovery but just follow the Pt's protocol and he should be good to go. Son is now throwing from 90 Ft with 3 sets of 25 throws. So far so good with no setbacks. He has stayed in the game by coaching his HS JV team and now will be coaching a summer squad as well. He participates in the workouts and is preparing himself for the fall. From what I've been told it takes a full year if not longer to get back to 100% for a pitcher. Son expects to be able to play infield with no limitations by end of June. He has worked hard at rehab and as soon as he was able to get into the gym, he did and worked 3 days a week. Tell son to keep head up and to take it a day at a time. Best of luck to him. Just a FYI, PT had son throwing at about 16 weeks post surgery. He waited longer than he had to as the surgeon released him to throw but PT had no reason to rush into it and wanted to strengthen shoulder a bit longer. Hope this helps.

My son had the same surgery, and his recovery time was 16-18 months.  One suggestion is to get a physical therapist that is baseball specific in this particular surgery.  My son had a general physical therapist the first couple of months with little to no results due to scar tissue after surgery.  Finally, we found a baseball specific physical therapist to labrum surgery.  What a difference, within a few weeks throwing progress was drastic.  It was quite painful and extremely strenuous.  Best of luck!

Dr. Chris Mckenzie, Our sons protocol mirrored your article precisely. He is working with a PT who worked closely with Dr. Andrews for many years. Son is 6 1/2 months post surgery and is out to 125 Ft. and feels great, says arm feels better than it ever has. We are very grateful we had a PT who knew and had worked with athletes in the past, most notably pitchers.

Two friends of my son's had labrum tears and subsequent surgery.  Both are doing well and both are playing for major D1 programs.  One is a catcher and one is a pitcher.  It's funny as I look at a photo of them together on their 11 U team.  The two I referenced had shoulder surgery and my son along with another teammate both had Tommy John.  The other kid with Tommy John was drafted and signed.  I can tell you I hear more success stories than I do failures.  It all has to do with the rehab assuming the surgeon is good.  

Here's a little friendly advice... Find the equilibrium of being careful but not babying it.  A MLB rehab coach worked with my son and thought he was babying it too much.  He was following the protocol to a T but his throwing motion became somewhat altered because it was harder to continue to lob the ball.  All is well now.

So an update on 2021. Surgery scheduled at Kerlan Jobe. MRI revealed Type 3 tear. The injury happened in season, but X-ray did not reveal damage so 2021 sat out and did 2 months of rehab with no improvement. Only then could we get MRI. Got 2 opinions before electing surgery. While waiting for surgery 2021 DH’d for travel team at JOs and summer tournaments. No pain from either side (switch hitter) but shortened his follow through from the left side. Had pre-op today. Good to read all the stories posted here!

26020This guy right here went through labrum surgery in July of 2014 and nerve displacement surgery in May of 2019.  He is rehabbing right now, and he is expecting to throw in the low to mid 90's with his fastball, 84-88 slider, and 83 change up.  He doesn't know what slowing down means.  Also, he has Type I diabetes,  so recovery is 10 times harder on him. He would tell you rehab is just as important as the surgery. 


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After reading all the stories and posts no 2 are the same, but one thing in common is SLAP tears take time. Month 5 after 2021’s surgery for Labrum tear. Recovery has been going well—the first 4 months were filled more with anxiety than pain. Our PT is a baseball friend and has been very deliberate in the exercises he prescribes. A huge weight was lifted when 2021 was cleared to throw and hit again at about the 4 month point. I had not seen a smile so big since he was playing!

This week’s throwing rehab was moved back to 60’:

rehab exercise warmup, 10 @30’, 10@45’, 15@60’, rest 5 minutes, 5@30’, 5@45’, 25@60’ then rehab warmdown and ice. Mom was his throwing partner yesterday and said velocity was maybe too good—it stung a little!

For hitting he is restricted to right side of the plate (switch). He kept fairly active with a one handed bat and tee work from month 3 on. He is taking BP with HS fall team and was cleared to hit in fall ball games as DH with pinch runner. Only one game so far and of course first AB is HBP! Team loved it and let him know! He would like to swing from other side if for no other  reason than to play golf again (lefty clubs), but PT said that is still a way off.

Also a way to go before he catches again and all of this interrupted recruiting at a critical time but grades have stayed up (maybe even improved with the free time) and he is growing and getting bigger so some positives to offset the timing.

Great to read all the encouraging stories—good luck to all of the others in the same boat!


Quick update on 2021 in month 7 following Labrum surgery. Clean bill of health from surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe—no restrictions! Very exciting for 2021, and he is on cloud 9. But that isn’t the only gate—next up is clearance from his very thorough, deliberate and conscientious Physical Therapist. Throwing has progressed to 150 feet, and he is cleared to swing from left (his natural) side and tells us all he is hitting “bombs” from both sides in BP! But then another dose of reality—we are 1 week out from high school season and PT says at least another 6 weeks until he can play catcher in game. Very dejected. Spirits lift when pitcher from last year now in MLB farm system throws 9 batters in preparation for spring training and want to throw to 2021—first time behind the plate since last spring (although it is only practice and due to arm no throw downs allowed).  8 of 9 batters faced retired—2021 says they were all Ks but unknown if valid—even though they were teammates he was super pumped! Off to a college visit this weekend and then starting season as DH and scorebook keeper. Overall could not be happier about his progress and the care he has received from surgeon and PT plus superb support from teammates and coaches, but wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Let’s play ball!

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