During summer baseball, my now 16U son started to complain of shoulder pain. Didn't want to think it could be anything serious, so for a month I shrugged it off and he continued to play through the pain until he finally said it wasn't improving and he didn't think it was a typical shoulder issue. We x-rayed first which warranted an MRI. MRI confirmed probable labrum lesion. Our orthopod, who is locally respected and who has a son who played for my son's HS team, recommended a conservative approach of PT for 6 weeks. We were just reevaluated and my son reported no improvement in pain during the exam. The ortho Dr., still is recommending conservative approach and wants to do a 4 week progressive throwing program to see how he reacts to that. This makes very little sense in my mind. My son is not likely to be a DIV 1 prospect, however he is really just beginning to mature, fill out and get strong. He is 6'2" and is still growing (maybe 1 more inch in him), he's at 175# and starting to fill out. He's always one of the fastest players on his team, above average arm... I guess what I'm trying to say is I think he does have potential to play at the next level, DIV 2, 3 or NAIA. The thought that this injury may mean we never get to see him reach his baseball potential and that sucks, but it's our reality now and now we want to make the best decision not only for baseball, but for him to have as pain-free a life as possible and not have physical limitations. There are literally hundreds of SLAP injury articles and they seem to be equally divided in respect to surgery vs conservative treatments. I am looking for any real world guidance, encouragement, examples, advice. We are conceding his Sophomore year of HS baseball, and likely his summer season and looking forward to his Junior year for a FULL return if possible.
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I had a SLAP surgery on my non-dominant shoulder at age 52. I'm still very happy with the results 6 years later. Unfortunately, I know that's not particularity relevant to your situation.
I think most will agree that you should get at least one other opinion from a surgeon who specializes with young athletes. Personally, I would really consider making the drive or short flight from Indiana to the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze FL.
Also, JohnF has a son who went through it in 2015. You might want to send him a PM.
Agree with MidAtlanticDad on Dr James Andrews. In 2015, son (pro pitcher) experienced same injury, & after much research, consultation & testing (4 mri's ) elected to have Andrews perform stem cell injections. As opposed to team recommendation of surgery, min year recovery, etc etc...Best person, best treatment, best outcome! If Andrews can rebuild Drew Breese's shoulder, I wouldn't consider ANYONE else. Period!
Another parent on here is BransonBaseball...He will agree with MAD & me.
I TOTALLY agree with Mid... with the cases I am familiar with from kids in our HS program over the years, SLAP tears don't heal themselves and the whole PT protocol (before we consider a procedure) is BS. Do whatever it takes to get to a very good specialist quickly so he isn't burning more time at the other end of healing. Again, as Mid says, have someone who specializes in young athletes do the procedure, be faithful and diligent with prescribed post-op rest and PT. This will give your son the best chance of getting back on the field healthy for his junior year. It's a long enough road as it is. Don't allow the drag-it-out BS to continue.
Edit - was typing when BBMom posted.. not discounting the Stem Cell option at all, just saying get past the local doc/ortho "PT to see if it heals on it's own" BS.
"MRI confirmed probable labrum lesion"
Just highlighting that from the OP because one ortho who examined my 2017 son when he was being diagnosed for a shoulder injury during his HS freshman year said that as great as MRIs, sonograms, and xrays are, there is too often only one way to confirm what's going on, and that is surgery.
While my kid did not have SLAP tear, this advice may be helpful: go to the ASMI forum and ask Dr. Fleisig to recommend an ortho in your area. He will respond very quickly with recommendations of doctors who have trained with Dr. Andrews. We ended up seeing a Kaiser ortho who had trained at Andrews Sports Medicine extensively and he shared my son's MRI with doctors there in making his diagnosis.
I concur with BBMOM and MADAD...have your son seen at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, FL. Dr. Steve Jordan and Dr. Brett Kindle saw my oldest there in July and again in September. Diagnosis was actually worse: SLAP, rotator cuff tear, arthritis, radial nerve impingement, elbow bone fragments...pretty much everything. Son did steroid, PRP, and stem cell injections all as out patient on our first visit. Then six weeks of PT prescribed specifically by the Andrews therapist with a firm they sanctioned. Son is throwing from 200' now and flat grounds pain free. So far, so good. Starts Driveline this week.
Local ortho doctor recommended PT only then return to throwing within two weeks. Nuts.
So we went to Andrews in Birmingham. 5 minutes in the office. Very much a drive by and zero follow up. They recommended two surgeries immediately. No guarantee my son would ever play again. So, we went to Gulf Breeze where Andrews himself practices. Totally different experience.
Every situation is different of course. But for leading edge thought on the throwing arm, Gulf Breeze was way ahead IMHO. And the staff was very easy to work with..setting up appointments, follow up, etc.
Thanks to all for the informative and thoughtful replies! I have set up an arthrogram(MRI w/contrast) in 2 weeks, then a second opinion 2 days after that. I am hoping the arthrogram will shed more light on the extent of the injury and how to proceed. My first thought when Dr. Andrews was mentioned was the costs associated with follow-up appointments, but subsequent postings clarify that we can make even just a single visit to Dr. Andrews then find follow-up services here in Indy who follow the exact recovery protocol Dr. Andrews utilizes. I will DEF look into this option. We are setting our sights on his recovery and return to baseball in 2019---damn...