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Shoulder Dislocation surgery

I recently dislocated my left shoulder for the 3rd time, the first time was coming off my bike wrongly and had to get it put back in at the hospital. The second time was too much force in basically a pull-up type scenario, but it went back in luckily in a few minutes with the right movement. This third time was also too much pull and at the wrong angle. My question is to those who have had the same problem and had the operation done to repair the labrium... is the operation worth it and what sort of recovery time would I be looking at to get back to triathlon training form?


  • Hi Chanel,

    I've put a call out on our Twitter feed for you on this, so hopefully you’ll get some help on here soon.

    Sounds nasty though - take care!

  • TrampyTrampy Posts: 4

    Hi Chanel,

    I had surgery in 2007 to repair my labrum after 4 separate dislocations. I had open surgery, which left a 2 inch scar and took about 6 months of rest and physiotherapy before I could start training properly again. But it was the right decision. My arm is far more stable, I have full range of motion and I am confident that my arm will not just fall out of the socket after the slightest knock! Just not having that anxiety makes it worthwhile.

    I also dislocated my left shoulder just last year, and 9 weeks ago I received arthroscopic surgery to repair the labrum. I have been amazed at how quickly it has healed, compared to after the open procedure on my other side. I already have full range of motion back and am still getting physiotherapy to restore full stability and strength. 

    I fully recommend the surgery. You have to be patient (not one of my strong points) and stick to the physio exercises, even if they feel like they are very easy or don't benefit much.

    Depending how well it all goes, you can be running again by 10 weeks after the procedure,and probably easy, gentle cycling, as long as you avoid situations that may involve you coming off the bike or falling over. Swimming may take anything between 12 weeks to 24 weeks depending on your recovery. I have been doing very gentle swim sessions, and despite feeling like I could probably do more, I am deliberately holding back until my physiotherapist recommends I do more. 

    There are a lot of video diaries and blogs online of people who have similar procedures and they seem fairly consistent; the surgery is highly beneficial to anyone who is physically active. It feels like a long and slow recovery, but it's not really, just a few weeks out of full training, then building back up again bit by bit. 

    Hope that helps

  • triphysiotriphysio Posts: 1

    Hi Chanel

    I'm a physio and have a lot of experience in rehabbing athletes post this surgery.  after 3 dislocations would advise surgical option.

    Rehab timeframes post op will depend on what they actually do in the surgery and all surgeons have their own post op protocol but largely follow the same path.

    Your outcome will largely depend on you sticking to your rehab programme and getting some post-op physio to mobilise where necessary and keep you on the right track with your progression.  Can get some tightness around the shoulder - if its muscular it's relatively easy to resolve and if it's capsular (i.e. the capsule around the shoulder joint) that can also be treated with physio.

    You can put some work in pre op too to help your recovery post op.

    Hope this helps!


  • Thanks for the replies, really helps hearing from other's experiences.

    I had an appointment with my Orthopedic surgeon this morning and he has scheduled me for the arthroscopic repair of the labrium which I feel pretty happy with - I definitely don't want to live with that anxiety of the chance it may come out again . I also know the importance of the rehab having learnt that the hard way after my second time it gave a problem. But yes I am not the most patient of people either so I know it will be frustrating but I'm remembering to see the bigger picture for better chance at long term success. And hey I still have fully functioning legs that I can work on my spinning bike and at the gym. Luckily I know I heal fairly quickly and I am fit at the moment so my body should respond well enough.

    And jip, going to keep working the muscles until my op to give my shoulder and muscles the best possible chance to recover quickly. @triphysio - could you perhaps recommend some pre-op exercises? I only have about 2 weeks till the op.

    Thanks for the help and feedback!! Will definitely check out some videos diaries and blogs on people with similar ops done. 


  • Hi folks,

    I have just undergone shoulder hernioplasty after a bad fall on my mtb.  The ball part of the shoulder has been replaced. I am still in shock about what happened but my surgeon has said forget triathlon as I wont be competing again,,,,,,as you can imagine Im devastated.  I was wondering if anyone else has been through this and can give me any advice.

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