Labral tears are injuries to the disc of cartilage that surrounds the ball-and-socket shoulder joint. These injuries are usually the result of long term wear and tear, participation in athletics like baseball or weightlifting, or accidents dealing with automobile crashes or falls.
Depending upon the degree of the injury, surgery could be minimally invasive or more aggressive, which would dictate the exact recovery time from surgery. However, we can look into what the recovery looks like and figure out from there what a realistic timeline might be:
Anywhere from 2-4 weeks after surgery, you’ll likely be advised to wear a sling on the arm. This should keep your shoulder in place and prevent trauma during your recovery. It may be difficult to perform every day tasks during this phase, like driving, writing, or doing dishes, depending if surgery was done on your dominant arm or not. You should prepare to have some help during this recovery time.
After the initial healing period, physical therapy may be recommended as the next course of treatment. Your physical therapist will likely design a program around building and regaining strength, flexibility, and range of motion. It can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks to build up enough strength in the shoulder to go back to regular every day activity.
All in all, if you are just trying to get back to a normal routine, it takes about 8-10 weeks to recover from a labral tear. If you are trying to get back to a more physical routine including athletics, recovery time is usually between 3-4 months. Again, this is all relative pending the severity of the tear, the type of surgery, and the doctor’s instructions on their patient’s specific recovery.
Looking for a physical therapy center to recover from labrum surgery? MedAmerica Rehab can help – reach out to us today about your first consultation.