In September of 2010 I began losing sleep due to chronic pain in my non-dominant shoulder. There were nights that I had what I refer to as "episodes" where the pain in my shoulder was so intense that I could not produce tears. During the course of 3-4 weeks I found myself using less of my non-dominant shoulder and was managing life with one arm basically. My normal functions (i.e. brushing teeth, hair, dressing, opening/closing things, etc) were now performed entirely by my dominant arm. At this point in time, I knew that I needed to notify my family doctor and that the pain I was experiencing was not normal and indeed was only getting worse and more intense. My doctor ordered xrays and an MRI. The xrays detected a bone spur, calcification, inflamation and a frozen shoulder. The MRI detected a SLAP tear. I started physical therapy immediately and was given NSAIDS to help with the inflammation. Physical therapy was excruciating. Extra strength tylenol was not adequate in helping cope with the pain. Darvocet was prescribed, at least until I met with my 1st ortho specialist in late October. 1st specialist ordered further pt and disagreed that I had a tear. Consequently, I had a 2nd opinion of my condition. Surgery for the frozen shoulder was performed last week and I am progressively incurring greater mobility of my shoulder.
Here is the dilemma that I find myself in and I need your opinions. My SLAP tear was confirmed during arthroscopy but was not repaired. My os said that he was concerned that if he had repaired the tear during the capsulitus release that the post-op recovery time would enable my shoulder to possibly re-freeze. Of course I am concerned that I may have to have surgery to repair the tear sometime down the road. Will I be able to regain full rotation of my shoulder without repair to the tear?
It's possible to live with a SLAP tear if it's not causing you problems. Many people have tears like that and never know about it. If the muscles around your shoulder are strong enough and well balanced, then it might be possible that you are fully functional w/o another surgery. Of course it won't heal itself and it depends on the size/grade of the tear.
(R) SLAP repair - Aug 2010
(L) SLAP repair - Mar 2011
(L) Tenodesis + debridement - Jan 2012
(R) Tenodesis + debridement - Dec 2012
Thanks for the input. I'm 9 days post op now and having considerable difficulties maintaining motion in my operated shoulder. I'm remaining faithful with my exercises between pt appointments. I guess I'm uncertain if the pain is coming from the surgery or if the tear is what's giving me troubles. If it's the tear, I'm not ready to deal with the pain like it's been. Perhaps I'm just ignorant as to how long the healing process from the capsulitus release is. Guess I'll learn more when I make the post-op visit with the os.