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Shoulder Surgery - Labral Repair

Jocelyn is a high school soccer goaltender who tore the labrum in her left shoulder while diving at a soccer game. At the start of her therapy, she had already scheduled surgery. She could not lie on her left side, and her sleep was disturbed. Everyday activities as well as diving and throwing a soccer ball were causing pain.

Jocelyn’s pre-surgery treatment consisted of rotator cuff and shoulder strengthening and scapular stabilization exercises. Modalities to reduce her pain and inflammation were also incorporated into her individualized program. Jocelyn’s goal was to gain as much strength and range of motion as possible in order to accelerate her recovery after surgery. At the end of her pre-surgery physical therapy, she had reduced pain levels, normal range of motion and increased strength in her R shoulder and scapular muscles.

After surgery, Jocelyn wore a sling for 6 weeks. When she returned to physical therapy, she had pain with all movements and could not perform everyday activities such as lifting or dressing, and her sleep was again disturbed.

Jocelyn’s post-surgery treatment began with passive range of motion. Per her surgeon, certain movements were restricted for an additional 2 weeks. As she gained the ability to move her shoulder on her own with the help of pulleys and wand exercises, her therapy program was updated per her tolerance. Strength training was slowly added to her plan of care and scapular stabilization exercises allowed her to begin returning to everyday activities.

Once cleared by her surgeon to begin more advanced strength training exercises, Jocelyn began to lift progressively more weight and was given increasingly challenging scapular stabilization exercises. Seven months after her surgery, she began playing soccer again but was hesitant to dive and block soccer balls. She was given additional exercises to do at home to build even more strength and reassure her that she could withstand the aggressive nature of her sport. Jocelyn is now able to dive and play at a high level without shoulder pain.

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