Coming back from SLAP tear and bicep tenodesis surgery

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7 years 4 weeks ago #27923 by DrA5
I am 12 weeks post right sided SLAP tear with biceps tenodesis procedures. Has anyone else dealt with this? Because of the labral tear, I won't be doing any real body weight resistance work yet for another couple of months. People that have had it (none were paddlers) keep talking about how I need to take great caution with the biceps tenodesis anchor point on the humerous, as if it pops out, its a one and done procedure and you basically lose use of your biceps.

My PT noted a firefighter who had it done and popped his 6 months post surgery lifting his trailer tongue onto his truck hitch.

Those who have had it, or any MDs/PTs, I would be interested in hearing your stages of recovery and how its doing now.

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7 years 4 weeks ago #27928 by moosterbounce
I've not heard about the bicep surgery being a one time fix only. I know a couple of people who have had 2 and one has had 3. Might not be the exact same surgery though - the bicep tendon breaks into 2 parts that attach to 2 places. Certainly they can be attached further down the humorous rather than at the head if necessary (if I remember rightly from my reading).

I smashed the head of my humorous and in the process detached the bicep tendon. It was all fixed with plate, screws and wire and no doubt a bit of superglue for good measure!! 3 months in a sling until the bone healed and I've done 2 years of rehab - physio each fortnight and massage every other fortnight. It's been long and tedious and painful. I still don't have full range of motion but a lot more than was expected initially. I've kept the metalwork in as no reason to remove it.

When I initially started rehab, I could do 3 arm curls with no weight. I've progressed a lot and am nearing the strength of my good arm, at least below chest height. Any higher and I loet strength and a bit of coordination.

I have no idea what my worst issue was for rehab - the bicep tendon, the bone, or the absolute loss of ALL muscle from my arm/chest/back during the mending phase. My physio was excellent and I followed her program to a tee...except for odd temper tantrums :) She did have me initially going through the motions with my paddle standing on dry land to help build the muscle (holding my arm up was an effort), and then had me attach a bungy cord for more resistance. I had to prove I had mastered that before she let me on the water. My first paddle was almost 10 months after my injury and it was 500m. Took about 20 minutes and I slept for a week afterwards!!

I'd suggest just following physio advise and getting them to incorporate some of your sport's motions - I was happy to do her exercises if she added ones that seemed relevant to me i.e. paddling. I felt silly doing weights with 0.5kg only but realise how necessary it was to rebuild slowly. If I failed to follow advice, I felt it for days so quickly put all pride in my pocket and stuck to the tiny weights as instructed :) Sorry I can't really help as my injury wasn't really the same, but coming back from this sort of surgery is definitely do-able with a managed program.

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