Rehabbing with a purpose

Injuries suck. There’s no doubt about that. As a lifter, injuries are a nightmare that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. The immediate feelings of helplessness and despair are natural, but it’s how you proceed from this point that will determine your success. You can stretch, foam roll, mobilize, and see your chiro as many times as humanly possible, but ultimately if you’re pushing your limits frequently, they’re inevitable.

When I was roughly 16 years old, I was dirt jumping in a trail system near my house. Being young and dumb, I took a bad landing and had to bail on my bike from about 13 feet in the air. I landed straight on top of a stump, dislocating my shoulder and shearing my right scapula in half (this is a feat on its own). At the time, the doctors did no imaging beyond an x-ray to determine whether or not there was severe muscular damage. As the years progressed, I could tell that there was something visibly and internally wrong. My shoulders didn’t hang properly, my clavicle was uneven, and in the weight room, I could feel severe instability.

Fast forward 10 years, 9 years of lifting, and several other serious injuries to the same region, I’m stupidly arm-wrestling my friend and hear a distinct and familiar crack and pop in my shoulder. Yay, labral tear! The MRI determined that not only was my labrum torn, but that the humeral head had been depressed back by almost 18mm in the socket for almost a decade, stripping away cartilage at an alarming rate. The connective tissue in this area looked like string cheese (I will spare you the orthoscopic images). Needless to say, an intense shoulder surgery was in dire need. This injury wasn’t going to fix itself, so after a lot of bitching I went under the knife.

I should note, that prior to surgery I spent a good amount of time doing research to find the best possible surgeon I could. I chose Dr. Michael McAdam of Orthopedic Physician Associates here in Seattle, a shoulder and sports med specialist. Aft