Recovering from labral repair surgery

Are you recovering from labral repair surgery? While the operation is designed to improve your shoulder’s range of movement, strength, stability and function, your body will need time to heal and recover first. In this post, we explore the anatomy of the shoulder and how physiotherapy in Twickenham can help you during the recovery process. 

Please bear in mind that although the information and tips in this blog are helpful when recovering from labral repair surgery, for specific advice and guidance, please contact a physiotherapist for a professional assessment.

All about the shoulder

The shoulder is made up of 3 bones. These include the scapula, the humerus, and the clavicle. They’re more commonly referred to as the shoulder blade, upper arm bone and collar bone. 

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The socket is surrounded by the labrum, which is a tough yet flexible tissue ring. Its lines the rim of the socket and helps keep the ball part of your shoulder joint in place. 

What is a labral tear? 

A labral tear is as the name implies, a tear in the labrum, which may occur when during a direct blow to your shoulder or a sudden pull, such as when trying to lift a heavy object. Signs and symptoms of a labral tear can include pain, instability and decreased movement. It’s often experienced by people who play contact sports or sports that involve overhead arm movements. 

Recovering from labral repair surgery

Wear a sling

Following labral repair surgery, you’ll be required to wear a sling for at least 2–3 weeks. You’ll be expected to wear the sling at all times, except when washing and dressing. To help you sleep as comfortably as possible while wearing a sling, we recommend sleeping on your back. 

Manage your pain

It’s natural to experience pain and swelling following a surgery. Using ice can help relieve some of the pain and reduce inflammation, as can taking pain relief medication.

Avoid driving 

It is illegal to drive wearing a sling and it is your responsibility to decide when you’re able to safely control a car. For most people, this is approximately 4 weeks post-operation. We recommend starting with shorter journeys. Ask your consultant when it is safe to drive.

Getting back to work and sports

It’s important to give your body enough time to recover before returning to all of your usual activities. Returning to sedentary work can take up to 4 weeks while more manual work can require up to 12 weeks rehabilitation. Playing sports may also require up to 12 weeks rehabilitation, with contact sports taking even longer. 

Your journey to recovery

During the recovery process, physiotherapy can help you manage the pain, regain your strength and restore movement. Our professional physiotherapists use a range of techniques and treatments, catered towards your specific needs. In general, we’ll combine manual and exercise-based therapies to help you strengthen your muscles and ease joint stiffness. 

Get in touch

If you’ve recently undergone labral repair surgery or are experiencing shoulder pain, our physiotherapy services can help. Please do not hesitate to give us a call on 020 8898 1231 to learn more. Our professional staff look forward to answering any of your questions or providing more information on our services.