nikolastynan (nikolastynan) wrote in _martial_arts,


I recently had shoulder surgery done on my left side. The surgeon repaired my labrum (the cartilige that surrounds the shoulder socket) and a rotator cuff. The labrum was torn in a few places, causing pain and decreased range of motion. To repair it, my surgeon cut the ripped ends and then stretched what remained to reconnect the labrum into a full circle around the socket. What resulted was more stability in my shoulder and less pain, but also a decrease in my range of motion. The surgeon told me that my arm isn't perfect, but it is better.
I was told that I could continue my training in the Martial Arts, but it would be at my own risk. Of course my mobility isn't what it used to be, but if I damage my labrum again there is no gauruntee that it can be fixed again.
Has anybody here ever had to deal with this injury or something similar to it? I've been reading up on shoulder injuries and the Martial Arts, and studies are split down the middle. Recently I read an article in Black Belt magazine by a doctor claiming that all shoulder injury patients should give up training, but he used an extreme example of a patient (his patient was a 50+ year old arthritic man who tied very heavy weight to his arms as he practiced Wing Chung and other forms of Gung Fu/Kung Fu). However, another article from Black Belt written by an MMA fighter said that so long as an athlete let his injury heal and followed through with his physical therapy he would be fine to train. Rather than get celebrity advice or greatly biased results, I want to hear from the Martial Arts community as a whole.
So you know, I am a Combatives Instructor with the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army. We train primarily in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu based grappling with Muay Thai, Sambo, Western Boxing and San Shou elements. Clearly, this is a rougher style of combat. Does anybody here think that by taking this next year to heal and then gradually ease back into training I will be safe down the line, or should I cut my losses and move on to a softer style? I'm 20 years old and I don't smoke and I only drink on occasion, and before this injury I was in near perfect health. Thoughts, comments, or suggestions?

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