My Shoulder a Year After Surgery

This may not be of much interest to folks who usually read my blog, but I’ve been trying to document how my shoulder has felt – after dislocation, leading up to surgery, and through rehab – because when I was going through it I just couldn’t find much information about how it actually felt to go through it. So I’m trying to make sure I put up some info on it in case others are looking for it, too.

To recap, last May I dislocated my left shoulder – not the first time, but more like the 15th, although it was the first time in the past 10 years or so. I had it surgically repaired in about 1990, and so went to see the doc, who recommended surgery again. (I’ve documented that previously, but don’t have the links handy – will update.)

The surgery was just about a year ago now, and went well, followed by a month in a sling and about three months of intensive rehab with a physical therapist, and I’ve been working out with weights and such pretty consistently since then.

The short story is that at this point, my shoulder seems really good, but not without issues. It’s probably stronger than it’s ever been – I can do way more, and more controlled, pull ups and push ups than I ever have in my life – feeling incredibly great about that. But I do notice my shoulder a lot. I find that I still pull my shoulders (hunching) forward a lot, sort of subconsciously protecting the joint. And I still can’t sleep on my left side without the pressure on the shoulder pushing against where the capsule was replaced, which both hurts and feels vulnerable. The shoulder clicks more than it used to (I think that’s essentially a bone related problem from the injury, not particularly related to the surgery). And sometimes it feels a little unstable, like it might dislocate again – but that really could be in my head – tough to know for sure.

But all things considered, very happy I was aggressive in getting it fixed, very happy with my doc and physical therapist, and optimistic that the repair will serve me well for a long time.


  1. Hi,
    What kind of surgery did you have? I too have dislocated my shoulder at least a dozen times and had surgery on June 30th… Almost 2 weeks after surgery, it’s felt several times like it could dislocate and is very loose. Did you experience this same result right after surgery??

    • I had labrum & capsule repair, arthroscopic. Was in a sling for 4 weeks, then 3 months of rehab. It was super tight, not loose at all, and has taken a lot of work to loosen over the last year or so.

      • Ok…. I had an anterior reconstruction of the right shoulder, which I believe is the same thing you had done. I’m unable to lift my shoulder because of weak muscles but on several occasions have felt as though my shoulder could slip out of socket. The PT said this is normal due to muscle atrophy, but I am very concerned. I thought my shoulder would also be very tight, since they reattached the labrum with sutures. I’m still in a sling and am only doing forward flextion movements in PT, but even doing these movements at times it feels very unstable… Have you heard any stories similar to mine??