Latarjet Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder Reconstruction with a bang

If you have been recommended by an Orthopedic surgeon you require a Latarjet repair and are now trolling the internet for information, you're in for a treat!
First of all a Congratulations is in order. Second strap yourself in because it is one hell of a ride. Here in this blog I will go through my personal experience from my symptoms, my surgeon for the surgery to all the years of rehabilitation. 

Here we go;

In a current post on instagram I had exposed the huge scar to my left shoulder. Late 2015 Rugby started it, with a first shoulder dislocation out the back (posterior dislocation), second dislocation was from falling off a skateboard with an outreached arm, Third was playing another game of rugby placed the ball down for a try. Fourth was when I did a heave in CrossFit, Fourth was snowboarding no trauma it came out while turning and all the muscles seized from the cold. The 5th time was when I was sleeping. Between then and seeing anyone I had 5 more dislocations.


In late 2016, I was given a referral to an Orthopedic Surgeon named Dr Simon Tan from St Vincent's Sports Medicine in Darlinghurst Sydney NSW. 
After my appointment with Dr Tan I was sent for MRI, CT and XRAY. The reports back were not good and no amount of physiotherapy would be able to fix the 20% bone loss and tears. I was recommended the latarjet and was booked for surgery Jan 2017. Surgery was fine it was the days after. I was recovering in a town called Robertson NSW with family. I was on extremely strong pain relief which on some days did not even hit the sides. I went to the fridge one time and something had fell, normal reflexes kicked in and my arm twitched. It was the most painful reaction ever.


I was in a sling for about 8 weeks all up and I would go for walks on the property in my crocs starting at 5 to then 10 mins. I would rest by the pond and just relax, read a book or lay on a blanket and stretch.The late Stanley Henderson (also known as STANLEY BOW WOW)

Recovery with a twist

I did not eat too much as the medication had suppressed my appetite and I had extreme fatigue. I found out later the cause of the fatigue was due to untreated haemochromatosis. Which is a blood condition and causes higher than normal iron levels. A rare blood condition for women to be effected but can cause similar symptoms to low iron. I can go more detail in another blog. Back onto the shoulder, the post operative review was deemed successful and I was fit to start rehabilitation with physiotherapy. I would say around March 2017, still in a sling during the day but out if I was at home or in safer zones. I had weaned off the stronger medications and was on lighter over the counter ones.
It was time to start rehabilitation with physiotherapy. It was a slow process, the sessions were short and were focused on muscle engagement and light strength work with therapy bands. This treatment plan plus massage went on for months, I progressively improved and started to get strength but minimal range in movement. This is when Yoga had been recommended and I fell in love with the concept of you can be broken but still can heal. I practised in Mosman with Kai Yoga and found the boutique style studio allowed my recovery to be monitored closely. I could feel and see mobility and calmness towards my recovery improve over time. 

What you need to expect 

Six month later I had not improved any more in mobility or built any strength. I had plateaued and had pain most nights. The pain was a constant ache and delayed muscle soreness from Physiotherapy. I started to become frustrated and upset as I was so active and strong before my injury. I was fragile, weak and insecure in my capabilities. That is when I knew I had to find myself again and left for Bali to do a Yoga teacher course. All details are in Blog "How to become a Yoga Teacher under 30 days"
After changing my entire life style, the way I move, think and react to this day I still am restricted. Five whole years and many rehabilitations session and yoga classes I will never be the same. Nor do I want to be, I am so happy that this injury has changed me as I needed to stop, slow down and be still. This injury was my saving grace. My permanent injury and limitations do not define me as my quality of life improved. I am more determined, able to focus and maintain healthy relationships. My recovery journey was more than just surgery and I do not wish this process upon anyone. Sometimes healing runs deeper than the scars you see. 


  • Hi Emma, is there any where I could contact you? I’m considering going through the surgery myself. I have som questions about your experience with it.

    Thank you so much!

  • Hi Em. Thanks for sharing your story. I had laterjet surgery on both shoulders 2 years apart. Bikram yoga helped hugely as none of the asanas in the sequence really uses the shoulders but it’s great for core strength. I have almost full mobility again and started recently with Iyenga practice. After so many dislocations I’m still scared of the handstand and full back bend…. slowly slowly…. good luck to you too. Warmly Jo


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