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So after years and years of soreness and pain — not to mention years of complaining — I finally went and got a proper checkup of my right shoulder, thanks to the good and competent folks at UW Sports Medicine. It’s been eight years since I injured it — throwing a straight right in boxing class — and it’s been something I’ve ignored and ignored, figuring it would eventually heal itself. Well, after playing more tennis the last two years, it was something I just couldn’t put off.

And as the picture says, I’ve got a (partially) torn labrum. Note: That’s not my MRI image; I found it on Google by searching “MRI of torn labrum.” Evidently, a lot of people upload their MRIs to the mother web.

It’s finally good to know why my shoulder hurts and what was causing the pain. It wasn’t tendinitis, like one doctor surmised when I had it looked at before.

So here’s the conundrum. When do I have surgery? It’s going to be quite extensive — months of being in a sling and months of rehab. It will be at least six months until I can use it. If I have surgery now, I’ll be in a sling all summer (no tennis) but be ready for ski season (and my new skis). If I wait until the winter, I miss ski season, but get to enjoy the summer. Or I can put it off until next year or the year after or the year after that …

I’m pretty torn — no pun intended — right now. I can still play tennis and do everything I enjoy if I manage the pain (a couple of ibuprofen) and bear it out. I can keep doing that. And keep griping.

So is it worth six months to get this fixed (90 percent success rate, my doctor says)? I’m leaning towards waiting and having it next year.

What does everyone else think?


I’m just a few years behind the Oprah book club. Just got to part II. Lee is an extraordinary character (I won’t give anything away). Steinbeck is an extraordinary writer.