My Shoulder Surgery Story – How I Went from Limited ROM to 100%

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Shoulder surgery.  – The picture on the left is the result of 38 dislocations on my right shoulder back in 2003-2006.

Free training session with Rafael PT Fitness in Austin TX


Shoulder range of motion after surgery


I was training to be a pro wrestler and while doing a spot at wrestling practice, my shoulder dislocated. I still remember and will never forget that agony and pain.  I didn’t go to the doctor right away, I just figured how to put it back in place. I took like a 30-45 minute break and went back into practice. Wrestling was my dream and I was not about to stop because of a dislocation.


My shoulder began dislocating at matches, while working out, playing around, swimming, air hockey, while sleeping. Basically, it was getting way out of hand.  So after 2 and a half years, I finally went to the Doctor and got an MRI. ?


My shoulder surgery happened 7 months later, but I had dislocated my shoulder about 10-15 more times. After my last dislocation, which was mid-April, I finally told myself I need to take a break from everything, no workouts, no air hockey, and take a break from Pro wrestling.


After all, I’m about to get surgery so might as well. Also on my last dislocation, it took me about 20 minutes to put it back. I was terrified, cause that never happened.


I graduated from NSU on May 5th, 2005. I drove to Florida arrived May 6th and May 7th was my surgery. 96% reconstruction on the shoulder. What am I going to do now in the summertime with a sling on my shoulder??


I decided to get a certification on Personal training, I figured most trainers get a free membership, I can work on my shoulder and get back into Wrestling.


Insurance only gave me 12 physical therapy sessions which left me with no range of motion (ROM) what so ever. The physical therapist and doctor advised me to not do anything overhead or swim for 8 months.


After the 12 sessions, I had to make a choice, stay with a very limited ROM and no more wrestling or put my own work in and get the strength and ROM back and get back to wrestling.  I put the work in, got the ROM to the point of looking like I never had a shoulder surgery, to begin with! A year and a half later I went back into doing shows! Wrestling eventually ran its course and now I have no idea what I wanted to do.


I didn’t realize that Personal Training has been growing in my heart and taking its place from wrestling.  My pain and injuries, has helped me understand how the body works. This pushed me to get my corrective exercise specialist certification. When I get a client who is going through pain, I can relate to them and help them one step at a time to get them back close to 100%.


Anyway, that’s the story of my shoulder going from no ROM to 100%.  🙂  If you are also told you will have limited ROM, let’s see if we can prove them wrong.  Contact me if you have any questions.


Thanks for reading!

Online personal trainer and personal trainer for Austin TX - Rafael Ortiz

Rafael Ortiz

Corrective Exercise Specialist

Rafael has been in the health and fitness industry since 2006.  He is certified by the NASM & insured.

Areas of Expertise

Joint Pain Relief, Post-Rehab Personal Training, Posture Correction, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Strength Training, Core and Balance, Flexibility and Mobility, Muscle Gain, Posture, TRX, Functional Training, Myofascial Release, Cardiovascular Conditioning, Injury Prevention, Stress Reduction, Corrective Exercise, Golf

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