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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2012 Apr;21(4):554-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2010.11.021. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

Return to sports after shoulder arthroplasty: a survey of surgeons' preferences.

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New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY, USA.



Shoulder arthroplasty has become more prevalent, and patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty are becoming more active. Recommendations for return to athletic activity have not recently been updated and do not consider the newest arthroplasty options.


A survey was distributed to 310 members of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, inquiring about allowed participation in 28 different athletic activities after 5 types of shoulder arthroplasty options (total shoulder arthroplasty, hemiarthroplasty, humeral resurfacing, total shoulder resurfacing, and reverse shoulder arthroplasty).


The response rate to the survey was 30.3%, with 74.1% of respondents allowing some return to athletic activity after shoulder arthroplasty. The 28 athletic activities were grouped into 4 categories based on the load and possible impact to the shoulder. Only 51% of respondents allowed any participation in contact sports, whereas 90% allowed some participation in noncontact low-load sports. Return to sports after humeral resurfacing was highest, at 92.0% of the respondents, whereas the least percentage of surgeons allowed sports after reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, at 45.2%.


The majority of surveyed surgeons allowed some return to sports after shoulder arthroplasty. Surgeons were more likely to recommend return to sports if the activities did not involve significant contact, risk of fall or collision, or application of high loads to the shoulder joint. Surgeons were also more likely to recommend return to sports if the arthroplasty did not involve the glenoid.


The results of this survey may help surgeons counsel patients regarding return to specific athletic activities after various types of shoulder arthroplasty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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