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Shoulder Surgery Doesn't Prevent Return to Sports, According to New Study presented at AOSSM Annual Meeting
Date:7/10/2009

Study shows athletes and weekend warriors can keep playing after shoulder joint replacement

Keystone, CO (Vocus) July 10, 2009 -- Replacing a joint in any part of the body often leads to a long recovery process and the possibility of not being able to return to a sport or activity. However, a new study presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Keystone, Colorado, (July 9-12) presents findings that even an older individual who receives a total shoulder joint replacement can return to full participation within approximately six months of surgery.

"In our study, approximately 94 percent of the patients who have a total shoulder arthroplasty or joint replacement, were able to return to sports and 85 percent were able to return to the type-specific sport they were involved in before the surgery," said lead author, Gregory N. Drake, DO, shoulder and elbow fellow, Fondren Orthopaedic Group, Texas Orthopaedics Hospital.

The study analyzed a database of all unconstrained total shoulder arthroplasties performed between July 1, 2004 and September 30, 2007 by a single surgeon. A questionnaire was sent to 304 patients with 165 responding. Eighty-seven of the respondents regularly participated in sports prior to surgery. The average age of the patients was 68.5 with an age range from 47-93. Patients were followed for a minimum of one year.

Researchers noted that activity modification until the six month point in the rehabilitation protected the shoulder against any consequence of sport, such as a deceleration injury when a golf club hits the ground or a fall during a tennis match . Contact sports after joint replacement surgeries are generally discouraged for the rest of
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