Recurrent Instability Common after Initial Shoulder Injuries

A prospective observational study of 45 intercollegiate soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and football players found that 73% of the enrollees returned to their sport within a week after an initial anterior shoulder injury; however, 64% of those who returned to competition during the same season experienced a subsequent injury to the same shoulder. Recurrent events were as common in athletes who initially experienced a subluxation as in those who had dislocations. All athletes in the study underwent a standardized accelerated rehab program without shoulder immobilization following the initial injury.

In presenting the data at the 2014 meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Jonathan Dickens, MD, noted that among the four post-injury outcome scores used in the study, the Western Ontario Shoulder Instability Index (WOSI) and the Simple Shoulder Test (SST) were the most predictive of an athlete’s ability to return to play. While the sample size was small, this is nevertheless the largest study of its kind to date.


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