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Most Young Shoulder Replacement Patients Can Resume Playing Sports

San Diego, CA—March 14, 2017

The question has faced orthopedic surgeons for years: can young, active people who have undergone shoulder replacement surgery resume playing sports? And if so, after how long?

A new study suggests that the vast majority of them can.

The research involved a retrospective analysis of patients age 55 or younger undergoing total shoulder arthroplasty for late-stage osteoarthritis. Over 96 percent of the study subjects were able to resume at least one previous sport an average of 6.7 months post-surgery. Furthermore, during the study’s 5-year follow-up period, only 4 of the 61 shoulders required a revision surgery. However, none of the revisions were for implant loosening, a major concern among surgeons when their patients return to sports.    

"Many patients under the age of 55 not only want to improve their pain and function following total shoulder replacement, they also wish to maintain an active lifestyle," comments study principal investigator Lawrence V. Gulotta, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery.

"We found total shoulder replacement to be a safe and effective means to allow relatively young patients to return to their sporting endeavors," he says.


About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the ninth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S.News & World Report (2018-2019). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic of musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


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