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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.



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