Return to Play After a Shoulder Dislocation

Return to play in patients following a shoulder dislocation is determined when full range of motion (ROM) and strength is regained. Older adults can return to play faster than younger athletes do because the chances of re-dislocation are much lower in older adults. Usually, older adults can return to play within ten weeks months.

Due to a higher risk of injury recurring in younger adults, doctors are cautiously optimistic to give permission to proceed after shoulder rehabilitation is completed. Again, every player is unique, so when full ROM and full strength is achieved, the player can resume active sports.

Complications of a Dislocated Rotator Cuff

The most common complication of an acute shoulder dislocation is a recurrence. This occurs because the capsule, surrounding ligaments, and nerves are stretched and deformed during the injury. Majority of recurrences occur within two years after the initial injury. Doctors in Singapore will advise against returning to active sports without an extensive evaluation is done on the player to make sure they are fit to play.

Another common complication following dislocation is fracturing. After a dislocation, there is a high chance of getting a compression fracture of the posterior humeral head. This significantly weakens the shoulder leading to more shoulder injuries.

Rotator cuff tears are also common because of shoulder dislocations. There is a high frequency of this complication with older patients. This is why older players are encouraged to take longer before resuming sports to heal and reduced the occurrence of this complication ultimately.

Nerve injuries are common with anterior dislocations. The axillary nerve is more likely to be crushed between the humeral head and the scapula. in the event this happens, the patient’s shoulder must be fixed surgically.

Younger athletes tend to experience the likelihood of future dislocations. The recurrence rate is thought to be 90% if the initial dislocation occurs in the teen years. In players over 40 years, the recurrence rate is minimal at 15%. Rotator cuff dislocation injuries are not to be underestimated.

When Can An Athlete Return To Sports After A Dislocated Shoulder?

Most players who dislocate their shoulder for the first time usually return to play within six weeks of the injury once they reestablish full range of shoulder motion and strength. The player should be able to perform all actions necessitated by their position without discomfort.

A player who undergoes surgery will require more time to heal before returning to play. It can take five to nine months of rehabilitation before they can resume high impact sports. Of course, the athlete’s doctor must approve this decision.

The Success Rate for Treating A Dislocated Shoulder

Non-surgical treatment of players with dislocated shoulders for the first time has up to a 50% failure rate due to the nature of high impact sports. This explains why a significant number of recurrent injuries will require surgery to fix.

The success rate of surgical repair of a dislocated shoulder is reliably more significant than 90%. Age is also another factor; most young players are likely to get recurring dislocation s than older people. Whatever the age, everyone can heal completely from a dislocated shoulder so long as great care and rehabilitation is done. 

Vanessa Shelton is a 21-year-old local activist who enjoys bridge, listening to music and cycling. He is intelligent and caring, but can also be very lazy and a bit untidy.

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