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The shoulder
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Thinking About Shoulder Surgery to Return to the Sport You Love? Here are Facts:

A study by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) found that nearly all shoulder replacement patients age 55 or under successfully enjoyed a return to sports. In fact, 96% of recreational athletes, age 55 and younger, who underwent total shoulder replacement surgery returned to at least one sport within seven months of surgery. In younger patients, repetitive movements required in various sporting activities can cause early osteoarthritis, or wear and tear of the joint, resulting in the need for a replacement. Surgery proves to be a good option for a return to sports.

Among the study conclusions:

  • 93% of patients were satisfied with the outcomes of their surgery, and 96% (55 out of 57 patients) returned to at least one sport at an average of six and half months following surgery.
  • The direct rates of return to sports included: golf (93%), tennis (87.5%), swimming (87.5%), basketball (75%) and flag football (67%).
  • 84% returned to a sport that required high use of the arms and shoulders.

About 53,000 young people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery each year. A total shoulder replacement involves replacing the arthritic joint surfaces with a highly polished metal ball attached to a stem, and a plastic socket. The study followed up on patients for five years, indicating "high satisfaction and return to sports" after total shoulder arthopasty age 55 and younger.  This information is important because it demonstrates that total shoulder surgery may be a good option in younger patients who are otherwise worried about surgical outcomes.

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