Jul 20, 2016
Surgery Recovery Related to Playing Time

A recent study found that intercollegiate football players who played more before they underwent shoulder surgery had a higher return-to-play rate than those who did not. The data came from seven sports medicine programs, covering 153 football players who had 177 shoulder injuries.

According to an article from Orthopedics Today, researchers analyzed the football players’ instability direction, surgery type, quality and level of play before and after surgery, time to return to play, scholarships, and depth chart position. The results show arthroscopic surgeries were more common than open, anterior instability was the most common reason for intervention, and the amount of playing time influenced the likelihood of returning to play.

“[W]hat we found is that players who were more highly utilized prior to injury had a 94% return to play rate vs. athletes who were rarely utilized in the program returned at only 76%. This finding was significant,” Richard J. Robins, MD, said. “When we looked at the percentage of games played prior to injury vs. those played after surgery, there is a 20% increase in the number games played they were eligible for.”

Other findings included a significant association between return-to-play ability and scholarship status. Robins presented the study’s results at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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