Young, active shoulder arthroplasty candidates are a unique group of patients. Not only due they demand longevity and improved function, but they also desire a return to physical activities. Our objective was to determine the rate of return to sports in total shoulder arthroplasty patients’ age 55 and younger.
This was a retrospective review of consecutive patients who underwent total shoulder arthroplasty at a single institution. Exclusion criteria included age at surgery greater than 55 years and less than 2 years of follow up. Final follow-up consisted of a patient-reported sports questionnaire, ASES and VAS scores.
61 shoulders were included with an average follow-up of 61.0 months (23-103) and average age at surgery of 48.9 years (25-55). VAS improved from 5.6 to 0.9 (p<0.001), and ASES improved from 39.3 to 88.4 (p<0.001). 80.3% (49) were done for osteoarthritis. 4 shoulders returned to the operating room, none were for glenoid loosening. There was a 93.2% satisfaction rate and 67.7% (40) stated they had their surgery to return to sports. 96.4% (55/57) restarted at least one sport at an average of 6.7 months. Direct rates of return were as follows: fitness sports (97.2%), golf (93.3%), singles tennis (87.5%), swimming (87.5%), basketball (75%) and flag football (66.7%). 82.4% (47) returned to similar or higher level of sport. 90.3% returned to a high demand sport and 83.8% returned to a high upper extremity use sport. There was no significant difference in rate of return to sport by BMI, sex, age, preoperative diagnosis, revision status, and dominant extremity.
In patients age 55 and younger undergoing total shoulder arthroplasty, there was a 96.4% rate of return to sports at an average of 6.7 months. Furthermore, at an average follow up of 5 years, no patients needed revision of their glenoid component despite an 83.8% rate of return to high upper extremity use sports. While caution should still be advised in young active patients undergoing total shoulder replacement, these results demonstrate a high satisfaction rate and improved ability to return patients to most sports after surgery.