High rate of return to play found among NFL players after treatment for shoulder instability
National Football League players experienced a high rate of return to play after shoulder instability, regardless of treatment modality, according to results.
Among 83 NFL players who sustained an in-season shoulder instability event, Kelechi R. Okoroha, MD, and colleagues collected NFL return to play, incidence of surgery, time to return to play, recurrent instability events, seasons/games played after the injury and demographic data. Researchers determined overall return to play and compared players who underwent operative repair to players who had nonoperative treatment.
Results showed 92% of NFL players who sustained either a shoulder subluxation or a dislocation and did not undergo surgical repair returned to NFL regular season play at a median of 0 weeks and 3 weeks, respectively. Researchers found a median return to play of 39.3 weeks among players who underwent operative repair.
A recurrent instability event occurred in 47% of players. Researchers noted a lower recurrence rate and longer interval between a recurrent instability event among players who underwent surgical repair and were able to return to play.
“Regardless of treatment modality, there is a high rate of [return to play] RTP following shoulder instability events in NFL players,” Okoroha told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “Players who sustain shoulder subluxations RTP faster, but also have earlier recurrent instability events compared to players with dislocations. In NFL athletes who have surgery following shoulder instability, there is a decreased incidence of subsequent instability and a longer event-free interval compared to players who do not have surgery.” – by Casey Tingle
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.