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Return To Play After Arthroscopic Management Of Rotator Cuff Tears In Professional Contact Athletes

2021 Congress Paper Abstracts

Return To Play After Arthroscopic Management Of Rotator Cuff Tears In Professional Contact Athletes

Gautam Yagnik, MD, UNITED STATES Luis A. Vargas, MD, PhD, UNITED STATES John W. Uribe, MD, UNITED STATES John E. Zvijac, MD, UNITED STATES Jacob Seiler, MD, UNITED STATES

MIAMI ORTHOPEDIC AND SPORTS MEDICINE INSTITUTE, CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES


2021 Congress   Abstract Presentation   4 minutes   Not yet rated

 

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Summary: The majority (80%) of the professional contact athletes in this series were able to return to play at the same professional level after arthroscopic management of a symptomatic rotator cuff tear


Objectives:
The purpose of this study was to report on the clinical outcomes and return to play rates of professional contact athletes that underwent arthroscopic management of rotator cuff tears at our institution.

Methods

A retrospective review was performed on 10 rotator cuff tears in 9 professional contact athletes that underwent arthroscopic management of a rotator cuff tear from 2002-2019 at our institution. 8 tears occurred in elite American football players. The remaining 2 were In professional hockey players. The average age of the players was 28.7 ± 4.8 years.
The primary outcome measure was the ability to return to play and the number of games played after surgery. Return to play and career length data were collected through publicly available internet sources (NFL, CFL and NHL statistical websites) as well as from the team’s medical staff.

Results

80% of the athletes that underwent arthroscopic management of a rotator cuff tear in this study were able to return to play at the same professional level. The average age of the players that returned to play was 27.3 ± 4.2 years and the average time to return to play was 7.9 ± 1.9 months. The majority of the injuries in American football (6 of 8) occurred in defensive players. The 2 tears occurred in hockey were offensive players. All regained sufficient range of motion, strength and function to participate in at least one regular season game. For the football players, the average playing experience after surgery was 32 ± 25 games played. For the hockey players, was 22 ± 11games played.

9 of the 10 tears were full thickness that underwent arthroscopic repair while 1 was a partial tear that was debrided. The average tear size was 1.95 ±0.9 cm. The average number of suture anchors used was 1.35 ± 0.7. All tears involved the supraspinatus rotator cuff tendon and 4 were classified as small tears (<1cm), 3 as medium tears (1-3cm) and 2 as large tears (3-5cm). 7 of the 10 tears underwent acute surgical repair (<2 weeks from date of injury), while 3 players underwent delayed surgical intervention at the end of the season. Post-operative imaging was available in 8 of the 10 tears and 7 of 8 (88%) demonstrated a healed repair. No intra-operative complications were noted.

2 players with large (3-5cm) full thickness tears did not return to play. The average age was 34.5 years and both had > 10 years of professional playing experience. One was an NFL player with a repair failure at 6 months on post-operative imaging and elected to retire. The second was an NHL player that retired for reasons unrelated to his shoulder, despite a good clinical outcome and a healed repair on post-operative imaging.

Conclusions

The majority (80%) of athletes in this series were able to return to play at the same professional level after arthroscopic surgery. Older players with > 10 years of professional experience and large rotator cuff tears were less likely to return to play after surgical intervention


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