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Arthroscopic Isolated Posterior Labral Repair in Rugby Players

Authors: R Badge, A Tmbe, L Funk

References: submitted for Publication 2008

Background:
Shoulder injuries are considered to be the second commonest injury among rugby players after the knee, of which labral tears appear to be frequent. There is currently limited data available in the literature regarding posterior labral injury mechanisms in rugby players and its management.

Objective:
The aim of this study was to report the clinical presentation, arthroscopic findings, surgical technique and the functional outcome in elite rugby players with isolated posterior labral injuries.

Study Design: Case Series (Level IV evidence)

Material and Methods:
Over a five year period we surgically treated 142 elite rugby players, of which 11(7.8%) had isolated posterior labral injuries, with a minimum postoperative follow up of 1year. All patients had significant contact injury. Only 3 (24%) patients had a true posterior shoulder dislocation. Pre and post-operative assessment included Constant Score, Oxford Shoulder Score and Oxford Instability Score, along with time taken to return to pre-injury level and complications.

Results:
Average follow up was 32 months (range 17-54 months). The mean Constant Score improved from 66 to 99. The Oxford Score improved from 33 to 18. The Oxford Instability score improved from 52.2 to 12.3. Return to full sport was at a mean of 4.3 months after arthroscopic repair.

Conclusion:
Successful clinical results and rapid return to play can be achieved by appropriate early arthroscopic repair and supervised accelerated rehabilitation for posterior labral tears in elite rugby players.


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