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Long-term activity restrictions after shoulder arthroplasty: an international survey of experienced shoulder surgeons

References: J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 20 (2): 281-289 (March 2011)

Hypothesis
Shoulder arthroplasty is being performed with increasing frequency, and patients’ athletic participation after shoulder arthroplasty is on the rise. However, little data exist regarding appropriate long-term activity restrictions. We hypothesize that European and North American surgeons both recommend increasing long-term activity restrictions, moving from hemiarthroplasty to total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) to reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA), and that both groups impose similar restrictions on their patients.

Materials and methods
An online survey was sent to members of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) and the European Society for Surgery of the Shoulder and Elbow (SECEC). Participants received a list of 37 activities and classified their postoperative recommendations for each activity as allowed, allowed with experience, not allowed, or undecided.

Results
The participation rate was 18%, including 47 North American surgeons and 52 European surgeons. All patients were allowed to participate in nonimpact activities, including jogging/running, walking, stationary bicycling, and ballroom dancing. Sports requiring light upper extremity involvement, including low-impact aerobics, golf, swimming, and table tennis, were allowed after hemiarthroplasty and TSA, and were allowed with experience after RTSA. Sports with fall potential, including downhill skiing, tennis, basketball, and soccer, were allowed with experience after hemiarthroplasty and TSA, and undecided or not allowed after RTSA. Higher-impact sports, such as weightlifting, waterskiing, and volleyball, were undecided after hemiarthroplasty and TSA and were not allowed after RTSA. European surgeons were more conservative than American surgeons in their recommendations after hemiarthroplasty and TSA, but good agreement between the 2 groups was noted regarding restrictions after RTSA.

Conclusion
Restrictions should be based on the type of arthroplasty performed and patients’ preoperative experience.

 

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