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The Athletes Shoulder - When not to Operate

Authors: Lennard Funk

References: Bulletin of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, Volume 94, Number 6, June 2012 , pp. 198-199(2)

Athletes present unique challenges in that their demands are highly specific to their sport and activity. Many sports and positions place extreme demands on the shoulder and the mechanisms of injury may be highly specific to a particular sport. Unique injury patterns are associated with certain sports, for example: swimmer's shoulder, volleyball shoulder, rugby shoulder and so on. Additionally, most sports are seasonal - hence the injuries and treatments associated with the sport will be too. There is a lot of anxiety around a professional athlete's injury, not only from the athletes themselves but also from their coaches, dependents and their sports agent. The decision to operate on an athlete should never be taken lightly and generally always involves a multi-disciplinary approach including the surgeon, team therapist and team doctor.

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