The majority of golfers who undergo shoulder arthroplasty are able to return to sport approximately 6 months after the procedure, according to a new study.
However, patients who have shoulder hemiarthroplasty and reverse shoulder arthroplasty may have a lower rate of return compared to those who had anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty.
The study, “Return to Golf After Shoulder Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review,” was published on July 17, 2020 in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.
The researchers conducted a systematic review based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) of studies on return to golf guidelines after shoulder arthroplasty.
Outcomes included indications for shoulder arthroplasty, surgical technique, rehabilitation protocol, amount of time between surgery and resumption of golf activity, and patient-reported outcome measures.
Ten studies were included in the review. Two of them also reported on golf performance after the procedure. Three of studies that included patients who had total shoulder arthroplasty and shoulder hemiarthroplasty reported return to golf rates of 89% to 100% within a follow-up period of 5 to 8 months.
Two of the studies that included patients who underwent total shoulder arthroplasty and shoulder hemiarthroplasty reported return to golf rates of 77% and 100% after approximately 5.8 and 4.5 months, respectively.
Another two studies that included reverse shoulder arthroplasty patients had return to golf rates of 50% and 79%, 5.3 and 6 months after the surgery. One study only focused on shoulder hemiarthroplasty patients. Their return to golf rate was 54% with a return to golf time of 6.5 months.
The researchers wrote, “Varying surgical procedures and baseline patient characteristics precluded our ability to draw conclusions regarding surgical technique, rehabilitation protocol, or patient-reported outcome measures among studies reporting these data.”
Despite that, they added, “The data presented in our review can help physicians counsel patients who wish to continue golf participation after a shoulder arthroplasty procedure.”