Determination for Return to Play after Shoulder Dislocations (Post-op)
A study was performed including participants were contact or overhead athletes at the high school or collegiate level. Each underwent arthroscopic Bankart repair after a single dislocation event, with less than 10% glenoid bone loss. Western Ontario Shoulder Instability Index (WOSI) scores, Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE) scores, and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) scores were evaluated pre- and postoperatively.
Athletes were only allowed to return to competition after completing the proposed functional and psychological rehabilitation protocol.
A total of 62 participants were enrolled (52 male, 10 female; average age, 18.7 years (range 16-24 years); mean Instability Severity Index Score, 5.63 ± 0.55).
All returned to sport for 1 full season and completed a minimum of 2 years of follow-up. The average time to pass functional testing was 6.2 ± 0.7 months, psychological testing was 5.2 ± 0.5 months, and return to sport was 6.5 ± 0.7 months.
SANE scores improved from 44.3 to 90.0, ASES from 45.5 to 89.3, and WOSI from 1578.0 to 178.9 (all P < 0.001). Redislocation rate was 6.5% (4 of 62).
The proposed functional rehabilitation and psychological assessment protocol is safe and effective in returning athletes to sport after arthroscopic surgical intervention for anterior shoulder instability. This demonstrated a low redislocation rate after 2-year follow-up.
Most return-to-play protocols after arthroscopic Bankart repair are centered on recovery time alone, with limited focus on functional rehabilitation, psychological assessment, and return-to-play testing parameters. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to propose a dedicated rehabilitation program incorporating functional testing, psychological readiness, and return-to-play criteria for competitive athletes recovering from arthroscopic shoulder stabilization.