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Arthroscopic anterior shoulder stabilisation in overhead sport athletes: 5-year follow-up



Shoulder instability following traumatic glenohumeral dislocation is a common injury sustained by athletes particularly in contact and collision sports. Overhead contact sports such as gaelic football and hurling pose a unique hazard to the glenohumeral joint, increasing the risk of dislocation.


To assess return to sport, level of play, recurrence and functional outcomes in gaelic football and hurling athletes in comparison with players of other sports.


A retrospective cohort study was carried out from 2007 to 2016. Follow-up was conducted via telephone interview using the Western Ontario Shoulder Instability Index (WOSI) score used to assess functional outcomes as well as return to sport, level of return and recurrence.


Ninety patients were included with follow-up which was obtained on 61 patients (68%) with a mean follow-up of 5.04 years. 91.8% played sport at the time of injury, 55.4% of those (31 patients) played a gaelic sport with 44.6% (25 patients) playing other sports. 76.8% returned to their sport, 80.4% of these able to return at their pre-injury level. Recurrence occurred in 10 patients (16.4%). WOSI scores were not significantly different between groups (p = 0.77). No significance in recurrence between groups was noted (p = 0.78).


Favourable outcomes can be expected for overhead contact sport athletes undergoing anterior arthroscopic stabilisation for recurrent instability. Players from these groups returned to sport sooner than those from other sports and no difference in recurrence was noted. The level at which they can expect to return to is favourable with most athletes reaching their pre-injury level.

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Correspondence to Kevin Clesham.

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Clesham, K., Shannon, F.J. Arthroscopic anterior shoulder stabilisation in overhead sport athletes: 5-year follow-up. Ir J Med Sci 188, 1233–1237 (2019).

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  • Anterior stabilisation
  • Arthroscopy
  • Instability
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Sports