, Volume 102, Supplement 1, pp 29–34 | Cite as

Assessment of return to play in professional overhead athletes subjected to arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff tears and associated labral injuries using the Italian version of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic Shoulder and Elbow score

  • G. Merolla
  • P. Paladini
  • G. Porcellini
Original Article



The self-administered Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic (KJOC) Shoulder and Elbow questionnaire is a reliable and sensitive outcome tool to assess upper extremity athletic performance and functional changes affecting return to play in overhead athletes. We report the results of a study of return to sport in professional overhead athletes at a mean follow-up of 2 years after arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff tears and associated labral injuries using the Italian version of the score.

Materials and methods

A total number of 38 patients completed the 10-item questionnaire before and after surgery. They were also asked (1) whether they had returned to play; (2) how many months after the operation they had done so; (3) the level of postoperative performance (preinjury or less); and (4) whether they had had to change sport due to their shoulder problems.


Significant differences were found (1) between preoperative and postoperative scores; (2) between the scores of patients who returned to play at preinjury level and those who merely returned to competition; and (3) between the postoperative subscores of 8/10 items, which were higher in the patients who returned to preinjury performance than in those who merely returned to play; the two items that were not significantly different between these subgroups concerned pain and joint stability. Even though item analysis highlighted a major role for athletic performance in recovery of preinjury performance, it also stressed that the athlete’s relationship with coach, agent, and staff and his/her feeling of the extent to which the arm affects current performance significantly contribute to the final score.


The KJOC Shoulder and Elbow score provides an accurate and exhaustive assessment of the recovery of the athlete’s shoulder in relation to preinjury performance and provides the surgeon with key information on the pros and cons of surgical management.


Shoulder Overhead athletes Rotator cuff Labral injuries Arthroscopy Return to sport 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest


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Copyright information

© Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shoulder and Elbow Unit“D. Cervesi” Hospital, AUSL della Romagna Ambito RiminiCattolicaItaly
  2. 2.Biomechanics Laboratory“D. Cervesi” HospitalCattolicaItaly
  3. 3.Orthopaedic and Trauma UnitPoliclinico di Modena, University of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly

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