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Defeat Diabetes
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Shoulder Surgery The Best Option For Active Patients

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2008

(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- For physically active individuals who suffer injuries, such as tears or dislocations, a common debate is whether to have surgery, or to heal naturally through rest and rehabilitation. A recent study has found that for young, active individuals who dislocate their shoulders for the first time, surgery is the beneficial option in the long term.
 
The arthroscopic shoulder surgery (a procedure in which an arthroscope is inserted through a small incision) yields the best results in preventing future shoulder problems and dislocations, the study claims. According to the study, using conservative approaches (such as natural rehabilitation), young and active individuals suffered another dislocation as much as 90% of the time.
 
The study evaluated 39 young and active shoulder dislocation patients over an average of approximately 12 years. Arthroscopic surgery yielded positive results in the short term, but it was only recently that conclusions could be made about long term effects of the surgery. Physical tests were performed to evaluate the repaired shoulders abilities in comparison to pre-injury shoulder abilities. For those electing surgery, "overall, the study found that the patients maintained excellent use of their shoulder."
 
Of the patients who elected surgery, there was approximately only a 10 percent failure rate long term. The failure rate refers to the recurrence of dislocation, and all further dislocations "all of which occurred during athletic activity." This is in comparison to the upwards of 90% failure rate for those electing more conservative approaches.
 
For the select group under consideration in this study, arthroscopic shoulder surgery certainly seems to be the best approach long term. The study did not address less active patients, and did not address other surgeries, so conclusions are only speculative for those issues. The main point is that "it may not be the approach that should be taken for a person who lives a sedentary lifestyle, but this could be applicable to the young, 15-25-year-old athlete, who is at high risk for recurrent instability and compromised function."

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Weisenberger, Lisa. The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine press release. March 2008.

Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.

Copyright © 2008 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

 
 
 
 
 
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