Shoulder Surgery and the Athlete

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For many competitive and/or professional athletes, injury is unforeseeable and in some cases, the decision to continue on with their sport comes into question. More specifically, for those athletes who have developed, or even, were born with instable shoulders and have undergone physical therapy, are inevitably plagued with the notion, when therapy fails to work, to either have surgery to fix their shoulder(s) and to continue participating in their sport, or to quit their sport. In this sense, for the athletes who want to carry on in their sport, it appears that an open or arthroscopic Bankart Repair is the most plausible solution in correcting on-going shoulder instability in athletes who have not improved through therapy and want to continue with their sport.

In competitive or professional athletes, a stable shoulder is imperative for peak performance, especially for those athletes involved in sports that use persistent overhead motions, such as swimming, or throwing a baseball. In understanding a stable shoulder, the shoulder is a joint that contains three primary bones: the shoulder blade, or scapula, the collarbone, or clavicle, and the upper arm bone, also known as the humerus. In addition, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (2001), dictate that the head of the humerus bone (the humeral head) rests in a shallow socket within the shoulder blade called the glenoid and is held into the socket by the lining of the joint called the capsule. Moreover, the humeral head is quite larger than that of the socket, and a soft fibrous tissue rim, known as the labrum, surrounds the socket, which helps keep the joint stabilized (Shoulder joint tear). Furthermore, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (2001) states the rim in the socket deepens by up to 50 percent, therefore allowing the humeral head to fit better. What’s more is that the rim also serves as an attachment site for several ligaments (Shoulder joint tear). Additionally, the shoulder is referenced as being a ball and socket type joint that permits for a wide range of movement. Although the shoulder joint is intended to be stabilized, in many cases while athletes participate in their sports, they receive injuries to their shoulders that allows for their shoulder(s) to become instable, or even, it has been found that in some competitive athletes who might experience pain whilst enduring continuous overhead motions, may have inherited instable shoulders and have repeatedly agitated the joint. In this sense, it is possible that injuries to the tissue rim that surrounds the socket of the shoulder can occur from acute trauma or repetitive shoulder motion like swimming or throwing and/or pitching, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (2001), (Shoulder joint tear). More so, in its discovery, while the shoulder joint has a wide range of motion, instability can occur when the humeral head moves out of the socket, or glenoid cavity. The humeral head, considered as the ball portion of the ball and socket joint, “can move either partially (sublux) or completely (dislocate) out of the socket” (Sports medicine & shoulder surgery). Moreover, the humeral head can sublux or dislocate itself in three different directions: anteriorly, or forward, out of the bottom of the joint (inferior), or backward (posterior). Additionally, with any trauma to a stable shoulder, not only can the humeral head be forcefully dislocated or sublux, but the ligaments, capsule, or labrum can be torn, detached, or stretched from the shoulder bone as well. Conversely, McFarland and Petersen declare that although the humeral head is capable of being put back in place, the ligaments, labrum, or capsule may heal in a stretched or loose position, thus increasing the chance of subluxation or dislocation to occur again (Sports medicine & shoulder surgery). In addition, there are wide ranges of problems that are contributed to shoulder instability that of which can take on many...
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