Rehabilitation and Functional Outcomes in Collegiate Wrestlers Following a Posterior Shoulder Stabilization Procedure

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STUDY DESIGN:Case series.CASE DESCRIPTION:Five consecutive collegiate Division I wrestlers, with a mean age of 20.2 years (range, 18-22 years), were treated postsurgical stabilization to address posterior glenohumeral joint instability. All received physical therapy postoperatively, consisting of range-of-motion, strengthening, and plyometrics exercises, neuromuscular re-education, and sport-specific training. Functional outcome scores using the Penn Shoulder Score questionnaire were recorded at postsurgical initial evaluation and discharge. Isometric shoulder strength, measured with a handheld dynamometer at discharge, was compared with measurements made during preseason screening.OUTCOMES:Postsurgery, upon initial physical therapy evaluation, scores on the Penn Shoulder Score questionnaire ranged from 37 to 74 out of 100. All 5 wrestlers improved with rehabilitation such that their scores at discharge ranged from 81 to 91 out of 100. Mean external rotation-internal rotation strength ratio for the involved shoulder was 73.5% (range, 55.9%-88.7%) preseason and 80.9% (range, 70.2%-104.1%) postrehabilitation. Four patients were able to return to wrestling over a period of 1 season, with no episodes of reinjury to their surgically repaired shoulder.DISCUSSION:Current research on posterior glenohumeral instability is limited, due to the relatively rare diagnosis and infrequent need for surgical intervention. Providing a structured physical therapy program following this surgical procedure appeared to have assisted in a return to full functional activities and sports.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:Therapy, level 4.

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