Eight-Week Return to Play Following Latarjet Shoulder Reconstruction in an Australian Football Player: A Case Report

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Introduction: Anterior shoulder dislocation is a common injury in many sports, resulting in extended time lost from play with an extremely high recurrence rate in young athletes playing a high-risk sport. Latarjet shoulder reconstruction is a common surgical procedure used to prevent subsequent dislocation with an expected rehabilitation time frame of between 4 and 6 months before return to play. Case Description: A 21-year-old male Australian football player experienced 2 left-sided shoulder dislocations before undergoing a left Latarjet shoulder reconstruction. He was assessed clinically and with magnetic resonance imaging, which revealed significant tearing of the anterior labrum. The authors theorized that maximal glenohumeral stability occurs after bony healing of the coracoid onto the glenoid at 6 weeks. The patient then underwent an 8-week structured and graduated rehabilitation program aimed at preventing loss of shoulder range of motion, muscle, and functional capacity and returned to play at 8 weeks postinjury with no complications or recurrence at 12-month follow-up. Discussion: This is the first time an 8-week rehabilitation following Latarjet shoulder reconstruction has been reported. In athletes with anterior glenohumeral dislocation who require accelerated return to play, a Latarjet reconstruction with an 8-week rehabilitation protocol may be considered.

Murphy is with the School of Physiotherapy, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, WA, Australia, and High Performance Department, Western Australian Cricket Association, East Perth, WA, Australia. Murphy and Charlesworth are with SportsMed Subiaco, St John of God Health Care, Subiaco, WA, Australia. Stockden and Withers are with Medical Department, Fremantle Football Club, Cockburn Central, WA, Australia. Breidahl is with Perth Radiological Clinic, Subiaco, WA, Australia.

Murphy (myles.murphy1@my.nd.edu.au) is corresponding author.

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