Return to Golf Following Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


Henry Ford Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Detroit, USA


Background: The object of this study was to examine return to golf and changes in golf performance after shoulder
arthroplasty. Additionally, we set out to determine if there were differences in return to play and performance between
total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA). We also examined pain during the golf
swing to determine if there is a change in pain level after surgery.
Methods: Patients were identified using a Current Procedural Terminology code 23472 search for TSA. A 19-question
online survey was sent out to each patient with questions detailing golfing performance and pain during the swing before
and after surgery. Comparisons were made to determine differences in pain, performance and enjoyment between TSA
and RTSA groups before and after surgery.
Results: A total of 586 patients who underwent shoulder arthroplasty were sent the online survey via email. Of those
patients, 33 identified themselves as golfers and who responded to the survey, resulting in an overall response rate of
5.6%. Twenty-three of 31 (74%) patients were able to return to golf following their procedure. Overall, the respondents
who reported pain associated with golfing activity had significantly decreased pain after undergoing either TSA or
RTSA. The RTSA group had a significant drop in driving distance following the procedure and this was significantly
lower than the postoperative driving distance in the TSA group, despite an insignificant preoperative difference.
Conclusion: Overall, TSA offers a safe and effective means for reducing pain during the golf swing in patients
suffering from advanced shoulder osteoarthritis. While there were no significant changes in performance following
TSA, individuals undergoing RTSA can be counseled that they are at risk for lower driving distances due to altered
mechanics. Overall, patients were satisfied with their procedure and their ability to return to the golf course.
Level of evidence: IV


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