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Getting Back in the Game: Returning to Racket Sports After Shoulder Arthroplasty

As a fellowship-trained orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon, I understand the passion and dedication that athletes have for their sports. When faced with the prospect of shoulder arthroplasty, many patients are concerned about their ability to return to their beloved racket sports. A recent article on Healio has shed some light on this topic, highlighting the fact that after shoulder arthroplasty, patients can expect to return to racket sports.

Understanding Shoulder Arthroplasty

Shoulder arthroplasty, also known as shoulder replacement surgery, is a procedure in which the damaged parts of the shoulder joint are replaced with artificial components. This surgery is often recommended for patients who have severe shoulder pain or limited mobility due to arthritis or other degenerative conditions. The goal of shoulder arthroplasty is to relieve pain, restore range of motion, and improve overall function.

Returning to Racket Sports After Shoulder Arthroplasty

According to the article on Healio, a recent study found that the majority of patients who underwent shoulder arthroplasty were able to return to racket sports within six to 12 months. However, it's essential to note that the process and timeline for each patient will vary depending on factors such as age, overall health, and the specific sport.

Patience and Persistence

While it's encouraging to know that patients can expect to return to racket sports after shoulder arthroplasty, it's important to understand that the road to recovery requires patience and persistence. Rehabilitation and physical therapy play a critical role in regaining strength and mobility in the shoulder joint. It's crucial to follow the prescribed rehabilitation plan and communicate regularly with your surgeon and physical therapist.

Tips for a Successful Return to Racket Sports

  1. Gradual Progress: When returning to racket sports, start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your activity. This allows your body to adapt and reduces the risk of injury.

  2. Proper Warm-up and Stretching: Warming up and stretching before playing can help prevent injuries and improve performance. Focus on dynamic stretches that involve movement, such as arm circles and shoulder rolls.

  3. Strengthening Exercises: In addition to regular physical therapy, incorporate shoulder-specific strengthening exercises to help build muscle and protect the joint.

  4. Listen to Your Body: Be mindful of any pain or discomfort you may experience while playing. If you feel pain, stop and consult your healthcare professional before resuming activity.

  5. Use Proper Equipment: Ensure that you use the appropriate racket, strings, and grip size for your skill level and sport. This can help reduce the stress on your shoulder joint and improve your overall performance.


The prospect of shoulder arthroplasty can be daunting for athletes passionate about their racket sports. However, the recent findings discussed in the Healio article are encouraging and demonstrate that it is possible to return to racket sports after undergoing this surgery. By following your rehabilitation plan, being patient, and taking the necessary precautions, you can successfully get back to the sport you love

So, are you ready to get back in the game?

  • Yes

  • Maybe

  • No, but I could if I wanted


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