Posted by: Andries | 2009/04/20

Rugby after shoulder dislocation

Hi there,
I suffered a full anterior dislocation of my right shoulder playing rugby at 18 which was set and fully examined by an orthopedic surgeon at the time to rule out fractures etc. I then suffered a couple of partial dislocations in the year thereafter. I completed intensive muscle rehabilitation with a bio-kineticist after this and returned to rugby at varsity 3 years later.
I completed a season without any shoulder trouble but unfortunately couldn' t continue when i started working (I did very little training during this time).
My overall fitness is up to standard now and I wish to play rugby again (3 years since my last season) and would like to know whether I need to work specifically on shoulder strengthening excercises again before playing?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageShoulder Doc

Dear Andries,
yes you should work on shoulder strenghtening before you start playing. Unfortunately the incidence of recurrent shoulder dislocations after the intitial dislocation is very high but i am pleased to hear that you could play a full season without dislocating. That may have been due to a combination of your strong muscles as well as a bit of luck- the shoulder would only dislocate if the arm is forced into the position of "abduction and external rotation" which is out and backwards. If the shoulder was never placed under this specific load it would not dislocate. I wish you all the best: have a look at my website a and look at shoulder instability specifically for more info


Dr Joe de Beer

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