International Orthopaedics May 2018, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 1129–1135

Return to sports after reverse shoulder arthroplasty—the Swiss perspective

Kolling, C., Borovac, M., Audigé, L. et al.


This patient survey evaluated the return to previous sports activities in Swiss patients up to five years after reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA).


We screened our local shoulder arthroplasty registry for patients registered with a unilateral RSA due to rotator cuff deficiency between May 2010 and May 2015. Revision cases and patients already known as unwilling or unable to complete a German language questionnaire were excluded. Eligible patients received a paper questionnaire asking about their past and current sports activities, return time point and level of activity.


Of 305 patients, 89% responded at a mean post-operative follow-up of 2.9 years (SD 1.1). The respondents had a mean age of 77.1 years (SD 7.8) and included 62% females. The overall rate of patients returning to a previous sports activity was 77%. Sixty-one percent (166/271) participated in regular sports activities before the onset of their shoulder disorders. After RSA, 47% (127/271) participated in at least one sport type with the most frequent activities including hiking (66), swimming (53), cycling (45) and callisthenics (43). Most patients carried out their main sports activity after surgery with a moderate level of intensity (83%) and between one to three times per week (69%). Forty-two percent of the respondents indicated that returning to sports was among their key demands after RSA.


Returning to previous sports activities is an important expectation of RSA patients, and the majority do. Patient expectations of post-operative sports activity need to be addressed when planning RSA.

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