Criteria-based return to sport testing is associated with lower recurrence rates following arthroscopic Bankart repair

Review written by Dr Teddy Willsey info

Key Points

  1. Nearly 1 in 4 patients undergoing shoulder stabilization surgery experiences recurrent instability, indicating a need for greater examination into typical rehabilitation and return to play procedures.
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Recovery and return to sport timelines following arthroscopic shoulder stabilization surgery are traditionally influenced by the surgeon’s personal preferences for passage of time, and a qualitative assessment lacking performance measurements or objective data. Shoulder instability recurrence rates following Bankart repairs have been reported as high as 23%, indicating a need for further investigation into the process of rehabilitating and clearing athletes to return to sport following stabilization surgery (1).

Research on ACL functional performance has consistently demonstrated the importance of criteria-based testing in post-surgical return to play decision making (2). Shoulder weakness has been shown to be associated with instability, therefore quantifying shoulder strength is helpful in assessing stability (3). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact criteria-based return to sports (CBRTS) testing can have on reducing recurrence rates following arthroscopic Bankart repair.

Shoulder instability recurrence rates following Bankart repairs have been reported as high as 23%.
Passage of time, subjective pain levels, and range of motion are all important to consider when clearing patients, however these markers alone are not sufficient for determining return to sport readiness for athletes.


The authors performed a retrospective case-controlled study with 36 competitive high school and college athletes following an arthroscopic anterior labral repair and minimum 1-year follow up. The testing cohort was then compared with an unmatched control group that did not

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