Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I dislocated my right shoulder playing tennis in a league for over-40 adults. It's been six months since I had an arthroscopic repair. I'd really like to get back on the court but I can't lift and rotate my arm back far enough for a decent serve. Will this motion come back or am I stuck for good?

Answer:

There are several things to consider here. First, how does the motion in your right shoulder compare to the left? You probably can't expect to get more motion than you would have normally.

Second, how does your current motion compare to the motion you had before the surgery? Your surgeon may have taken measurements and can give you this information. Surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder doesn't aim to restore full motion but you should be able to get 95 percent of the motion you had before surgery or compared to the left side.

Next, is the loss of motion due to pain, scar tissue, or some other factor? You may want to discuss this with your doctor. Depending on the cause of your motion restriction, a short course of physical therapy may be helpful. Again, make a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to find out what you can expect for full recovery and how to get there. Dominic S. Carreira, MD, et al. A Prospective Outcome Evaluation of Arthroscopic Bankart Repairs. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. May 2006. Vol. 34. No. 5. Pp. 771-777.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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