Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I just started playing women's softball at the college level and now I've dislocated my shoulder. Can I keep playing and get it treated during the off-season?


You really need a medical opinion on this. The main problem with putting off treatment is the concern about redislocating the shoulder. There is a high recurrence rate (80 percent) in younger patients (up to age 30).

Many doctors advise early treatment to prevent further injury and damage to the joint. But a new study from the University of Minnesota showed that 90 percent of the athletes could complete their season with nonoperative treatment. The athletes went to physical therapy and used a variety of shoulder braces, depending on their sport.

More than half of the injured athletes ended up having surgery during the off-season. There were no reports of injury that affected their ability to play or the surgery later.

Daniel D. Buss, MD, et al. Nonoperative Management for In-Season Athletes With Anterior Shoulder Instability. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. August/September 2004. Vol. 32. No. 6. Pp. 1430-1433.

*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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