Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I had surgery for a torn rotator cuff (partial tear). At the time of surgery, they also saw a small labral tear that got repaired too. I took the KJOC survey and it says I'm going to be able to get back to sports (I play baseball on a college scholarship). How reliable is this test? Can I count on it to be accurate? I kinda need to make a decision one way or the other about getting serious in rehab or letting it go.

Answer:

The Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic Overhead Athlete Shoulder and Elbow (KJOC) questionnaire has been tested and is considered to be a valid and reliable tool. It measures the functional status of overhead throwing athletes. It measures several different components needed to return to play. So it is considered a good predictor of return-to-play. Studies show that the results of the KJOC survey can be influenced by outside, independent variables. For example, the type of surgery, type of sutures used to repair the damaged soft tissues, and severity of injury (partial versus full-thickness tears) can also influence the final results. Players with both a rotator cuff tear and a labral tear are less likely to return to full sports participation. The partial tear and small labral tear that you describe would not necessarily put you out of the running for a full return to the game. About 55 per cent of professional baseball players with this type of injury are able to return to their preinjury level of play. Results are less favorable when there is a full-thickness tear of the rotator cuff, especially if combined with a labral tear of any size. Regaining normal kinematics (motion) of the shoulder after complex shoulder injuries can take quite a bit of time in rehab. There is a delicate balance needed between mobility (movement) and stability (keeping the shoulder in the socket during activity) required for an overhead throwing athlete. Your health care/sports team (e.g., surgeon, physical therapist, coach, athletic trainer) are the best ones to advise you. The fact that you have taken the KJOC test and been given a favorable score suggests you are receiving some useful guidance to help in the decision-making process. Jonathan P. Van Kleunen, MD, et al. Return to High-Level Throwing After Combination Infraspinatus Repair, SLAP Repair, and Release of Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. November 2012. Vol. 40. No. 11. Pp. 2536-2541.

*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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