Background The cause of shoulder pain and dysfunction in the overhead athlete can be variable. Several studies illustrate the wide variety of lesions seen at the time of arthroscopy in overhead athletes who require surgery but it is unclear whether these differ by sport. Questions/purposes We examined overhead athletes with shoulder dysfunction to determine (1) the range of arthroscopically visualized shoulder abnormalities with specific attention to the posterosuperior glenohumeral joint and the rotator cuff; and (2) the relationship of sport type to these abnormalities. Methods We reviewed our institution's database for professional and collegiate athletes in overhead sports who, from 1996 through 2010, had diagnostic shoulder arthroscopy for insidious, nontraumatic, persistent pain and inability to participate in their sport. A descriptive analysis of the arthroscopic findings from 51 consecutive patients (33 males, 18 females; mean age, 25 years; range, 15-59 years) was done. We analyzed the arthroscopic findings with respect to sport using analysis of variance and Fisher's exact test. Results There was a wide range of superior labrum, posterosuperior glenoid, and rotator cuff abnormalities. Overall, the most frequent abnormalities were posterosuperior glenohumeral joint changes. Swimmers had fewer intraarticular abnormalities than baseball players. Conclusions We found a wide spectrum of intraarticular abnormalities in the shoulder of overhead athletes with shoulder pain requiring surgery. Additional study is needed to determine whether these abnormalities or combinations relate to specific athletic movements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine