Many patients prioritize the ability to return to sports following shoulder replacement surgeries, including total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA), and hemiarthroplasty (HA). While activity levels after hip and knee replacements have been well-established in the literature, studies on this topic in the field of shoulder arthroplasty are relatively limited. A review of the literature regarding athletic activity after shoulder arthroplasty was performed using the PubMed database. All studies relevant to shoulder arthroplasty and return to sport were included. The majority of patients returned to their prior level of activity within six months following TSA, RTSA, and shoulder HA. Noncontact, low demand activities are permitted by most surgeons postoperatively and generally have higher return rates than contact sports or high-demand activities. In some series, patients reported an improvement in their ability to participate in sports following the arthroplasty procedure. The rates of return to sports following TSA (75%-100%) are slightly higher than those reported for HA (67%-76%) and RTSA (75%-85%). Patients undergoing TSA, RTSA, and shoulder HA should be counseled that there is a high probability that they will be able to return to their preoperative activity level within six months postoperatively. TSA has been associated with higher rates of return to sports than RTSA and HA, although this may reflect differences in patient population or surgical indication.
Keywords: Hemiarthroplasty; Return to sport; Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty; Shoulder replacement; Total shoulder arthroplasty.