Anterior dislocation of the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint is a common injury, especially among younger men engaged in competitive contact sports and overhead sports. The most common complications are reccurence of the injury and instabilty of the shoulder joint. In most cases, therefore, surgery is recommended. Post-surgical rehabilitation lasts from four to six months, also up to nine months, depending on how the rehabilitation progresses, the surgical procedure, other related injuries, participation in contact sports, etc. The criteria for return to sport have not yet been adequately defined.
The main aim of this Master's thesis was to present various functional tests for a return to sport after surgery to address anterior instability because of a reccurence of shoulder joint dislocation. We wished to establish the criteria that an athlete must meet during the rehabilitation process for them to make a safe and successful return to competitive sport. The work is in the form of a monograph, employing a descriptive method. In order to research this issue, we relied on domestic and foreign professional and academic literature.
We established that the use of functional tests to assess the condition of the upper limbs as a screening tool for the prevention of injury or for the safe return to sport is relatively rare. This is despite the fact that there are several tests available specifically for the shoulder joint, which besides the other criteria, are important indicators of the individual's ability to move effectively and self-confidently. The most commonly used test is the upper extremity stability test in a closed kinetic chain, followed by the Y-balance test and medicine ball throw.
The first two tests help in assessing weaknesses in a closed kinetic chain; the first test assesses explosive strength, while the Y-test addresses the stability and mobility of the scapula and thoracic spine. Explosive strength in the upper limbs in an open kinetic chain is tested by medicine ball throw. Using functional tests to establish the condition of the upper limbs is appropriate, attested to by the use of lower limb tests; however, in reviewing the literature, we discovered that further research is required to ascertain the normative values of individual upper limb tests according to the various factors involved, such as the individual (athletes, participants in recreational sport, healthy, injured), sports discipline, gender and age.